Welcome back to Stitchery School! I had so much fun with the Stitchery School lessons in Love of Knitting Fall 2017 that it seemed worthwhile to Explore popped into my head and then inspired our talented designers. The resulting projects didn't just delight me; they surprised me. I've been knitting since 1985 and think of myself as an advanced knitter. What on earth could I learn from revisiting basic concepts and techniques?
It turns out, I learned a lot. These lessons reminded me of knitting's versatility. Unlike crocheters, we knitters don't have to memorize a lot of stitches--all of our stitches come from the same basic foundations of knit, purl, and yarnover. Yet people around the world, for thousands of years, have created a vast number of patterns from these three foundation stitches. Add in color and the variations stretch to infinity.
This issue honors the roots of knitting in four stories. Discover the magic of "Slip Stitches," a technique that lets you add as many colors as you like while only knitting with one color per row or round. Ready for stranded colorwork or embroidery? You'll love the designs in "Colors of Winter." Projects in "ThingsThat Go Bump" add texture to your knitting with stitch motifs, beads, bobbles, and wrapped stitches. Create classic garments and accessories with "Cables & Braids," two design elements that never go out of style. We've included a how-to article on grafting so that you can graft the Connacht Cowl (page 60) in pattern for a virtually invisible join.
Other features focus on fit and style. Part 2 of "SweatersThat Fit & Flatter" explains how to interpret pattern schematics and how to identify your body type (page 18). Two staff members kindly modeled six ways to wear a crescent shawl (page 34) so that you can get the most from this versatile accessory.
There's another history/geography scavenger hunt, too! In "Slip Stitches," look for clues in place names around the North Sea and Norwegian Sea, where Norse and Scottish cultures shaped knitting. For "Colors of Winter," I turned to Scandinavian geography. The Baltic region inspired the project names in "Things That Go Bump." Then for "Cables & Braids," Ireland beckoned, and I couldn't ignore the birthplace of Aran knitting.
As always, we love to hear your thoughts on the magazine, see what you're making, and answer your questions about projects or knitting in general. If you send in a knitting dilemma for "Better Than Frogging" and we publish it, I'll knit you a tiny frog.
Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch (www.sylvandale.com) in Loveland, Colorado, hosted our photo shoot. We can't thank them enough for their care and attention: after spending two days right on the Big Thompson River in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, everybody on the team wanted to stay there forever.