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Archive for November 7th, 2009

Student Project, Being a Student

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Melissa Leapman Teaching Sat/Sun in Lansing

Saturday and Sunday, I’m going to be a student myself. I’m studying four half-day classes with Melissa Leapman, at Rae’s Yarn Boutique. I believe most of the sessions still have room for a few folks, if you want to join in. It should be fun.

I believe that even professionals need to keep learning from those who have gone before them. Melissa has been in this business a long time.

Most of the time, I do not knit sweaters. Most of the time, Melissa designs sweaters. This will expose me to things I do not normally contemplate. However, I believe that some of the techniques can be used on the socks and accessories which are my own specialty. I’m sure I’ll learn something exciting. (I’m particularly happy about colored cables.)

Susan B. Anderson’s Presentation

Life is busy… Friday night I enjoyed the presentation by Susan B. Anderson at Schuler Books. If you are in Grand Rapids, she will be at their Schulers on Saturday. You can check their website, http://Schulerbooks.com, to get details.

Darn It!

To keep the subject on classes… I taught a “Darn that Sock” class last week. Elizabeth (who works at Rae’s) had a pair of handknit socks she made, which had blown small holes in their heels. She was very disappointed. So she took my class.

There are two ways I teach folks to mend socks. One is “duplicate stitch” which makes stronger knitting right on top of the knitting that is already there. It works well if there are still thin strands of yarn left intact. It is very hard to accomplish if there is an outright hole.


Duplicate stitch stretches and feels more like knitting than the other technique, which creates a woven patch. Weaving just is not as stretchy, by nature, as stitches made with looped strands of yarn.

So Elizabeth reinforced her heels with duplicate stitch all the way into the strong fabric on the sides. Had she stopped short, there would be a weak spot next to her patch. The edges are uneven on purpose, it makes the patch less likely to tear on a straight line.

For two very small spots, she did go ahead and make a woven patch. The rest is stretchy and flat.

Nice Job, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth did an exceptional job with this project. I’ve never seen such a complete job!

She dyed the yarn (in Rae’s sockyarn-dyeing class) and then knit the socks herself (they are knee socks). She really wanted to preserve them as much as she could, the way they were originally intended. This surely did do the trick.


Oh, the reinforcement color? Well, it is a lot easier to do a mending job if the working thread/yarn is a different color than the base knitting. You can just see what you are doing better that way.

I personally sort of like doing it in other colors. It makes me feel good and perhaps a bit clever, to show off my darned spots.

Elizabeth likes purple anyway. About as much as I like turquoise, I think.

So when I had some purple reinforcement thread (100% nylon fine yarn made for sock reinforcement), she asked to use that. Of course she was welcome to do so. Nice accent, don’t you think?