New England

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Dear Readers

We’ve recently returned from a fabulous week’s holiday in the States, spent with Susan Guagliumi and her husband at their home in Connecticut. This gorgeous green and pleasant corner of the USA isn’t called ‘New England’ by accident. The only notable difference between here and there was something called ‘sunshine’, which bathed us in warmth. Susan and I have been friends since the 1980s and it was so good to catch up again.

Susan set up a meeting for me to visit the Stoll Fashion & Technology Centre in New York. Stoll covers the huge American knitting industry market and supplies it with all the necessary services and supports. At the New York showroom they work with a wide range of highly skilled specialists, to develop the shapes and patterns used by famous major American retail companies and knitwear designers. They inspire develop, produce, source and train both people and companies.

As Bill King says this month: “A knitting machine is a very versatile piece of kit” and I was able to take a close look at some newly released fancy swatches. I also handled the prototype fabrics and structures of the knitted Nike trainers I’d spotted on one or two pairs of feet on the subway. Stoll combines the abilities of smart and highly-productive flat bed knitting machine technology of today, with the innovative textile functions of tomorrow. Bill King would have loved it and moved in immediately. If the product of your dreams could be knitted, Stoll will source the materials and find a way to do it. The 21st century machinery was there, sitting very comfortably alongside a room of well-used domestic Knitmaster machines. I saw knitting which I’d never believed was possible, so we should never doubt what our machines can do, or put down our craft.

Susan is making progress with her fourth machine knitting book, which she’s tentatively titled Hand-Manipulated Stitches: Exploring Open Spaces. Susan has let me have some samples to show you, which she was busy knitting on her LK-150. Don’t miss next month’s magazine for an update from her and a sneak preview. I’m sure the swatches will whet your appetite for more Open Space designs and techniques and finally dispel the myth that this simple mid-gauge plastic bed model isn’t a ‘proper’ knitting machine. In the meantime, you’ll find free downloads on her website at www.guagliumi.com. There are currently three Open Space designs – Swirling Eyelets (first seen here in MKM), 3D Nops & Eyelets and the newest one, Slit Topper. There are also some how-to videos on her blog at www.susanguagliumi.com so, until next month, happy knitting!

 

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