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Knitting the Almanac - January Swatch

January's Project is an Aran Sweater EZ was so obsessed with gauge and teaching knitters to understand its importance that she insisted on printing it in a completely different font each time it appeared in her books.  It should be no surprise, then, that the first step of making a sweater is to do a swatch - and a large one at that. Allow me to make a bit of a confession.  I am highly resistant to swatching.  I would much rather cast on a sleeve or something small and rip it all out if the gauge doesn't come out right than swatch.  If I feel I must swatch, I usually try to knit the smallest amount I think I...

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Knitting the Almanac - an introduction

I have long been utterly obsessed with the idea of spending a year knitting Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac cover to cover.   For the as-yet uninitiated, allow me to clarify:  Elizabeth Zimmermann, often referred to simply as EZ, is the fairy godmother of (American) knitting.  She was one of the main voices bringing knitting back to the forefront of the crafting community in the 1970s and 1980s with her no-nonsense attitude, conversational tone, and constant encouragement.  She hosted a PBS television series about knitting and authored numerous books, and newsletters outlining her philosophy on knitting.  I count her as one of the great influences on my knitting, and I'm sure many other knitters feel the same.  Her advice to trust only...

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My Obsession with KALs

I have a bit of a confession to make:  I am completely obsessed with KALs.  You know, Knit-A-Longs.  Honestly, it's kind of becoming a problem because when I'm knitting other people's designs, I'm not working on my own, but I can't stop...because KAL. It all started one fateful day when I was cruising Ravelry, trying to figure it all out, and I stumbled into the Groups tab.  I started searching for groups that looked interesting, and behold - there was a search parameter for KAL!  It was on that day that I discovered two things that were going to change my knitting life:  Knitters' Brewing Company and KALs. See, up to that point I had been a very solitary, relatively...

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