Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I'm a proud member of the Montse Stanley Appreciation Society. Her Knitter's Handbook has come to my aid many, many times and it has pride of place in the bookshelf beside my knitting spot. Here it's shown in its current position beside the work in progress.

The speedy construction of the Cleckheaton Jacket faltered at the finishing stage because of shoulder seams. Mattress stitch was fine for all the other joins but it created a bulky ditch on the shoulders and even though I had finished sewing the collar and sleeves into the shoulders I wasn't happy.

Three needle bind-off was considered but that would have required the front and back to be frogged at least 4 rows and I didn't want to go down that path. Montse's solution was a nice neat 'fake graft' that smoothed out all the offending bumps and furrows and I didn't have to unpick any of the bound off stitches.

This is the jacket pre-grafting and only requiring a few loose ends to be tidied. The grafting solution meant minimum disruption to the seams and no re-knitting of rows. All that is now required is a bit of hem and collar blocking and a nice fastener for the front.

A few Montse facts - she came to England in 1974 from Barcelona and founded the Early Knitting History Group. There is a Montse Stanley Knitting Collection at Winchester School of Art "consisting of a wide range of over 800 knitted objects, 5000 magazines, 1500 knitting patterns, photographs, postcards and books, as well as small tools and sample yarns".
The Knitter's Handbook is one of the knitting canons, a must-have for any serious knitting reference library. As Ellen explains in this wonderful post Montse has an uncompromising attitude to standards that at times can be off-putting - especially to a beginner. The overwhelming number of techniques she illustrates can also be a bit daunting at first but they have proven their worth to me numerous times including today.


Lara said...

The seam looks gorgeous ! You already know I love the jacket :)

Lynne said...

Isn't it interesting how different books appeal to different knitters? I had a choice of MS or The Vogue Knitting Book, and I chose the latter. I can't tell you why - I had both from the library at one stage and I preferred Vogue! On your recommendation, I'll have to take another look at MS. :-)

wendy said...

Montse Stanley is new to me but I'm definitely going to look up the Knitter's Handbook