Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The only reference you'll ever need?

Well, I couldn't possibly presume to tell you what you should prefer, but this is my present favourite reference. It crept up on me gradually. I bought it from Reynolds in Sydney, along with a few other books. I must have thought it looked promising, but it did languish forgotten for a while. But every now and then I'd look to clarify some technique or other, and find it useful. 
It proved to be particularly useful when I was roped in the demonstrate "Punch Lace", I was honoured in this way on the strength of having discovered, by accident, that 1x1 punch lace is an excellent way to add a depth and texture to an otherwise plain knit surface. The notes on Punch Lace in this book proved to be a most satisfactory basis for a comprehensive demonstration.

Once I noticed what a treasure I had, I wanted to find out some more about this woman. You can read about her life here Finding Regine .
As I see it, these are the elements that make this book so valuable here, and now.
  • It is written for the 24 stitch repeat punch card machine, specifically the Singer punch card machine. The machine a would be machine knitter is most likely to find in Melbourne.
  • It is written for the basic flat bed machine, without ribber or other accessories. Every technique discussed can be performed without any ancillary specialised equipment. 
  • Regine herself was not familiar with knitting machines when asked to set up a tertiary machine knitting course. Her expertise was in knitwear design. With the aid of a Singer technician, she kept one class ahead of her students. The beginner level of expertise dominates.
  • Although the book is not visually inspiring, apparently being a compilation of typed class notes, it is the work of a knitwear designer, focussing on the design implications of all the techniques explained.
  • A brisk work through this book would constitute a solid foundation in machine knitting. Those class notes are valuable lesson plans.

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