Our guest speaker today was the very talented and knowledgeable Val Quarmby. Val presented an more in depth look at the work of three designers of "modular" garments.
The first was Tom Moore, from Australia. The original design was based on a number of knitted squares stitched together, but like many knitters, Val said she would prefer to knit rather than sew. So Val studied Tom's design and worked out a way to knit all the pieces together, starting with the central square, picking up stitches for the next square. All cutting and stitching couldn't be avoided, and the neck opening had to be stitched and cut.
The second designer that Val talked about was Horst Schulz and patchwork knitting. Val showed us a a cardigan she had made from shell shapes and different fibres. Val also mentioned Vivian Hoxbro (Domino Knitting) and Patricia Werner (Dazzling Knits) who also design garments based on this modular style of knitting.
The final designer was Debbie New and labyrinth/maze knitting. This technique requires casting on lots of stitches, but then only having to work about 5cm, but with all the increases and decreases in the right spot. This strip then folds in on itself to make a cardigan! This style of garment construction requires lots of stitching though. Val had two garments to show us - a child's cardigan that required about 1600 stitches to be cast on and took about 8 hours to cast on. Val said she had to be meticulous with placing markers to show where increases and decreases needed to be worked. Val cast on over 4000 stitches for the adult cardigan.
Not only was the knitting impressive but also the planning and diagrams that Val did for each of them, especially for the labyrinth cardigans.