How to Knit – Debbie Bliss

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How to Knit – Debbie Bliss

I’m starting this book review in a quandary – to keep or not to keep. On first pass, I was ready to chuck this one. As much as I love Debbie Bliss (fantastic UK designer), I didn’t think this book offered enough to keep on my shelf. On 2nd pass, I’m conflicted.

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How to Knit – back cover

The back cover could have added a little more info for the reader? What were the publishers thinking?

illus

Great illustrations

The illustrations in this How-to are very clear and would be easy for a novice to use.

Aran

Aran Workshop

This section comes pretty early in the book – Chapter 3 as a matter of fact. It’s really Debbie Bliss’s favorite style so I’m not surprised to see it covered extensively.

cables

Cable Workshop

In the middle of the Aran chapter, this simple cabled sweater is a simpler version of some of the other knits.

lace

Lace Workshop

The best thing about this chapter is the 23 lace stitch pattern samples.

edges

Edgings

Love the edgings. This makes the book a winner. I just used the leaf edging for a project. Wish the instructions were charted and not so UK centric with yf terminology that is not used by US knitters.

entrelac

Entrelac illustrations

Ok – I know you’re asking – what the hell is Entrelac. Not a common technique, but these illustration make it very clear.

 

What did I decide? I might keep this book for awhile and see if I refer to it before moving it along. My copy is a bit worn and I probably couldn’t sell. I do think the UK vs US make it less valuable for a new knitter, but then again – I’m not a new knitter.

 

https://www.amazon.com/How-Knit-Definitive-Step-step/dp/1855856964/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497383208&sr=8-1&keywords=How+to+Knit+Debbie+Bliss

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One Skein

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One Skein 30 Quick Projects to Knit and Crochet

Ending the year with a blog sounds like a good idea to me. I just have to make my 2017 resolution to blog more often!

When searching Amazon, One Skein is lost in a sea of “One Skein Wonder” books. This slim volume is written by Leigh Radford and published by Interweave Press in 2006.

It’s a thumbs down for me. The patterns for the most part are just OK and not worth the room on my shelf.

cabled_hats

Cabled Hats

I do like this pair of hats. Seems like an easy project in a chunky yarn on size 11 (8mm) needles.

rib_cable_scarf

Rib & Cable Scarf

This was shown as a “Quartet” with 4 versions. One scarf shown on a man is so short that it had to be fastened with knitting needles – really! It is a simple project, although none of the projects are marked for skill level.

fingerless_mitts

Fingerless Garter Mitts

I do love fingerless mitts and am always prowling around to find good ones. I’m not crazy about this pair with elongated stitches and no thumb.

felted_tote

Felted Striped Tote

Not a bad project, but I’ve seen similar ones before.

felted_bowls

Felted Bowls

crochet_cap

Crocheted Cap

The cover does say “projects to knit and crochet”, but the crochet projects are few. This is OK if you are a knitter/crocheter. If you only do one or the other craft, this is not the book for you.

I’ve omitted pics of the leg warmers, bags, projects for baby and ones for home such as a bath mat. Many are not worth including.

https://www.amazon.com/One-Skein-Leigh-Radford-ebook/dp/B00DH40O7U/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1483039896&sr=1-10&keywords=one+skein+wonders

Learn to Knit

Learn to Knit by Penny Hill

Learn to Knit by Penny Hill

So you might ask – what the H – – – are you doing with a “learn to knit” book? Yes, dear reader, I asked myself the same question. This UK book published in 2003 somehow landed on my book shelf – magically I’m sure!

Learn to Knit - back cover

Learn to Knit – back cover

Since it won’t be staying on my shelf much longer and is most likely destined as a library donation, I will at least give it a review here. It’s an OK learn to knit book for a novice and covers quite an array of material to be sure. The simple projects shown on the back cover go from easiest to easy with some clarification along the way. It’s actually a good book for more experienced knitters, if one might be looking to knit simple projects.

Photo illustrations

Photo illustrations

I’m not usually a fan of photo “how-to’s”, but these are fairly clear. Usually drawn illustrations are easier to follow.

How to create stitch patterns

How to create stitch patterns

These are clear photos of simple stitches, but the UK version of stocking stitch vs. the US stockinette might be confusing to a beginner.

photo of sweater pieces

photo of sweater pieces

This was a clever way to show what the finished sweater garter stitch pieces will look like and more or less how they will be stitched together.

Finished sweater

Finished sweater

Here’s the finished sweater nicely styled. The book uses no live models which probably keeps the book from looking dated.

How to make a set-in pocket

How to make a set-in pocket

Towards the end of the book, this technique plus several others such as buttonholes makes the book more valuable in the long run.

http://www.amazon.com/Learn-Knit-Penny-Hill/dp/1580111750/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1447521398&sr=8-1&keywords=Learn+to+Knit+by+Penny+Hill

Knitting in No Time by Melody Griffiths

Knitting in No Time by Melody Griffiths

Knitting in No Time by Melody Griffiths

A quick read and discard for today. This is one of those books that made me say – “what was I thinking when I bought this one”. It’s more of my dislike of a book of patterns rather than a book of substance.

This UK book was published in 2006 and I did like that it’s broken down into clear chapters with projects such as accessories, wraps, jackets and bags. It makes it easy to find something you might want to make.

Knitting in No Time - Back Cover

Knitting in No Time – Back Cover

A definite – Thumbs down on this book.

Pull-On Hat and Hand Warmers

Pull-On Hat and Hand Warmers

I thought that the hat and hand warmers is an easy good looking project. Each project has a tip box which is especially good for beginning knitters.

Chevron Poncho

Chevron Poncho

Another nice project and good use of a variegated yarn. It’s made in a Noro yarn that’s readily available throughout the US.

Circular Sweater

Circular Sweater

I must be on a Noro yarn fan jag! The above sweater is knit from the top down and pretty easy to make in stockinette stitch. A good “bang for the buck” where the yarn does the work.

Cable Illustrations

Cable Illustrations

The book ends with about a dozen pages of techniques. These are well-done and especially good for new knitters.

Summer Lacy Shawl

Summer Lacy Shawl

This is my favorite project in the book. I saw it as more of a throw when shown photographed over a chair on the intro spread. I was surprised when I found that the actual project is called a “Summer Shawl”. At 24 1/2″ wide and 45″ long, it could easily be made a little wider and used as a throw. It’s made in a DK weight (lighter than worsted weight).

The book could have used a few home decor items or those for baby/kids, but I’m sure that the editors plan for this volume was to stitch with women’s fashions.

http://www.amazon.com/Knitting-No-Time-Collection-Quick-knit/dp/0762106654/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445104384&sr=8-1&keywords=knitting+for+no+time

Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch by Nicky Epstein

Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch by Nicky Epstein

Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch by Nicky Epstein

I’m on to a really easy book this week. Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch: Creating Gifts for the People You Love by Nicky Epstein is a combo of gift-giving designs and charity projects. Nicky has her own imprint (who knew?), a division of Sixth&Spring Books was published in 2009. It’s beautifully photographed as I would expect from Sixth&Spring. There are clear chapters and of course, easy-to-follow instructions.

I’ve already listed on Amazon so it’s a thumbs down on this book. I’ll give you my rational for a decision on this little gem.

Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch - back cover

Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch – back cover

Meow Kitty Cap

Meow Kitty Cap

This design is just what you’d expect from Nicky. She does whimsical projects to the max! I do love it, but not sure I would every make it.

Baby's First Hat

Baby’s First Hat

I think this first project is a winner. It is a design I might make, but not enough for me to keep the book.

Luggage Tags

Luggage Tags

Here’s another project I like, but again I don’t think it’s worth taking up space on my bookshelf.

A Charitable Gift Afghan

A Charitable Gift Afghan

I like this idea of this project, but not one that I would make.

Guide to Giving

Guide to Giving

Charity giving guide – this section makes the book really worthwhile. Some of the info may be a little outdated, but it is an excellent appendix of where to go when looking for places to give knitted or crocheted charity items.

One mystery that I haven’t been able to figure out about this book. Some of the copies of the book are listed on Amazon for really high prices. Out-of-Print? Nicky Epstein fans? First Editions? I’m not sure why the listed copies are worth big bucks.

I will end by saying that charity knitting and crochet is so important and I admire anyone who promotes it. Well done Ms. Epstein!

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Kiss-Every-Stitch-Creating/dp/193302786X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439844575&sr=8-1&keywords=knitting+a+kiss+in+every+stitch

Crafting a Colorful Home

Crafting a Colorful Home by Kristin Nicholas

Crafting a Colorful Home by Kristin Nicholas

It looks like 2015 is going to be the year that I break all my self-imposed rules. The ultimate broken rule – getting rid of books on my bookshelf. I read Kristin’s blog, Getting Stitched on the Farm about this new book. New or old, I had to have it! The other one of Nancy’s rules soon to be broken is my  “non-aquistion” mode – thus this blog. Unfortunately I already own so many books, collections old stuff, textiles, yarn and much, much more. Kristin’s love of antiques, collections, yarn, textiles inspired me to throw my rule right out the window. I wanted to go to Brimfield and acquire, acquire, acquire!

Crafting a Colorful Home by Kristin Nicholas, A Room-by-Room Guide to Personalizing Your Space with Color delivers not only fantastic color, but lots of creative inspiration. It’s published by Roost Books (2015).

Crafting A Colorful Home - back cover

Crafting A Colorful Home – back cover

I’ve known Kristin for about 30 years (or so she says in her autograph in my book). Everything she touches turn into colorful masterpieces. This isn’t her first book. I have several others that I’ll try to get to this year. I also own a few pieces of her pottery from the days that she was pottering. I’m obviously a fan!

Autograph page

Autograph page

I ordered a book directly from Kristin and she included the book plate shown below.

Kristin's name plate

Kristin’s name plate

Dedication page

Dedication page

Kristin dedicated the book to her good friend, the talented Sally Lee.

Intro page

Intro page

I started to read the intro and didn’t realized how soon I would enter into an insider’s view of life on the farm and how Kristin colors up her traditional farm house. I found this the most interesting part of the book.

making mosaic pots

making mosaic pots

The instructions of making unique pots from broken china were so clear, I felt like I could easily do this.

Mod Granny Throw

Mod Granny Throw

Of course as a knitter/crocheter, this was my favorite project in the book. I love the colors she used to update this traditional technique.

Swatch Patchwork Throw

Swatch Patchwork Throw

My second favorite project is the Crazy Quilt Swatch Blanket. Kristin talked more about this throw in her blog than the two-page spread in the book. I have tons of swatches that I’ve squirreled away. I want to drag them out and start on this project.

My other favorite was sections were the varied ways that Kristin used felt fabric to make pot-holders and coasters. Brilliant!

Definitely a Thumbs Up book. I will refer to this book, if only to get a color fix and get ideas for things that I can do to my house to bring colorful elements into the mix.

By the way, her explanations of varies ways to use paints is really well-done. Good instructions. Makes painting sound do-able!

 

http://www.kristinnicholas.com/ProductDetail.cfm?index=128&CustID=1444919

Glamour Knits at Home – Erika Knight

Glamour Knits at Home

Glamour Knits at Home

I’m going to end the year with an easy book – Glamour Knits at Home by Erika Knight. The sub-title is 15 Sensuous Designs to Knit and Keep Forever and it was published in the US by Potter Craft in 2007. It was first published in the UK, but doesn’t seem to translate well for an American taste level. Looks like it’s out-of-print, but available on Amazon.

You might guess right away that it’s a thumbs down. I mean REALLY – 15 patterns in the whole book! There is only one pattern I even like (more on that later). They seem to be styled for a Victorian boudoir and a dowdy boudoir at that. Even though I’m a fan of antiques, these designs leave me flat. I’m happily removing this from my shelf.

Glamour Knits at Home - back cover

Glamour Knits at Home – back cover

As in the most recent post of another Erika Knight book, there is a color photography section in the front of the book (first 40 pages) and then gray photos and patterns in the back pages.

Lampshade

Lampshade

Here are a couple of the patterns and styling featured.

tea cozy

tea cozy

The one spr

sachets - scented squares

sachets – scented squares

Below is the one spread that I do like as well as the patterns. The use of buttons is quite unique and a good idea for someone who has as large a button collection as I have.

button and lace pillows

button and lace pillows

http://www.amazon.com/Glamour-Knits-Home-Sensuous-Collectibles/dp/0307394700/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419976256&sr=8-1&keywords=glamour+knits+at+home