More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

knitted_Gifts

More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

Spoiler alert! I’ve already listed this book on Amazon so you know that it’s not going back on my shelf.

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Back cover – More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

Joelle Hoverson has teamed with Melanie Falick to create this beautifully crafted book. It’s full of fairly simple patterns that are grouped by the time needed to make the gift starting with “less than 2 hour gifts”.

Pattern groupings

Pattern groupings

What else did I like about the book? I did like the number and alphabet templates. I did a project last year where I needed alphabet charts. Of course, with my many, many books – who knew?

alphabet charts

alphabet charts

number charts

number charts

There were a few projects that I really liked, but not enough to keep this book.

fingerless gloves

fingerless gloves

ribbed hats

ribbed hats

The photos of graphing were really helpful for anyone trying this technique.

grafting

grafting

My final thoughts. I loved the feel and look of this book, but my feeling for books of projects really doesn’t allow for shelf space for this one. Hopefully another knitter will find a good home for this lovely book!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Minute-Knitted-Gifts-Joelle-Hoverson/dp/1584798602/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495654342&sr=8-1&keywords=more+last+minute+knitted+gifts

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Knitting Pretty

Knitting_Pretty_cvr1

Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival

Another little book today. Even though it’s little, it has taken me awhile to get this into my blog. Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival (published in 2002 by Chronicle Books) is an easy to read and easy to use book. I have some negative comments, but generally it’s a nicely done  120 page volume.

Thumbs up or down: I liked the top down sweater at the end of the blog post, but most of the patterns are too simple for me. I’m going to pass on this book and keep my shelf space for more important books.

Knitting_Pretty_bc_cvr

Knitting Pretty – Back Cover

There is the usual “Getting Started” and “How to Knit” chapters

illustrations

Knitting – American Style

The American Style “How to Knit” page shown in the book has very small illustrations ( all illustrations are similar and all too small). Could you really learn from these illustrations? The next page is the Continental Style with no illustrations – yikees! Plus I wonder if a beginner would get the difference between the two styles and why to choose one over the other.

instructions

Simple Garter Stitch Scarf

After all the “How-to” pages – through page 40, the first projects were simple and noted by a “1” in a circle. Clever graphics. The instructions tell you what you need to know and what page to refer to for a refresher on the technique – very clever. I like the step-by-step numbered instructions.

mittens

Warmest Mittens – level 4

I include this project only because I’ve been working on mittens this winter and looking at various patterns. There isn’t a section which shows how to cast on and join for double-pointed needles. Not the easiest for someone who is using the book as a novice although there are lots of places where one could go to find the technique on the internet.

swatches

Simple Squares

The swatches used to check gauges have other uses. This spread talks about ways to use squares, but the patterns are a bit vague.

sweater

Simple Sweater – Level 5

Knit in the round from the top down, this is a nice sweater. It’s made in a chunky yarn which would make it a faster-to-knit project. The lack of how to knit with circular needles makes it again a bit of a stretch for a novice.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Pretty-Instructions-Fabulous-Projects-ebook/dp/B00HSXBZ8I/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459799819&sr=1-1&keywords=knitting+pretty

 

Book of Wool – the finale!

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The Knitter’s Book of Wool

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally done with Clara Parkes wonderful book. Before you even ask – it’s a keeper.

In this blog, I’m going to discuss Chapter 4 – blended fibers and Chapter 5 – patterns along with a bit about the end material.

Cptr4_open

Chapter 4 – Plays Well With Others

Mixing wool with fibers such as silk, mohair, alpaca, cashmere and angora bring the best of all worlds. Clara talks about blending wool for different effects. The results are wonderful for knitters.

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Chapter 4 – blending with angora, alpaca, cashmere

Cptr5_open

Chapter 5 – Patterns

Now that we know so much about wool, having patterns to use the yarn is a “no brainer”.

Cptr5_socks

Chapter 5 – socks

Wool is a natural for socks. It’s warm, it wicks and it lasts with wear.

Cptr5_pattern

Chapter 5 – Instructions

I’m always looking for clear instructions, charts and schematics. This book doesn’t disappoint.

Cptr5_charts

Chapter 5 – Charts

wash_wool

Washing Wool

How do you wash wool? Hand washing is outlined step-by-step. Good advice. The next page covers keeping moths at bay. More good advice.

resource_list

Resource List

The resources plus processors on the next spread are a great follow up to the book. The book ends with abbreviations, a glossary, recommended reading and info on the pattern designers. What a way to end the book!

wrister

Sweet Fern Mitts

My mitts are above. Notice that the one of the left is a disaster. The cables are wrong and I really wanted a few more rows between the cables (decided part way into the mitt. The right mitt is much better. I need to make another pair now that I’ve corrected my mistakes!

 

 

Book of Wool – Chapter 3

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The Knitter’s Book of Wool

The whole chapter today is on breeds of sheep broken down into five categories.

cptr3_breeds

Meet the Breeds

By the time I got from page 38 to page 78, I was introduced to more breeds of sheep than I ever imagined existed. Clara has broken them down from the finest fleece to the most course.

cptr3_categories

Breed Categories

The chart on page 40 gives a good overview of all the breeds covered in the following pages. There are 37 types of sheep. Many were breed from combos of other sheep to refine the best qualities of the bred sheep. Lots of history throughout these pages.

cptr3_mitts

Sweet Fern Mitts

When I first started writing this blog several years ago, I thought I would make a project from each book I covered. Silly me! That lasted for one book – The Book of Yarn. When I saw these mitts – I said – why not? I’ll post a pic of my work-in-progress soon.

cptr3_additional_reading

Finewool breeds

This is an example of a spread from the finewools section. Each breed is discussed, a chart covers the facts and the chart is followed by a lock of fleece and finished skein of the yarn. This reference section makes it worth keeping the book on my bookshelf!

cptr3_longwools

Longwools

cptr3_down_wools

Down wools

The final page of Chapter 3 features a list by month of various fiber festivals around the United States. There you will see many different sheep breeds.

cptr3_festivals

Fleece Friendly Fiber Festivals

http://www.amazon.com/Knitters-Book-Wool-Ultimate-Understanding-ebook/dp/B004IK8PYG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453411911&sr=1-1&keywords=book+of+wool

 

 

 

Book of Wool

Book_Wool_cvr

The Knitter’s Book of Wool

A new year and a new long book! One of the first books I reviewed when I started my blog was Clara Parkes’ Book of Yarn. I read and reviewed it over a number of blog posts as it was full of information and text. It was a perfect book to cover for my “away from home in Florida” time of year. So here we go with Chapter 1 of The Knitter’s Book of Wool.

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The Knitter’s Book of Wool – back cover

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Book of Wool – Preface

What better way to begin a book about wool than with a photo of a flock of sheep!

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Chapter 1 – What is Wool?

The first chapter begins with the fibers and their make-up. Did you know that wool is a resilient fiber than can be stretched to 30 percent of it’s length and return to it’s original size? I sure didn’t.

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Book of Wool – sidebar boxes

This book (besides being full of insightful info) has wonderful called-out sidebars with extra tidbits.

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Chapter 1 – Scales and Felt

As you can see by this spread, there is lots of text to read. This will be a slow blogging book for me!

What did I learn from Chapter 1? Wool from different animals is wildly different and result in very different types of the end product – yarn.

More to come…

http://www.amazon.com/Knitters-Book-Wool-Ultimate-Understanding/dp/030735217X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1451937652&sr=8-1&keywords=book+of+wool

 

 

 

Canada Knits – The end!

Canada Knits by Shirley A. Scott

Canada Knits by Shirley A. Scott

Today I’m happy to report that I finally finished Canada Knits. Never thought I’d finish this one! I love reading it. This book was packed with info about the evolvement of knitting in Canada, but the heavy text slowed me down.  As I remember, I ended Part 1 with Canadian Yarns.

Do I want to keep it? I enjoyed the reading and loved all the interesting photos – some black/white a two color sections. That said, it’s not a book that I really want to keep on my “forever” shelf. Sorry “Shirl the Purl”!

Here’s a photo of the Amos Little mill (that evolved into Briggs & Little). Small mills such as this one were often the advent of today’s larger yarn companies.

Amos Little Mill

Amos Little Mill

The Lux Knitting Book published in 1939 is part of the wartime Canadian effort.

Lux Knitting Book - 1939

Lux Knitting Book – 1939

Sporting life in Canada influenced knitting. Curling, imported from Scotland in colonial times, created a need for fine-gauge sweaters and hats.

Canadian Curling Team

Canadian Curling Team

Missionary work in Eastern Canada added to the number of knitters. Young girls were taught at an early age.

Knitting girls in Labrador

Knitting girls in Labrador

http://www.amazon.com/Canada-Knits-Craft-Comfort-Northern/dp/0075499738/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444845167&sr=8-1&keywords=Canada+Knits

Knit Lit

Knit Lit edited by Linda Roghaar & Molly Wolf

Knit Lit edited by Linda Roghaar & Molly Wolf

I haven’t been hiding, I’ve been engrossed in this little paperback book called Knit Lit, Sweaters and Their Stories …And Other Writing About Knitting. I’ve had this book for a long time – it was published in 2002. It’s a subtle little book and was easy to overlook. This is a compact book with no pictures or illustrations – just stories!

I loved this book and glad that I read it. The back cover says: Touching tales, hilarious stories, moving recollections, memories of companions.  Yes, all these are covered.

The book is cleverly broken down into 4 parts with various headings in each part. The editing was really good. The writers were a mix of those who are well known in the knitting world and brilliant people who should be more known.

What did I love? I loved the knitting disaster section – burned knitting and road kill knitting. You have to read these to appreciate the writing.

I could have cried over the story call The Baby Blanket about a young woman having a baby that she gave up for adoption and many years later meets her son.

“The Peaceable Fleece in Foreign Parts” has 6 stories of knitting with a global slant.

The back has a wonderful section of all the contributors and their “creds”. I found that it was most interesting to read the story and then read about the writer made my reading experience more interesting.

I’m not giving this a thumbs down, but having read the book it’s not going back on my shelf. Bye-bye Knit Lit!

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/KnitLit-Sweaters-Stories-Writing-Knitting/dp/0609808249/ref=sr_1_2_twi_2_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1438790107&sr=8-2&keywords=knit+lit

Quartet of STYLE books

Interweave STYLE books

Interweave STYLE books

I had a brilliant revelation this week. I first pulled out Scarf Style and Wrap Style to look a duo and then I thought – why not! I would look at all four of my Style books at the same time. Each time I seriously look at my bookcase, I realize that I’m really moving at a snail’s pace in trying to move my books along. Four books settled seems like a great idea!

Frankly as these books are mainly pattern books, it was pretty easy to whip through them. In full disclosure, Pam Allen, a designer and editor and I go way back to my early days at Vogue Knitting. As an aside –  Caitlin Fitzgerald one of the dreamy models in these books, is Pam’s daughter is now an acclaimed actress (notably in Masters of Sex on Showtime). She was once an intern for me at Lion Brand Yarns. History, history!

I’m going to try to cover these by the publication date.

Scarf Style - Interweave - 2004

Scarf Style – Interweave – 2004

Scarf Style - back cover

Scarf Style – back cover

Scarf Style is a nice collection of knit and a few crochet scarves. There were only two scarves that I thought I might make that follow. I’m going to make copies of these and move this book on to a better home.

Bright Stripes by Kristin Nicholas

Bright Stripes by Kristin Nicholas

I love this side-to-side scarf and will make it.

Zigzag Stripes by Debbie Bliss

Zigzag Stripes by Debbie Bliss

I’m a sucker for chevron patterns and this is a nice pattern for kids and adults.

Wrap Style - Interweave - 2005

Wrap Style – Interweave – 2005

Wrap Style - back cover

Wrap Style – back cover

I’m not wearing and probably not knitting wraps and shawls these days so this was an easy pass.

Wandering Aran Fields by Norah Gaughan

Wandering Aran Fields by Norah Gaughan

If you love cables – this is a beautiful piece. I just wouldn’t have a place to wear it.

Lace Style - Interweave - 2007

Lace Style – Interweave – 2007

Lace Style - back cover

Lace Style – back cover

A nice book, but no “must have” patterns for me!

Folk Style - Interweave - 2007

Folk Style – Interweave – 2007

Folk Style - back cover

Folk Style – back cover

A lot of color work. There is only one pattern I really love and it follows.

Modern Quilt Wrap by Mags Kandis

Modern Quilt Wrap by Mags Kandis

Bottom Line: I’m going to pass on all these books and make more room in my book shelf. I failed to say at the beginning that these books have good Design Notebooks at the end of each and the designers who created the projects are a “who’s who” of creative designers from the knitting world.

Love the wraps and shawls, but I don’t think I would make any of them. One that I love by Norah Gaughan follows.

http://www.amazon.com/Scarf-Style-Pam-Allen/dp/1931499543/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436471128&sr=1-1&keywords=scarf+style

http://www.amazon.com/Wrap-Style-Pam-Allen-ebook/dp/B00DH40SRG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436471173&sr=1-1&keywords=wrap+style

http://www.amazon.com/Folk-Style-Mags-Kandis-ebook/dp/B00DH40YVG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436471207&sr=1-1&keywords=folk+style

http://www.amazon.com/Lace-Style-Pam-Allen/dp/1596680288/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436471245&sr=1-1&keywords=lace+style

Knitting For Baby

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Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas (two women I so admire) is next on my list.

Even before I begin: Thumbs Up!

What did I like about the book? I’ll start with the colorful illustrations (all drawn by Kristin Nicholas) on all the techniques – from the simple knit stitch to knitting on double-pointed needles that are interspersed throughout the book. I love the way the book moves along in easy steps starting with the simplest stitches and projects and moving to designs that require more skill. Each chapter gives the reader all the tools and techniques needed to make the projects. I will surely turn to this book for baby projects. Here are a few of my favs.

I love, love the cover sweater. This Garter Stitch Cardigan is perfect for my knitting style. I’m always in favor of garter stitch and adore easy, easy projects. This cute little sweater comes in sizes from 3 months to 24 months. The yarn used is a bit heavier than I’d like. It calls for a yarn that’s 18 stitches to 4″. I’ll use a lighter weight yarn and will adjust the sizing.

backcover

The back cover with more adorable projects!

babyaran

I already made this Baby Aran a couple of years ago for my niece’s new baby.

diaperbag

Felted Diaper Bag – I want to make this as a fun tote.

booties

A great baby shower gift. I would use a pastel shade – unisex for those who don’t yet know.

mittens

An easy mitten pattern is always nice to have  – sized for toddlers in a medium weight (slightly bulky yarn), it could be made smaller (using a thinner yarn) for a smaller child.

http://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Baby-How—Knit-Instructions-ebook/dp/B008ZR8CAK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404332030&sr=8-1&keywords=Knitting+for+Baby