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Cool stuff!Techniques with TheresaThinking Beyond the PatternFrankenknits™
Minicables2 socks in 1S-wordRebuild it7 knits for 7 flicks
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Available at Amazon

Romantic Style: Knits and Crochet to Wear or Display
by Jennie Atkinson
Martingale & Company
SR: 32"-42"

Jennie Atkinson is the designer of the Butterfly dress in Rowan # 37; do I even need to go on?

More accessories than garments, more knitting than crochet. The pieces are finely designed – lots of graceful shaping and detail and finely knit – the average size needle for a garment is a US#2.

A girly girl’s dream.


Available at Amazon

Knitting Stitches
by Mary Webb
Firefly Books
$24.95 hardcover

Is a stitch book just a stitch book? Knitters like different stitch books for different reasons. I have at least 25 that I use for different occasions. Even when two books have the same stitch, it’s often presented in a different gauge or color or texture of yarn that transforms the stitch. This book uses charting only for stitch patterns. It presents the patterns in smooth, neutral-colored DK weight yarn. The book is 5"x 6" and shows only one or two stitch patterns per page. The photography is color and very crisp. The stitches run from basic knit/purl through lace, aran, rib and twist stitches.

There is the obligatory knitting how-to at the beginning of the book, but that not why we buy stitch pattern books. I saw some stitches I’ve never tried before in here, so excuse me, I must swatch.


Available at Amazon

Knitting Beyond Scarves: Easy Lessons That Let You Knit What You Never Thought You Could
by Melissa Leapman
Watson-Guptill Publications
SR: 32"-54"

This book answers the age-old beginning knitter's question, "What do I knit when I’m sick of scarves?"

Acting as a multipart knitting school, Melissa (a creative and very thorough teacher) guides a knitter from a garter stitch hat through increasing and decreasing, seaming, circular knitting, picking up stitches and more, ending with a shaped pullover.

If a knitter follows the curriculum in this book, not only will she (sorry, no patterns for guys) emerge as an experienced knitter, she will have an all-new knitted wardrobe.


Available at Amazon

Simply Fabulous Knitting
Based on the work of Montse Stanley
David and Charles
$18.99 USD
Montse Stanley’s magnum opus - Knitter's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting - can be confusing for some knitters. The depth and breadth and presentation of the information that’s contained in it can make even experienced knitters balk.

Simply Fabulous Knitting is based on the work of Montse Stanley, it’s contains probably half of the information in Knitter’s Handbook, but presented in a more linear and visually appealing way. It’s aimed at beginning and intermediate knitters, but any knitter who has shied away from Ms Stanley's work due to presentation will find this book satisfying.


Available at

GoKnit Pouch

$18.00 USD [assorted sizes, prices vary]

You know when you find something and it just slips into your life so easily that you don't remember when it wasn't there? That's the GoKnit pouch.

I bought one of these over a year ago and never wrote about it, because I was too busy using it. Every day, everywhere I went, it went with me. Since that time, they've introduced new, larger sizes, more colors and new shapes.

But the key features have remained the same: ripstop nylon construction that can withstand the pointiest knitting needles; handy interior snap loop so your yarn feeds out easily without tangling; handy exterior snap loop that lets you attach the GoKnit pouch to the arm of a chair or your more wandering bags. Sturdy, almost weightless, affordable. Perfect for the sock knitter [your sock-in-progress will fit inside with ease] or if you choose the larger ones, most anything else you'll knit. Except maybe a one-piece afghan.

My only wish for this bag is that the design of the drawstring be can be fiddly to close.

Editor's note [added Sep 07]: They've done it. The bag design has been improved and now opens and closes absolutely effortlessly. See my updated comments here.

Available at Southern Goose

YarnBuddies Yarn Ball Bag

$15.00, 18.50, 22.50 USD [small, medium, large]

This bag came in for review several months after the GoKnit pouch [see above] and I didn't see why I would need another little bag that held yarn.

I was packing for a trip recently, and had two fresh-off-the-ball-winder cakes of silk yarn to take with me that I didn't want to muss up in transit. This bag was ideal for that -- it held the worsted-weight yarn balls perfectly and they arrived un-mussed at my destination.

Since then I've grown to appreciate its other features. I like the carabiner clip, which I have been known to hook to my belt loop or the strap of my knitting bag. I like that it's clear, so I always know what's in it, or how much yarn is left, if that's a concern. And the drawstring opens and closes with ease, which pleases me. I also like that it's made with silk fabric on the top and bottom, mostly because I am a Silk Ho™ and it's pretty. It comes in three sizes and multiple colors. A handy little thing, this bag. I like it.

Available at Sockdiva

Sockbug and Cicada

$30.00 USD[sockbug w/shoulder strap & drawstring]
$12.50 USD[cicada w/drawstring]

These sweet handcrafted pouches are reminiscent of Omiyage, or Japanese fabric gifts.

The big Sockbug has a shoulder strap so you can wear it as you work. The top two wings lift aside and you'll find a good-sized pocket, closed by velcro, for knitting tools. The knitting itself goes in the Sockbug's mouth, which closes by drawstring. Absolutely roomy enough for all sock projects and maybe bigger works in progress. The Cicada is a little ornamental delight. Store scissors or notions in his mouth and close with the drawstring. Or wrap a gift for a knitter friend in him and send him on his way.

Both the Sockbug and Cicada are handmade by the Sockdiva [who also sells some really gorgeous handspun] in a variety of fabrics and colors.


Available at Amazon

Knitting for Peace

Stewart, Tabori & Chang
$19.95 USD hardcover

Altruism has been a part of knitting since the very first knitter knit for someone else. Knitting for Peace both traces the history of knitting for others and gives real connection to current knitting charities. 28 knitting charities are profiled, most with a pattern for your own charitable contribution. Not all knitting charities are profiled by any means, but it's great to have so much information at your finger tips.

Not finding exactly what or who you'd like to knit for? The last part of the book is devoted to starting your own knitting charity.


Available at Amazon

Andean Inspired Knits

Interweave Press
$25.95 USD
SR: 35-56 inches, though most top out at 48 inches.

Not for the faint of heart or the warm of climate. This book is full of knitting patterns that have interesting shapes and constructions with difficulty to match.

There is excellent basic technique instruction, but I would place the difficulty at intermediate and up. Of course, I would never say never to an obsessed beginner.

All the projects are made from alpaca with its seductive drape and sheen.


Available at Amazon

Fun & Funky Knitting

Martingale Publishing
$24.95 USD

I won't comment on whether the patterns in this book are fun or funky, but don't let the title drive you away.

The projects, all accessories, are beginning to intermediate level, can be completed in a weekend or less, and are wonderful-looking in that "I went to art/design school in England and work for Rowan" sort of way. Don't judge this book by its cover.


Available at Namaste

Namaste Vintage Knitting Bag

$69.00 USD

Do you know that feeling of unexpected love? When the one you were sure you felt only a passing attraction for somehow becomes the one you never want to be without? That's how it was for me and Namaste's Vintage Knitting Bag.

At first I was simply taken by the pretty colour, and thought the straight needle holders lining the exterior of the bag were 'neat'. I didn't appreciate how useful these holders would be for keeping my DPNs and the odd crochet hook right at hand when I need them, or how nice it is to have my needles in view just waiting to be selected. The interior is large enough to hold everything you need for even your largest project, and the lightly padded sides hold the bag open beautifully for easy access to your work in progress.

This bag is made of a synthetic leatherette material which makes for easy clean up should anything be spilled on it, and the straps are easy to grab and go.

Unlike their Messenger Bag, this won't replace your purse for day to day traveling and knitting requirements -- there's only one interior zippered pocket, and the black-lined 15"x10" interior is a bit cavernous to be digging through for keys, purse, pens, etc. And those handy DPNs will reach out and grab you if you use the strap at full length over your shoulder.

It's the perfect bag for taking your project from one knitting spot to another though, and will make you the envy of your SnB. One word of caution for households with small children; the 5 and under set may be unable to resist the temptation of such easy access to your needles when looking for something to annoy the cat with.


Available at Amazon

Knit Fix

Interweave Press
$19.95 USD hardcover

Ah, the boo-boos that we do do. Do you fix your mistakes or not? This book not only shows how to fix basic knitting mistakes, but helps you to decide whether or not to fix them. It has a great chapter on Solving Problems Before They Grow that talks about setting up a good knitting foundation, cast-ons, even stitches, joining yarns, etc.

But, for me, a knitter that is in denial until the very end, the best chapter is Extreme Fixes: Altering When You're Done Knitting.

I really wish this was sized to fit in my knitting bag.


available at Knit Picks

Knit Picks Options

$59.99 USD

I'm going to cut right to the punchline: The Knit Picks Options set has earned a permanent place in my knitting bag. Why?

  • the tips are pointier than any other needle I've ever used. They will slide right through a strand of yarn if you're not paying attention, but mostly they're just a lovely, precise tool to work with
  • the tips screw on to the cables and don't come loose until you unscrew them
  • the cable/tip join is smooth
  • the cable is VERY thin, flexible and doesn't fight back
  • the metal knitting tips are not "smooth as glass" as the product's advertising says. In fact, I find they are less slippery than other metal needles I've used, and for me, that's a good thing: slightly grippy metal needles are great with the slippery yarns I knit (like silk and bamboo)

So what don't I like? A few things.

  • the case is excessively heavy and bulky for what it's meant to contain.
  • the needles come on the card shown at left which has the size of each pair printed above the tip. But the needle size is not marked anywhere on the needles, and this really bugs me and other knitters I've asked. Please, Knit Picks -- put the sizes on the tips. [Because I know you're wondering, you're not meant to keep the tips attached to the card, because it won't fit in the case.]
  • the storage options aren't efficient, in my opinion. You get 6 tidy zippered unlabeled plastic binder pages with pockets of increasing size. Putting a pair of tips in each pocket seems what we're meant to do, and I pulled out my label maker to get some kind of order into the system. But that's a lot of pages for just 9 slim sets of needle tips and a few cords and other little bits...surely there is a more compact way to store all this stuff.

Other things that don't bother me one way or other, but are worth mentioning:

  • the tips are significantly heavier than any other needle I've used.
  • though it may not be an issue, I'd never put this set in my carry on luggage when I fly. Pointy metal needles go in my checked baggage to prevent problems at security.

The kit comes with the binder, the pages, the needle tips, 4 cables, 8 end caps [to leave your work on a cable] and 2 cable keys [really rigid metal pins that give you more than enough leverage to tighten the tips onto the cables]. You can buy any or all of these parts a la carte and make up your own kit, if you'd rather.

I have a set of Denise needles and now the Knit Picks Options, and I reach for each at different times, depending on what will work best with the project at hand. It's a real treat to have the perfect needle for almost every project, and with these two sets, I think I finally do.


Volume 1: bind offs, cast ons, increases, decreases, finishing basics, useful miscellanea, odds and knitting in ends, rescue remedies, gauge matters, the contented stitch.

Volume 2: bind offs, cast ons [different techniques from vol. 1], circular needles, cutting your knitting, finishing basics, part 1-3, grafting, miscellaneous, small print [a handy glossary]




Available at Tradewinds

Knitting Essentials, vol 1 & 2

$29.00 CDN each volume

I popped volume 1 in my DVD player, pressed play, and before I'd finished two sips of my coffee, I'd learned two techniques I had never EVER even heard about from any other knitter, book or teacher. About bind offs. [I've been knitting since Laugh-In was a new show on TV, okay?]

Lucy Neatby, if you haven't been lucky enough to make her acquaintance, is a charming knitter who loves to share what she knows in classes and workshops all over North America. And man, she knows a lot. Her trademark is her bright hair -- sometimes pink, sometimes purple, and often both. She's got a soothing British accent, a warm personality and I can't imagine anyone else I'd rather have teaching me knitting secrets.

The DVDs are simply shot: the camera shows the knitter's eye view, the yarn she's working on stands out from the black background, and she works slowly enough for you to follow her, but not so slowly that you lose patience. She talks encouragingly throughout each segment, so that you can understand why something works the way it does and choose to follow her if you wish. She's very likeable and easy to listen to. The DVDs are well organized and if you want to skip to a particular topic, select MENU and they're all listed.

They're called "Knitting Essentials" and they're very well named. They are absolutely an essential addition to every knitter's library.


Available at Amazon

Spin to Knit
Interweave Press
$21.95 USD
SR: 36-53 inches

This is one of those perfect timing books. Spinning is exploding with knitters who are dying to learn. This book is perfection for newbie and wanna-be spinners who want to do it NOW! Clear instruction on what to do when and how, using materials and equipment that ranges from DIY to big bucks wheels.

For spinners, reviewing your skills isn't a bad thing, but you'll be lusting over the patterns in this book, from whole sweaters out of hand spun to using tiny bits of handspun, even your first handspun, alone or as an accent used together with mill spun yarn.

Scattered throughout the how to and what to do with your yarn patterns, are profiles of some of North America's spinning royalty, designers, wheel and spindle makers, fiber and yarn producers, a whole gang of people who make spinning the inspiring and addictive craft that it is.


Available at Designs by Romi

Romi - new pins

elements [top]: $22.50-40.00 USD ea
sticks 'n' stones [bottom] : $
30.00-40.00 USD ea


Beautiful new pins from Romi -- with the same quality we've come to expect from this classy artisan.

The elements line are made in hand-hammered sterling or copper. The pin has a gentle bump built in [in the middle of the pin, hidden behind the fabric] so it won't slide out of the decorative front section. Lots of different designs and styles to choose from, and Romi adds more all the time.

The sticks 'n' stones line are simpler still -- wooden spikes topped with semi-precious stones and silver plate or brass findings.

Both pins, as with all of Romi's line, are delicate and light, meant not to damage your handwork but keep it safely on your shoulders.


Available at Amazon

Knit 2 Together

Stewart, Tabori and Chang
$27.50 USD hardcover
SR: 34-44 inches [one is 49"]

Tracey Ullman knits...who knew? Better than Tracey being a knitter is that one of her best friends is talented knitting designer, Mel Clark. This book is an ode to their friendship and love of knitting. Each pattern is prefaced by comments by Mel and Tracey, and Tracey has knitting stories throughout the book.

Mel's designs are some of the most innovative I've seen lately, they've got clean lines with a vintage feel. And the depth and breadth of the patterns will please even the most sick-of-all-these-patterns-that-look-alike knitter.

Yes, Tracey does say 'go home' at the end: 'Go home and knit'.


Simply Pearls
[make your own affordable pearl bling!]
by Nancy Alden
Potter Craft
$ 22.95 USD


Amyville stitch markers

fits up to US#15 needles
glass beads, sterling wire - 4 in a set
by Amyville

$20 USD

lollipop flowers stitchery kit
pre-printed pink linen fabric, 100% wool yarn
by Kristin Nicholas
$24.95 USD

skull knitting needles

size 9mm/US#13
by Punk Knits

$14 USD

sushi & chocolate cake
polymer clay stitch markers

by Mack
$10 USD for four
leopard-print needles

signed by the artist
by Bella Blue
$38-50 USD

pure silk flower kit

includes yarn and pattern for 2 different flowers
by Hip Knits
GBP £8

wise advice
bumper sticker

by Knitters Anonymous

$3.00 USD

Not Your Mama's Crochet
by Amy Swenson
Wiley Publishing
$ 14.99 USD

Get Hooked
by Kim Werker
Watson Guptil Publishing
$11.95 USD

Fabulous & Flirty Crochet
by Katherine Lee
Quarry Books
$24.99 USD

Last-Minute Fabric Gifts
by Cynthia Treen
Stewart, Tabori & Chang
$24.95 USD