by Jillian Moreno, Amy R Singer, Kate
Atherley, Keri Comeau
SR [Finished chest
measurement for sweaters] =
the smallest chest measurement to the largest
chest measurement we could find in
the book. There may be only one pattern
with the smallest or largest size, but it's in there. Books
are softcover unless noted otherwise. All prices USD unless
Clara Parkes' latest book, The Knitter's
Book of Socks, is an invaluable addition to
the literature as her previous two books.
The approach she takes is quite different
from other books: she leads from the point
of view of the yarn.
Up front is an excellent discussion of what
makes a good sock - starting right at the
fibers and how they are spun and blended
into yarn. And from there, this leads directly
to stitch patterns and how they affect wear
and fit. She doesn't shy away from the realities
of socks: mositure management is tackled
head on. It's all about enabling you to make
socks that fit well and wear well, no matter
the use. If you want glamorous socks
for lounging around the house, or hardwearing
socks for hiking, Clara has recommendations
and advice for you.
Her discussion of the various types of plyed
yarns (singles, two-ply, three-ply and below)
and how they apply to sock knitting is a
real eye-opener. And her discussion
of elasticity of various stitch patterns
made me squeal with delight. And it goes
suggestions, clear guidance and revalatory
advice fill every page.
And then there's the patterns! The who's
who of sock designers have contributed 20
gorgeous patterns of all styles to suit every
taste and knitting need: plain and simple
everyday socks, delicate lacy socks, warm
colorwork socks; and then fabulous wild and
crazy socks. My only criticism is that the
sizing leaves a little to be desired... some
of them only come in one or two sizes, which
is a disappointment for the non-average footed
This book takes its rightful place on my
shelf beside Folk Socks.
Starting with this issue, we've adopted
StitchMastery as the official charting software
here at Knitty. That
should say a lot.
It's a young product, but it's already
very powerful and shows lots of promise
for great things to come.
It's simple to use - tell it how many stitches
and rows you want, and if it's in the round
or flat and you're good to go. Just
pick your stitch symbol from the well-organized
and extensive library, and drop it where
you want it to go.
We love the clear and flexibility formatting
of the output files.
We love that it generates text instructions
- even if I'm not using them, it's an excellent
way to check that the chart is correct.
And if I'm working with a text pattern,
I can enter the pattern and have the tool
generate a chart for me.
We love the extraordinarily broad selection
of symbols - including brioche stitches,
on the order of about 50 Estonian stitches
(!), even beaded and twined stitches. And
if those don't do it for you, you can create
I love that the legend is fully editable
and customizable, so that if I want to add
some extra detail to a stitch description,
There are two areas for improvement: There
is a little clumsiness in management of
file locations - chances are you'll need
to manually browse to the folder where you
want to save a file - but this is being
fixed for an upcoming version.
In addition, I'd love to see the option
for textured or shaded stitches for greyscale
color charts, but right out of the box you've
got a broad set of standard colors and full
scope to create your own custom colors.
Easy to use, flexible, powerful and affordable.
We love it.
Wishes and Stitches is the third book in
the Cypress Hollow Yarn romance series by
knitter Rachael Herron.
Cypress Hollow is a northern California town
of Herron's own creation, awash in knitting.
It was the home of Eliza Carpenter, knitting
goddess on the level of Elizabeth Zimmermann.
Friends, family and just about everyone in
town are happy to carry on her legacy. The
story at its
most basic is true to the (steamy) romance
genre: an unlikely couple find love with
each other and learn about themselves along
In this story, two doctors new to
town clash and spark. Will they find their
way to each other? You already know the answer,
but that didn’t stop me reading and
cheering them on. Rachael's writing style
catches you and carries you along. She’s
developed characters you know and like, and
a community that you can’t wait to
return to. Her dialogue is fun and snappy
(I’ll bet she’s a world-class
eavesdropper) and the situations are...not
exactly real, but that’s not why we
read romance, we read because we want to
be transported to the happy ending.
To further the warm fuzzy of the
happy ending is wonderful lace shawl
pattern design by Rosemary Hill.
Ann Weaver has a unique and refreshing design
sensibility that we love at Knitty, as evidenced
by her many appearances in our pages. This
new book is a delight, as much for the new
designs it features as its unique layout.
The book features pattterns for the cover
sweater, the beautiful Whiteness of the Whale
cardigan [and my favorite item of the collection],
another women's cardigan, and several accessories
[hat, scarf, cowl]. Instructions are clear,
schematics are provided and the size range
is similar to what we offer at Knitty. A
few more pictures of The Try-Works cardigan
would have been helpful, but otherwise, all
items are well photographed and key details
I reviewed the printed book [note that the
illustrations do not appear in the eBook]
and found it to be an aesthetic delight.
The featured illustrations by Matt Kish really
complement Ann's work. I can't wait to see
This is Stephanie Pear-McPhee’s
7th book and I think it’s her best
yet. Her writing and story telling have
gotten better, tighter. Her stories are
hilarious, but poignant at the same time.
She’s willing to dig deeply into
her own life (and her family’s) to
tell truths about knitters, the knitting
life, and just life in general.
I love how she gives a glimpse of things
on her blog –like the Mr Washie saga
or the various sweaters not knitted, but
saves the complete nuanced stories for
her book. She writes with such passion
and life that I find myself pulled along.
I read half of the book in a single afternoon
curled up on the couch, not knitting.
I didn’t miss my knitting time, because
I was experiencing someone else’s
that had familiar echoes of my own.
no wonder that Stephanie’s last book
hit the New York Times Best Seller list.
She can speak as everyknitter, with a wink
and a giggle.
As everyone knows by now I have a thing
for stitch dictionaries. I will happily
add this one to my collection because of
the following things: It’s hardcover,
the pages won’t
fall out after years of rifling through
the patterns, and it lays flat.
The patterns are written out and charted,
a win for whichever side of my brain feels
like working on any particular swatching
day. The charts have the stitch repeat
outlined in a thick red line, so I can
see it at just a glance.
350 choices of stitches in texture, cable,
lace, color and a variety of combinations
shown in color close-up photos let me try
a range of stitches by grabbing one book.
When I think of knitting Fair Isle, I
tend to think of sweaters and get overwhelmed.
This book has freed my mind from that thinking.
It delivers Fair Isle in such digestible
bites that I want to try to knit something
of my own design. It is mostly a
very well-thought-out motif dictionary – with
large knitted swatches, charts showing
a motif singly and repeated, and a chart
showing an alternate colorway.
The information at the front of the book
is invaluable. Given in small chunks, there
are the basics – from choosing yarn, to
stranded knitting, to cutting steeks. And
suggestions for the most advanced Fair
Isle thinking – choosing a project,
choosing coloways and designing your own
project. Explanations are given clearly
and succinctly. Wonderful.
I love edgings. To me they feel almost like
cheating. I’ll knit a scarf or shawl
in stockinette and add an edging and people
think I worked on it way more than I have.
I’ve even knitted edgings on store-bought
sweaters and skirts.
The latest Stitchionary
from the editors at Vogue Knitting gives
you 200+ edgings to fancify your plain knitting.
The edgings range simple picot, to colorwork,
to complex beads and lace.
It is wonderful to see knitting treated
as beautiful art. Art book publisher, Rizzoli
lavishes the color and space on knitting
patterns that they usually reserve for
the world’s great art works. In this
coffeetable book, a selection of Vogue
Knitting patterns from the magazine’s
relaunch in 1985 through the present are
showcased, one large color photo per page
with recollections from the editor of the
day opposite. The designers range from
familiar runway designers to superstars
in our knitting world.
Patterns for all of the designs are in
the back, with suggested yarn substitutions,
since most of the original yarns are no
I am completely charmed by this collection
of traditional and traditionally inspired
mitten patterns. Not a decorative mitten-knitting
book thought the mittens are lovely in their
simplicity. These designs gathered from New
England and Eastern Canada are multi layered
and densely knit. They are mittens to wear
when working or playing outside. If not lost,
they are the type of mittens that can last
Author Robin Hansen has been making and
studying mittens for a long time. Her approach
to mittens includes the freedom to play because
mitten are just “a swatch and a thumb.
The mittens in this book all have a history
and a story. Patterns, pictures or actual
mittens were gathered along with the stories
and studied and reproduced.
The mittens aren’t fast or necessarily
easy; almost all of the mitten are rated
just past beginner and up, and there is great
information about sizing mittens at the beginning. A
half of a dozen of the mittens haven ended
up on my To Knit list, Striped Mittens, Hadelands
Mittens, Secret Fleece Mittens, Kennebunk
Wool Bear Mittens, Shetland Ladders Mittens
and Crow’s Feet Mittens with Gumption.
I’m thinking about taking up an outdoor
winter sport, besides dog walking just to
be able to wear them.
The book itself is oversized for a knitting
book of recent vintage. There is lots of
white space and the type is large enough
to read on the couch beside you.
For about the price of a skein of luxury
yarn from your favorite indie dyer KnitCompanion
allows you to format PDF patterns exactly
how you’d like to knit from them.
I have a very tech resistant brain, so
I was overjoyed to find out that there
are video tutorials to walk you through
how KnitCompanion works. It took me a morning
of quiet and a pot of tea to watch the
tutorial videos, and work my first pattern.
Like to knit from text? Crop out the charts.
Like to knit from just charts, crop out
the text. You literally build a pattern
how you’d like to knit form it
This app is particularly a wonder for knitting
from complex charts. Charts can be cropped,
scaled and pasted into one seamless chart.
This app also lets you highlight for your
size in a pattern, pattern repeats, where
your stitch markers are in your knitting
, and where you stopped knitting.
There are lots of great details, for example,
if you knit from charts, but there is a
special note in the written portion of
the pattern, like switch to smaller needles,
you can cut and paste it into a pattern
note section by the line of chart it pertains
When you get ot that line of the chart
in your knitting, the note appears at the
bottom of the screen.
Even after I watched the tutorials I had
a few questions and found there is an active
Ravelry group that had answers to nearly
every question that came up for me.
I haven’t reached all the capabilities
of this app yet, but I’m finding
it crazy useful already. So far, I’ve
used it to tame a huge lace shawl chart,
split a pullover into a cardigan using
the sweater’s charts and just generally
keep track of patterns as I knit.
Connie Chang Chinchio’s designs
always stand out in any magazine. The are
the designs that allow you eye and mind
to take a beat of rest. They are usually
swaths of stockinette punctuated by texture
for visual interest and shaping. They are
the sweaters that I think would look flattering
on a variety of shapes and size and would
be interesting to knit but not taxing.
This is a whole book of that kind of knitting
11 of the 19 designs in this book are garments
which is becoming a rarity in the latest
accessory heavy knitting books. The
styles are everyday wearable and subtly
shaped for excellent fit. They are
knit using mostly DK or light worsted yarns
giving wonderful drape and a lightness
and flow to the details and sweaters.
Standouts for me are the Professoressa
Cardigan, Anna Maria Cardigan and the Abero
Melissa Leapman seems to be an efficient
knitter. Her designs are always pretty ,
have clean lines and she’s not one
to have a lot of extra frippery. Her designs
get the most out of the yarn she uses and
use it to it’s best effect.
She is the perfect designer to write a book
about knitting from your stash.
There are 21 projects for all of the people
in your life and your home, organized by
yarn weight. Almost all have some color work
and she shows two alternate color ways for
each design. The Cables and Colors
pullover and the Strathaven vest are two
that I found lovely.
The beginning of the book has a lot of good
information. She talks a lot about color
at the beginning, excellent information on
planning color combinations, based on science,
art, nature or even whim.
She also talks about how to organize, think
about and shop your stash so you can knit
from it and it doesn’t become a yarn
Dreamz DPN set by Knitter's
available in 5" or 6" lengths
6 sizes of needles
US 0 (2.0mm) - Aquamarine
US 1 (2.25mm) - Orange
(2.5mm) - Burgundy Rose
US 2 (2.75mm)
- Candy Pink
US 2.5 (3.0mm) - Yellow
US 3 (3.25mm) - Royale Blue
Clear Vinyl Case
$34.99 and up
had no idea what to expect when this sample
came across my review desk: would this
be a cheap product that relies on pretty
colors to make it appealing? Nope. These
are well-designed and well-finished needles
made of brightly colored laminated wood
and they're enjoyable to use.
I really like them.
In the clear vinyl pouch, you get a set
of 6 sizes, 5 needles per size. Each size
is labelled on the needle [I LOVE this]
as well as being color coded so you won't
confuse one size for another. The points
are sufficiently pointy for me [I'd call
very pointy, which is
just how I like them] and the needles themselves
are solid and well finished.
One of the needles in one size of my set
did come with a snaggy tip. We
solved it with a little sandpaper. But
we're told the company will replace any
needles with such issues, if they should
arise again. I didn't find quality control
lacking overall...it was clearly a fluke,
since the other needles were so well finished.
In fact, they felt smooth and really pleasant
to the touch.
This is a knitting book with one of the biggest
varieties of accessories for women that I’ve
Collected from the past few years of pattern
books published by Classic Elite, the designs
all embrace the feminine style of Classic Elite. You
can beautifully adorn or warm your hands, feet,
head and shoulders with color work, texture,
lace or cables in weights from lace to chunky
with the patterns here.
bag by Namaste
Size: 5" W x 12" H x 15" L
Shown in Eggplant. Also available in Black,
Hollywood Pink, Lime, Peacock, Red
This charming little bag is really very
versatile and holds a lot more than you
would expect from a bag this size.
The use of cleverly inserted inside pockets
(one zippered, two open, and two elastic
pouches), makes organizing all of your
goodies quick and simple. The small zippered
pocket on the back outside of the bag is
a great place for keys, transit tokens,
and a cellphone.
Inside you can easily stuff in everything
you need for a quick trip to your favourite
yarn store or an afternoon of knitting
in the coffee shop with friends. I was
easily able to fit in my wallet, a sock
project, my notions bag, and the pattern
(folded in half), as well as my other must-have
purse items. The adjustable strap means
that with very little effort you will be
able to find a length that fits your body.
The little feet on the bottom of the bag
means that it's more balanced overall and
less likely to end up on it's side spilling
your belongings into the floor.
If you're looking for a simple and well-designed
small knitting bag that will get you out
the door quickly and keep you looking stylish
all day long, this is the bag for you.
The first thing that strikes you upon opening
this book is the aggressive colour choices
that were made to highlight the patterns.
This is actually rather unfortunate, since
those colour choices overshadow the hidden
gems that are nestled between the covers.
This book is less about making an Icelandic
sweater and more about exploring the rich
traditions surrounding Icelandic knitting.
The first section of the book is dedicated
to the tradition of Insert Knitting (creating
a knitted insert to place in footwear),
and it is truly fascinating. Magnusson
has done a wonderful job of capturing the
history of this little piece of knitted
footwear and uses that history to paint
a vivid picture of the traditions that
have helped to shape modern Icelandic knitting.
The second half of the book focuses on
modern patterns for men, women, and children
based on examples of motifs found on knitted
inserts. She has successfully recreated
the colour schemes and patterns on larger
garments including scarves, hats, baby
blankets, and youth and adult sweaters.
The pages reserved for tips and techniques
are clear and concise and provide both
written and photographic directions that
will assist in successful colour work.
Even if the patterns in the book are not
your style, the history that is presented
in this book is interesting and well worth
Alice Yu’s designs are all girlish
fun. They’ll wrap you feet in lots
lace and undulating sexy texture. These
sock patterns (16 for women, 1 for men)
will have you reaching for your super secret
sock yarn stash- the yarn with cashmere
or sparkle. They are socks that beg to
be knit out of something special.
range in knitting skill from a single repeating
stitch pattern to a different chart for
each part of the sock – stitch patterns
are mostly charted, some are both written
and charted. The sizing information for
each sock is on the schematic and all socks
are multisized. All of the socks are for
a gauge of 8-9 stitches to the inch in
stockinette. If you all weren’t
knitters I might be embarrassed to admit
that I am so charmed by the designs in
this book that I may have already matched
yarn stash to some of the socks. The fist
few on my list are Kandahar, Shur’tagal
Pick A Stitch
7, 98 and XP; Macintosh OS 10.4 and above. $17.95
$2 and up for additional stitch packages
I have wanted an electronic stitch dictionary
forever. This is the first I’ve seen
and it doesn’t have every single
thing I’ve ever dreamed about in
a stitch dictionary, but it is a fantastic
The program comes with 130 stitches, and
there are monthly stitch updates to subscribe
to or to purchase individually.
The stitches are sorted into types: bobbles
and slipstiches, cables and twisted stitches,
edging stitches, reversible stitches, textured
sitches and lacey stitches.
Swatches are large and in full color, plus
there is the ability to change the color
of the swatch from 20 different colors
with a click. There is the ability
to bookmark patterns within the program,
which helped me narrow my choice of stitches
for a project. Stitch patterns are shown
charted or written out. When printing instructions
you have the choice can choose either or
I found the glossary a little confusing;
I wish it had symbols and more detail.
I don’t think the developer took
into account that sometimes knitters forget – it
took me several frustrating minutes to
remember that pw means purl wise. But maybe
that’s just me.
Not for iPad yet, but the developer is
hoping for next year. I run it on a Macbook
and I’ve had no problems running
this program. I frequently save stitch
patterns as PDFs and put them on to my
iPad or phone.
I have been happily using this to design,
swatch and dream about designs for several
months and I would recommend it.
Give Laura Nelkin small amounts of yarn and
handful of beads and she can make the most
beautiful jewelry. Her latest kit,
Rippled, is a necklace that to me looks like
the sunlight swaying and shimmering on the
ocean. The design is uncomplicated, the
ripples are made with simple increases. The
directions are clean with video links for
threading beads and a particular cast on
if you need them.
I love this series of patterns
and can’t wait to see what she comes
up with next!
Written with a an artist's eye, this book
is study in colour for every knitter. Colours
are presented individually and in combination
with each other to help demystify how colours
work for or against each other in our knitting.
There are very few projects presented in
this book, but the ones that are scattered
throughout the pages utilize the techniques
that are explored in each chapter.
is a veritable treasure trove of tips and
advice on how to maximize the impact that
your colour choices will have. How the use
of colour is influenced by pattern, fabric,
and stitch design are all explored, and the
authors hope that these tips will boost the
confidence of all knitters to produce garments
that are well balanced and complimentary.
These little wonders squeeze slippery and
unravely yarns like a snake and keeps them
from unraveling while you’re knitting.
They are made from fine gauge nylon, both
heavier in weight and thicker in weave than
similar products that I’ve used in
the past, giving them zero snag, even with
100% silk yarns.
I found them especially useful for handspun
yarns which can some times be feisty and
when knitting with both ends of a center
pull ball. I pull one end from separate
side of the yarn cozy, it really cuts down
on the tangled mess I usually make when knitting
double stranded from a single ball.
Organizer Pouches by Tom Bihn Mini: 5.7" x 3.9" (145 x 100 mm)
Small: 7" x
5" (180 x 125 mm)
Medium: 10.3" x 7" (260 x 180
Pen/Pencil: 9.0" x 3.9" (230 x 100 mm)
14.5" x 11.2" (370 x 285mm)
As you probably know if you've been
reading Knitty for a while, we've been
fans of Tom Bihn and his bags for years.
We think it's time you knew about one
of our favorite products: his organizer
These bullet-proof beauties come in
a billion sizes [exaggeration, but
only slight], and tons of colors. Each
has a solid back made of Cordura or
Dyneema ripstop nylon, a zipper closure,
and a thick, clear front, so you can
see what is in each one. And each comes
with a built-in clip so you can attach
it to any of the o-rings Tom builds
into almost all of his bags, including
Pictures at the left show you the
kinds of things you can store in these,
and as knitters, we can come up with
uses they never even dreamed of.
Me? I have some I use for power cords
when I travel.
Smaller ones I use to swap out currency.
On a recent trip to the UK and Ireland,
I had to manage pounds, euros and Canadian
dollars and these pouches proved secure
ways to store each. And cleverly, because
they clip into my bags, I didn't have
to worry about dropping them or having
them, ahem, removed from my bags without
They have huge ones that
I use for my class handouts. I have
one for each class I teach, and just
grab it [with all the handouts AND
samples inside] and pop it in my suitcase.
They also have a small pouch with
ultrasuede dividers that's a travel
wallet [$15.00-16.00], and again,
with the clip, safe, secure, and functional.
They have a Key
Strap which works great
for attaching your keys to your bag,
but I use it to corral my organizer
pouches. Even when carrying a non-Bihn
outer bag, there's always somewhere
to clip the strap to, and I never had
to worry about my money getting lost
They also make solid pouches
like the green one shown at left, pouches
with their signature cork fabric,
pouches for delicate things, and
I think you'll find, as I did, that
once you have one or two of these,
your life gets tidier. And those one
or two won't be your last.
Craft can change lives with a stitch or
two for both the crafter and the people
they craft for. Craft creates community;
craft can encourage all of us to think. Joan
Tapper and Gail Zucker have taken these
ideas and wrapped them into a book that
will excite the crafty parts of you.
In Craft Activisim you meet the people
who make a difference with craft. Some,
like Ruth Marshall, use their craft to
shine a light on a cause. She uses knitting
to tell the story of endangered species.
Others like, Norma Miller, knit for others,
particularly college stuents who have aged
out of the foster care system, through
the Red Scarf Project. Some crafters use
their skill to reuse materials cast off
by others. Crispina Ffrench has been making
blankets, clothes and toys out of wool
sweaters for 20 years. Some gathers crafters
together in community like Jess and Casey
of Ravelry (yay!).
Craft Activism profiles the heroes of crafting
for a cause to get you motivated and provides
patterns and projects to keep you stitching.
The beautiful words and photographs will
inspire you reach beyond your couch with
your knitting and stitching.
While this book has 30 patterns – 28
knit and 2 crochet, the real stars of the
book for me are the yarn companies profiled.
Knitting books and magazines regularly
profile knitting designers, but only sometimes
tell the story of yarns and small yarn
companies. This book has profiles of 28
US yarn companies. I loved reading the
stories about companies that take the time
to use or grow carefully selected wools
to make their yarns. The profiles are fairly
short but I learned a lot, even about companies
I thought I knew a lot about, like Quince & Co
and Brooklyn Tweed. I was introduced to
several companies that I’d heard
about in passing and may or may not now
have open shopping carts on their sites – Solitude
Wools, Imperial Stock Ranch, Beaverslide
Dry Goods, Swann’s Island Yarns and
Juniper Moon Farms.
Some of the patterns showcase their yarns
so perfectly that they are worth mentioning
; Scandinavian Hat out of Fibre Company
yarn, Dreaming of Spring Mittens out of
Mountain Meadow Wool, and the Betsy Baby
Cardigan out of Pagewood Farms yarn.
This championing the grow local, buy locale
movement, I really would have loved to
have seen printed in the US in stead of
printed in China on the book. But all in
all this book is a wonderful collection
of US yarn companies and their stories
and business practices and a fine collection
I love Noro yarns, the colors are sublime
and wild. But, sometimes all I want is a
little pop of color, not a whole garment.
Knit Noro Accessories fits the bill for smaller
patterns. 30 of Vogue Knitting’s best
designers work their creativity on hats,
scarves, shawls, mittens and other little
gems. A trio of Lace Pillows, a Tea Cozy
and an undulating Curving Wrap had me mentally
checking my Noro stash.
I really loved the
design and photography of this book too.
Instead of posing the finished projects against
stark backgrounds, the stylist went the opposite
way – wallpaper that evokes tapestry,
piles of old books and suitcases bowls and
collections of small organic things showcasing
the Noro accessories against beautiful clutter.
These are one of the best products for
knitters that I’ve ever used. Really.
Buttons that don’t need buttonholes,
perfect in design and variety to complement
your knitted sweater or shawl.
closures I got for review were made of
leather and resin, though I’ve seen
beautiful metal ones in the knitting wild.
I love mine to hold shawls on, so they
hang with beautiful drape.
They are fantastic for buttoning up sweaters
that are designed without closure.
have screw on backs that hold them in place
and are made with attention to detail that
keeps them smooth in all spots so they
your knitting. Pedestal closures let you
control and change your mind about where
a garment is closed and how tightly. Try
that with regular buttons.
bag by Atenti
Size: 13.00"W x 10.00"H x 4.50"D
Shown in Juliette fabric
Occasionally a knitting bag comes along
that makes my reviewer heart beat faster.
This one did it, all right. It has all the
elegance of a tailored carpet bag, the functionality
of a perfect-small knitting bag and could
go with you absolutely anywhere, even to
a formal event.
The handles are made of black suede, and
they're very comfortable to hold. My only
wish for the bag would be that they were
a little longer At 18", the bag can be slipped
over my shoulder, but it's pretty snug.
The bag has a metal frame and opens to a
full 10" diameter circle. Inside, the lining
is water-resistant taffeta in a cream color,
with three pockets -- two pockets along
one side, each big enough to put in an iPhone
or a Blackberry, and a full-length zipper
pocket that runs along the other side. By
the way, these bags are made in the USA --
Atenti is a California-based company.
The exterior of the bag is done in the Juliette
tapestry fabric, and the bottom is black
suede again. The size is quite practical
for toting about a scarf, hat or sock project
or even part of a sweater. You could easily
put a project bag in the main part of the
bag and still have room for all the necessaries
I tested this bag on a trip to Vogue Knitting
Live, carrying it everywhere, including on
the plane and through several airports. After
that sort of intense use in a short period
of time, the bag looks as good as new, with
the tapestry showing only a tiny halo at
the points that get the most wear in any
bag -- the bottom outside corners. And you
have to look closely to see it.
I think this bag will wear well with much
use, and look like something I might have
inherited from a very stylish relative. Classic,
functional and very beautiful.
Everyone knows that one of the goals of
every knitter is to make more knitters!
This book will help you teach the youngest
among us how to get started down the wooly
path. This book is a wonderful "how
to" manual with the sections that
break down the basic techniques knitting,
purling, and binding off, and then moves
on to more advanced skills including pom
poms and colour changes.
includes tips for the teacher and simple
ideas to help make teaching a knitter more
enjoyable for all involved. The pattern
section is full of fast and easy projects
that will appeal to both boys and girls
of all knitting levels. (Or to the knitter
that needs to make a fast and easy gift
for a child!)
The combination of very simple,
easy to follow instructions, and bright
cheerful photos is sure to make this book
a hit and should be on the must have list
for all young knitters or those who regularly
knit for them.
This book is simply delightful. It's almost
impossible not flip through all the pages
once you pick it up, and by the last page
you're really thinking that you need one
of these offbeat little creations on your
needles. With the majority of the projects
listed as beginner to intermediate (with
two advanced projects at the end), there
is something in here for every level of knitter.
The written and photographic directions break
each step of the project down into manageable
pieces, and no one should be intimidated
by any of the loveable oddities that appear.
This book is full of little gems including
a set of nesting monsters (for those of us
who don't want to use traditional Russian
dolls), an adorable felted ladybug, and mummy
that screams "make me".
the patterns, it's the details that make
this book so knitter friendly. A needle size
conversion guide is conveniently located
on first pages of the book and each pattern
has it's own abbreviation guide beside the "materials" information.
So don't be scared. The little guys between
these pages are just waiting to be knit up
and loved and this book makes it all very
This dvd will take you on a leisurely stroll through spinning big and
Maggie Casey is one of the most patient teachers I’ve ever taken
a class from, and it show in the relaxed and methodical way she presents
her material. She goes over the three big things for spinning big yarns:
fiber, wheel set up and the mechanics of spinning.
In the fiber section, she talks about the best fiber types (all wool)
and preparations for lofty yarns. She even shows how to make a batt on
a drum carder.
In the wheel section she shows set up and talks ratios. She covers Irish
and Scotch tension.
The spinning section is where the pace of the dvd is really great,
it’s slow enough to spin along. Maggie repeats the style of spinning
for big and lofty yarn with a variety of fibers and preparations, with
her yarns getting bigger and bigger, so I could spin right along, practices
over and over again.
The same with plying big yarns, there’s enough repetition to spin
along. If you want to spin big yarns, you can’t miss with this
One of the things I love about Jacey Boggs
as a teacher is that she doesn’t
mess around by saying what she’s
teaching is quick or easy. She firmly
states that you have to be able to spin
to make textured yarns, and the better
spinner you are the better texture yarns
you will make and the more the process
will make sense.
There are 8 different types of yarn to
make with this book, each building on the
skill set of the one before it. She starts
the book with a basic wrap technique and
ends with a three layered yarn that is
the spinning equivalent of rubbing your
stomach, patting your head and dancing
a jig all at the same time. In between
she teaches about loop, coils, corespinning,
beehives and all of the combinations of
skills that make up the yarns that Jacey
is know for and has been teaching around
There are typically 4-6 photos for each
technique in this book and 2 of those are
(really gorgeous) beauty shots. The reminding
photos exactly illustrate the crux of making
each yarn. These process shots were clearly
chosen by Jacey herself.
Each yarn technique is broken down into
numbered written steps and explained
in mechanical detail: set your wheel up
this way, your fiber hand does this and
your drafting hand does this. There is
no magic. With this book, you learn yarn
making in a way that is a repeatable, an
intentional yarn. You can look at the pictures
and read the words and watch the DVD to
have the lessons soak into your spinning
mind through a variety of learning styles.
The DVD follows each of the yarn lessons
in the book -- it’s very straightforward.
It’s great to see Jacey spin at her
regular pace and also slowed down, so you
can see the steps. I found myself rewinding
to watch parts over and over.
I will repeat that you have to know how
to spin already to use this book; it’s
not for beginners. Even the most determined
beginner might find themselves in a puddle
of tears and cusswords if you try to leap
straight into this type of yarn making.
If you do know how to spin the basics,
this book and DVD are an excellent learning
Colorways, Fall 2011 Mac • PC • iPad
[app is free, each issue is $9.99]
I read this issue on my iPad and was blown
away. The colors and photography are amazing – exactly
what you want in emag and can’t get
in a print magazine, an intense depth and
richness in the images.
Maybe because I am exactly interested in
the topic of this magazine, I was really
satisfied and inspired with the information
as well as the photography.
The tools that are available in electronic
magazines are work especially well for a
magazine about dyeing.
In the Sarah Lamb overdyeing article slideshows
showed how to plan over dyeing knitting using
different overlays. In Linda Ligon’s
article about Saxon blue dye I knew she wasn’t
kidding about safety in preparing the dye
when I saw her kitted out in safety wear
in a short video. The In the Kitchen article
about dyeing with kitchen goodie has a printable
PDF with all of the recipes. And the magazine
is filled with hotlinks; I loved the ability
to run all around the web as something piqued
Sometimes developers get too excited. I
didn’t like the constantly rotating
pictures in parts of the dyeing with lichens
article; it was as distracting as moving
ads on a web page. I still like my reading
material to hold still unless I ask it to
I knew I would love the series of indigo
dye articles, but I didn’t realize
there was such rich possibility in overdyeing.
Now I do thanks to Sarah Lamb, and the
In the Kitchen article already has me saving
SpinKnit, Winter 2011 Mac • PC • iPad
[app is free, each issue is $9.99]
This issue is divided between wool and silk.
The wool side has a detailed profile of Imperial
Stock Ranch, a Columbia sheep ranch that
has been around since the 1800s. It
never fails to surprise how much work, planning
and thought is involved in growing fiber.
It reminded me to keep supporting small fiber
growers so they can keep making beautiful
fiber for us to spin. I was utterly charmed
by an article by Stephenie Gaustad on spinning
wool on a tahkli, there’s an excellent
video of her talking and teaching tahkli
spinning sitting at her kitchen table.
I really enjoy the short videos in this
magazine. I’m a visual learner, but
sometimes just want a taste, enough to run
off and try a technique; these short videos
are perfect for that. I wish the article
on carding had more videos. I enjoyed the
history of hand carding in the article and
the video of carding in Oaxaca, but I am
still not quite sure with my own carding.
I would have loved to see videos instead
of animated illustrations to illustrate different
The silk section has articles on silk in
Mexico and China and a fascinating article
on natural colors of silk. And a useful section
on working with silk, including silk reeling
, spinning on the wheel and making mawata
into yarn. The article, video and accompanying
pattern by Sarah Lamb really excited me.
Sarah Lamb in a four-minute video gives excellent
instruction on spinning silk; a lot of it
for me was just watching her amazingly relax
hands as she spun. In the article she talks
about spinning silk with knitting in mind,
and shows a particular sampling process she
went through (in a slide show) to develop
a silk yarn to knit with. The project
with this article is incredible a lace scarf
with a flame motif , that is painted after
it is finished, it is stunning.
On a technical note, this emag behaves much
better on my iPad than it ever did on my
MacBook no hesitations or stutterings, and
it looks beautiful on the screen.
for fiber reviews?
They're on their
own page, right
Folk Socks is the book that started it all for me, and for so many other
knitters. Folk Socks is the book that brought sock knitting back.
Originally published in 1994, the beautifully illustrated book provides
a wonderful overview of sock knitting history and techniques (meaty enough
for even the most curious and analytical of knitters), and an excellent
selection of interesting and beautiful sock patterns.
If all you want to do is knit socks, this book has something for every
foot and every taste. There are socks plain and fancy; manly work socks
and lacy feminine socks; fun colourwork and stunning twisted stitchwork
and cables. There are approachable socks for newer knitters, and challenging
socks for the more experienced. And if you want to really dig into sock
knitting, to understand construction and historical techniques and start
designing your own, this book is for you, too.
I bought the book in its first printing, and knitted many of the fabulous
designs in its pages. This was back before sock knitting was cool; this
was back when all the local yarn shops were closing, and good yarns were
getting hard to find. I mail ordered many of the yarns, made some wild
(and sometimes ill-advised) substitutions when I couldn't find a suitable
yarn, and knitted my heart out.
Working through this book, I learnt so much about knitting, about yarn,
about gauge, about socks, about fit, about construction - and about myself.
This book taught me how to read charts, how to work an SSK, how to turn
a heel. But, most importantly, it taught me that I wanted to be a
This new edition has been updated with expanded information, including
some good stuff about Estonian sock knitting, a new pattern, current yarn
information and lovely new photographs.
My only disappointment with the book remains - most of the patterns only
come in one size. There are socks a wide range of adult sizes, for the
smallest and the largest feet, and armed with what you can learn in the
book, resizing isn't difficult (trust me, I know!).
I can say with complete certainty that I wouldn't be here, I wouldn't be
a serious knitter, I wouldn't be a knitting industry professional if it
wasn't for this book.
My review was written form an egalley, viewed on my iPad
through Bluefire Reader – reviewing books is getting
This is a book I use a lot and I will knit from it
more now that I have it in an e format. I like how it
looks on my iPad. I like paging through quickly.
familiar with the book already, I love that
it has the patterns on the content page and any techniques
linked to where they are in the book, it’s really useful
as is the ability to zoom in on charts.
The price is listed as $24.99 but almost no one is selling
it for that. I
saw discounts ranging from 30% to more than
50% off through various readers and formats.
For 15 years Debbie Stoller and the editors
and writers for BUST magazine have been telling
how to say it, do it, make it, find it, fix
it, all from a no bullshit point of view.
Collected here are 250 of the best how-tos
in a huge variety of topics like making jambalaya,
how to have tantric sex, caring for a loved one after death,
how to be your own publicist, and how to sew a skirt.
They say: "This lampshade is folded of 1 piece of special
of the type Butterfly. The lampshades are perfect
for use with energy-saving lightbulbs because
the lampshades make the light warmer, more
natural and cosy. The colored paper has a stunning coloring
effect on the light."