Books are softcover unless noted otherwise. All prices USD unless noted.
It Itches: A Stash of Knitting
This book. How do I describe it? What we'd write
if we were
What we'd draw
if we had a
into a knitter's
to make arrangements
of tiny lines
us as true
Page after page begs to be framed and
It's a tiny,
Yup. That's how I'd describe it.
Knitted Lace of Estonia: Techniques,
Patterns, and Traditions
Just like every other knitter, I've been bitten
by the lace bug and this book is giving me the fever.
The start of the book details Nancy Bush's discovery
of Estonian knitting in a brief but satisfying read,
giving you a great sense of the knitting culture
as it evolved over the centuries without it feeling
like a college lecture. I especially like the bit
about the industrious knitters' attempt at getting
Greta Garbo to wear an Estonian shawl in one of her
This book has 14 gorgeous patterns of different sized
shawls and scarves that are feminine without being
fussy. I'm smitten with Tiinu Scarf and Madli's Shawl
as they're two of the many patterns that use the Estonian
version of bobbles; called nupps (pronounced like "soup").
The written directions are thorough and the charts
are awesome. If following a set pattern turns you off,
Ms. Bush includes a section for you too. The Estonian
Lace Stitch Dictionary closes out the book with a slew
of knitted samples and charts (including the "Greta
Garbo") to keep you knitting traditional shawls
and scarves to your specifications until summer.
Teach Yourself VISUALLY Sock
This book teaches you about sock knitting -- not
just 'how to knit a pattern', but in-depth information
about how socks are constructed. Top down, toe up,
and flat, this book breaks down all the pieces of
a sock, heel, toe, leg and focuses on them, well,
It is wonderful to have up-close and crispy clear photographs
of the different types of heels and toes, and Laura's
own knitting hands working things like short rows. Along
with the learning, there are 11 sock patterns in Laura
Chau's modern romantic style. A basic plain pattern
for toe up and top down socks and 9 patterns full of
texture -- rich patterned cables, rib and lace, and
an adorable pair of angora baby booties.
Knits for Bears to Wear: More
than 20 Fun, Knit-to-Fit Fashions for All Teddies
and Toys Including 18-Inch Dolls
Oh how cute! This book is filled with wonderful patterns
that will delight any child, or child-at-heart. From
the more casual day wear sweaters, skirts and pants
through to the more glamorous paparazzi gown, and
my personal favorite the wizard's hat and gown, this
book will provide your teddy bears with a complete
wardrobe, spring to winter, morning to night. And
not just for teddy - this book also includes instructions
on how to size for your other toys.
It's hard to find appealing, beautiful jewelry that
says, subtly, I'm a knitter. I was thrilled when Jennie
Lanners [aka Jennie the Potter] started making pendants
that exactly fit that description!
The pendants are made by hand, one at a time, in Jennie's
studio, from the same clay she uses to make her
signature mugs and bowls. Each is unique, kiln-fired
for durability, and -- surprisingly -- light as air.
It's the kind of piece you reach for as you wear it
to run your fingers over the surface...it just feels
good to touch.
design is available
on round [large,
in red, orange,
with an 18" sterling
and the findings
for a gift for
a knitter friend
or a treat for
a beautiful [and
Buy now at Amazon
Little Felted Animals: Create
16 Irresistible Creatures with Simple Needle-Felting
From the kitten on the cover to the menagerie within,
this is a treasure-trove for anyone who appreciates
the world of cute and cuddly.
Each of the sixteen creatures has step-by-step instructions
and pictures so clearly explained that my daughters
(age eight and twelve) have begun their own projects
and have no intention of relinquishing the book back
to me soon.
The trickiest part of doing these projects is finding
the supplies. Natural colors of roving must be tracked
down from more obscure suppliers or large stores and
glass eyes (I found 4mm size works well for the scale)
may be found at craft and hobby stores and can be painted
to your preference.
The danger with
this book is that you may soon find fuzzy felted animals
appearing in every nook and cranny of your home. Beware,
they are highly addictive.
now at Offhand
x 6 "D
22" velvet straps
shown in Aquavite
Feel free to read on, but I'll proclaim
it right at the beginning to save time: I
adore this bag.
If you've ever had the pleasure of
seeing an Offhand Designs bag in person, you know that
they're different. The fabrics are unique, thick, durable
and yet beautiful. They feel like vintage carpet bags,
except that they're brand new. Offhand Designs has been
around a few years longer than Knitty, and in that time,
designer Larisa Flint Snydal has gently expanded her
line of bags, each design carefully considered and planned.
This is the Fiona Tote, and I think
it incorporates the best features of all Larisa's previous
bags, plus a few new twists.
First, the spring hinge that is one
of my favorite Offhand Designs bag features is here,
and it's brilliant. The 2nd picture shows the way the
bag opens, from totally flat to long-sided hexagon.
It will stay open until you're done with it, and opening
and closing take no effort.
The pocket situation? Fabulous. Inside,
3 regular pockets [the flattish kind], 4 pouch pockets
[they expand to hold puffy stuff] and a huge storage
area. There are more than 8 skeins of yarn in the bag
in picture #3 on the left, and still room for more.
You could easily get a sweater-in-progress in this bag.
the outside [picture #4 on the left], a deep, wide pocket
that runs the length of the bag will hold patterns,
magazines, books, whatever. It has a snap closure for
On the opposite side [see pic on right],
two very deep exterior pockets will safely hold large
handheld electronics like your expensive new iPhone
or Blackberry. Your pocket-sized camera would easily
fit in the other pocket.
As with all of Offhand
Designs' bags, this bag could easily be your purse with
room for knitting inside it, or fully dedicated to knitting.
I love carrying it with me, because it's gorgeous yet
insanely practical. It does everything a knitting bag
should do, and much more. Muggles [non-knitters] covet
Knitting Noro: The Magic of
Knitting with Hand-Dyed Yarns
Noro is known for its balls of stunning colors. This
book is a great collection of patterns that are simple
to knit and flattering to wear, while making the most
of Noro's long color runs.
The book is divided into 6 basic styles, with many
variations on each. You can knit a basic tank top, or
a ribbed v-neck vest; a cropped jacket, a long coat
or a jacket with a hood. And all the while Noro's fabulous
colors are working for you.
101 Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders
The third in the
series of One-Skein Wonder books, Designer One-Skein Wonders
doesn't disappoint. This book focus on luxury and organic
yarns. Dive into your stash or run to your LYS for a quick
shop for a weekend or a week-long project that's quick
to knit and seriously satisfying.
These books are
the magic genie lamps of patterns. I just wish they had
a website that you could search patterns by yarn, weight
and type, because now there are 303 patterns to choose
Beautiful Sheep: Portraits of
Thomas Dunne Books
Spinners and knitters
who want see where their wool comes from, may I present
the crème of the sheep breed book crop.
of more than 40 breeds of sheep with information about
breed features, use, related breeds and origin and distribution.
but really, you won't believe how cute they are.
Buy now at The Loopy Ewe
Large + Xlarge
Red plastic: $11.00
Wood w/sheep cutout:
$13.00 for one
These days a knitter wants to do more with their finished
socks than merely
wear them; between Ravelry and knit-blogging, a beautiful photograph of
your finished project is also a must. These sock blockers are the perfect
model to show off your lovingly created knit socks, and they are much
easier to photograph
than your own feet! They also allow you properly block out lace, cables
and any other important stitch details before you wear them.
The bright red sock blockers are lightweight enough
to hang anywhere,
and the ventilation holes all through them enable very
fast drying time. The waves and scalloped edge looks
very pretty at the top of a blocking sock, too.
The heavier wooden sock blocker feels wonderfully
and are beautiful
when they are
what could be cuter than a sheep cutout peeking out
of the top of a pair of woolly socks?
Available at Suncatcher
prices vary by size
Finally! I've been looking for safety eyes for all the small
toys that I make, and here they are. Suncatcher Eyes are
hand painted acrylic eyes made by Michelle McLaughlin and
sold on Etsy. I love the vibrancy of the colors, and my
personal favorites are the sleepy eyes.
They are easy to
attach, but not easy to remove - I can barely get my fingernail
between the attached eye and the fabric. I asked several
moms of small children what they thought of the eyes, and
they were all said they would give a toy with these eyes
to their child.
Eyes come in a range of sizes: 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 20 and
24mm, and in a range of 30 colors. You can also get cats
eyes in 6, 9, 12 and 15mm sizes. And don't forget the sleepy
Oh, and the
wee black &
white emo doll
is also one
shown in Diablo]
14.0" x 10.0" x
shown in Pacifica]
for 13, 15 or 17" laptops $90-100
shown in Utopia]
three sizes available
for 13, 15 or
17" laptops $30-40
Buy now at LexieBarnes
Lexie does it again! Her newest prints -- the sexy
red and orange],
the cool Pacifica
and pink] and
and olive] now
can be found
on bags to keep
safe. The fabric
Of course you can bring knitting in a Lexie Barnes
but the Cricket,
which is super-lean
It's just got
room for your
laptop and nothing
else. One large
Great for when
you want to slip
into a bigger
bag that's not
The Pixie is probably the most knitting
rather huge [see
a pocket at the
back of the backpack
that has room
for your computer,
a strong strap
that snaps at
the top, a big
open space in
the middle, and
two large pockets
at the front
And that's just
the main compartment.
The front section
zips open and
is large enough
to hold magazines,
purse even, plus
it has three
on one wall as
well! There are
two big pockets
on the front,
and two water-bottle-shaped
pockets on the
Echo is a little
leaner [see below]
and has the cool
hidden near the
zipper, on the
outside of the
bag, same as
the famous Lady
B. There are
two large zippered
-- one plain
for your laptop.
The other has
a whole bunch
pockets as well
as lots of open
space for your...oh,
Also a wide pocket
that runs the
length of the
bag that will
strap has Lexie's
stuff on the
strap, and I
love that stuff.
Lexie makes great bags and these are
no exception. Lightweight,
cute as anything.
Buy now at Amazon
Guy Knits: Sweaters & Vests (Best of Knitter's Magazine series
by Rick Mondragon, Elaine Rowley
This book fills a real gap in many knitter's libraries, with a real emphasis on sweater patterns for men. All the patterns are accompanied by clearly photographed modeled shots, detailed schematics and instructions, making it easy to know exactly what you'll get when you knit them.
There is a nice range of styles from simple knit-and-purl details to cables, colourwork and even modular knits, and even the most elaborate patterns use simple techniques to create sweaters that will be sure to become wardrobe staples in no time!
Cool Knits for Kids
Gunn + Robyn
Looking for a book that will provide you with patterns
for years to come? Here it is. This book has a complete
range of projects and sizes, to take you from infant
through to 7 years old, or older, for some of the
Covering a wide spectrum of projects and knitting styles,
this book has something for everyone. From booties and
blankets for babies to sweaters and scarves for your
older kids, this book has amazing intarsia patterns,
cables and simple lace enough to satisfy anyone who
just loves to knit for kids.
Cables: An Exploration of Knitted Cabled Knots, Rings,
Swirls, and Curlicues
Anyone who enjoys cables will love
this book, as it takes cables to the next level. This
book is all about cables that start and finish in
the middle of your fabric, such as circles, curlicues,
swirls and Celtic knots. Some of the patterns in this
book seem like more traditional cables, until you
look closer and see the details of the patterns themselves.
Other patterns are simpler, with one cable rope or
knot in the middle of the garment.
to the patterns is an original stitch dictionary,
so you can make your own patterns that sweep across
your garment, and start and finish in new and different
Add this book
to your collection and your cables may never be the
Buy now at Amazon
Socks A La Carte: Pick And Choose Patterns To
Knit Socks Your Way
by Jonelle Raffino
This book is downright clever. I adore hardcover-over-spiral
and this one
makes the most
of this functional,
In fact, the
book on is
the case in
this way. Kudos!
How does the book work? It's quite simple: choose your
leg of the
call it "the
want to knit.
to the page
you to the
-- a customized
The pictures and illustrations are clear and crisp. All
in the book
and all of
are top-down. Perhaps the next book will be
us who prefer
now at Lantern
14"h x 22"w
Black and white
canvas with 3 lining colors -- shown in turquoise
[olive and rust
tote bag is great for carrying your large projects,
and keeping your other items sorted as well. A sweater
or afghan in progress would easily fit in the bag
as well as the pattern book that goes with it.
colored silk inner layer of this bag is cleverly divided
into deep pockets that run all around the outside
of the bag, giving you four individual spaces to keep
other items like your wallet, phone, knitting toolkit,
sorted and tidy. It has soft, wide straps, making
it very comfortable to carry.
Best of all the circular base of this bag helps retain
the open shape, making it very easy to access items
in your bag.
Cute Knits for Baby Feet: 30
Adorable Projects for Newborns to 4 Year Olds
Why knit baby booties, when there are baby socks
that are this cute?
Cute Knits for Baby Feet has a wide range of styles
and techniques, from traditional Fair Isle and lace
to cute and quirky animal socks (the elephant pair is
my favorite. And with each project being so small, these
wee socks are a great way to practice a new knitting
Death by Cashmere: A Seaside
This is the
first book in a new series of knitting mysteries.
Like many cozy-style
mysteries, the main character gives up stressful,
unfulfilling life to open a yarn shop in picturesque
town where people get murdered and the cops aren't
What sets this
mystery apart is the author's skill at story telling.
The story is engaging and the characters have a depth
and a life beyond being knitters.
Still there is a lot of knitting and yarn talk to make
you feel at home, and a circle of knitting friends you'll
want to invite into your life again.
now at Annie
Nova Shawl Pin [right]
Twigs Stitch Marker Necklace [left]
by Annie Adams
other designs available
Made of lead-free pewter, Annie Adams' knitting line is just lovely. The shawl pin is solid but not heavy -- a good choice for pieces made from fingering weight yarn and thicker. [It's probably not the right choice for a Kidsilk Haze Birch shawl]. The pewter isn't a slippery metal, so it will stay where you put it.
The stitch marker necklace, also made of pewter, has style and visual appeal as well as being very useful. The removable markers are adorned with hematite beads which Adams reports to have balancing, grounding and stress-reducing properties, as well as encouraging optimism, self control and inner happiness. I like that each marker is wired to a solid ring that won't come apart in use, and one of the markers is different from the rest, so you've got a beginning-of-round marker when you need it.
Buy now at Amazon
Knitted Finger Puppets: 34 Easy-to-Make
and fantastically fun knitting. The puppets are divided
into three sections, North Pole, Big Top and the Enchanted
Forest, but the patterns are easy to adapt to a variety
of people or creatures.
With this book, you will be the hit of the under-5
Circular Needle Case
by Hi-How Are You
Check out this amazingly compact circular case. It comes in a variety of
funky fabrics, all hand sewn.
There are slots for 21 needles, so I stuffed mine full in no order, because
that's what I'd do in my real knitting world. Not only was their room for
more needles, but all folded up it's only 3.75”.
These cases are
really well made
because stuffed full they're still sturdy , not like
when I do my own sewing and the seams feel like they'll
Knitting Goes Large: 20 Designs
to Flatter Your Figure
St Martin's Griffin
A collection of
plus-sized sweaters by some of Rowan's biggest designers.
It has good information about choosing a sweater for your
shape, and an overview of altering patterns.
If you are looking for very fitted, shaped sweaters,
this book isn't for you. But if you are looking for
romantic Rowan-style sweaters [finally] in sizes that
fit, you will be in knitting heaven!
now at Amazon
Baby Beanies: Happy Hats to
Knit for Little Heads
Baby hats are a great way to start knitting, a wonderful
fast knit for a present, and a great way to use up
This book is packed with creative hat ideas
up to 2 year olds. I love the Loopy Pixie hat, with
ear flaps and a pointy top, and the scarf hat (hat
and scarf in one) just makes me smile.
This book is
with ideas that I'm having a hard time not picking
up my needles right now
Knitted Jackets: 20 Designs
from Classic to Contemporary
SR: 36 - 58
This is not the book I thought it was at first glance.
Despite the sweaterliness of the cover piece, this
truly is a book of Knitted Jackets -- knitted garments
to be worn over other clothing. The style of the book
tends toward square construction, and all of that
makes sense when we're talking about the knitted equivalent
of a coat. Ah ha!
The styles vary from crazy cropped to long and drapey.
I find myself drawn to the first sweater, Box Top --
a super-cozy boxy coat done in a box stitch with a lovely
standup collar. Bergen also appeals -- a gently modernized
version of the traditional Fana Norwegian sweater [something
that's been on my to-knit list for a while now.] Oberle
helpfully offers fitting suggestions based on the amount
of ease she's designed into each garment.
now at KnitWhits
Mosaic Felted mittens kit -
Tina Whitmore from KnitWhits should be thanked for
designing this cute felted fair isle mitten kit. Everything
you need - except the needles - comes in a handy clear
plastic tube, great for storing your drop spindle
when you're finished knitting up the kit.
pattern is provided in two basic sizes; one for children,
one for adults. Since the exact size of the mitts can
be adjusted by felting more (or less), it should be
possible to knit these to fit just about anyone.
While the project name is "Mosaic Mittens",
do note that you will not be using the mosaic knitting
technique. Rather, the checkerboard color pattern is
created by using the fair isle technique of stranding
two colors across each round.
Knitters new to colorwork will like the clear charts
that leave no guesswork when it comes to working the
shaping for the thumb and the top of the mitten.
Elements of Style: Knit & Crochet
Jewelry with Wire, Fiber, Felt & Beads
Make your own jewelery using a wide variety of materials
and techniques. Knitting with wire, crochet with beads,
working with felt, and always producing stunning earrings,
necklaces, bracelets and scarves.
With beautiful photographs and comprehensive descriptions
of all the techniques and materials used in the book,
you can't go wrong, and in no time you will be making
pieces you will be proud to wear.
L 14" x
W 6.5" x
now at Jordana
This bag was presented to me to review after I had finished complaining how I couldn’t find a bag big enough or sturdy enough to carry all my necessities around. Well, this bag does the trick.
On a recent visit to the public library, I took my wallet, my knitting, a clipboard, a book to read, a note book, my laptop a water bottle and there was still room for more.
It has all the right little pockets for sticking knitting needles, sewing tapes, cell phones, pens, make up and all most anything else you can think off. The croc faux leather was a little stiff at first but it is softening up with use. The straps are a nice size so they fit over your shoulder but don’t sit uncomfortably. Even though it is a big bag you can easily tuck it under your arm and shop away.
The side pockets are my least favorite feature, but that is because they are very stiff and the magnet snaps tend to open a lot.
As a knitting bag, it is awesome since it has so many inside pockets. There is even a cute little coin purse that snaps in and out that you could put notions in. As a purse, it is amazing and can carry so much that I can’t wait for school to start again so I can tote my school work in style and still have room for knitting.
It even has cute little snap straps that you use to hold your yarn in place so it doesn't get tangled when you throw your bag around -- now that's thinking.
Glam Knits: 25 Designs For Luxe
SR: 32 - 57.5 inches
Whether you have a stash of luxurious yarn -- cashmere,
fine merino, silk, you get the idea -- or have wanted
a reason to buy some, this book could give you the
reason you need! These fibers can be tricky to work
with, but author Stefanie Japel has done most of the
work for you by pairing fiber with garment style [all
that's left is the knitting!] Don't forget to read
the Fitting Your Knits section to knit the right size
Some of the pieces are over-the-top sexy, super-fitted
and even peekaboo! Most everything else features Japel's
signature body-aware [and flattering] style, wearable
to the office as well as after hours. Love the puff-sleeved
hoodie and the extremely kicky short-and-sweet coat,
embellished lightly with hand-dyed ribbon in just the
right places. The double-breasted coat is similarly
now at Amazon
Knitting Socks with Handpainted
Ever fallen in love with a skein of
handpainted yarn, only to be disappointed with the
way the sock turned out in the end? This book explains
the special features of different handpainted yarns,
and why they work differently from machine pained
yarns. When you know you how to make the most of your
skeins you will soon be producing socks that are as
fun to look at as they are to knit.
Buy now at Amazon
Easy Baby Knits: Clothes & Accessories
for 0-3 Year-olds
Peters & Small
This is a great book for the beginner knitter or
the knitter who is looking for fast, simple projects
With sweet little mittens for baby hands,
and some of
the cutest sandal booties I've seen, an array of tops
and sweaters and a number of cute toys and blankets,
this book is guaranteed to provide countless hours
of fun knitting, as well as numerous items guaranteed
now at Amazon
Boutique Knits: 20+ Must-Have
This is a very pretty book. Laura has created a collection
of accessories and sweater accents that use classic
influences long past and mix them with a modern functionality
and appeal. Easy to follow patterns are surrounded
by full visuals taken from many angles, with most
finicky details having close-ups of their own. Clear
graphs and line diagrams abound as well as stitch
explanations at the back for any referencing that
may be required
are excellent for the beginner to intermediate knitter.
With the many yarns used and the large variety of
techniques played with, such as button detailing,
felting and the use of appliqués, this is a
book that is likely to keep you happy and occupied
for many months.
W 7" x
Namaste is synonymous with stylish knitting bags that don't look like knitting bags and the Newport from the Cali Collection definitely lives up to that name.
This bag is buttery-soft and made out of animal-friendly not-leather material in 6 stunning colors. The roomy interior is split by a full-length zipper pocket (along with three side pockets), allowing you to have your knitting stuff on one side and your purse stuff on the other.
This bag won't hold your sweater or afghan project but it's perfect for stashing your on-the-go socks (or scarf or shawl) and looks great with office- or weekend-wear. You'll have both your knitter and non-knitter bagoholic friends trying to borrow it!
Buy now at Amazon
Knit One Below: One Stitch, Many Fabrics
by Elise Duvekot
SR: 34 - 57
[one camisole starts at 28", one oversized jacket goes to 74"]
This book is all about knitting into the stitch below.
Based on this unique technique, beautiful fabrics
result with much easier knitting than you'd imagine.
Using a sort of vertical slip stitch and two colors
of yarn, you get effects reminiscent of corrugated
rib, yet what you're knitting is more like stockinette
than anything else. In a single color, the effect
is also striking.
This book features garments for men and women -- in
fact, I think the men's sweaters are a perfect match
for this technique and are very fussy-man wearable.
The women's sweaters get to take advantage of brighter
colors and more fitted designs. The construction of
all sweaters is interesting with more set-in sleeves
than dropped shoulders, and creative sideways-knit garments.
There's a lot to look at and learn from in this book,
including lovely shawls and wraps for the garment-averse.
Canada • USA • Worldwide
makes a variety
just about everything
else you could
three of us --
spinners of varied
levels of experience
-- were excited
to get our hands
you open the
box, you're greeted
with a mostly
Both drums and
all gears are
in place, ready
to go. All that
remains for the
spinner to do
is follow the
the nut on
did our test
in a yarn
have an adjustable
- Set the drive
band on the
This is absolutely
a piece of
cake to do
and the instructions
are clear and
the task is
- Clamp the
carder to your
with the provided
drum carder is
a pretty thing
to look at. Ashford
oil, and the
wood itself is
smooth and pleasant
to touch. Underneath,
rubber feet help
and the clamps
no slippage at
There are two
which of the
gear sets you
use. 6:1 [for
fleece] and 4:1
between the drums
to suit the fiber
how to do all
To learn more
about the carding
process and the
we referred to
Book of Carding,
which is reviewed
One of the reasons
I was most excited
this carder is
that I'd hoped
to blend all
sorts of different
I haven't found
For this test,
we were provided
of many different
seacell, a silk
+ seacell blend,
milk, soy and
Pat LeClair of Dyeing
Pat's fiber is
available at The
in Port Hope,
Ontario. I also
and cotton from
my spinning stash.
grey fiber shown
at right is carbonized
bamboo. We also
both dyed in
a matching deep
red. We wanted
to see what a
would do to the
bamboo and silk.
Finally it was
time to get at
it! The instructions
show fiber spread
out in front
of the drum,
and that's what
we did. It also
tells you to
keep your hands
off the fiber
as it feeds in,
and the few times
we forgot, we
was very true.
[The fiber just
on the small
if you hold it
as it feeds in.
Don't do it.]
We added small,
of fiber into
the carder, one
at a time, alternating
in varying quantities,
until the drum
was quite full.
We then used
doffer [it looks
like a big shishkabob
skewer -- a wooden
handle with a
long steel rod],
slid it under
the fiber along
the steel groove
of the big drum,
and lifted up.
This broke the
batt at one point
so we could pull
the batt off
the drum while
to make the removal
fiber was left
on the drum.
Yay! We then
broke up this
first batt and
sent it back
in to the carder
again, in small
fibers and smooth
out the batt.
ran this fiber
through the carder
3 times and the
is the last photo
on the right
at the bottom
of the column.
We noted that
having a flick
have been helpful
to clean the
I'll be purchasing
for future carding
we took turns
were tried --
some with as
many as 4 or
5 different base
fibers -- and
of the final
met with giddy
Roving is one
thing to spin,
but to be able
to create our
own custom batts
with the fibers
and colors we
love -- we all
found it intoxicating.
And the Ashford
carder was so
easy to use that
it became second-nature
with the same
in lovely, smooth
batts, ripe for
below is carbonized
in shades of
grey and pink.]
In fact, the
fiber that came
off the Ashford
drum carder was
that one of us
pulled out a
spindle and had
to spin it right
then and there.
final verdict: the
three of us
going to see
much more use
in the future
as we continue
Canada • USA • Worldwide
The Ashford Book of Carding
When we started experimenting with the Ashford Drum
Carder [see review
above], we found
tips and suggestions
in the pamphlet
that came with
the carder. This
book goes much,
in depth into
using drum carders
and even hand
Clear photographs illustrate step-by-step instructions
for flick carding,
to make a perfect
color, how to
make a batt and
finish it into
roving and even
how to blend
fibers for a
yarn. It's a
that will guide
you and help
you make the
as you learn
to use your hand
cards or drum
Floats like a butterfly, spins as fast as a hummingbird
wing. Ok, not so poetic, but that's exactly what these
spindles from Butterfly Girl Designs do.
I received 4 spindles to review: a stone spindle (34g),
a polymer clay spindle (26g), an openwork resin spindle
(19g), and a millefiori glass spindle (22g). I put them
to a big test and brought them to a spinning guild meeting.
I put them on a table with fiber and stood back, listening
while I spun on one myself. The general reaction was - "wow,
they spin fast."
The whorls are attached to the shaft by
a rubber grommet, which lets the spinner adjust for
The hooks are swan necked, easy to catch
your yarn with, and made of heavy gauge wire, meaning
they won't unbend easily.
The spindles, especially the lightest
ones, make beautiful laceweight yarn. The most skilled
hands made yarn so thin you could barely see it.
There are two different types of shafts – smooth
below the whorl, carved above it and carved below the
whorl, plain above it.
Of course these
spindles are beautiful. The open-work resin and millefiori
glass make heart flutter with spindle lust (and take a
look at the other spindles on her site), but like some
other gorgeous spindles you may have in your collection
these spin so fantastically they won't be gathering any
dust just looking pretty.
Hand-Carved Lazy Kate
for the Peanut
Behold, a few-of-a-kind
hand-carved tensioned lazy kate. I got all swoony over
this kate just seeing a picture, and the spinning crush
didn't flag once I had it in my hands. Besides the gorgeous
carving, the kate is weighty enough not to 'walk', but
not too heavy. It's easy to take along.
There is a brilliant
skidproof pad on bottom, further padded with felt to keep
it from both floating across the floor and scratching
The posts that
hold your bobbins have rubber grommets on them where they
fit into the base, so your bobbins won't scratch or drag.
The rods are removable so you can pack it flat and carry
your kate in your spinning bag.
device works like a charm. It's a piece of elastic that
runs around the edge and is adjustable, and it works just
right. As does the eye hook that guides your singles.
When I used the
kate to ply, it was fab: super smooth but controlled.
I was worried about my WooLee Winder bobbins rattling
on the posts because of of their ratchet wheels, but nope,
just some lovely whirrrrrring.
It's so nice to
have a piece of equipment that just works, and is also
beautiful enough to inspire your spinning.
[I hear there's
a Pirate kate in the works, check out the etsy
store for a peek]
Looking for fiber reviews? They're on their own page, right here!