Nancy Bush + socks?
No brainer, right? Yes, it's a fabulous
book of sock patterns, but wait, there's
more. Nancy has taken 20 sock patterns
from Weldon's Practical Needlework --
a needlework magazine published in England
from 1886- 1920 -- and translated them
into current, followable patterns, using
current, availible yarn. The socks are
charming, some plain, some fancy, some
for men, women and children.
She also gives a history
of Weldon's magazine and spends time discussing
how she updated the patterns.
A facinating peek into
the brain of a master sock designer.
This small book on stranded color knitting
has become an essential reference work
in my knitting library.
Filled with detailed photos and clear
instructions, it introduces the reader
to the techniques of knitting with more
than one color at a time by carrying the
unused yarn at the back of the work. The
book discusses color choices and substitutions,
yarn-holding techniques, knitting from
charts, and finishing.
Also included are some simple hat patterns
to get you started, and a concise bibliography.
An excellent primer on the basics of this
form of knitting.
Stranded Color Knitting is a
Cafepress self-published book. All money
from the sale of this book goes to nonprofit
rabbit rescue in Colorado.
Five Dolls and their Wardrobes to Knit
I know that most of the dolls and other
softies that I've knit have actually been
for a grown-up. Here's a doll book for
(marginally) grown-up girls and boys.
Like all softie books, you start with
a basic form then you bestow a personality
on it, with a face and various adornments.
This book rocks the extras. Each doll's
personality is born through a whole range
of faces and entire wardrobes both knit
and sewn. It's fun and it's all for you,
Available at Amazon
It probably could be called Poncho &
Shrug Style (they make up 17 of the 24
patterns), and it doesn't have the innovation
and sheer "Gimme!" of Scarf
Style, but there's still some pretty
nice stuff in here.
There's the casual cool of the asymetrical
wrap by Jo Sharp with easy-but-interesting
construction, making a garment you'd wear
as often as you could; a fabulous one
armed wrap/shrug by Leigh Radford, and
an ethereal lace shawl by Evelyn Clark.
A grand plan of capelets by Ann Budd
is useful, as is the Design Notebook section
that gives you tips and ideas on all aspects
of designing your own wrap.
Over the Edge
Sixth and Spring Books
From the empress of
embellishment comes the latest book in
her series of edgings, add-ons and adornments.
This one features circle motifs, ribs,
cords, appliques, colorwork, bobble, flowers,
twists, braids -- hundreds of add-ons
for your knitting. Yes, the pattern for
the cover capelet is included.
If you loved the others
, you'll want this too. There's always
something that Nicky twists in her special
way. Her next book? ALL flowers.
Available from Dragonfly
[in Wild Cherry, Walnut, Oak or
A good swift
is an essential tool for any serious knitter.
So why not get one that looks nice and
solid hardwood swift combines a homey,
traditional design with low-tech simplicity.
It arrives packed in a slim tube. Just
assemble the pieces, adjust the pegs to
fit your hank of yarn and wind away.
I tried this with
my ball winder and by hand using various
weights and textures of yarn (everything
from fingering- weight merino to extra
wide ribbon) and it works perfectly.
tool also looks charming sitting on the
table displaying a favourite yarn.
Imaginative Projects and Creativity Exercises
STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book
Yum, yum and more yum.
A very comfortable sort of funky knitting
book. Like a good friend that always seems
to be one step ahead of you creatively,
but you love her or him anyway.
This is a book that
tries to push your thinking about knitting
a little and tries to get you to color
outside of the knitting lines. There are
scrumptious sweaters, scarves, wraps and
felted bags. There's also a felted bulletin
board, bags and a comforter made from
reclaimed sweaters, knitted lanterns,
a knitted screen for a screen door and
a crown knit from crepe paper.
To push your own knitting
brain further, she adds creativity exercises
and games (many from a favorite book of
mine, Living Out Loud by Kerri
Smith) and even includes a small notebook
to record your thoughts and drawings in.
I am a knitter that
loves to stuff my knitting bag full. FULL.
Because I never know what I'm going to
feel like knitting when I go out. I take,
on average, two books and four projects
of varying sizes.
Most knitting bags can't
take it, or if they're large, they end
up stretching from shoulder to floor.
This messenger bag from Jordana Paige
(she of the elegant and sublime Knitter's
Purse) is stuffable and somehow compact.
It's divided into a tools side - for your
pens, cell phone, etc and comes with a
small snap-in zippered bag for markers,
scissors, tapestry needles. The project
side has those groovy snapping circles
through which you can route your yarn,
so it won't get tangled, a spot for glasses
and a big compartment that would hold
a sweater-sized project. There's even
a plastic sleeve in the bag flap for your
The bag is made out
of nylon and the strap is a man-made material
that has a little tackiness to it -- it
does not slip off your shoulder. Right
now it comes in two flavors: camel/brown
The covetous girls in
my knitting group want to know when the
bright colors are coming and my bag fancier
of a husband wants to know if his laptop
will fit in it. High praise indeed.
I've looked through
this book three times. First, just the
pictures. Pictures of handspun yarn so
gorgeous and original, I nearly licked
Then I looked
through with an eye to reproducing them
-- without reading the directions. I freaked:
it looked waaay too hard.
Then I finally
read the directions. Wow. These directions
are the best. Well written, easy
to follow, step-by-step. All the things
you want and rarely get out of directions.
Now, I can (you too!) make the coolest
STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book
I must start with a
designer disclaimer: I have a pattern
in this book -- Ribbon Scarves, page 107.
With that bit of business
out of the way, I can say this: What do
you expect from Melanie Falick? Stylish
patterns, photographed beautifully? You
bet. This time, the theme is winter holidays
- Christmas, Hanukkah & Winter
There are more than
50 patterns that range from a wirework
menorah to a winter solstice table runner
to the usual suspects -- pillows, toys,
mittens, gloves, scarves, sweaters, hats,
Thankfully, the projects
vary more than usual in difficulty. They're
not all quick and easy, and there's even,
!gasp! intarsia. When flipping through,
don't miss Pricilla Gibson Roberts' Swedish
B knitting bag
As a certified Bag Ho,
I am always looking for the perfect knitting
bag. I've gotten to play with many of
them in my time as editor of this magazine,
and so far, this one comes closest to
my definition of perfection.
1. It's made of laminated
fabric, with a reinforced vinyl bottom.
So if I spill a latte around it or set
it on a damp surface, disaster will not
2. It's big, but not
TOO big. It has easy-access fine-gauge
double zippers at the top that open the
bag really wide. You could easily fit
a sweater-in-progress, a whole bunch of
yarn and your pattern in there with no
3. It's insanely adorable
and guaranteed to incite envy. Of course,
if you don't go for kitsch like I do,
you might like the atomic or hermosa prints
it also comes in.
4. It has just the right
amount of pockets for me. Three big pockets
on one wall, lots of little pockets in
front. Okay, maybe it could have more
storage pockets on the other wall, but
if you use straight needles [I don't],
you'll love the needle sleeves that are
5. The non-slip straps
are the best invention ever. My Lady B
bag, when put into use, soon ended up
on my shoulder, though it can also be
comfortably carried like a handbag. The
straps are tacky [this is the good kind
of tacky] so they don't fall off your
shoulder. I would have liked slightly
longer straps, though -- just to make
them easier to get on your shoulder. Ms.
Barnes tells me that she has lengthened
the straps since my bag was made. Cool.
6. The outside pocket
is the perfect size for a pattern, magazine
or whatever. My only complaint was that
the pocket was made from one thickness
of fabric, and didn't seem as sturdy as
the rest of the lined, reinforced bag.
Again, Ms. Barnes has let me know
that that pocket is lined now, so it's
as sturdy as the rest.
The only thing it's
missing, if you ask me, is a key strap.
And when you have to look that hard to
find fault, you know you've got something
that this Bag Ho can recommend wholeheartedly.
Lexie Barnes, I love you.
Knitting for Dogs
I have no dogs.
I am not a dog person, though there
have been a few Yorkies in my acquaintance
that have made my heart beat faster.
And there's a Yorkie on the cover!
Not at all what
you might expect from a book of
doggy-based knitwear, the sweaters
in this book are alternately adorable,
functional and amazing. Sometimes
all three. The photographs alone
are worth the purchase price. And
you'll have to take a look at the
This book makes
me want to get a dog. Almost. In
the meantime, I can knit for my
mode: Kristi Porter, who I've known
and worked with for as long as there's
been a Knitty, is the woman behind
this book and even if I didn't like
her, I'd still like the book.
$128 us [on sale for $99 at press
Strap: 13.5" max.
This is the tea-party
takealong of knitting bags. It's clean,
crisp and yet full of attitude. Look at
the fabric it's made from. Love that.
Can't you picture it sitting on the edge
of your table while you're sipping something
steamy and nibbling a scone? [Can you
nibble and knit at the same time?]
The Kate bag's unique
boxy shape would easily hold medium-to-small
projects and patterns. Pockets inside
will keep you organized, and the magnetic
snap closure at the top keeps stuff inside.
The handles are really
fun, and if you're stuck for needles while
on the road, they're totally functional.
You do need to take care with the handles
-- they're not fixed in place and can
slip out. But that means the bag is washable,
which is a bonus!
It may not be red, but
I think it's delicious.
(Meditations for women who knit
I've been too
busy reading this book to review
it. Seriously. It's been on my nightstand
since I got my copy months ago [!]
and I've been enjoying it a little
at a time since then.
You've seen this
book everywhere. In book stores
that don't carry any other knitting
book even. And that's for good reason.
As someone [not me] recently said,
Ms Pearl-McPhee -- our beloved Yarn
Harlot -- is the comedian of our
craft. She reveals our truths with
clarity, and most of all, humor.
Non-knitters who want to understand
us should read this book. And knitter,
know thyself; if you haven't read
it, you must.