by Jillian Moreno, Amy R Singer, Katherine Ganzel, Kate Atherley
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 noted.
Suzannah Bag by Offhand Designs
11"H x 21"W x 6"D
The Suzannah bag is an elegant cocoon for your knitting.
Which doesn’t mean that it’s not useful or durable.
It is and it's fabulous.
As with all Offhand Designs bags, it's handmade in the US
of beautiful vintage-style fabrics that you might describe
-- limited-edition plush velvets, chenilles,
brocades and wools. The one pictured is in "Astoria".
The fabric is thick and tough, it has protective
feet on the bottom, it has eight pockets of varying sizes inside,
room for a sweater and a tight magnetic closure.
It’s usable, useful and stands up to the
wear and tear of the knitting life. But it’s also so
lovely that it makes any knitting that you carry around in
it more beautiful. It’s a magic bag, I think.
Patterns and Worksheets
to Whip Your Sock
Knitting Into Shape by Chrissy Gardiner
Do you want to make toe up socks that really fit? Do you want to learn
about toe up sock construction? Do you want, need, variety
in your sock knitting? Look no further than this comprehensive book.
Chrissy Gardiner takes you on an in-depth tour of toe-up sock knitting.
Using 15 original patterns as her starting point, she adds easy to use
worksheets to customize how your socks fit. She discusses a variety
of cast-ons, bind-offs toes and heels. An incredibly thorough and
Bombing: The Art
of Crochet and
Knit Graffiti by Mandy
Moore and Leanne
Arsenal Pulp Press
Ever since I saw my first piece of knit graffiti, I’ve been fascinated.
definitely my kind of public art.
This book is packed
art and interviews
on the subject. There
are 20 projects from
garments to wear
while tagging -
including the fabulous
Knitting Kninja Threads
and Switcheroo Sweater
- to different style
of tags to knit or
there are all of the words; there are interviews
and manifestos, tips and tricks from taggers
around the world, including the brilliant ‘What
to do if you get caught’.
This is an art book that didn’t skimp.
230 pages and easily half of that is really
quality photography. You can get your knit
on and out, whether you are seasoned tagger
or are just along for the ride.
$49.99 through Sept 30
Mac version: top right PC version: bottom right
See-through plastic bins and
labelmakers can only go so far.
Stash Wiz will help you organize
your pattern and yarn stash in exacting detail,
which means you can know what you have in
moments, and find it in your house just as
No, really! For example in
the yarn section, in addition to the things
you would expect to see - yarn names, manufacturers,
gauge, dye lot - you’ll
find it asking for where you’re storing
your yarn, the shop where you bought it,
the pattern you plan to use it with, and
a place for scanned photo!
Stash Wiz is easy
to use, but I do recommend reading the easy-to-use PDF
guide which kept me on track to enter my
information in the specific order that makes
your organization go as smoothly as possible.
Check out a demo here -
the demo is PC, but Stash Wiz is available
for PC and Mac.
Meet the Man Behind
the Legendary Yarn
40 Fabulous Designs by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton
Sixth and Spring Books
Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton
has been lucky enough
to design with Noro
yarns for over 20 years.
This book is celebration
of Noro and Hamilton
as a Noro designer.
The book begins with
a history of Noro the
man and Noro the yarn
company, which are
Fascinating for any
fan of Noro yarns is
the next section on
how the colors are
selected and the yarns
are made. The
book is filled out
with a great collection
of patterns designed
by Hamiltion that are
beautiful and timeless,
showcasing Noro yarns.
Joy of Sox: 30+
must-knit designs by Linda Kopp
$22.95, hardcover over spiral binding
Variety is the spice of life and the same can be said for sock patterns.
This book has enough variety to keep even the most jaded sock knitter engaged,
with 30 patterns designed by 28 designers.
There is sock talk and silliness
with wink-wink, nudge-nudge innuendo. There are also two great articles
on using and making variegated and hand-dyed yarns work for you written
by Shannon Okey and Laura Bryant.
Hermosa Bag by Namaste
18" W X 14" H X 7" L
A huge, HUGE knitting bag, but very useable
and not unwieldy in the least. Made of
non-PVC faux leather, it’s stiff
enough not to sag and 5 feet on the bottom
give it structure so it won't fall over
when put down.
With 8 pockets - 5 outside, 3 inside -
there is space to organize smaller things.
It pretty much holds most of your stash.
I carried a pound cone of yarn, half a
sweater, my circular needle case and a
book and there was still room for more.
There are 3 magnetic closures, so unless
you have stuffed it beyond its limit, it
will stay closed.
Even though it is an extra large bag, it
is designed so well that it is comfortable
Blankets & Bears:
Knits for Your
Baby by Debbie Bliss
Trafalgar Square Books
Lovely patterns to give or keep in perfect Debbie Bliss style.
Most of the projects can be made in a weekend, and any of the projects
can be mixed style-wise to be given as a layette. These are you-can’t-knit-just-one
types of patterns, perfect to make and save for future babies.
Knits: 20 New Classics by Erika
Erika Knight began her career designing menswear. Her understated-yet-contemporary
aesthetic is perfect for designing sweaters for men. She
starts with classic silhouettes and pushes them, just a little. She retains
classic stitches and colors and stretches some in yarn choice by going
chunky and super chunky.
The book contains 15 sweater patterns and several accessories. The garments
are photographed on men of varying ages and sizes, and they work every
time. Be sure to look at the author photo at the beginning of the book
- the sweaters look great on women, too.
Yarns and Counting:
Designs from the
Spinnery by Green Mountain Spinnery Cooperative
SR for adult patterns=34-52"
Green Mountain Spinnery is employee owned and operated, spin and dyes their
yarns in an eco friendly way, an they use mostly US grown fiber and much
of it New England local , they run their business with more than the bottom
line in mind. Not to mention their yarn is beautiful, rich in color and
natural texture. As a company they started with a single wool yarn and
now have - you guessed it - 99 yarns. This books tells the story of the
business and yarns, and features patterns to go with them.
There is nothing
flashy or twinkly in these patterns. They're 100% natural fiber
and 100% wearable sweaters modeled by friends and neighbors.
The patterns are more texture than colorwork.
The book is loaded with sweaters and just a sprinkle of accessories. They
are exactly the type of things you wear every day through the
fall and winter and with 30 + patterns you and yours will never
Sock/Lace needle size gauge by Debra's Garden
$16.00 and up [depending on type of chain or
finding] Colors: Hot pink, champagne,
wine [shown below in original version,
sizes US 0 to 15], black, red, dark blue,
lavender, light blue [shown in sock/lace
size], dark green, light green, purple,
Amy's note: I wrote this review
in 2008 when Debra's original needle gauge came out. Now
that she's added a new size to her line, I re-read it and
it's all still true. So here it is again!
Sometimes people are clever. Debra is such a person.
She's created one thing that's actually two things. First,
it's a useful needle gauge, in your choice of US, metric or
crochet sizes. The markings are lasered into the anodized aluminum
surface which means they won't wear off.
Second, it's really, really purty. Turn it over
and you've got a crazy organic sculpture to hang around your
neck as a pendant. Not one of those kitschy "look, I'm
a knitter!" things. It's subtle, classy and might one
day be the equivalent of a secret knitter's handshake in non-knitting
situations. See someone wearing one and you know what they'd
rather be doing at the boring meeting you're both stuck in.
Functional, lightweight and pretty. I love this
thing. BOTH these things.
of Essential Stitch
Before Japanese stitch pattern books and designs were all the rage, the
most lusted-after stitch books and patterns were French. Everyone had a
Pingouin pattern on their needles, and Mon Tricot stitch pattern books
were hard to find and prized by all knitters. This book is a translation
of a Mon Tricot stitch book.
All 400 stitch pattern samples are knit in
the same off-white yarn (2-color slipped stitches use black also), which
allows your mind to focus on the stitch pattern instead of the yarn. There
are a variety of
patterns. A third
of the book is devoted
to cable and twisted
stitches, a third
to lacy patterns
and the final third
to slipped and ‘fancy’ stitches. Patterns
are both charted
and written out.
seeing more similarity
in these stitch patterns
to Japanese stitch
patterns than British
and US patterns.
Lexie Collection by Lexie Barnes
x 5.0"D, $79
x 6.0"D, $99
Large: 23"W x15.0"H
x 7.0"D, $119
Shiny and gorgeous,
in a completely inter-galactic
way. Mr Spock will
absolutely beam you
up while you’re
sporting this bag.
Three sizes for all
of your hauling needs,
all with straps long
enough to wear over
your shoulder. Those
straps are sticky enough
to stay put, but not
so sticky to pull out
your hair (thanks for
got the supersized chrome one for review.
It’s lightweight, completely smooth
on the outside and has four pockets of varying
sizes and a key clip on the inside. The top
opening is huge. It doesn’t matter
that the lining is black - when you open
the bag the light gets all the way down to
The best part is this bag's
fat bottom. I thought for sure it would
fall over when I set it on the floor, but
nope, the ballistic nylon bottom is gusseted
and really, really resists falling over,
which means no yarn spillage.
Big Book of Socks:
Guide to Knitting
Socks by Kathleen
A decidedly well-rounded sock book.
If you are a beginner, this book will
take you from knitting a basic tube sock to any sock you can dream of:
top down, toe, up, cables, lace, you name it. If you’re an experienced
sock knitter, the 75 sock patterns will keep you busy.
All of the patterns
are sized for men,
women and children,
and many are presented
in different weight
yarns. There is a
enough variety style
and substance in
the patterns that
you could fall into
your couch as fall
begins and get up
in the spring with
many, many pair of
One More Skein:
30 Quick Projects to Knit by Leigh
STC Craft / A Melanie Falick Book
The follow up to the classic One Skein,
this book doesn’t disappoint. Leigh
Radford continues her quest to bring creativity
Patterns are accessories for adults and
garments for babies. The patterns are
clean without being spare. I love her ability
to add richness to simplicity by using
unexpected combinations of stitch patterns
in a single project.
$19.95 available in black with white tools or white with pink tools
This is one of those accessories that the knitting world
gets worked up about before we even see it. Just the pictures
were enough to make me want one...it looked so handy! I didn't
get my hands on a sample until this past June, and in the
interim, I heard some not-so-great things about the quality
of the parts from hands-on users. So I was determined to
give my sample a good workout and see what happened.
Nothing happened. I slipped it into my knitting bag when I
received it and, the first day, accidentally dropped that not-very-thick
bag FOUR TIMES on the concrete sidewalk - the kit was at the
very bottom. Trust me, everything inside took a jolt, but the
KnitKit was completely unaffected. I also press down the button
as I extend the measuring tape, letting go to lock it in place,
and it continues to work well for me, just as it should. So
if there were quality issues, I see no evidence of them now.
Okay, down to the deets: included in this egg-shaped kit are
a crochet hook, thread cutter, row counter with lock, measuring
tape, foldable scissors, stitch markers and point protectors.
The last three are stored in a compartment on the back of the
kit. I have all these tools separately, but my kit is about
the size of a paperback book, and isn't something I want to
drag around with me all the time. The Knitkit is small, and
it has the essentials, so it's an easy thing to slip in my
Socks East and
Inspired by Japanese
Stitch Patterns by Judy
STC Craft / A Melanie Falick Book
30 sock and sockish patterns inspired
and featuring Japanese
stitch patterns. All socks are knit from the top down and are written in
one size; be sure to check the length and circumference measurements
before knitting, some are larger than the average woman’s
foot due to stitch repeats and may need to be adjusted to fit. The not-so
sock and more-thana sock patterns include tabi socks, legwarmers,
yoga socks, leg warmers with a stirrup to keep them in your boots and shoes.
These are not patterns for a beginning sock knitters, since some of the
socks use multiple and complex stitch patterns, but it is exactly those
complex patterns that make these socks so feminine and beautiful.
Stitch Patterns by
STC Craft / A Melanie Falick Book
$29.95 , hardcover
Lynne Barr has one of my favorite brains in knitting. She's not afraid
to explore, de- and re-construct to hit on something new and inventive.
In this book she
presents us with
new stitches that
are reversible – really
cool stitches that
sometimes take some
figuring and a tiny
bit of manipulating
to accomplish, but
they are beautiful,
stitches she designs
some great patterns,
then called up some
of the most forward-thinking
right now and asks
them for some designs.
sure it sounded like
this: "Hi Teva,
this is Lynne Barr.
My knitting brain
and I would like
you to design something
using some reversible
stitches I just figured
out. You in?”]
Well, Teva Durham,
Cat Bordhi, Debbie
New, Pam Allen, Véronik
Avery, Norah Gaughan
and others all said
yes. The result is
Designs to Knit & Crochet
Laura Zukaite seems to be popping up everywhere all of a sudden, in
patterns for yarn companies, books, magazines and now her own book. Her
signature high-fashion style is gorgeous in hardcover.
patterns for garments and accessories are grouped into 8 categories,
each representing a traditional stitch pattern - mostly knitting, but
also freeform crochet. The patterns are for intermediate and experienced
knitters, using shaping and a variety of stitch patterns to make modern
and timeless garments.
ed note: America's
Next Top Model
fans: That's Naima
on the cover!
Sterling Stitch Marker Necklace by Knowknits
love the look of sterling, and when it comes to stitch markers,
having sterling ones is just too great a treat to pass up, especially
when they can double as jewelry!
These are simple geometric shapes, all different sizes,
that can stay on the black rubber neck cord, or removed one
at a time when you need a marker and your tool kit is nowhere
to be found. Great for guy knitters, too. Nothing about it
screams any gender at all.
Extra bonus for those whose names start
with "K" -- one of the markers shows your initial!
For the rest of us, it probably means "knitter",
which is spot on, right?
Designs and Accessories
Yarns by Alison Crowther-Smith
Trafalgar Square Books
It’s fall do you know where your stash of Kid Silk Haze is? Better
find it. This is an entire book of accessory patterns using Kid Silk Haze
and Kid Silk Aura.
The usual gorgeous suspects are here: lacy shawls and scarves – beautiful
but not complex.
And there is the unexpected – color blending using multi strands
of Kid Silk Haze, and patterns for jewelry and pillows.
My favorite patterns are mitts and bed socks paired with knitted frilled
The Knitter's Satchel™ by Jordana Paige
18" W X 14" H X 7" L
Jordana Paige has released a new version of their classic
Knitter's Satchel: it's pink [with a fabulous
lime-green lining]! And they'll donate 10%
of the suggested retail price of every pink
Satchel to the fight against breast cancer.
We reviewed this
bag in 2006 and we still love it -- in fact, we love it more
now...because it doesn't plop over on its face any more! Here's
what we wrote back then:
This is one sexpot of a bag. I carried and used mine as
a knitting bag and a purse for a couple of weeks. Everywhere
I went, every day, knitters and non-knitters commented on
it. "What a cool bag", or simply "Where?" The
style is something like Mary Poppins meets Lulu, vintagey,
but mod. I love, love, love the clicky grandma's purse closure,
and the feet on the bottom that keep it from dragging through
what ever is on the floor when you put it down.
The straps are that perfect hold it in your hand or over
your shoulder length. It has all of the signature Jordana
Paige interior elements that help keep your knitting life
and that other life organized together, circlets for keeping
your yarn from tangling, needle holders, cell phone pocket,
and lots of other pockets, including a snap-out zipper pouch
for your tiny tools.
big is it?" I know you're dying to know. HUGE. I stuffed
it full, like I like to do, and here's what
I carried easily in it: the back of a vest
and the yarn for the front, a scarf project, an Interweave
knitting book (8x9"),
a legal pad, 4x6" moleskine, digital camera, wallet, phone,
and assorted kids toys.
101 with Janet
Szabo by Janet Szabo Big Sky Knitting
Cable expert Janet
one of those teachers
you find teaching
somewhere every weekend. When she does come your way, take her classes:
so good you will learn to think in cables.
a DVD and now can
teach in your living
room. Like the title
implies, this is
a beginner cabler’s
learn about materials,
how different yarns
look with cables,
how to fix cable
mistakes, how to
knit several kinds
of cables, and how
to cable without
a cable needle.
The DVD uses
up-close images presented at different speeds so you can knit
right along. I love knitting cables and learned quite a bit.
I have always ripped my work back entirely to fix any mistakes
in cables because the directions in books didn’t make
sense. Watching Janet on the DVD gave me one of those wonderful
'duh' moments and now I can fix cables without ripping half
of a sweater.
She presents her cable lessons in an enthusiastic, patient
teaching style of an expert and passionate knitter.
for the New Baby by Erika Knight
St. Martin’s Griffin
Beautiful natural colors and natural yarns and basic stitches are the basis
for this book. Not only are there patterns for garments, but the makings
to outfit an entire nursery: blankets, rattles, mobile, a soaker, hats.
The entire package of this book is splendid. The photography is light and
serene with scenes that seem just vacated, the paper matte and slightly
textured. A beautiful book.
Alchemy of Color
Knitting: The Art
and Technique of
Palettes by Gina Wilde
Gina Wilde appreciates color as holistic. She includes everything in her
exploration of color – from big history to world folklore
to the specifics of the effect of a stitch pattern on color and the effect
of color on emotion.
This book teaches
her personal approach
to color and color
knitting. She starts
with an in-depth
discussion of color
in strict definition
using a color wheel
and in what color
means to her.
She breaks color
into three sections
Multicolor and the
Effect of Hue, Value
and Intensity, she
teaches a brief overview,
then more specifically
and intensely in
to patterns that
represent each color
are exactly Gina’s
style, graceful and
trendy, and the colors
Even the lightest
colors have depth.
You can use this
book as just patterns
to knit or as a transformational
1 Man + 2 Knitting
Needles = 50 Fun
Hat Designs by Trond
Hat Heads wonderfully embodies friendship and the spirit of knitting. Stories
and pattern sare included for 50 of the 200 hats Tron Afinnsen designed
and knit for his friends and family.
The basic hat design
is a beanie. The
behind each of
them is anything
but basic. All of
the hats are
photographed on their
by a story of inspiration
- how every detail
reflects each distinctive
each the ultimate
Knit Edgings & Trims by Kate Haxell, Editor
is the perfect complement when you just feel like knitting stockinette
or garter stitch, but you want your finished piece to look anything but
ordinary. 150 edgings, most knit lengthwise and applied to knitting, would
make the simplest hat or blanket sparkle. I have several baby gifts to
make in a short period of time and I’m thinking they’ll all
be sporting a trim or two from this book.
p.s the edgings make great headbands or wristbands and ribbons for gifts
It, Knit It: Secrets
from the Designer's
Studio by Debbie Bliss
Sixth and Spring Books
$24.95, hardcover over spiral binding
Debbie Bliss has the perfect simple style to teach knitters who are
branching out from just knitting to designing or adding style or shape
to others’ patterns. Debbie Bliss breaks down her design philosophy
into 5 sections each with 3 patterns illustrating the techniques she employs.
She discusses body shaping, color, texture, designing for kids and detail
all with the practicality, simplicity and expertise to give a fledgling
DP Wip Tubes™ by Nancy's Knit Knacks
2 tubes per package, plus a bonus DP tube
As a rabid
sock knitter, and avowed DPN-user, this is an absolutely indispensible
part of my knitting toolkit. Sock knitting is incredibly portable,
but there are always a couple of things I worry about when
I'm taking my project out of my bag: I might break or lose
a needle, or stitches might fall off the needles.
These simple little cardboard tubes
have changed my life: I just slide them over
my DPNs before I put my knitting away. Genius. The tube keeps
your knitting and needles all tucked up together, nice
and safe. No fear of losing a needle,
or dropping stitches.
it's useful no matter what sort of needles
you use. It protects fragile bamboo and
wooden needles from breaking, and spares
your bags and your hands from the points
of your metal needles. And when
you finish the project in transit, you
have a safe place to store the needles
until you get home.
The tubes are extendable (from 5 to
10 inches ), so that no matter what your
preference of needle length, you're accommodated. And
they come in sets of two...because no one
is ever knitting just one project.
Projects to Make & Give by Ann Budd
30 eclectic patterns to knit and give. The title says "gifts", but who
says you can’t gift yourself? These little projects are also great
teaching and learning tools with a variety of knitting levels
and techniques. The patterns are of that earthy modern style that Ann Budd
and Interweave have come to characterize.
There are socks,
- mostly projects
for women but there
is something for
men, kids and babies,
even a mouse toy
for cats. The stand
out pattern for me
are the wonderful
slippers by Marta
McCall who makes
magic with color.
One, Bead Too:
for Knitting with
Beads by Judith Durant
SR: 32 – 52"
This book is the
guide to knitting
with beads I have
yet seen. I
there is a method
of adding beads
to your knitting
that is not in
are many beautiful
help you see
the different kinds
of beads, yarns,
threads and tools
tips on how to
following a chart
alone are worth
the price of
instructions are so complete that even
my severe lack of three dimensional thinking
did not keep me from feeling like I could
take any chart of my choosing and make
a perfect knitted reproduction. I also
loved the tips on how to fix beading
mistakes, a must for projects where you
thread all the beads before you start
The projects for each
technique start small and simple so you
can try it before tackling the larger
complicated pieces. There are hats, gloves,
scarves, purses, sweaters, socks, and
more. I was intrigued by the coasters
that were adapted from miniature oriental
carpets. I could imagine finding more
patterns to adapt and making a whole
bunch, each one unique. I would
also love to make and wear the black
gloves with the beaded diamond pattern
on the back of the hand.
from the North
Lace in the
Shetland Tradition by Carol Rasmussen Noble + Margaret Leask Peterson
Martingale & Company
I love lace and this is a lovely collection
of lacy things to knit. The patterns go
from quite easy, for the newbie, to challenging,
for those who need more excitement to satisfy
their lace needs. For those who
need it, there are
some very good drawings to help illustrate
the trickier techniques. The patterns
include scarves, triangles, stoles and
loved that some of
the items were smaller projects and some
were quite large which meant that you could
find whatever project you were in the mood
I’ve already started swatching
Night Scarf which
would make a lovely gift. And I’m
lusting after Carol’s Alice Maud
Stole which has a vintage stitch pattern
named after Queen
Victoria ’s second daughter combined
with a traditional border stitch called
the Lines and Stories
From the Nation's
Knitting Blog written and read by Kay Gardiner + Ann
This is the perfect book to make into an audio book or maybe Kay and Ann
are just the perfect audio people.
Listening to the CD, you don’t
miss the patterns,
especially if you know they’re
already sitting on your shelf. Kay and
Ann speak just like you want them to:
one with a little New York, one with
a little twang, but both with a welcoming
tone. On this recording, Ann and Kay
include selections from their blog, bringing
their lively stories to life!
These two are the best
of knitting friends and they invite you
in to share their funny stories and joy
of Knitters written and read by Mary Beth Temple
If you listen
to this book,
you will smile and nod
and mostly likely laugh
out loud. Mary
Beth Temple uses
a knitting dictionary
of knitting terms
to shed light
on the hidden
life of knitters.
get me wrong
- she gives factual definitions to
the asides that
as an aside to
the Seam definition, "no
matter how many
read the Harry
the house elves
to arrive in
the night and
do your seaming
Needles [below] Jewelry by Leslie Wind Cable needle necklace, 2" long
X 2 1/2" wide, $40
Needle small, 3”, $20; medium 3”, $30; large 4”, $35.
Beautiful and useful,
is a brilliant
idea. It’s smooth
snag on any yarn
I tried. It’s
not sharp. No
one that hugged
me got impaled
while I was wearing
it. It comes
on a length-adjustable
cord, so you
have to remove
to use it, and
fall off of the
arm of the couch.
Made of bronze
to a dull warm
shine, the cable
is a unique gift
to give yourself.
Smooth and weighty beautiful beyond utilitarian use, these needles made
weaving in ends a pleasure. Polished to a high shine, they didn’t
snag on my yarn and have a wonderful balance. You can have a needle made
to your specifications in sterling/bronze or
copper/bronze, and with a bent or straight tip.
A lovely indulgence.
AKate 45 by CJKoho Designs
$70 for 3-rod, Red Oak version [top left]
$73 for 4-rod, Red Oak
for 3-rod, Maple [bottom left]
$88 for 4-rod, Maple
This is a fantastic lazy kate. It
solves two big problems that I have
when plying from the kates I already
own: creeping and tangling. This
is a fat-bottomed kate. She has it
going on weight-wise (3 lbs.) and she
has sticky little feet, so where ever
you put her down she stays. There
is no going along plying only to have
your kate creep up and suddenly knock
on your wheel.
Made by the crafty husband of a skilled
and experienced spinner, the 45 part
of the Kate 45 is the angle of perfection,
the angle that won’t tangle -
the angle of her removable brass rods.
I have yet to get a tangle while plying
with this kate. The angle keeps the
bobbins at just enough tension to ply
with real control.
New Homespun Handknit:
25 Small Projects to
Knit with Handspun
Yarn by Amy Clarke
Knitting spinners rejoice!
This project has been
whispered about for
years in spinning circles.
25 knitting projects
using handspun yarn,
and all of the projects
request that you please
engage your brain.
hard, but most are
knitting and up. And
why not? Sometimes
a pattern should reflect
the depth of thinking
that goes into creating
yarn. Plus, none of
the projects are large:
hats, shawls, mittens,
kids and baby sweaters.
projects would be lovely
in commercial yarn
too, but the use of
yarn spun with the
intention of each particular
project makes them
Be sure to
peek at Kathryn Alexander’s
purse and the team
of Judith McKenzie
McCuin and Nancy Bush’s
bison lace scarf.
Folded dimensions: 13-1/2" long x
10" wide x 1" high
niddy noddy is
a brillant tool.
I wonder why
no one has made one
I laid hands on the
new Schacht Niddy
Noddy, I instantly
knew why. It’s
one of those
tools that sounds
simple, but is
very hard to
pull off well.
pulls this off with their usual excellence.
First, it’s beautiful; it comes
in either maple or cherry wood. It’s
easy and intuitive to use. The niddy
noddy can wind a 1.5 or 2 yard skein – there
is no doubt how and where to adjust the
telescoping shaft. As a bonus, the mechanism
that makes it adjustable makes it really
easy to remove your skeins. It
has a big handle, First I thought it
was too much, just a design feature,
but it’s comfortable, ergonomic,
and helps to balance the niddy noddy
when you’re winding on.
things that Schacht does, it’s
well thought out and just right.
Start Spinning by Maggie Casey with Eunny Jang
This dvd is thorough overview
of beginning spinning starring the
guru of new spinners, Maggie
Casey. This is a companion to her book
of the same name but you don’t
need the book to happily learn from
In the dvds, Maggie walks
novice spinner Eunny Jang through learning
to spin on a wheel. Through 2 hour+
dvds, she teaches her about fiber,
spinning wheels, plying, finishing,
carding and different spinning techniques.
Maggie’s teaching style is gentle,
a ‘just go ahead
and do it, don’t over think it’ attitude. Eunny really
doesn’t know how
to spin and asks great questions. This
creates an organic flow to the dvds
and leads to many asides that aren’t
in the Start Spinning book.
One of the best parts of the dvd is
when Eunny shouts out, “It looks
like yarn!” That’s what
it’s all about, isn’t it?
Spindling by Amelia
Ask the Bellwether
A useful little book
for all spindle spinners.
An especially good
book for beginning ‘I
could never spin
on a spindle’ spinners.
book is packed
with tips for spindle
spinning in general
and how to spin
a quantity of yarn
on a spindle in
particular. I especially
liked the discussion
in spinning and
winding on leading
to a more packed
spindle, as well
as the very helpful
section on plying
Dye Stitch: How
to Create and Use
Your Own Yarns by Jennifer Claydon
book that give
a good basic
overview of spinning and
10 projects that use
your new yarn.
If you think
that creating your own
yarn is complex,
take a look through
this book, it
walks you through
tools to get yourself
on a spindle
or a wheel. Want your
own colors of
fiber to spin? That’s
in here too,
with several different
methods to choose
also a lovely
gallery of handspun yarn
to inspire your
Editor's favorite tool:
Reading desks like these [left, below] are
meant to lift your laptop off your lap or
hold books at a comfortable angle for reading.
Amy uses a stand like this to angle her laptop
more ergonomically on her desk. Easier on
the wrists and it brings the monitor closer
to eye level.