Jillian Moreno, Amy R Singer, Keri Comeau, Petra Bockus,
Carla Kohoyda-Inglis, Katherine Ganzel, Kate
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
Flo by Lexie Barnes
Dimensions: 7.5"H x 16.5"W x 5.5"D
Discontinued and long-lamented favorite bag, Flo is back
and she’s had a growth spurt!
The bag is a little taller and has more pockets of different
sizes. She also sports a school-bus yellow interior – the
better to find your stuff, my dear.
This new version of Flo holds half a sweater, or a Lanesplitter skirt
(see photos at left), along with the regular knitting bits
and bobs, plus life essentials.
If you are a spinner, Flo holds 4 ounces of fiber, several
spindles, plus life essentials. The magnetic closures hold
tight – my son turned my bag upside down and shook
it, and it took some fierce 7-year-old shaking to get it
to finally pop open.
The straps are tough seatbelt webbing and long enough to
wear on your shoulder. I took mine to knitting at a
coffee shop yesterday and left it out on the table, the parade
of "cute bag!" comments I got solidifies the fact
the Flo is as cute as she is useful, and I’m glad she’s
More Knitting in the Sun: 24 Patterns to Knit
for Kids by Kristi Porter
Like the previous Knitting in the
Sun, this is book is
all patterns for warm weather, but this one is just for
the kids in our lives. What a happy book! No one I’ve
shown it to hasn’t smiled. It’s filled with
the joy and energy of being a kid.
The patterns are perfectly kiddish – skirts ripe
for twirling, shorts with deep pockets for rocks and
frogs, a blanket to share with friends and tops sprinkled
with lace and sporty with stripes. The garments are sized
for children’s sizes 2-12, and the gauge ranges
mostly between 4 and 6 stitches to the inch, so whatever
you choose to knit can be finished before your kiddo
grows into the next size.
The photography in this book
is spectacular. The sun shines in every picture and
the knitwear is so crisp that you can read the stitches.
The energy in the photos is contagious – kids
caught being kids, happy, and moving without sacrificing
the look of the knitwear. Photographers should look
to this book as an ideal for shooting knitwear as
part of a life, instead of a staid and posed exhibit.
Knit Your Own Dog: Easy-to-Follow
Patterns for 25 Pedigree Pooches by Sally Muir + Joanna Osborne
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
Man and woman’s best friend depicted in woolen miniature.
Detailed patterns recreate your favorite breeds in sizes
ranging from 4”x6” (Jack Russell) to 6.5”x8”(German
Shepherd). There is no gauge given in the patterns – most
use Rowan Pure Wool 2 ply on US #2 needles, and a tips page
in the back suggests a needles size 2 sizes smaller than
the band recommends. The firmness of the knitting helps the
shaping give personality to the dogs and helps them stand
Although the dogs included here are all specific breeds
of dogs, it wouldn’t be hard to combine patterns to
knit your favorite shelter mutt. A book full of the fun of
knitting and the joy of being a dog lover. What dog owner
wouldn’t want a pocket version of their pooch?
The Very Easy Guide to Lace Knitting:
Step-by-Step Techniques, Easy-to-Follow Stitch Patterns,
and Projects to Get You Started by Lynne Watterson
St. Martin’s Griffin
This is one of the best newbie lace knitting books that I’ve
seen. 23 lessons take you from choosing yarn appropriate
for lace to blocking and pressing. The main sections of the
book are called The Lace Knits. The Lace Knits consists of
three techniques: simple eyelets, lace panels and double
decrease. Each technique is introduced and is followed by
a stitch collection using the technique and three patterns
using the stitches. A well-thought-out way to teach a beginner
Knitting with Peruvian Yarns: 25
Soft Sweaters and Accessories in Alpaca, Llama, Merino
and Silk by Jane Ellison
Trafalgar Square Books
Jane Ellison may be best known for her design work with
Noro yarns, modern styles with the spectacular colors of
Noro yarns taking the front seat stylistically. This collection
of patterns veers from that using solid-colored yarns from
Mirasol Yarns, and the designs are lovely. Accessories, pullovers
and cardigans for women are packed with texture and shaped
and detailed for a variety of figures and tastes. They are
a perfect way to show off the Mirasol yarns and are infinitely
If you don’t know about the Mirasol project
supporting local communities in Peru, which Mirasol yarns
supports check it out here.
Charts Made Simple: understanding
knitting charts visually by JC Briar
Glass Iris Publications
Well, it's about time. Someone has written the book that
anyone who knits from charts needs to read.
Charts can make complex knitting simple, but the language
of charts is often complex in itself. In this book, JC Briar
explains it all thoroughly and clearly, with lots of visuals
to help make her points and - I love this part -- exercises
at the end of each chapter to help make sure you really understood
what you've just read. Clever, clever, clever.
The book covers every aspect of charts that may have confounded
you, and some that you might not have realized you were doing
incorrectly [or could do more easily]. It starts with simple
concepts and then goes on to explain things like blank spaces,
shaping without written instructions, inconsistent stitch
counts, and even how to see if the chart you're working from
might have an error...or is it something you're doing?
The book is well designed and produced, but not unnecessarily
bulky -- it'll survive a workout in your knitting bag, and
it belongs there, because it's an invaluable reference for
anyone knitting from charts.
The Big Book of Knitted Monsters:
Mischievous, Lovable Toys by Rebecca Danger
Martingale & Company
Rebecca Danger’s monsters are instantly recognizable
with their soulful beady eyes and sweet under bite, they
are 100% lovable. In this book, she has gathered together
20 different monster patterns that anyone would love to cuddle,
including Hugo the Coach Potato Monster and Lurleen the Laundry
Monster, all different yet, clearly belonging to the same
Rebecca’s tips to knit monsters are
great, especially ‘just buy that extra ball of yarn’.
There is a quick tutorial on the magic loop method of knitting
so stripped down and perfect I wish it had been around when
How to Knit a Heart Back Home by Rachael Herron
Rachael Herron is one of us -- an actual knitter. She
turned her writing talent to romantic knitting fiction with
her first book, How
to Knit a Love Song, and now the residents
of Cypress Hollow have returned in this new story. And it's
I liked Rachael's first book a lot, and I loved this
one. This time, we have Lucy, who owns a bookshop and Owen,
who returns to his home town after being injured while working
as a police officer in San Francisco. There's some historical
teen angst that sets the backstory for this romance, and
lots of small-town drama...and it all rings true. The characters
are vividly drawn and the romantic scenes [which are a part
of the reason we read romances, right?] are fabulously steamy.
One of my favorite aspects of the Cypress Hollow books is
the invisible presence of Eliza Carpenter, Herron's grand
dame of knitting. This book brings Eliza into the story in
a fabulous twist, and ends with a knittable sweater pattern
for Lucy's Bookshop Cardigan.
The story is captivating and engaging and I couldn't put
the book down. Rachael's writing is stronger in this new
novel, and I can't wait to read the next installment in the
Cypress Hollow series.
- 12 pairs of needle tips from US5/3.75mm to US19/15mm
- 6 cords (5", 9", 12", 14", 16" and
19") (13, 23, 30, 36, 41 and 48 cm)
- 4 end buttons
- 2 extenders
Denise Interchangeable Needles were the very first big set
of interchangeable that I remember knitters talking about
with great excitement. Since they have been on the market,
many more needle companies have entered the interchangeable
I’ve never used Denise Interchangeables until now,
and I really like them. They are light and easy on my hands,
even long after other needles would make my hands achy. The
joins are easy to slip over and I had no trouble with any
cords, no matter the needle size, coming undone. [Amy reviewed
her set of Denise needles here.]
What’s new and fabulous about this set of needles is
a new partnership with the esteemed Della Q. This set of
needles comes in a well-thought-out beautiful silk-blend
case made by Della Q with every bit of attention to detail
that she uses with her line of bags. For example, each needle
tip pocket has a tab with the needle size printed on it in
US/MM, and the pockets that hold the cords are sleeves that
you can flip through – both small, well-designed things
that made my knitting experience more organized and easier.
Spud and Chloë at the Farm by Susan B. Anderson
Cute, cute and more cute! Spud (a sheep) and Chloë (a
little girl) are the mascots of a yarn line bearing their
names from Blue Sky Alpacas.
In this book Spud and Chloë are brought to knitted life
by Susan Anderson designer of the Itty Bitty knitting book
series. Along with patterns, 11 other farm animals and farm
artifacts, there is a cartoon depicting Spud and Chloë’s
All knit from Spud and Chloë yarn, the
patterns are cute and easy to knit so you can quickly create
your own farm adventure.
Freddie's Blanket by Joanna Johnson, Eric Johnson
Slate Falls Press
The wife and husband team that brought us the delightful Phoebe’s
Sweater is back this time with Freddie, a toddler-aged platypus. As
Freddie grows from baby to small boy, he has trouble sleeping in his big
bed. As long as he has his special blanket, one his mother knits again
and again as he grows, he is happy to sleep anywhere but his bed, including
under the piano. Eventually Freddie finds his way to sleeping in his bed,
his blanket cuddled close.
This book is absolutely charming. The story is simple enough to read to
your little one every night and the watercolor illustrations are lush and
have layers of detail. The animals in this story are full of personality,
right down to the knitwear they wear. It is fun to pour over the big populated
pictures, like the yard sale or the party looking at all of the
details. The book has five knitting patterns that all appear in the story:
a baby envelope, Freddie’s blanket in several sizes, doll patterns
to make Freddie and his sister May, and a little boy-sized pair of overall
shorts just like Freddie wears in the book.
60 Quick Baby Knits: Blankets, Booties,
Sweaters & More in Cascade 220 Superwash
Sixth&Spring Books (Editor)
Cascade 220 Superwash yarn has really saturated bright colors;
these patterns for baby and toddler (patterns go to 24 months)
knits are perfect match for it. Most are quick to knit with
basic shapes with few advanced level projects. There are
texture and colorwork knits, but most are the single added
pattern stitch or one extra color at a time patterns. Which
means these socks, booties, hats, blankets and sweaters are
fun to knit and fly off of your needles. It would be easy
to make several over a weekend’s worth of knitting.
If you have babies you want to knit for, this would be a
great book to have handy.
75 Birds, Butterflies & Little
Beasts to Knit and Crochet by Lesley Stanfield
St. Martin’s Griffin
A good mix of knitted and crocheted birds, bugs, flowers
and foliage. Patterns are detailed and easy to follow; there
are even some tips on how to use your little creations as
The bit I like the best about this book is the
photography of the projects: all of one kind of thing
are photographed together, all of the butterflies, all of
the flowers, all of the bugs. It’s a great idea and
makes it so much easier to choose just the right leaf or
bug – nettle or elm? Caterpillar or slug?
Simple Knitting: A Complete How-to-Knit
Workshop with 20 Projects by Erika Knight
St Martin’s Griffin
A knitting workshop focused specifically for the new knitters.
With so many learn to knit books on the market, why, you
might ask, am I including it here? Two words: succinct and
style. Erika Knight is a master knitter and designer with
decades of experience, she could very well la-ti-da her way
through hundreds of pages spending more time showing off
what she knows than teaching a new knitter. She doesn’t
do that. Instead she chooses a few essential techniques,
stitches and patterns presenting them in a logical and orderly
way to inspire new knitters to keep knitting.
It doesn’t hurt that the design of the book is every
bit as tactile as the knitting it showcases; the paper is
matte, there are hand written notes sprinkled throughout
and all of the illustrations are hand, not computer rendered.
The photography is phenomenal, saturated with texture, yet
spare and clear, reminiscent of Japanese craft books.
The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes: Personalize
Your Craft with Organic Colors from Acorns, Blackberries,
Coffee, and Other Everyday Ingredients by Sasha Duerr
As founder of the Permacouture
Institute, author Sasha Duerr believes in the eco-sustainability
of textiles and dyes. It doesn’t surprise me
that this is one of the most eco-conscious natural
dyeing books that I’ve read. From the planting
of a dye garden to gathering and processing dye materials,
discussion of mordants to actual dyeing, every step
is filtered and approached with an eye to the ecology
and sustainability of our earth. This book also embraces
the Slow Fiber movement; taking time can make beautiful
dyes and textiles, and enrich your education.
Wonderfully, this book educates, it doesn’t preach.
It is first and foremost a book about dyeing. There are
58 pages about how to dye, including safety; what to
dye, plant and animal fibers; where and how to get dyes;
and mordants; all before one dye recipe is given. There
is a great natural dye color chart and useful hints and
tips scattered through the book. The writing is accessible
and succinct and the photography is lush. This would
be a fantastic addition to any natural dyer's bookshelf.
A Knitting Wrapsody:
Innovative Designs to Wrap, Drape, and Tie
Kristen Omdahl is as proficient a designer of crochet patterns as she is
of knitting patterns. In her first knitting book, many of the patterns
incorporate crochet-inspired stitches and techniques which are great for
knitters who are looking for innovative patterns. The patterns include
scarves, shawls, wraps, skirts and more. All of them are beautiful
and there are several I can’t wait to knit just so I can try out
the new techniques.
The beautiful Ring of Cables Oval Shrug on the cover has
reversible K1P1 cables so that it looks as beautiful with
the neck worn flat or up. The
Serpentine Reversible Shawlette is a simple garter stitch triangle with
a beautiful edging that looks like rose petals. Probably the most
exciting pattern is the Infinity Cardi-Wrap with Sleeves. The entire
back is made of a knit infinity symbol in a beautiful bulky multicolored
yarn. The sides are picked up and worked in an open lace pattern
to keep it from being too heavy. A DVD is included with the book
in which Kristin demonstrates many of the new techniques she has developed. This
is a wonderful and welcome addition to a book with so many exciting and
Knitting Art by Karen Searle
This book is fascinating. This is knitting being presented
as a true expression of the artist. Each section highlights
an individual artist and provides insight to their work.
Included are Debbie New and her knitted Labyrinths, Janet
Morton (best known for her creation of a "house
cozy" on Toronto Island), and Barb Hunt, who brings
awareness to the devastating effects of war through her
knitted landmines and weapons. The materials knitted
with are as vast and varied as the artists themselves
and it is amazing to see trees made of wire and torsos
quilted from paper. Sculptures are knitted and turned
into people and giant globes, and a simple sweater with
a few interesting additions becomes a powerful statement
Within the pages of this book, you realize
that knitting is not just knitting, it is social commentary
blended with the Dada and Surrealist art movements from
the the early 20th century. It is an artist's imagination
being pushed to the edges of creation and coming out
on the other end with something beautiful, intriguing,
and powerful. This both is worth more then a quick glance
and once you open yourself up to the ideas being presented
in the book, you will be delighted and surprised at
what you see and read.
Seven Things That can "Make
or Break" a Sweater by Margaret W Fisher Vanduki Press
Based on a series of workshops and inspired by a Cat Bordhi
Visionary Retreat, this book is primarily targeted at the
advanced beginner knitter and assumes that as a knitter you
understand the basics of knitting, purling, casting on and
binding off. For the long-time knitter, or for the knitter
that has not made many sweaters, this book can provide new
tips and insights. I found that by the time I was reading
the second section I was wishing that I had this book a few
The book is nicely divided into 7 easy-to-read
sections that include everything from the cast on selection
to blocking the final product and creating buttonholes.
The final section of the book includes 7 basic sweater
patterns for both babies and adults that use the skills discussed
in the book. The baby sweater is for infants age 6 to
12 months and the adult section has patterns for full sweaters,
cardigans, and a vest, and include bust sizes from 38 to
50 ". This is a very clearly written book with photos
that help to exemplify what the author is discussing. It
would be a great addition to most knitter's libraries.
Vintage Modern Knits: Contemporary
Designs Using Classic Techniques by Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley
The core idea in this book of lovely designs is a contemporary
twist on traditional patterns and techniques. The designs
are shaped and detailed with techniques and time not usually
given in modern patterns and all knit from the Fibre Company’s
That’s not to say that the designs are dated and stiff,
knit at a tiny gauge, no. These designers
know exactly what they are doing. The patterns are wearable
and you won’t have to quit your job to have the time
to knit them.
There are so many folkloric and vintage inpired techniques
in this book, it’s like someone rolled a dim sum cart
of techniques up to your knitting table and asked, “What’ll
it be?” Lace, colorwork, embroidery, twisted stitches
and cables adorn an array of accessories and garments, each
pattern complete with a sidebar on any techniques that may
Cady Twisted Stitch Mittens, Ginger Lace Cardigan, Yvette
Roositud Hat and Erin Cardigan are great examples of the
mingling of old and new.
Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants
and Make Natural Dyes by Rebecca Burgess
I can already tell that I’m going to be combing the
woods and roadsides this spring and summer looking for natural
dyestuffs. The colors in this book are so beautiful, I want
to recreate them on my fiber.
It’s a good thing then
that Harvesting Color has such clear instruction on indentifying
and using plants, first divided into the seasons that they
are available then by sections of the country where they
grow. The book kicks off with a large chapter on dye and
mordant safety, equipment and basic dye techniques and recipes.
As an extra, there is a season-appropriate knitting project
(a nap mat, a scarf, a sweater and a hat) at the end of every
chapter. A lovely book to get started in natural dyeing.
A follow-up to the very popular e-publication
last fall, the new Spring 2011 issue of Sockupied brings
more sock knitting fun, advice and inspiration. The new issue
has a broad range of content.
There’s lots of educational material: a tutorial on
working with two circulars, demonstrations of various bind-offs
for toe-up socks, and a great discussion of different types
of heel shapings – how they are constructed, and how
they fit. There is even a calculator to help you change
heels in other patterns.
There are five gorgeous patterns – with lots of glorious
photographs and extra information on special techniques. The
well-written patterns are included as PDFs that you can save
to your computer and print.
And there are the other goodies: interviews with sock knitters
about their first pairs, who they knit for, and their inspirations;
a history of argyle patterning and a great video on the rather
unusual construction of argyle socks; and the best element
of all may well be the interactive “color your own
Like the previous issue, even the ads have lots of great
treats including videos and drool-worth pictures of sock
designs from upcoming books.
Sock knitters of all levels will enjoy and learn from this
new issue – and look forward to a third!
Loop-d-Loop Lace: More Than 30 Novel
Lace Designs for Knitters by Teva Durham
Melanie Falick Books
Another design tour-de-force from Teva Durham. This time
her highly creative brain takes on lace. She spent time studying
laces both contemporary and historical, down to the humble
and complex doily, then created designs 100% her own.
The designs are a spectacular mixed bag based on 5 general
lace categories, Mesh, Eyelets, Samplers, Leaves and Doilies.
The cover jacket is an example of how her research and design
sense come together – she’s combined four different
lace patterns in a larger than usual gauge and the effect
is a wonderful visual flow with the patterns in a short easy-to-wear
jacket. Then there is the Shetland shawl that is re-imagined
into a dress. The Doily section uses the designs of Herbert
Niebling and others as a jumping off point, incorporating
sections and slices of traditional doilies as elements. Delightfully
Be sure to read this book as well as knit from it -- it’s
wonderful to have a glimpse into her design thinking and
Purls of Wisdom: Knitting Life's Lessons
For Little Ones By Lynn Buchheit Janney Otter Bay Books
"Stop and Smell
the Roses", "Save
the Animals", "Reach for the Stars" are just
a few of the messages patterned into this book of easy children's
sweaters, pillows and blanket designs. Glancing through the
many photos and graph charts, one can only feel Lynn was having
fun when she made this collection. From etiquette to inspirational
to the environmentally aware, each saying has been matched
with bold graphic images or whimsical add-ons to make that
piece into something fun that a child could genuinely appreciate.
The easy-to-read patterns and simple instructions also make
it into something the knitter is likely to appreciate. Though
the sweater designs are only slightly varied in shape from
one to another, the treasure trove of image charts and added
design elements certainly make this book worth checking out.
Fearless Fair Isle Knitting: 30 Gorgeous
Original Sweaters, Socks, Mittens, and More by Kathleen Taylor
A fantastic beginner’s guide to Fair Isle knitting.
Kathleen Taylor, truly takes the scare factor out of Fair
Isle – the colors! The knitting with more than one
yarn! The ends! The cutting!
She speaks logically and lovingly of all of the steps in
Fair Isle and addresses the hard stuff head on. She doesn’t
assume that a beginning Fair Isle knitter is a beginning
knitter in her language or her patterns.
Her patterns are above and beyond the usual square shaped
Fair Isle sweaters and her motifs often veer from the traditional,
both a breath of fresh Fair Isle air.
Mittens and Hats for Yarn Lovers:
Detailed Techniques for Knitting in the Round by Carri Hammett
Creative Publishing International
Knitting in the round can be awfully intimidating, and one
of the best ways to learn is on small projects.
This book provides a useful way of learning knitting in the
round skills – making mittens and hats. Unless you
live in a very warm climate, you or the people in your life
wear hats. It walks you through knitting in the round, including
the Magic Loop method. Then moves you to hat and mitten basics,
adds extras to the basic patterns, then turns you loose with
a big variety of patterns to follow for men, women, children
A thorough and inviting way to learn to knit mittens, hats
and knitting in the round.
The Ice Harbor Mittens by Robin Hansen (Author), Jamie Hogan (Illustrator)
Down East Press
A story about a boy, a pair of mittens, tradition and a little
bit of knitting magic. Robin Hansen , a mitten magician herself,
has written a story full of truth and learning based in the
life of eleven year old Josie, a sterman on a lobster boat.
Josie learns the hard lesson of getting what you need instead
of what you want in the form of a pair of mittens.
The illustrations, while visually loose, capture a fantastic
amount of detail of working on a boat and life and knitting
in Maine. A lovely story, beautifully illustrated.
Knitting Plus: Mastering Fit + Plus-Size
Style + 15 Projects by Lisa Shroyer
I’ll start by talking about the patterns in this book,
since that’s what so many plus sized knitters are looking
for. They are good, wearable, and just enough of traditional
basics to appeal to a wide variety of knitters and shapes
of plus sizes - you will absolutely find something you will
wear and look good in.
The discussion of sweater shapes and modifications is wonderful,
if concise. This is not a book for a beginner or the mathematically
faint of heart. Often Shroyer tells you where you want to
do a modification but doesn’t show you. The pattern
notes and schematics have great detail. Between the two an
intermediate knitter can see and figure out where to make
possible modifications for their body. A good basic plus-sized
Silk Road Socks: 14 Patterns Inspired
by Oriental Rugs by Hunter Hammerson
I love Oriental rugs. I once ducked out of a work conference
and spent a blissful afternoon in the textile section of
a Lisbon museum walking around giant patterned carpets from
all over the world. Heaven. It was no surprise that I jumped
at the chance to review this book.
Hammersen presents a fascinating history of the rugs,
beginning with where they were made, how they were created,
the difficulties in dating them, and materials and dyes
used. In addition, she included several gorgeous photos
of old rugs as well as artwork featuring rugs. While reading,
I kept reminding myself that this was a sock book – where
were the socks? I skipped ahead.
The socks are mind blowing. Every single pattern is a
texture lovers dream – heavy with patterned stitches
and so intricate they’ll make you want to roll your
pants up and walk around barefoot to show them off. I picked
out several that I wanted to cast on for immediately (U?ak,
Senneh, or Salor anyone?). Then I started thinking, “Wait
a minute, can I change these patterns to ensure they fit
my weirdly short feet with the high arches?”
Have no fear, directly after the rug tutorial there is
a section on ways to up size the socks if your feet are
in any way different from the “mythical women’s
average”. This lovely book is a welcome addition
to my sock book collection and makes me wish I had picked
up a museum catalog so I could try my hand at designing
socks based on the rugs I spent a stolen afternoon with
so many years ago.
10 Secrets of the Laid Back Knitters:
A Guide to Holistic Knitting, Yarn, and Life by Vicki Stiefel and Lisa Souza
St. Martin’s Press
Like the best LYS or knitting groups, this book could have
been subtitled: Come for the patterns, stay for the chat.
The book is held up by 27 patterns for sweaters and accessories
designed by a luminous variety knitting folk including Norah
Gaughan, Rosemary Hill, Sivia Harding, Therese Chynoweth
and author Lisa Souza.
The book is held together by the talk. Like most of life,
knitting isn’t as hard as we often make it. Slowing
down, finding your flow, finding your tribe all point to
the fact that it’s the journey not the destination,
always. Lisa and Vicki guide the readers through finding
a wise woman, discovering slow knitting, colors, listening
to yarn, spinning and a myriad of other knitterly topics
as well as profiles of knitters you may never have heard
of and won’t soon forget.
In a publishing climate that
still wants to crank out knitting books that impossibly serve
every need at an impossible pace, this gem of a book takes
a deep breath and travels on its own path.
I have always been a die-hard headlamp fan for knitting
when I need extra light. The Stitch Light has changed my
ways. The Stitch Light is like a headlamp in size
and function, but it rides on your chest, so you can tip
it down to focus it right on your knitting. The quality
of light is also better than my headlamp (Petzl), both
of the two static settings (low and high) are brighter
than my light and it has the wonderful ability to zoom
the light beam. The light is bright – knitting
with black yarn while your family watches a movie on the
same couch-bright: it’s great.
The light attaches with an adjustable wide lanyard, and
has a small pouch to store stitch markers, cables needles
and other knitting must-haves that frequently go missing.
Perfectly Plus by Mary Arnold, Colleen East, Kristin Hansen
Eleven no muss, no fuss garments for plus-sized knitters.
Attractive and infinitely wearable this are exactly the basic
knits that many plus sized knitters have been looking for.
Included is a discussion on fit and two of the patterns,
a shell and a cardigan, have the knitter follow a Make It
Fit worksheet to utilize their own measurements in the pattern
and knitting process – I love that. Skipping Stones
and Swing Along are two cardigans that I would wear a lot.
Hands and Notions
Hand Dyed Lock Club: 3 months Hands and Notions
Hand washed and hand dyed, the locks from Hands
and Notions are beautiful. The colors are rich and beg to
be added into your own special textured
batts, art yarns or just flicked and spun. The locks
are merino or merino crosses and are hand washed with some
lanolin left in, making your hands happy to spin them.
The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200
Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn by Carol Ekarius, Deborah Robson
Every once in a while there is a book that lives up to
it’s hype. Only once in a blue moon are we lucky
enough to get a book that surpasses all the stories that
have led up to it. The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook is
a blue moon book. The spinning world has been buzzing
about this book for years, and Deb Robson has been kind
enough to share writing the process on her blog, but
that still didn’t prepare me for the completeness
of the book.
The sheer complexity of the subject made clear, useful
and not just interesting, but fascinating. More than
200 animal fibers and breeds laid out and dissected by
an animal expert and a spinning expert jump off of the
page in concise prose that speaks to the history of the
breed; fleece, fiber and lock characteristics; using
the fiber in dyeing, spinning, knitting and weaving.
The photography is crisp enough to count crimps and shows
fiber as washed and unwashed; prepped and spun, and sometimes
knit or woven. The authors manage to do all of this using
2-4 pages per breed.
Spinners (and knitters) this is the book you’ve
been asking for: more photos and breeds than In
Sheep’s Clothing and more sheepy and animal
goodness than The Knitter's Book of Wool. A
labor of sheepy love and a stellar book.
Polymer Clay Spindle by Galia’s Spindle Design
This top whorl spindle is so well made I wouldn’t have
guessed it is polymer clay. It has good balance, rim weight
and a moderate long spin for a light spindle. The shaft is
a rounded square polished smooth, but not slippery. The rounded
square shape helps with gripping to spin it. It’s beautifully
decorated with subtle shading and an organic vine design
With a weight of .27 grams/.95 ounces it’s good for
fine to dk-ish yarn. One thing that I wish every spindle
maker would borrow from Galia: she paints her name and the
weight of the spindle on the underside of the whorl.
Spinning Around: Spinning, Dyeing & Elizabeth
Zimmermann’s Classics by Jeannine Bakriges
A project born of deep admiration and respect, Jeannie Bakriges
interprets 20 designs by Elizabeth Zimmerman and Meg Swanson
The first third of the book makes sure you get the yarn for
your project right and is devoted to the art and science
of spinning. It touches on a variety of techniques briefly,
but thoroughly – probably not for a spinner that hasn’t
had a lesson but a good touchstone for any spinner just past
that first lesson. Her discussion of natural dyeing and her
technique of solar dyeing are particularly wonderful and
The patterns have fantastic spinning and dyeing information,
some as much as a half of a page. Jenny shows fiber and yarn
samples for every one of the knitted designs. While each
pattern comes from Elizabeth Zimmermann or Meg Swansen (and
one from Sharon Miller) because she is a master spinner,
dyer and knitter Jenny has made each project uniquely her
Handspinning Rare Wools by Deborah Robson
If you are not lucky enough to take a class from Deb Robson
on rare breeds, you must watch this video. This is a woman
so deeply committed, passionate and well-educated about her
topic that she will inspire you not just to spin rare and
endangered breeds, but in all aspects of your spinning.
is a fantastic learning experience. Deb discusses and explores
38(!) breeds in this 2-disc set. She shows fiber, yarns and
knitted swatches of each breed as well as showing how to
prep and spin each breed. Her knowledge of rare breeds is
exhaustive and enthusiastic. She speaks with the ease and
magic of an ancient storyteller – if
you didn’t want to spin rare breeds before watching
these discs, you will after you learn about their variety
and usefulness. Deb shares her traveling spinning toolkit,
which I wanted to replicate the instant I saw it. The second
DVD can be used in your computer to print out lists of rare
and endangered breeds to take fleece shopping.
This DVD set is a must for all spinners; it speaks to the
history our craft comes from.
Spinning for Lace DVD by Margaret Stove
A spinner would be hard pressed to find more of an expert
in spinning lace yarn or spinning and working with merino
than Margaret Stove. She starts with the history of Merino
sheep and moves right along. She shows her special washing
method for Merino locks and a great trick for finding the
tip end every time. The spinning information is unparalleled – she
shows how to set your wheel, and demonstrates several ways
of drafting, again and again, so you too can get it just
right. If you have ever even thought of spinning super fine
yarns, there is not a better spinner to teach you than Maragaret
She has decades-long experience in working with and spinning
Merino, and teaching. Her approach is relaxed and informative,
often she would anticipate what I questions I had – clearly
has taught many, many people about Merino.
This is a spectacular video for not only the spinning instruction
but also for capturing the lifelong experience and expertise
of Margaret Stove.
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