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
4 different colors
+1.50, +2.00, +2.50 and +3.00
These are fantastic readers. I love the colors and that they are so light. Yes, they cost quite a bit more that the ones I buy at the drug store, but the quality is that much superior.
They have a larger than average space to see through and the magnification is equal from edge to edge, corner to corner. They are plastic but they are flexible. I sat on mine more than once and they didn't break. The flexibility also makes them fit really well without slipping or head squeezing.
I used mine for lace knitting and embroidery at the +2.5 magnification, instead of the reading part of my progressive glasses and I really liked them.
I also liked that the glasses glow slightly in the dark, making them easy to find in my knitting bag.
Hello spring! And spring has never been so welcome as in the hands of Scandinavian designers Arne and Carlos.
In this book (and all of their previous books), they communicate the infectious joy of handwork. They treat crochet and knitting equally this time. There is also one needlepoint project and one metalwork project. I spent a good amount of time drooling over the setting for the photography, which is their garden. They have an outdoor sewing room...sigh.
The book is full of vibrant color and I got a happy feeling just reading it. There are patterns, but it also tells a story in craft of Magnus Mouse and the hippies and their adventures in the garden.
The patterns that tickled me were the crocheted Primrose Throw, the Pin Cushion constructed from coiled garter stitch bands and the found-object Windchimes.
Fans of Anne of Green Gables will be utterly charmed by this new knitting book by Joanna Johnson. The book has eight knitting patterns inspired by the chapters of Anne of Green Gables. Joanna worked with The Heirs of LM Montgomery, Inc and gained permission to use Lucy Maude Montgomery's personal photographs and quotes from the novel to accompany the knitting patterns.
Each main character in the novel gets at least one pattern Ann, of course, gets two. The patterns are that perfect combination of vintage rustic and contemporary wearable. My absolute favorite is Anne's Carpet Bag, an enormous felted Mary Poppins type bag, the lace-accented Marilla's Apron and Anne's Sweater, perfect for the little bit of Anne in all of us.
This book is slim but it is cozy and comforting and familiar like, reading your favorite novel again and again.
Kazul Voyager Bag by Offhand Designs
Shown in Hippodrome fabric Dimensions: 12.5"H x 17"W x 7"D Closure Style: 16" doctor's frame, solid brass turn lock on a genuine leather flap Handle Length: 22" double genuine leather straps, 45” detachable/adjustable shoulder strap Handle Drop: 10.5"
The Kazul Voyager is another sumptuous vintage-inspired bag from Offhand Designs.
Built on a doctor bag style with my favorite type of stay-open frame, Larisa (the Offhand designer) took her inspiration for this bag and the fabrics from Constantinople.
The look and feel of this bag might recall another era, but this bag is really a workhorse. I carried my sample stuffed on various days with craft supplies. It easily holds a sweater and a knitting book, magazine or tablet or work gear -- a laptop, a book or two, files and emergency knitting. Everything fit with room to spare.
There is a big main cavity and pockets galore. There is a zippered pocket, 2 pouch pockets and three flat pockets, enough for me to divide craft and life gear from each other, so crochet hooks aren't flying out when I'm grabbing for a pen.
My favorite new pockets on this bag are on the front. Under the flap there is a small pocket just for a cell phone (I put my keys there too) and a larger 5"x7"-ish pocket that could hold a small tablet or tickets and other important papers when traveling.
The main bag space is big enough to carry my Hansen miniSpinner. There are two sets of straps, an adjustable shoulder strap and leather handles that are that magic length for me -- long enough to carry on my shoulder, but not so long when I carry the bag in my hand it drags on the ground. (I'm 5' 4".)
Every bag from Offhand Designs is built by hand in Oakland, CA, from limited-edition fabrics. For example, the Hippodrome fabric shown at left is only available in an edition of 16 bags. So if you see a pattern that calls to you, hesitation may not be wise.
The Kazul Voyager is as sturdy and versatile as it is beautiful.
This book is a great way to try Norwegian style knitting. It's a book full of small accessories that use the four most popular motif patterns in Norway.
The book starts with a short history of the iconic patterns -- Marius, Setesdal, Fana and Voss -- then launches right into the patterns.
The patterns are grouped into the four motifs and decorate small things like potholders, pillows, slippers, wrist warmers, a tanktop and even shorts.
What makes these knitting patterns so successful is that the gauge is kept small. A lot of designers go for quick and easy by making gauge bigger and then patterns look clumsy. Oftedal uses a gauge the same or smaller than a typical stranded sweater, with much better effect. The patterns are easy but not necessarily done in an evening.
Her use and placement of motifs work in harmony with the size of each pattern. Keeping with traditional Norweigan knitting, all of the patterns are worked mostly in 2 colors. There is a Techniques section in the back of the book with good information on stranded knitting, finishing and lining.
An engaging book if you want to experiment with Norwegian knitting, but don't want to commit to a sweater.
Clever author Wendy Bernard has taken the stitch pattern book concept one step further: offering versions of stitch patterns that work in multiple direction: bottom up, top down, back and forth and in the round. This means these patterns are perfect to spice up any plain project you'd plan to knit, especially garments like sweaters.
The first few sections deal with mainly geometric shapes featuring knits/purls, cables and ribs. Then she moves into textured and fancy stitches and it's in the latter section that you'll find up to four different versions of the same chart, so that the stitch pattern will look virtually the same, no matter what direction you'll be knitting in. She also covers eyelets, cables, lace, colorwork and edgings.
In every chapter, she provides a project that can be customized with your choice of stitch pattern, and guidance on which stitch patterns would suit best.
A super-useful book, well thought out and beautifull executed.
Variety is the spice of life and lace knitting. Brooke Nico's new book has some of the best variety I've seen in a lace knitting book. The yarns range from worsted to lace weight with an accompanying range in gauge. The lace motifs range from "I can knit while watching Scandal" to "Don't talk to me, I'm counting" in complexity. The patterns include, but aren't limited to, shawls and stoles; there are other accessories and garments.
Using circle, square, triangle and rectangle shapes as a jumping off point, Brooke Nico gives us an excellent primer on lace knitting. She allows a knitter to engage their knitting brain as much or as little as they would like, simply following patterns or including your own design nuances that she prompts with almost every design.
Even the front section of the book, the talk about yarn, needles, gauge and charts, shows that not only is Brooke and talented designer but also an experienced teacher. She allows herself to really explain concepts, not just toss them out in a sentence or two.
The patterns that had me checking my stash were the Floral Tunic, Orange Crush Beret and Birch Jacket.
It might not be clear from the cover, but this book is a lovely volume of costumery for all ages. From the pointy princess hat to the ruffly tutu skirt and matching fairy wand for the little ones to the tweens' Red Riding Hood (pictured on the cover) to my favorite, the Modern Chain Mail Hoodie, that comes in sizes for all ages.
A playful book full of projects to inspire creative dressup, this will be lots of fun for knitters and their models to page through and plan adventures together.
I love anything I can customize. This new needle case from Namaste is clever in its potential to be a favorite needle case because of how many ways it can be set up.
The size of a super-sized clutch, BYOB has a zipper that goes completely around, sealing in any bits that might wiggle loose. The inside is set up like and old school binder -- three rings and all. Right now there are three different pages to mix and match in the binder – a page for straight needles, a page that holds double pointed needles, crochet hooks and/or tips for interchangeable needles, a page that is made up of two mesh zippered pockets that could be used for circular needles, interchangeable cords or stitch markers and the usual et cetera of knitting. Additionally there are three pockets on the inside of the binder cover and one on the outside.
The quality of the binder is up to the Namaste standard, that is to say excellent. The material is the same PVC-free material used in their bags and stiffened slightly. The zippers ran smoothly and the pockets are generously sized. They know that knitters want to use every square centimeter of a bag.
The size of the binder is on the larger end -- it won't fit in every knitting bag, but it will fit in most, and when it doesn't fit there is a wrist strap to carry it separately. At first I was concerned about the pages, I didn't see how they could work well plus hold a lot, but they do! I don't use straight needles, so I can't comment much on that page, other than this page will hold 12 pairs of straight needles of almost any size (US 13s were a tight fit, but they fit) and 12" long or under.
On both the straight needle page and DPN/interchangeable/hook pages inside each of the needle pockets is an elastic strap, so small needles and hooks will not fall out. The DPN/interchangeable/ hook page has slots for 24 sets of needles, but they can be stuffed with more, especially on the smaller end of sizes. The pocket page holds interchangeable needle cords perfectly with just enough coil to keep them tidy, but not so much to make them overly springy when removed for use. I plan on using the DPN/interchangeable/hook page with one half DPNs and hooks and the other half for a set or two of interchangeable needles. I will use the zippered pocket page for interchangable cords and maybe a few circulars. I'm going to have to buy some more pages, though Namaste recommends using only three pages at a time.
This binder is a unique approach to portable needle storage.
This book takes a spinner from fiber to finished object (including fiber preparation and dyeing) in less than 200 pages. That is a lot of information for a single book. Some parts of the process are deeply covered and some parts give more of an overview. All of it will inspire you to spin more.
This book covers fiber information, fiber preparation, spinning, dyeing and knitting handspun yarn with patterns all in workshop form, meaning that it is written in a step-by-step style. Wendy Johnson has clearly spun a lot and dyed even more. She touches on all of the aspects of spinning to knit and gets into real detail for dyeing. She covers working with wool -- off the hoof and commercially prepared, other animal fibers including camel and bison, silk, cellulose, bast and manmade fibers. The photography in the book is lovely, clear and helpful, but also inspirational and evocative.
The knitting patterns are all for small things and have detailed information on the steps from choosing and preparing fiber to spinning and dyeing for each knitted project.
The book has a deep appendix full of useful charts, facts and formulas. I would have preferred to have a lot of the appendix information, especially for spinning, in the main part of the book only because I didn't like flipping back and forth while I read. There is also an excellent large bibliography for any aspect of spinning you may want more information on.
Overall this is a good reference book. It made me want to spend more time at my wheel. I really like how it shows the thinking and the steps, the many steps, to take fiber to a finished knitted piece.
This book makes me excited to weave on a rigid heddle loom.
I used to weave and know I don't want to weave big multi harness weaves again.
I have a rigid heddle loom and used it a lot at first, but after I did a bunch of plain weave, sock yarn scarves I got bored and stopped.
This is the type of book that gets those thinking and experimenting juices gurgling in my brain.
It is a book of 26 patterns to weave on a rigid heddle loom the pattern grow with complexity the deeper you get into the book. The book is divided into 4 chapters: Plain Weave, Designing with Yarn, Exploring Pattern and Altered Surfaces.
A weaver can follow along and do the pattern exactly as written or use the many variations sampled and provided for nearly every scarf. It's easy given the depth and clarity of the direction for each scarf to skip off and experiment within a framework to your heart's content.
Excellent writing and instruction: straight forward, concise. The photos are both informational and inspiring.
I appreciate that the authors take the time to explain why and how a particular weave or design, structure or combination of yarns or colors works – rather than just giving directions to make the exact scarf. The book has an excellent appendix that details direct and indirect warping methods, hemstitching a using a shuttle.
The scarves that sent me hunting for my loom are the Plaid Muffler, Stainless Steel Scarf, Sun Shower, Lattice Scarf, Metamorphosis and the one on the cover Bananagram Scarf.
I have a fancy Bernina sewing machine that I bought when I was heavily into quilting. And a few vintage machines of varying ages that I rescued from garage sales. No idea where all the manuals are, and did I ever really know how to use them in the first place? So I was excited to see this book appear in the Knitty review mailbox.
With clear illustrations, this book will help you figure out how to use more than just the straight stitch on your machine. There's guidance on what kind of thread to buy (cotton? polyester? cotton-wrapped polyester?) for every project, and even a primer on 20 different essential hand-sewing stitches. Where to put the presser foot, where to trim, how to make buttonholes and install a zipper. Decorative stitches and applique. This book is beautifully photographed and illustrated to help guide you through projects you may want to tackle but aren't sure enough of your skills yet to jump right in.
For those of us who took home ec and forgot everything we learned, as well as those who never learned it in the first place, this is a super-helpful book to have on your reference shelf.