name is synonymous with eclectic,
knitting patterns. A superstar knitter
she may be, but her great love is
This is a beginning-to-intermediate
book that takes you from the baby
steps (choosing fabrics and stitches)
to bigger thoughts (dyeing your
own fabrics and threads, crewel
work). Why review an embroidery
book in a knitting magazine? Almost
every pattern and technique can
be used as embroidery on knitwear
or felted/fulled projects.
Even if you don't
plan to embroider, this is an inspiring
book. Everything (especially color)
works together in unexpected ways
to fan the creative flame in your
Extra added bonus:
The book was photographed in Kristin
Nicholas' home, so you get a little
peek into the domain of this creative
bag stopped me cold in my tracks
at the DUDE
[that's the Downtown Urban Design
Event, possibly the coolest name
ever for a craft collective show
-- held twice a year in Toronto].
Hanging quietly off her display
rack with a pair of needles and
some yarn dangling out the side.
This, my friends,
is a beautiful handmade bag. It's
fully vegan, and really sweet. Black
vinyl outside, with the yarn pirate
subtly machine stitched to evoke
his yarny origins. Needles crossed
My favorite: hard
to pick. I love the stripy cotton
lining. I love that the shoulder
strap runs diagonally, so it stays
on your shoulder better. I'd say
inside. A pocket wouldn't hurt,
but there's plenty of room for your
pattern, needles, yarn and project.
Like plenty. Two snaps at the top
keep stuff in.
Anatomy of a Skirt
makes lots of most excellent vegan
gear, including totes with silver
squids on them. Seriously,
squids. Go. See.
Knitted toy books
seem to be coming out of the woodwork.
And dang, if there isn't something
cute to knit in each one. This book
has captivated my family. The husband
has requested the fetching monkey
on the cover. And my girl, well.
let's just say I spent the afternoon
knitting doll parts, while she planned
an extensive wardrobe for her doll
wit the book & my stash.
The book has 30-ish
patterns of varying sizes; there
is a basic doll and a multipiece
wardrobe (including the all important
fairy outfit), 10 personality-rich
animals and a chapter with knitted
Knitting Answer Book
$14.95 US/ $19.95 CAN
The Knitting Answer
Book is similar to the Knitters
Companion and Vogue Knitting Quick
Reference, but much friendlier than
the others' just-the-facts-ma'am
style. Chapters include Yarn, Basics,
Pattern Stitches, Fitting, Finishing
and Embellishments. Like the title
indicates, the meat of the book
is set up in a question and answer
approach. There are a ton of questions
I'd asked (or wanted to ask) when
I was a new (and newish) knitter,
and the answers are much more thorough
than many I received. It's like
having a knitting teacher you can
tuck away in your pocket.
Knitting Experience Book 3 : Color
I wish that I
could Vulcan mind-meld Sally Melville
& instantly know everything
she does about knitting. Until my
Vulcan powers are up to speed, I'll
have to settle for reading her books.
In her latest, Sally explores the
sometimes daunting topic of color
in knitting. She is able to distill
color knitting techniques (Fair
Isle, intarsia, working with stripes
and variegated yarns, choosing and
mixing colors) into simple explanations,
but not so simplistic that you feel
you'reback in kindergarten. She
offers up directions in a way, that
makes a knitter (well at least this
knitter) sit back, relax and say
"why did I think this technique
was so hard/scary/undoable?"
There are a handful of Sally's meditations
on knitting and creativity, too.
True ideas for knitters to think
about, not the prepackaged greeting
card type crap that many books are
wrapping themselves in these days.
I would buy a
book from Sally that had just technique
and words of wisdom and creativity,
but as usual she also offers up
patterns, 40+, ranging in color,
style and technique that befit a
creative knitting designer and her
equally creative knitters.
Martingale and Co.
You say you need a book of sock
patterns that has multiple foot
sizes for women, men and kiddos,
multiple gauges, a variety of stitch
patterns ranging from ribs to lace
to aran to color work? That both
toe-up and top down would be a bonus?
And the ability to use 4/5/or two
circulars would be an extra-added
plus? Lay down your credit card
because you've found your book.
It ain't the cheapest sock book,
but the designs and information
are solid and the directions are
laid out in color coded table (easy
to follow if you're a visual knitter).
This (along with anything by Nancy
Bush) is a desert island sock book.
Knitting: Creative Uses for Leftover
If you are a knitter who stashes
(yes, there are some who don't)
you have bunch of half skeins, leftover
skeins, 'but it was on sale' skeins,
and 'just a ball to swatch' skeins.
What do you do with all those bits
& bobs? Oddball Knitting has
Focusing mostly on small projects
(which also means quick & good
for gifts), this books presents
lovely projects (bags, scarves,
slippers, a poncho, an afghan) that
you can make without buying a drop
of new yarn, really. Perfect for
the knitter on a yarn diet.
Available at Amazon
Learn to Knit with 15 Fun and Funky
Doesn't it seem like every new
knitting book tells you it will
'teach you to knit'? Then somehow
manages to sum up the everything-about-knitting
in one or two pages, leaving a newbie
in tears. Well, Knitgrrl actually
puts its pages where its mouth is.
They use many pages to explain the
various knitterly techiniques in
the book. Best of all there are
step-by-step directions with photographs,
not illustrations, easier for a
newbie to follow.
Not being part of the target market
for this book (near and young teens)
I flashed this book around the elementary
school where I volunteer to get
a real girl sort of review. There
was much squealing of the 'how cool'
variety. The projects appealed to
a wide variety of girls from 6 on
up. They also appealed to a bunch
of teachers who knit.
Be sure to check out the allowance
New Knits on
the Block: A Guide to Knitting What
Kids Really Want
I'm a child of
the '80s, so I think this book is
fab just for all of the puns.
Plethora of pithy
puns aside, this book is a great,
well-executed idea. It's filled
with the best kind of childish stuff,
toys -- blocks, memory cars and
a bowling set; loads of dress up
-- a mermaid, a viking, capes, wizard
and princess hats; and some just
for fun stuff -- a tooth fairy pillow,
a robot PJ bag, a guitar pillow
and a pirate bath set. Why not knit
the kiddos (and not so kiddos) in
your life stuff they'll actually
like and use and wear? Brilliant.
little knitting goodies --
sterling stitch markers
$30.00us -- venetian glass [top]
fits up to US #10.5 needles, set
$18.00us -- open rings [bottom]
fits up to US #19 needles, set of
These babies are sweet. Sparkly
little concoctions that will perk
up whatever you're knitting. Everything
is made with sterling bits, swarovski
crystals, foil-lined venetian glass
beads and other pretty, sparkly
The markers pictured on top are
a wee bit posh, and very pretty.
A little heft from the shimmery
glass beads means they sit where
you put them. And the braided sterling
rings are solid and totally up to
The markers on the bottom are a
clever new thing I haven't seen
before -- a seemingly closed ring
that opens with a little gentle
tug, right at the point where the
two silver balls meet, so you can
slip it on to mark one specific
stitch. I think they're probably
better for projects using chunky
[or heavier] yarn.
I won't tell anyone if you slip
a few on your fingers. I did.
25 Great & Glam things to Knit
Matthews and the gang of knitters
known as Cast Off remind us, with
their needles & tongue firmly
in cheek, that knitting (and crocheting)
And fun it is
in the wonderful world of Knitorama.
Knitted and crocheted food abound
(a personal weakness of mine), including
fried eggs that can worn as earmuffs.
A brilliant knitted
hand grenade (drop stitches not
bombs) is there and a knitted pint
of stout. There are wearables too,
socks, shoelaces, a cardi made from
gauge swatches and some seriously
are certainly the stars of this
book, but there's a ton of useful
how-to too. All the basics are there,
but some things I've never seen
in a knitting book, a discussion
of the different ways to hold yarn
and needles for speed and a how-to
This book reminds
me of an episode of HR Puff N Stuff
(who's your friend when things get
rough?), in the most spectacular
possible way, of course.
Small project bags: $36-40us [green
bag shown: $38]
Large project bags: $42-56us
[striped bag shown: $42]
- matching accessory pouches
Hi, I'm Amy and
I'm a silk ho™.
Oh. What are these?
Knitting bags...made of silk? Sorry,
I can't afford them. Look at those
smooth solid wood handles. The pretty
embroidery. The shimmery silk fabric.
And they're well made, all done
by hand in Vietnam. Not heavy, but
sturdy. And they have pockets inside.
And a little magnetic closure? Hmm.
Do I have to give
up yarn to be able to afford one
of these bags? I won't do it. Even
if the little one is just right
to carry my sock-in-progress around,
and not look the least bit like
a craft bag. And I could easily
fit my sweater-in-progress in the
big bag. But then I'd have no money
left for yarn.
What? The little
one is less than $40, and the big
one is just a few dollars more?
scenario has been brought to you
by the original Bag Ho™, temporarily
driven happily mad by two sweet,
silk knitting bags. To drive yourself
similarly mad, visit the Della Q
website to see their full, beautiful
425 ml bottle: $16cdn
Starter Kit [3x 130ml bottles, one
per fragrance packed in box]: $29cdn
light scents make up the Soak line
of wool wash: Flora, Aquae and Citrus.
It's about time someone made our
knitwear smell as good as the rest
I tried the citrus
on some cashmere that had a lot
of machine oil on it (yes, the stuff
from ebay). Before washing, it felt
stiff and greasy & smelled more
like a car than an animal. A brief
soak left my swatch oil free and
smelling barely citrus-y with an
animally undertone -- lovely. I
like that it's no-rinse product
because I'm lazy. It's also biodegradable
and phosphate free so it's earth
happy and not too sudsy.
Toys for You to Knit and Enjoy
just blasted off into space. Have
you seen Jess' stuff?
cutie-pie without being cloying.
How does she do it? Who cares? I'm
just glad she decided to share the
patterns with the rest of us.
Her patterns all
are knit out of worsted weight yarn
(mostly Lamb's Pride... I'll pause
while you rummage in your stash)
and are a real huggable size, no
dinky minkies, most are 9-10"
Look at those
faces! Wouldn't it just make your
day to come home to a couch full
of those guys?
needle storage tube
If you use straight
needles, how do you store them?
They're pointy. They could be dangerous!
A vase can be
handy to just dump them all in,
but what happens when you go out
and want to bring your needles with?
Wouldn't you like something sturdy,
functional and has a little sass?
Meet the straight
needle storage tube from the nice
folks at Jordana Paige. It's a super-thick
cardboard tube, decorated with cuteness
outside [artwork by Marcin Baranski]
and lined on the inside. There's
a dividing wall to separate two
sets of needles -- the tall ones
on one side and the shorter ones
on the other, or maybe your bamboo
on one side and the aluminum on
the other? Whatever you like. A
handy inventory chart on back helps
you keep track of what you have
so you don't duplicate and the strong
rope handle lets you take it to
your next stitch party. Tidy and
I didn't think
it was possible to cram so much
beginny spinning info into a 44-page
Kenney of mypapercrane.com manages
to take a newbie through the entire
process of making and using a spindle,
finding (cheap & free), cleaning
and preparing fiber to spin, dyeing
your fiber, and making using a niddy
noddy. What else is there to know?
All this know-how
is illustrated with Heidi's wonderful
spinny illustrations. And Amy? She
talks about spinning non-animal
yarn, including how to spin 100%
sterling stitch markers, set
$28.00us [small, fits up to US #10.5
$32.00us [large, fits up to US #15
These are unapologetically pretty
knitting tools. Yummy stitch markers.
Unlike the kind that I make myself,
there is not a cheesy [but easy
to add] split ring to be found.
These are all done the hard way
-- soldered solid-sterling rings.
Each bead is perfectly hand wired
to its ring [said with envy, by
this amateur beadworker], and the
choices of beads? Delicious.
Each set comes with four stitch
markers. Three match, and one stands
out. Handy for marking the beginning
of your round or any other unique
design feature you want to track.
And the sets are amusingly named,
too. Are you in the mood for "Ivy
loves Pumpkins" or perhaps
"Carrie loves Cosmos"?
The choices of beads change from
time to time, so take a look and
see if your knitting needs any new
for people who stitch - Paris,
this season From KnitOne! First,
the classy Paris [top left], done
in a pale blue and soft taupe brocade.
This fabric is lovely and substantial.
Very elegant, and just like its
The Sherlock bag
[middle left] is a clever beast,
done in cream herringbone fabric,
lined in a red and cream shimmery
plaid. Love the toggle clasp!
Finally, the last
addition this season is a real tiger
-- Furberry![bottom left] Or leopard,
actually -- a little furry beast
ready to take anything you want
to put in it. And keep it safe.
Read our original
of the KnitOne knitting bags for
the rest of the story. We think
Lib: Learn to Knit, Crochet and
Free Yourself from Pattern Dependency
Ten Speed Press
a cool book from Russian designer
Lena Maikon who sells funky fashion
under the name Leninka. She combines
knit and crochet in most of her
patterns and they're cool and interesting.
The meat of the
book lies in the discussion of knit
and crochet in design. She teaches
you not only how to use each but
when. She discusses the merits
of needle and hook; then you practice
by doing her patterns.
In the section
called Key Elements of Design she
illustrates some basic techniques
in kntitng and crochet, then teaches,
coaches and dares you to see that
by mastering a few techniques and
stretching your brain that "every
design you ever see will be at your