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Cool stuff! Techniques with Theresa Thinking beyond the pattern
Watch this space Knit like a man Knittyspin
Mittens 101 Why ply? Designing trees Purple chihuahua

Available at Amazon

Knitting Vintage Socks

Interweave Press

Nancy Bush + socks? No brainer, right?  Yes, it's a fabulous book of sock patterns, but wait, there's more. Nancy has taken 20 sock patterns from Weldon's Practical Needlework -- a needlework magazine published in England from 1886- 1920 -- and translated them into current, followable patterns, using current, availible yarn. The socks are charming, some plain, some fancy, some for men, women and children.

She also gives a history of Weldon's magazine and spends time discussing how she updated the patterns.

A facinating peek into the brain of a master sock designer.


Available from the author

Stranded Color Knitting


This small book on stranded color knitting has become an essential reference work in my knitting library.

Filled with detailed photos and clear instructions, it introduces the reader to the techniques of knitting with more than one color at a time by carrying the unused yarn at the back of the work. The book discusses color choices and substitutions, yarn-holding techniques, knitting from charts, and finishing.

Also included are some simple hat patterns to get you started, and a concise bibliography. An excellent primer on the basics of this form of knitting.

Stranded Color Knitting is a Cafepress self-published book. All money from the sale of this book goes to nonprofit rabbit rescue in Colorado.


Kits available at

Knitted Babes: Five Dolls and their Wardrobes to Knit & Stitch

Interweave Press

I know that most of the dolls and other softies that I've knit have actually been for a grown-up. Here's a doll book for (marginally) grown-up girls and boys.

Like all softie books, you start with a basic form then you bestow a personality on it, with a face and various adornments.

This book rocks the extras. Each doll's personality is born through a whole range of faces and entire wardrobes both knit and sewn. It's fun and it's all for you, really.


Available at Amazon

Wrap Style

Interweave Press

It probably could be called Poncho & Shrug Style (they make up 17 of the 24 patterns), and it doesn't have the innovation and sheer "Gimme!" of Scarf Style, but there's still some pretty nice stuff in here.

There's the casual cool of the asymetrical wrap by Jo Sharp with easy-but-interesting construction, making a garment you'd wear as often as you could; a fabulous one armed wrap/shrug by Leigh Radford, and an ethereal lace shawl by Evelyn Clark.

A grand plan of capelets by Ann Budd is useful, as is the Design Notebook section that gives you tips and ideas on all aspects of designing your own wrap.


Available at Amazon

Knitting Over the Edge

Sixth and Spring Books

From the empress of embellishment comes the latest book in her series of edgings, add-ons and adornments. This one features circle motifs, ribs, cords, appliques, colorwork, bobble, flowers, twists, braids -- hundreds of add-ons for your knitting. Yes, the pattern for the cover capelet is included.

If you loved the others , you'll want this too. There's always something that Nicky twists in her special way. Her next book? ALL flowers.


Available from Dragonfly Turnings

Yarn swift

[in Wild Cherry, Walnut, Oak or Maple]

A good swift is an essential tool for any serious knitter. So why not get one that looks nice and works well?

This handcrafted solid hardwood swift combines a homey, traditional design with low-tech simplicity. It arrives packed in a slim tube. Just assemble the pieces, adjust the pegs to fit your hank of yarn and wind away.

I tried this with my ball winder and by hand using various weights and textures of yarn (everything from fingering- weight merino to extra wide ribbon) and it works perfectly.

This beautiful tool also looks charming sitting on the table displaying a favourite yarn.


Available at Amazon

Imaginative Projects and Creativity Exercises

STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book

Yum, yum and more yum. A very comfortable sort of funky knitting book. Like a good friend that always seems to be one step ahead of you creatively, but you love her or him anyway.

This is a book that tries to push your thinking about knitting a little and tries to get you to color outside of the knitting lines. There are scrumptious sweaters, scarves, wraps and felted bags. There's also a felted bulletin board, bags and a comforter made from reclaimed sweaters, knitted lanterns, a knitted screen for a screen door and a crown knit from crepe paper.

To push your own knitting brain further, she adds creativity exercises and games (many from a favorite book of mine, Living Out Loud by Kerri Smith) and even includes a small notebook to record your thoughts and drawings in.


Available at Jordana Paige

Knitting Messenger Bag

Width: 15"
Height: 11.5"
Depth: 6"
$85 us

I am a knitter that loves to stuff my knitting bag full. FULL. Because I never know what I'm going to feel like knitting when I go out. I take, on average, two books and four projects of varying sizes.

Most knitting bags can't take it, or if they're large, they end up stretching from shoulder to floor. This messenger bag from Jordana Paige (she of the elegant and sublime Knitter's Purse) is stuffable and somehow compact. It's divided into a tools side - for your pens, cell phone, etc and comes with a small snap-in zippered bag for markers, scissors, tapestry needles. The project side has those groovy snapping circles through which you can route your yarn, so it won't get tangled, a spot for glasses and a big compartment that would hold a sweater-sized project. There's even a plastic sleeve in the bag flap for your current pattern.

The bag is made out of nylon and the strap is a man-made material that has a little tackiness to it -- it does not slip off your shoulder. Right now it comes in two flavors: camel/brown and blue/black.

The covetous girls in my knitting group want to know when the bright colors are coming and my bag fancier of a husband wants to know if his laptop will fit in it. High praise indeed.


Available at Amazon

Handspun Revolution

I've looked through this book three times. First, just the pictures. Pictures of handspun yarn so gorgeous and original, I nearly licked the pages.

Then I looked through with an eye to reproducing them -- without reading the directions. I freaked: it looked waaay too hard.

Then I finally read the directions. Wow. These directions are the best. Well written, easy to follow, step-by-step. All the things you want and rarely get out of directions. Now, I can (you too!) make the coolest of yarns.


Available at Amazon

Handknit Holidays

STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book

I must start with a designer disclaimer: I have a pattern in this book -- Ribbon Scarves, page 107.

With that bit of business out of the way, I can say this: What do you expect from Melanie Falick? Stylish patterns, photographed beautifully? You bet. This time, the theme is winter holidays -  Christmas, Hanukkah & Winter Solstice.

There are more than 50 patterns that range from a wirework menorah to a winter solstice table runner to the usual suspects -- pillows, toys, mittens, gloves, scarves, sweaters, hats, ornaments, stockings.

Thankfully, the projects vary more than usual in difficulty. They're not all quick and easy, and there's even, !gasp! intarsia. When flipping through, don't miss Pricilla Gibson Roberts' Swedish Heart-Warmer Shawl.


Available at Lexie Barnes

Lady B knitting bag

$160 us

Width: 15.5"
Height: 13"
Depth: 6"

As a certified Bag Ho™, I am always looking for the perfect knitting bag. I've gotten to play with many of them in my time as editor of this magazine, and so far, this one comes closest to my definition of perfection.

1. It's made of laminated fabric, with a reinforced vinyl bottom. So if I spill a latte around it or set it on a damp surface, disaster will not result.

2. It's big, but not TOO big. It has easy-access fine-gauge double zippers at the top that open the bag really wide. You could easily fit a sweater-in-progress, a whole bunch of yarn and your pattern in there with no trouble.

3. It's insanely adorable and guaranteed to incite envy. Of course, if you don't go for kitsch like I do, you might like the atomic or hermosa prints it also comes in.

4. It has just the right amount of pockets for me. Three big pockets on one wall, lots of little pockets in front. Okay, maybe it could have more storage pockets on the other wall, but if you use straight needles [I don't], you'll love the needle sleeves that are there instead.

5. The non-slip straps are the best invention ever. My Lady B bag, when put into use, soon ended up on my shoulder, though it can also be comfortably carried like a handbag. The straps are tacky [this is the good kind of tacky] so they don't fall off your shoulder. I would have liked slightly longer straps, though -- just to make them easier to get on your shoulder. Ms. Barnes tells me that she has lengthened the straps since my bag was made. Cool.

6. The outside pocket is the perfect size for a pattern, magazine or whatever. My only complaint was that the pocket was made from one thickness of fabric, and didn't seem as sturdy as the rest of the lined, reinforced bag. Again, Ms. Barnes has let me know that that pocket is lined now, so it's as sturdy as the rest.

The only thing it's missing, if you ask me, is a key strap. And when you have to look that hard to find fault, you know you've got something that this Bag Ho™ can recommend wholeheartedly. Lexie Barnes, I love you.

Available at Amazon

Knitting for Dogs

$14.95 us

I have no dogs. I am not a dog person, though there have been a few Yorkies in my acquaintance that have made my heart beat faster. And there's a Yorkie on the cover!

Not at all what you might expect from a book of doggy-based knitwear, the sweaters in this book are alternately adorable, functional and amazing. Sometimes all three. The photographs alone are worth the purchase price. And you'll have to take a look at the dog/human coordinates.

This book makes me want to get a dog. Almost. In the meantime, I can knit for my doggy friends.

Full disclosure mode: Kristi Porter, who I've known and worked with for as long as there's been a Knitty, is the woman behind this book and even if I didn't like her, I'd still like the book.






Available at Red Delicious

Kate knitting bag

$128 us [on sale for $99 at press time]

Width: 18"
Height: 7"
Depth: 4"
Strap: 13.5" max.

This is the tea-party takealong of knitting bags. It's clean, crisp and yet full of attitude. Look at the fabric it's made from. Love that. Can't you picture it sitting on the edge of your table while you're sipping something steamy and nibbling a scone? [Can you nibble and knit at the same time?]

The Kate bag's unique boxy shape would easily hold medium-to-small projects and patterns. Pockets inside will keep you organized, and the magnetic snap closure at the top keeps stuff inside.

The handles are really fun, and if you're stuck for needles while on the road, they're totally functional. You do need to take care with the handles -- they're not fixed in place and can slip out. But that means the bag is washable, which is a bonus!

It may not be red, but I think it's delicious.

Available at Amazon

At Knit's End
(Meditations for women who knit too much)

Storey Publishing
$9.95 us

I've been too busy reading this book to review it. Seriously. It's been on my nightstand since I got my copy months ago [!] and I've been enjoying it a little at a time since then.

You've seen this book everywhere. In book stores that don't carry any other knitting book even. And that's for good reason. As someone [not me] recently said, Ms Pearl-McPhee -- our beloved Yarn Harlot -- is the comedian of our craft. She reveals our truths with clarity, and most of all, humor. Non-knitters who want to understand us should read this book. And knitter, know thyself; if you haven't read it, you must.