$150-160usd [price varies by retailer]
Loopy floral shown
I am, without question,
a bag ho.
I get quite giddy over
the possibility of finding the perfect
knitting bag that will hold everything
I may ever want to knit, whatever it might
I don't know if that's
possible, but this bag is exactly what
the name says: grand.
It starts with your
choice of vintage upholstery exterior,
which makes you want to touch it. The
exterior bottom and straps are made in
matching velvet and the bag sits up on
four brass feet. That also means it sits
flat and isn't prone to tipping. My sample
was lined in a pinky beige faille, which
is durable and makes it easy for me to
spot little things I've tucked in the
But my favorite feature
is the insanely cool hinge: the bag opens
really wide so you can get at every corner.
And it closes neatly so things don't fall
out. I love this hinge. You can also leave
your working ball of yarn inside the bag
and let the strand snake out of the top.
The ball will stay inside.
The bag holds tons of
yarn, straight or circular needles and
lots of accessories.
My only unmet need was
for extra height...a pattern or magazine
will fit in if you curl it up or fold
it in half, but my Denise set wouldn't
make it in.
If you're like me and
want a little more height, I hear the
Tote fits the bill. It's a little
narrower, but noticeably taller.
The Zelda Grand is an
elegant, classy knitting bag that you'll
feel comfortable bringing anywhere. The
style and shape are distinctive and if
you ask me, it'd make a fine purse, too.
Bliss The Club
• UK / Ireland: £24
• Europe: £25
• Rest of World: £28
Debbie Bliss makes yummy
yarns. She designs classic, elegant and
often adorable patterns. And she's also
a very nice person. So I was really excited
to hear that she'd launched her own yarn
club this January.
Debbie Bliss "The
Club" is a brand new offering from
Debbie's brand new website.
For one annual fee, you get:
• An exclusive pattern [this year's
pattern is the beret and cravat shown
• The yarn you'll need to make the
pattern -- 4 balls of Alpaca Silk in luscious
• A quarterly pattern (issued in
March, June, September and December of
each year), designed just for the club,
and available only to the club.
• A signed copy of one of Debbie's
new autumn pattern books each year
• A chat room where you can mingle
with fellow knitters
• A quarterly newsletter with tips
and information...including sneak peeks
at upcoming yarns and patterns
• And more
If you love Debbie Bliss,
joining her club is a great way to treat
yourself. The patterns, yarn and book
are easily worth more than the club membership
fee, and there's nothing cooler than getting
to know what Debbie's working on before
the general public does.
'n Bitch Nation
Workman Publishing Company
You wanna know? I like
this one better. I do. Debbie's first
book was great fun and not only broke
new ground; it paved it and put up the
But this one has a little
more oomph and is a little less cutesy.
Maybe that's because it has 50 [fifty!]
patterns. Maybe it's the detailed, helpful
section on how to make patterns work for
YOU, written in language that even the
math-impaired [like me] can understand.
The profiles of SnBs around the world
are also most excellent.
But I think it's the
Joey Ramone doll. Because any book that
shows you how to knit your own Ramone
just wins. Period.
There are patterns of
all sorts, and I'm not going to list them
all. I'm just going to say what I said
about Deb's first book: buy it. It's a
bargain and full of so much fun stuff
that I'll be shocked if you don't want
to knit at least one thing.
kits available at threadbearfiberarts.com
$28-55usd per kit
Noelle kit shown $36usd
I am a sucker for a
cute little bag, and one you can make
yourself with all parts included in the
kit always gets my interest. At Stitches
East this fall, I spotted these bags and
was really impressed.
The sample I received
was the seasonally appropriate Noelle
bag, done in pale blue cotton yarn, adorned
with sparkly snowflake dangles and featuring
an organza ribbon handle/closure. In the
kit, you'll find full-color instructions,
a clear photo of the finished bag, so
you know what you're working toward, the
snowflakes, ribbon and best of all --
the lining, cut to size and pre-stiffened
to give the bag structure. The kit comes
in a durable clear plastic zippered bag
with handles, which will be useful for
other little projects when you're done
Most cleverly, the designers
have chosen a yarn that splits into plies,
so you can sew the lining in place with
the same yarn it's made from. They've
thought of everything!
Other Pussy Cat2 designs
feature bamboo handles, interesting shapes
and my favorite...the one that looks like
a piece of candy corn, appropriately shaped
and striped in orange and yellow as you'd
Available at Amazon
Stewart Tabori & Chang
Warning: This book
contains celebrity knitting and ponchos.
Aren't they on a list somewhere? Ok,
ok, Suss Cousins has earned the right
to do both ponchos -- she's credited
with starting the "rectangle makes
a cool asymmetrical poncho" trend;
and celebrities - she is the knitter
to the stars and the movies in La La
Land. All of that snide aside, Suss
is an ass-kicking designer. He stuff
is knittable, wearable & lust-afterable.
30 modern yet simple patterns from pillows
to dog sweaters to coats (& yes,
there is a poncho), and beyond the patterns
is a load of material on sharing knitting
-- hosting parties, giving gifts, music
to knit by, living and decorating with
yarn, etc. A well-rounded knitting book.
Available at Amazon
The Knitted Teddy
@#$%^&*! adorable. The have personality!
They have clothes! The have names!
How could you resist Bertie, Sam or
Polly? This book has patterns for
12 different teddies, including beginning
patterns, and a whole wardrobe of
clothes, so that your bearfriend may
live a life of sartorial splendor.
The patterns are detailed and easy
to follow, more so than the Debbie
Bliss bears, which I find confusing.
My favorite part of the book is a
sidebar about embroidery entitled
Facial Expressions, which lets you
know how well thought out this book
is. If you are a fan of bears, you
Stewart, Tabori & Chang
Maybe this book should
be called Weekend Knitting 2: Return
of the Cool Knitting Book. Groovy yet
timeless patterns and photography so
gorgeous it makes you want to eat the
book. The book is divided in to three
sections: Basics, which includes a worth-the-price-of-
admission discussion on color; Patterns,
27 of them, which are divided further
into the amounts of time it takes to
complete them, ranging from Less than
Two Hours to More than Eight Hours;
and a Technique section full of how-to's
including nine different ways to wrap
or embellish a wrapped knitted gift.
If Martha Stewart had a younger, hipper
sister who knit, she might do a book
just like this. It's a cool thing.
20 Easy and Elegant Designs in Wool
This is not a book about
knitted, then "throw in your washer
and hope for the best" felt, this
is a book about hand manipulated, throw
down, "you talkin' to me", squooshy,
squeezy kind of felt. Simply Felt
is 120-ish pages and so packed full of
patterns and information, it made me tired
to read through it. There are 25 patterns
for all types of things -- eyeglass case,
hats, bags, scarves, a throw, slippers,
a child's jacket, vessels, etc.
The directions are concise,
yet thorough and liberally illustrated
with colorful clear drawings. Color is
something these authors are not frightened
of. Don't let the Zen-like cover of the
book lead you astray. The inside is a
party with saturated and color and up
close and personal photography doing a
The extras in this book
don't disappoint either, you can learn
about dyeing wool, caring for felt, step-by-step
how to full wool into flat felt, embroidery,
and most importantly- where to shop for
the wool you need.
yarn girls' guide to kid knits:
patterns for babies and toddlers
The Yarn Girls are back and this time
kids are getting the treatment.
The Yarn Girls are masters of easy, colorful
designs with a flair. Their designs make
you smile, always. This book is full of
knit 'em in a weekend knitwear for the
3 and under set. There's also good technical
illustrations and information in here,
and they write about gauge in a way that
doesn't make you want to hide.
Teen Knitting Club:
Chill Out and Knit
Oh my god, not another beginning
knitting book for kiddos! Doesn't
every person on the planet, no matter
their age, know how to knit by now?
I guess not. Well, and here's the
thing, this is a great beginning book,
not just for teens, but for anyone.
The how-to and why section is engaging
and clear; the instructions are understandable,
the patterns, while the same idea
scarves, hats, sweater, bags -- are
made fresh by their yarn choice and
photography. There's teen-centric
info on starting your own knitting
club, keeping a scrapbook and knitting
for others. The design of this book
is gorgeous; it's the type of knitting
book you'll love to just flip through.
The photos and quotes are my favorite
parts, the photos are of teen knitters
from Minneapolis, the quotes, from
across the country are all random
quotes about knitting -- both things
makes the book not only beautiful,
1000 Great Knitting
This book is like the Christmas stocking
part of Christmas morning -- lots of
little things you didn't know you wanted.
I don't do intarsia or much color work
at all; I've always been a texture girl.
Yet there is something about this book
that stirs a little known or used itch
in me. All of the motifs are traditional,
not a skull and cross bones among them.
Traditional, but multicultural -- Fair
Isle, Scandinavia, Asia, South America,
Africa, Middle Eastern and India are
all represented. There are also animals,
alphabets, flowers and other generic
charts. There's instruction on placing
motifs within your knitting and basic
instruction on multi color knitting
techniques. No time soon will you be
seeing me throw down a Kaffe Fassett
Foolish Virgins, but this books gives
me the know-how and the goods to do
a little something with a two colored
33 Great Designs for Creative Knitters
Three sisters designed the afghans
in this new collection. In their introduction,
they explain how the beauty of the Middle
Eastern and Indian crafts that they
grew up with inspired their designs.
But rather than limiting themselves
to motifs and patterns which strictly
adhere to their own cultural background,
they instead have expressed the beauty
of many cultures in this lovely book.
The patterns are quite diverse, which
is especially important as afghans are
essentially home décor items
which must fit into highly personal
environments. Celtic cables and bobbles;
beautiful lace; luxe mohair in simple
stitch patterns – it’s all
represented here, as well as a nod to
the ubiquitous novelty yarns that are
so popular today. A fresh interpretation
of Kashmir paisley makes a lively and
colorful throw, and the bold graphic
of a simplified plaid afghan would look
great in a cozy room. All skill levels
are covered, and best of all, the authors
have carefully described the weights
and characteristics of the yarns used
so that knitters can easily substitute
yarns of their choice.