Weekend Knitting – Melanie Falick

13_mags

Magazines Out!

I spend time this past week in the 90 degree heat in my office revamping and decluttering. This group of 13 magazines are now sadly gone, but I feel lighter!

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Weekend Knitting – Cover

I love Melanie Falick’s work and that must be why I added this book to my library. This beautifully photographed book was published in 2003 by the imprint where Melanie worked. Now that I’ve got ruthless, I can see that it’s got to go.

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Weekend Knitting – Back Cover

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Chair Cushions – Kristin Nicholas

As soon as turned to this page, I knew that these were Kristin creations! She has a colorful style that is not hard to spot. Love these, but I would never make them.

egg_cozies

Egg Cozies

Cute idea, but my least favorite project. I’m not sure that anyone even eats eggs this way any more.

fingerless_gloves

Fingerless Gloves

Ok – now for my favorite project! I love the idea of fingerless gloves with actual fingers. Most of the ones I’ve made just end at the knuckles with a bind off.

scarf

Brioche Scarf

Caitlin

Perfect Pie Shawl

I’m including the above 2 pics which are modeled by Caitlin Fitzgerald. If you’ve never heard of her, just Google her name. She’s now an acclaimed actress and dated Aidan Turner (of Poldark fame). My interest in Caitlin is personal. I did work with her Mom – knitting designer, Pam Allen. Also, Caitlin did a short internship with me at Lion Brand. She’s a great gal and I’m thrilled that she’s succeeded in her career.

books

Knitting in Literature

The book did add some unique touches such as a list of books that feature knitting plus a recipe for cookies and hot chocolate plus a side bar on making tea.

Melanie – thanks for your great books! The knitting world is a better place because of them.

 

 

Gift Books and Downsizing Mags

Interweave_mags

24 Knitting Magazines -Gone!

I know that my blogging hit a slump this summer, but I’ve been getting rid of some of my extensive collection. September is here and with a deadline for our winter trip to Florida I’ve got to up my game! Today I’m going to review 2 books with a similar theme.

crochet_today

Crochet Mags – Gone!

A group of 10 Crochet Today magazines are no longer in my collection!

gift_Knits_cvr

Gift Knits – cover

This is an “oldie but goodie” published in 1994. I really didn’t see much in this book to make it a “keeper”.

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Gift Knits – back cover

There are quite a few multicolor knits in the book. Not my favorite.

Heart

Garter Stitch Heart

I love knitted hearts. This one is a winner!

teddy_bears

Teddy bears to knit

baby

Baby Boy – Baby Girl

I’m tempted to make a copy of the charts for these projects. I wouldn’t use as sweaters, but could be cute on something else – maybe a bib.

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Toys to Knit – cover

Book #2 is a 2006 book and I’m very undecided about keeping it. More on that later.

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Toys to Knit – back cover

Love the photos in this small (96 page) book.

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Basic Doll

This cute doll has a whole chapter of outfits for the doll.

teddy_bear

Teddy Bear

My favorite project in the book is this traditional teddy with a couple of sweater designs for him/her to wear.

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Teddy Sweater

Traditional teddy deserves a traditional cabled pullover!

kangeroo

Kangaroo and baby

How cute are this duo!

How can I resist this book! One to go; one to keep!

 

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Gift-Knits-Wearable-Decorative-Projects/dp/0806988428/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535056801&sr=8-1&keywords=gift+knits+by+Chris+Rankin

 

Loop-d-Loop

LoopdLoop_cvr

Loop-d-Loop cover

In 2005 this book by designer Teva Durham was cutting edge. Unique designs and photos by Adrian Buckmaster (google his name if you want to see some interesting photos – think Diane Arbus) made Loop-D-Loop more than just another knitting book. Cut to 2018 and the book is now out-dated.

It’s off my shelf. Sorry Teva, but I’m downsizing and it’s now one that works for my current life!

LoopdLoop

Loop-D-Loop – back cover

From accessories to full sweaters, there is a nice mix of designs.

lace_leaf

Leaf Design pullover

I did think this is an interesting fairly simple sweater.

cable_sweater

Cabled Riding Jacket

A beautiful classic design and lovely photograph by Adrian.

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Braided Neckpiece

This is one of the more quirky designs.

fair_isle

Fair Isle short-row pullover

A classic type of design with a unique twist.

bolero

Bolero

Not too much to say about this one!

Teva_Durham

Teva Durham – designer

Read about Teva. She’s an interesting designer. She and I did some work together and I have great appreciation of her creativity.

https://www.amazon.com/Loop-d-Loop-More-Novel-Designs-Knitters/dp/1584794143/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528663020&sr=8-1&keywords=loop-d-loop

Debbie Bliss – times 4!

Baby_Knits_cvr

Quick Baby Knits

Today I’m trying something new! I have 4 booklets that are from 80 pages (3 of them) to one at 128 pages. They all come to us from the British Designer, Debbie Bliss. She is especially known for amazing photography, classic styles and wonderful kids/baby knitting patterns.

I am lumping this group together. What do they have in common? Three are published in 1998/1999 and the longer one in 2002.

Baby_Knits_bc

Quick Baby knits – back cover

On one of my London trips, I visited Debbie’s yarn shop and visited with Debbie.

postcard

Debbie Bliss’s shop

autograph

Autographed book

While I visited her shop, got one of the books signed by Debbie.

Nautical_Knits_cvr

Nautical Knits for Kids

Debbie is also known her oversized kid’s knits.

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The Family Collection

A nice booklet of designs for babies, kids, women and men.

Cotton_Knits_cvr

Cotton Knits for all seasons

The largest of these books includes 25 projects. Cotton is versatile and as the booklet title suggest – great for many seasons.

So why am I moving these 4 booklets off my shelf? The main reason is that they ultimately are books of patterns and not patterns I would probably ever use. Sorry Debbie!

 

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Baby-Knits-Over-Designs/dp/0312202512/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1527019878&sr=8-2&keywords=Quick+Baby+Knits

https://www.amazon.com/Nautical-Knits-Kids-Debbie-Bliss/dp/1570761078/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1527019929&sr=1-1&keywords=Nautical+Knits+for+Kids

https://www.amazon.com/Family-Collection-Knitwear-Designs-Children/dp/0091863570/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1527020003&sr=1-2&keywords=The+Family+Collection+Debbie+Bliss

https://www.amazon.com/Cotton-Knits-Seasons-Debbie-Bliss/dp/157076218X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1527020053&sr=1-1&keywords=Cotton+Knits+for+all+Seasons

 

Sensational Socks

Sensational_Socks_cvrs

Sensational Knitted Socks

I’ve lumped these two books together and I’m putting them into the category of “why are these in my library?”. I have NO idea of where they came from or why I have them. I went through a period of being very interested in sock knitting so – maybe?

Sensational_Socks_bk_cvr

Sensational Knitted Socks – back cover

Sensat_Socks_bk_cvr

More Sensational Knitted Socks – back cover

I think the info in both books outstanding, but the designs and the colors are not to my liking. From the back covers, you can begin to see why I’ve decided to move these two books off my shelves.

foot_sizes

Foot sizes for women

From sock yarn to sock basic to tables for sizing socks for women, men and children, Charlene Church’s attention to detail is evident.

sock_yarn

Info on sock yarn

troubleshoot

Troubleshooting

Again, technical sections are really well done.

stitch_dictionary

Stitch Dictionary

Including stitches that make sense for sock knitting is a plus in both books.

mosaic

Charts for mosaic designs

While I didn’t care for the color combos of the socks, these charts are well done and easy to follow. See some examples below.

10_st_pattern

10-stitch mosaic sock patterns

sock_samples

Sock samples

5_st_patterns

Solid 5-st patterns

If you are a sock knitter or what to be one, these books published in 2005 and 2007 would be perfect. I’m going to have to live without them!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Sensational-Knitted-Socks-Charlene-Schurch/dp/1564775704/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525289905&sr=8-1&keywords=sensational+knitted+socks

https://www.amazon.com/Sensational-Knitted-Socks-Charlene-Schurch/dp/1564777170/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1525289905&sr=8-2&keywords=sensational+knitted+socks

 

 

Knitted Gifts – Ann Budd

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Knitted Gifts – cover

I’m conflicted about this 144 page book published by Interweave Press in 2009. It’s definitely a book of patterns – some good, some bad and some that you have to ask – why? There are a few I like, but not sure it’s worth keeping the book. The cover hat and mitts are really nice and a good selling point for the book. I do have many good things to say about Ann Budd and her editing/designing, but what was her contribution to this 37 project book?

In the end, I think I’ll move this one along. I can’t justify it’s space on what I’m hoping will be a much reduced shelf of essential knit and crochet books.

Knitted_Gifts_bk_cvr

Knitted Gifts – back cover

There are some fantastic designers who contributed to the the book. Then I have to point out two projects on the back cover are in the category that I called “Why?” The knit hobby horse (really!) and the ballet-style slippers (sort of OK).

ribbed_socks

Easy Ribbed Socks

I thought I’d start off with a project I like.

scarf

Lace Scarf by Nancy Bush

Love this project. It might be one that I might even make. Nancy Bush is a real pro at traditional designs.

felted_oven_mitt

Felted Oven Mitts

This project is a great way to use up leftover 100% wool or rough wool that you might not want for a wearable.

napkin_ring

Fair Isle Napkin Rings

The napkin rings are something that doesn’t seem to be a terrific project. I couldn’t quite figure out the order of the projects. Didn’t seem like the groupings were by easy, intermediate, etc or by quick, more involved, etc. Strange to be sure.

glossary

Glossary

Interweave Press is really good at featuring clear illustrations of techniques. The 6-page glossary is a good addition to the book.

 

 

Knits for Pets

Vogue Knitting Knits for Pets

Vogue Knitting Knits for Pets – cover

I have a bunch of the Vogue Knitting On the Go! series books. I looked over this little one and decided that it would be good for the blog and needed to be removed from my shelves. It’s not a bad book, but not relevant to me. Here’s a run down.

Knits_Pets_bc_cvr

Knits for Pets – Back cover

Illus

Start with basic how-to’s

Not surprising that VK would have good illustrated how to drawings. I recognize many taken from VK The Ultimate Knitting Book that I worked on many years ago. Nevertheless, good info for starting the book.

dog_bed

Great photos and instructions

As expected, VK produces wonderful images and clear instructions in all their books. I wouldn’t make such an involved project for any doggie, but it’s truly a masterpiece of Fair Isle knitting.

pillows

Dog and cat inspired pillows

I did think these might make a wonderful gift for my animal-loving daughter. Really cute.

dog_bag

Dog Bag for doggie on the go

Same daughter has a little dog and said this would make a lovely gift for her. Seems like a lot of work and involves plastic canvas to keep its shape.

dog_sweater

Glamour Pup

I might give this pattern a try before I let the book fly away! I wouldn’t use the novelty yarn, but something a little simpler.

So why let go of this one. For one some of the projects are silly (not shown in this blog): Dog hat that reminds me of the Pussy Hats made for the Women’s March wearing; a couple of dog sweaters that don’t seem to fit well; a dog poncho in orange and purple (really?!); and mutt mittens.

Good try VK, but not for me! Onward with my knitting journey!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Vogue-Knitting-Go-Knits-Pets/dp/1933027045/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518816057&sr=8-1&keywords=Vogue+Knitting+Knits+for+Pets

Knitting Circles around SOCKS!

Knitting_Socks

Knitting Circles Around SOCKS

When I picked up this book, I thought – OMG! I’d never knit socks on circular needles. Why do I have this book? First opinions are sometimes not accurate. Read on….

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Knitting Circles around SOCKS – back cover

Antje Gillingham turned out to be a very detailed author with in-depth explanations. This 80-page volume was published by Martingale in 2007.

photo_illus

Casting on illustrated photos

I’m not usually a fan of photos used to illustrate steps, but these were really good.

photo_illus1

More step-by-steps

You really understand how the two-at-a-time socks are worked once you get past the casting on.

basic_sock

Basic Sock Pattern

I like the way that Antje begins with basic socks and then incorporates more complex socks as the book progresses.

instruction

Pattern Instructions

The pattern instructions are clear and easy-to-follow.

cabled_sock

Cabled socks

Another pair of socks to master once you have done the basic pattern.

author

About the author

The book has a column flap with an interesting bio of the author.

So what’s the verdict? I think the book is well done, but doesn’t need to be on my book shelf. If you want to give working two socks at the same time, I say – give it a whirl! Not me!

 

Celtic Knits – Debbie Bliss

Celtic_Knits_cvr

Celtic Knits – Debbie Bliss – Cover

As the year ends, I wanted to get one more book off my shelves. Since my last blog (was it really in August), I spent hours and hours going through yarn, bagging it, photographing it and finally selling lots on eBay. It seemed to go a whole lot faster than my very slow snail pace of going through and getting rid of books. Now I’m away from my yarn for the winter, it’s a good time to get back to reading, reviewing and hopefully eliminating books. A good goal for 2018!

Celtic Knits by Debbie Bliss was published in 2000 first published in the UK. This is a tip off that the patterns are more UK centric in terms of pattern writing. There are many patterns for kids/babies with some for women and one or two designs for guys.

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Celtic Knits – back cover

Spoiler alert – this is simply a book of patterns. As wonderful as Debbie Bliss designs and photographs, it is in the end just a slim 80 pages of patterns.

Kids_celtic

Cabled Hearts Sweater

Debbie Bliss does lovely oversized children’s designs and this one is particularly nice. It comes in sizes 3-5 years old, but the oversized pullover probably will fit larger sizes.

Simple_sweater

Simple Sweater with Collar

It’s wasn’t easy to understand, but this is actually a child’s sweater (sizes 2-10 years). I originally thought it was an adult pattern. The largest size has a chest measurement of 43″ so it certainly would fit many adults.

cabled_sweater

Cabled Tweed Jacket

Love the cables, but it is disappointing that this cardigan only comes in two sizes – chest/bust size 37 and 41 inches.

baby_knit

Moss Stitch Baby Jacket

This is a typical Debbie Bliss baby design – sizes 3 to 12 months. The oversized sizing make it ideal even for toddlers.

socks

Classic Fair Isle Socks

These socks are paired with a matching Fair Isle cardigan for a baby/toddler. There were many Fair Isle patterns in the book, but I only choose to include this sample as I prefer the one-color designs.

pattern

Instruction Sample

Notice that the measurements are given in inches and centimeters to make them workable for the US and UK markers. For the US knitters, slogging through all the cm measurements within the pattern can be disconcerting. I would recommend to make a copy of the pattern and highlight measurements and numbers that pertain to the size made.

To keep or not to keep – Nope! This one is going. Looks like it’s out-of-print, but still available on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Knits-Designs-Babies-Children/dp/157076140X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1514319273&sr=8-1&keywords=celtic+knits+Debbie+Bliss

 

Sweaters from New England Sheep Farms

Sweaters from NE_cov

Sweaters from New England Sheep Farms – cover

I’ve been carrying this book around for sometime while reading the 8 stories about various sheep farms around New England. After all it is summertime and I’m moving in “slow-mo”.

One of the joys of reading Sweaters from New England was that many of the small yarn dyers are familiar to me as many have shown their wares at yarn shows I’ve attended. I found their stories engaging. But back to the essentials and more about the book!

Sweaters from NE_bc

Sweaters from New England Sheep Farms – back cover

Candice Eisner Struck wrote and published this book with Down East Books in 1999. It’s a combo of 26 designs (mainly sweaters for women and men) and stories about the farms that produce the yarns for the designs.

I think it is a gem at 128 pages. The sweaters are a bit oversized (long and loose) as was the style of that time, but could be easily updated for more modern styling.

Does this book belong on my book shelves? Sadly, the answer is NO. I’m not going to make the sweaters and although I enjoyed the read, it wouldn’t be a “must have” for me.

Morehouse_pullover

Man’s pullover from Morehouse Farm yarn

When I read the story about Morehouse Farm and Margrit and Albrecht Pichler who ran the farm, I couldn’t help thinking about Margrit’s death in 2015. A great loss to many of the Morehouse Farm fans. From looking at the current web site page, it appears that the ┬áMerino yarns are still being sold and that the business still prospers.

farm story

Stories of the farms

Candice did a very good job of describing her farm visits. Her journeys made the reader feel that they were along for the ride. She interviewed the owners and talked about how the yarn came into being and the dye or not-dyed process. Some of the owners used fleece from their own sheep. Some did not raise their own animals.

Rockport_gansey

Rockport Gansey pullovers

The classic pair about are perfect for a man or woman!

chart

Charts

I was very impressed with the in-depth written patterns and charts. Again, Candice is very precise and there are good examples of her skill throughout the book.

sources

Sources

For those who want to make the sweater patterns in other yarns, there is a page of suggested commercial yarn companies along with 2 pages for making substitutions.

book_giveaway

Books given away!

My blogging is going so slowly that I decided that a bunch of “pattern only” books had to go. I hope that they will find a good home with an avid knitter!

https://www.amazon.com/Sweaters-New-England-Sheep-Farms/dp/0892724463/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502739713&sr=8-1&keywords=sweaters+from+New+England+Sheep+Farms