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

chair_pads

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!

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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.

basic_doll

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.

little_sweater

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.

braided_neckpiece

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.

Family_cvr

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

Knitted_Gifts_cvr

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.

 

 

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.

Celtic_Knits_bc_cvr

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

 

Folk Mittens

Folk_Mittens

Folk Mittens

Folk Mittens published in 1997 (one of my oldie-but-goody stash) by Marcia Lewandowski is the latest on my chopping block! A lovely book to be sure, but I’m not likely to be making ethnic mittens any time soon.

Folk_Mittens_bc

Folk Mittens – back cover

Marcia is a Minnesota gal who at the time of the book was living in Bolivia. I looked her up on Ravelry and it seems that many of her posted designs are very Andean inspired so she may well be still living in the Andes.

mitten_shapes

Mitten Shapes

This page of mitten shapes and thumb styles is really a good addition and great for a novice mitten-maker.

basic_mittens

Basic Mittens

For those want to start out with the basics, classic mittens are perfect!

ethnic_mittens

Ethnic Mittens

The majority of the mittens in the book have ethnic roots and are real beauties.

colonial_mittens

Colonial New England Mittens

Love these mittens with the clever inserted hearts!

Andean_mittens

Andean Mittens

A nod to Marcia’s adopted homeland in Bolivia.

mini_mittens

mini_mittens

Fun tiny mittens are a nice ending to the book.

 

More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

knitted_Gifts

More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

Spoiler alert! I’ve already listed this book on Amazon so you know that it’s not going back on my shelf.

bc_knitted_gifts

Back cover – More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

Joelle Hoverson has teamed with Melanie Falick to create this beautifully crafted book. It’s full of fairly simple patterns that are grouped by the time needed to make the gift starting with “less than 2 hour gifts”.

Pattern groupings

Pattern groupings

What else did I like about the book? I did like the number and alphabet templates. I did a project last year where I needed alphabet charts. Of course, with my many, many books – who knew?

alphabet charts

alphabet charts

number charts

number charts

There were a few projects that I really liked, but not enough to keep this book.

fingerless gloves

fingerless gloves

ribbed hats

ribbed hats

The photos of graphing were really helpful for anyone trying this technique.

grafting

grafting

My final thoughts. I loved the feel and look of this book, but my feeling for books of projects really doesn’t allow for shelf space for this one. Hopefully another knitter will find a good home for this lovely book!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Minute-Knitted-Gifts-Joelle-Hoverson/dp/1584798602/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495654342&sr=8-1&keywords=more+last+minute+knitted+gifts