Debbie Bliss – times 4!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

The Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book

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The Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book cover – Margaret Klein Wilson

After a long hiatus, I’ve realized that my mission to remove knitting and crochet books from my shelves has really stalled. Got to get back to it in a big way!

This book is a perfect one to start my book removal quest. It’s a nice book for someone looking for classic knits. The Green Mountain Spinnery has a wonderful back story that is worth a read.

Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book was published in 2003 by The Countryman Press in Woodstock Vermont.

Before I begin, I’ll start out by saying that I’m moving this book off my shelves. It’s a nicely done book, but not really relevant to my knitting these days.

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Back Cover – Green Mountain Spinnery Yarn

history

The Green Mountain Spinnery History

Where it all began. A 3-page section on the company’s history is a good way to start.

guernseys

Guernsey-style pullovers and Fair Isle cardigan

I liked the still life photos. They keep the mainly classic designs from becoming dated.

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Instruction example

The instruction pages had a clear layout. There were shaded designer notes, size, materials and experience level. The instructions below were clear and included a schematic drawing with measurements.

charts

Pattern Charts

Good charts and a side-bar of 4 color ways make this project approachable and easy to follow. One might have to enlarge the chart to make it more readable.

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Easy Raglan pullovers

I love these top-down pullovers. The pattern comes in child’s and adult’s sizing – a real plus! I might copy this pattern before I move this book to a better home.

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His and Hers Aran Pullovers

Love these classics that are sized from chest size 37″ to 54″. A great range!

accessories

Classic Accessories

The last project is a group of accessories.

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Chart of Patterns

This was something I don’t think I’ve seen in a book of patterns. It’s a very helpful chart outlining everything you need to know before starting a pattern including skill level, gauge, needle size, finished measurements and yarn needed. Great!

references

Favorite References

Another excellent feature was a page giving some great classic books that definitely should be in a well-rounded knitter’s library.

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Green Mountain Spinnery Yarns

The 3-page section on yarns would best be described as “a word from our sponsor”. It is after all a book produced and edited by a company who sells. It’s also great for helping a knitter substitute other yarns.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Green-Mountain-Spinnery-Knitting-Book/dp/088150579X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473276436&sr=8-1&keywords=the+green+mountain+spinnery+knitting+book

Family Circle Easy Sweaters

Family Circle Easy Sweaters - 50 knit and crochet projects

Family Circle Easy Sweaters – 50 knit and crochet projects

Another easy week for me. This book is a pattern only book and not one filled with text and technique. With 50 knit and crochet projects, this book is a good value. It’s just not a book that needs to be on my shelf.

On a positive note, I’ve sold 19 books on Amazon so not only are some of my removed books off the shelf, they are gone, gone, gone!

Family Circle Easy Sweaters - back cover

Family Circle Easy Sweaters – back cover

This Sixth and Spring 2001 book is nicely photographed and has really clear, easy-to-understand patterns with good schematic drawings and charts.

Pattern with schematics and charts

Pattern with schematics and charts

Here are a few of the nicer patterns. Most sweaters are for intermediate knitters and crocheters, with a few easy designs.

Double Cross Cabled Pullover

Double Cross Cabled Pullover

Pattern Play Duo

Pattern Play Duo

Stitch Mix Guys Pullovers

Stitch Mix Guys Pullovers

There are sweaters for kids, mainly as duos with Mom or Dad and none for babies. Some of the yarns are discontinued, but should be easily substitutes.

Bye-bye Family Circle. This getting easier after almost 2 years of blogging!

 

http://www.amazon.com/Family-Circle-Easy-Sweaters-Projects/dp/1931543372/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1446586233&sr=8-1&keywords=Family+Circle+Easy+Sweaters

Debbie Bliss Classic Knits for Kids

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In keeping with my “baby/kid” book quest, I took a gander at Debbie Bliss Classic Knits for Kids with 30 Traditional Aran and Guernsey Designs for 0-6 year olds.

It was published in 1994 so some of the sweaters are a bit on the oversized look. However, I do know that Debbie does love to style and show baby/kids sweaters that have a loose and oversized look. She’s known for creating the kind of sweater that is perfect for growing into and will last for several years.

This is definitely a thumbs up book. I will say that when I looked it up on Amazon, new copies go for over $30 so I can’t be alone.

What did I love about the book: the photos are so sweet and the whole book has lovely styling. I love the fact that all the sweaters are one color with tons of texture in knit and purl stitches and interesting cabling.

What did I not like: I would have preferred to have separate stitch patterns or charts rather than row after row of patterning. When this book was publishing the default wasn’t charts for stitch patterning so that’s a minor complaint. The language is a bit “English” style rather than “American” which could be a bit off-putting to some.

My favorite sweater (especially after my Aran journey) is called Cotton Aran Sweater:

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A few others I like –

yellow_sweater  gernesey

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http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Knits-Kids-Traditional-Guernsey/dp/1570760268/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402606597&sr=8-1&keywords=Debbie+Bliss+Classic+Knits+for+Kids

Aran Sweaters and the big finish!

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Today I went through the original Aran Knitting (hardcover, 1997) and the new and expanded edition Aran Knitting (trade soft cover, 2010). Most of the original sweaters were included in “new and expanded”. Some were recolored and rephotographed.  I really didn’t feel that the difference was really great in the update. I loved the red-haired model from the original book rather than the brunette used in the revised book, but that doesn’t really matter in terms of the sweaters.

The man’s sweater above is shown on the new book as the cover sweater on a woman. It was the one I’ve chosen to knit, even though I haven’t made much headway on the knitting.

The other sweaters (a few shawls and hats) are mainly classics that perfect for knitters who love cables. I was thinking that the two shawls (a bit heavy for shawl wearing) would be terrific as throws if they were made slightly wider. A few of the sweaters are a bit long with an ’80s vibe. That could be easily changed by a knitter with some skill in adaption.

My review of two sweaters in the expanded issue:

Boudicca’s Braid (Celtic Art based). I really don’t like this one. I would say “hate”, but that’s a pretty strong word. This cardigan doesn’t add much to the book that is until this sweater based on one-color beautiful designs.

Aran_colorwork

 

Eala Bhan (Alice designed this for herself). This is modern and beautiful. I do love this cardigan. It has very long instructions, but she says it’s not difficult to knit.

Aran_cardie

The final section is based on designing your own Aran sweater. I think it would be best used to help adjust a pattern, but for someone who wants to create a unique sweater. There is two pages that discuss blocking, seaming, making tassels and fringe and the care of wool garments. There is also “a word from your sponsor” with info on buying Alice Starmore Yarns. I do think this is really good for those who want to make the sweaters as they appear in the book.

Alice gives a web site – alicestarmore.com – which didn’t seem to go anywhere when I clicked on textiles. I also looked at virtualyarns.com where yarn, books and patterns by Alice can be obtained. This site seems good and up-to-date.

I give this book a thumbs up.

Worth keeping and having in my library. At this point I might keep both copies as I like the man’s version in the early book and the woman’s in the later version. One day I might have to choose and give up one or the other…..