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.

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Debbie Bliss’s shop

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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

 

Celtic Knits – Debbie Bliss

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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  Merino yarns are still being sold and that the business still prospers.

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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.

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Rockport Gansey pullovers

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

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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.

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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.

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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

How to Knit – Debbie Bliss

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How to Knit – Debbie Bliss

I’m starting this book review in a quandary – to keep or not to keep. On first pass, I was ready to chuck this one. As much as I love Debbie Bliss (fantastic UK designer), I didn’t think this book offered enough to keep on my shelf. On 2nd pass, I’m conflicted.

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How to Knit – back cover

The back cover could have added a little more info for the reader? What were the publishers thinking?

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Great illustrations

The illustrations in this How-to are very clear and would be easy for a novice to use.

Aran

Aran Workshop

This section comes pretty early in the book – Chapter 3 as a matter of fact. It’s really Debbie Bliss’s favorite style so I’m not surprised to see it covered extensively.

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Cable Workshop

In the middle of the Aran chapter, this simple cabled sweater is a simpler version of some of the other knits.

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Lace Workshop

The best thing about this chapter is the 23 lace stitch pattern samples.

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Edgings

Love the edgings. This makes the book a winner. I just used the leaf edging for a project. Wish the instructions were charted and not so UK centric with yf terminology that is not used by US knitters.

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Entrelac illustrations

Ok – I know you’re asking – what the hell is Entrelac. Not a common technique, but these illustration make it very clear.

 

What did I decide? I might keep this book for awhile and see if I refer to it before moving it along. My copy is a bit worn and I probably couldn’t sell. I do think the UK vs US make it less valuable for a new knitter, but then again – I’m not a new knitter.

 

https://www.amazon.com/How-Knit-Definitive-Step-step/dp/1855856964/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497383208&sr=8-1&keywords=How+to+Knit+Debbie+Bliss

More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

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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.

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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

Classic Knits – Erika Knight

Classic Knits cover

Classic Knits cover

I have truly fallen off the “blogging wagon”. Too much life going on, but I’m back and even though I’m away for the winter I have a huge bag of books to review.

Classic Knits by Erika Knight (published by Potter Crafts in 2006) was an easy book. Erika says the book is “a contemporary collection of knitted wardrobe basics”. In other words – a book of patterns. The two-page intro is written in something like 24-point type – not too much to say about the book.

Classic Knits - Back Cover

Classic Knits – Back Cover

As everyone knows how I feel about pattern books or books of patterns, it is pretty easy to give this one: thumbs down.

On a positive note, the book has great styling and nice photography.

Tank Top

Tank Top

There are only 15 projects. The first 40 pages have color pages showing the designs in color.

Slouch Socks

Slouch Socks

The rest of the book – the instructions are all in black and white with photos in a sort of washed gray.

Kelly Cardigan

Kelly Cardigan

The patterns have inches and centimeters for sizing and do have an extensive size range. There are no diagrams or schematic drawing.

Bottom line: If you want a book of really simple basic projects – this is a good book. Looks like it is out-of-print, but is available through Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Knits-Timeless-Designs-Collectibles/dp/0307347192/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418754252&sr=1-2&keywords=classic+knits

Louisa Harding Duo – more patterns are going!

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Two books (soft back) are on the table today. Both are from talented designer Louisa Harding. Both are out-of-print, but available on Amazon and elsewhere as used books.

Although the designs in these lovely collections are really nice and beautifully designed and styled (especially the Magical World for young ladies), I’m making classifying these books in the Thumbs Down category. My ruthless streak continues!

Modern Classics (published in 2006) has over 20 designs and even after 8 years they are still wearable and easy to knit.

Modern Classics by Louisa Harding

Modern Classics by Louisa Harding

I did love a few of the designs. They would be ideal for anyone making classic sweaters that will be in style for many years to come.

Basic Pullover

Basic Pullover

Fitted Cardie

Fitted Cardie

Fitted Pullover

Fitted Pullover

Modern Classics Back Cover

Modern Classics Back Cover

 

The 2nd book, The Magical World According to Miss Millie (published in 2006) is a really fun and flirty  collection of patterns. While the majority of the patterns are for little girls, there are 4 featured classic styles for little guys (look at the back cover). The sizing is for ages 3-10.

The Magical World According to Miss Millie

The Magical World According to Miss Millie

I love the thumbnail index that shows all 20 designs at a glance. Perfect for times when you are searching for a certain style.

Magical World Index

Magical World Index

Love, love the pretty shades, bohemian styling and incredible photography.

Ollie & Lily styles

Ollie & Lily styles

Hat Girls

Hat Girls

The Magical World According to Miss Millie - back cover

The Magical World According to Miss Millie – back cover

 

http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Classics-Twenty-Timeless-Designs/dp/1564776441/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413491399&sr=1-2&keywords=modern+classics

http://www.amazon.com/Louisa-Harding-Magical-According-Millie/dp/B000YFFYQG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413491450&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Magical+World+According+to+Miss+Millie