Sensational Socks

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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?

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Sensational Knitted Socks – back cover

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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.

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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.

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Info on sock yarn

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Troubleshooting

Again, technical sections are really well done.

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Stitch Dictionary

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

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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.

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10-stitch mosaic sock patterns

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Sock samples

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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

 

 

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.

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Knits for Pets – Back cover

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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.

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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.

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Dog and cat inspired pillows

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

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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.

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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

Folk Mittens

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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.

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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.

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Mitten Shapes

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

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Basic Mittens

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

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Ethnic Mittens

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

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Colonial New England Mittens

Love these mittens with the clever inserted hearts!

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Andean Mittens

A nod to Marcia’s adopted homeland in Bolivia.

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mini_mittens

Fun tiny mittens are a nice ending to the book.

 

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.

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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”.

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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

Knitting Around the World

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Knitting Around the World

I would love to blame the complexity of this book for my lack of blogging, but truth be told,  I finished the book some time ago. I have no valid excuses other than life!

This slim volume was put together by the editors of Threads Magazine in 1993 and includes a wealth of material for those interested in the history of the knitting craft.

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Knitting Around the World – back cover

Knitting Around the World  includes more than a dozen different topics that were once articles in Threads Magazine.

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Aran Knitting – Alice Starmore

Starting out with the renown Alice Starmore and Aran knitting is a great way to introduce the reader to historical knitting. Alice, who lives in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland and has written extensively on the subject is the perfect person to author this feature. Included on the next few pages are Aran cable patterns and an outline of how to design an Aran pullover.

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Bohus Stickning – Margaret Bruzelius

The less well known Bohus Stickning from Sweden is written by an old associate of mine who seriously researched this colorful knitting style. With charts on the following pages, the reader can easily experiment with Bohus knitting.

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Another Swedish knitting technique

Also called “two-strand knitting”, this technique seems mainly used for sturdy mittens and socks. A pattern for the socks shown in the photo is included in the book.

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Illustrations drawn and photographed

After Fair Isle knitting and Argyles, there is a short article with illustrations and photos of techniques for managing stranded knitting by author, Maggie Righetti. I have included here as an example of the clarity used in Threads Magazine on each subject. They always go above and beyond to make the reader understand techniques.

 

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Historical Shetland Lace

I loved the inclusion of historical articles with photos, illustrations and a workshop on creating simple versions of the knitted lace.

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Knitting from the Faeroe Islands

While not as well known as knitting techniques from the British Isles, this is nevertheless and interesting style of knitting and well-written piece of history.

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Fair Isle Tam making – Alice Starmore

Knitting Around the World begins and ends with Alice Starmore – coming more or less full circle.

Should I keep this book? I’ve thought long and hard on this one. The subjects are interesting and varied. Would I knit from the book – probably not. I’m hoping the next knitter who gets it will love it! Sadly, it’s not going back on my shelf.

https://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Around-World-Threads/dp/1561580260/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1489005645&sr=8-3&keywords=knitting+around+the+world

Knitting for the First Time

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Knitting for the First Time

Knitting for the First Time by Vanessa-Ann (is this a real person?) was published by Sterling/Chapelle in 2003. I think it was put together by an editor and the author is just a made-up name. The first question is do I think this is a good book for a beginner. This is what I thought about as I reviewed the book.

Before I go further, I’ll say: Thumbs Down for this book.

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Knitting for the First Time – back cover

The answer would be no, no – not a great beginner book. It does start with a decent review needles, tools and yarn.

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Illustrations

I do like the drawn illustrations as opposed to photo illustrations.

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Abbreviations

The order of all the basics is a bit strange. First abbreviations, then adding a new skein of yarn, then fixing mistakes and then finishing. I think a true beginner might find this a bit confusing.

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Basic Techniques with patterns

For me, here’s where it breaks down. Really – a color work Christmas stocking in beginning patterns. Plus, other than the cute baby pullover and hat, the other patterns are not great.

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Cute Baby Hat

With the sweater, this hat is very cute!

Beyond the Basics

Beyond the Basics

More unimpressive patterns.

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The Gallery

This spread and the next couple pages show sweaters designed by some of the designers within the book. No patterns for these – just pictures. I guess it’s inspiration, but all are really, really beyond a beginner!

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0806964154/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me=

Exquisite Little Knits

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Exquisite Little Knits by Iris Schreirer & Laurie J. Kimmelstiel

Exquisite Little Knits is a nice little book for “Knitting with Luxurious Specialty Yarns” as the subtitle suggests. Lark Books published Little Knits in 2004 in the hay day of specialty yarns.

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Exquisite Little Knits – Back Cover

Do I love this book? It’s mainly a project book of simple accessories that depend of the yarn rather than stitches to make them interesting. Thumbs Down for me!

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Photographed How-to’s

I liked the photographed how go’s. They are clear and easy to understand.

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Gemstone Scarf

Once the basics are covered, the book is broken down by various types of yarn. This scarf is from the “Lattice” section. It’s nice that a photo of the ball plus an image of the strands of yarn used is included.

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“Hat for All” from the Wool section

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North Cape Balaclava from the Silk section

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Golden Threads Boa from the Ribbon section

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Flying V Scarf from the Wool section

I do like this scarf. True to form, I’m always more interested in projects that are made in simple yarns rather than novelty yarns.

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Hot & Now Scarf from the Wool Section

Nice unisex garter stitch scarf! A good project for charity knitting or a gift.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Exquisite-Little-Knits-Luxurious-Specialty/dp/1579905366/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476305973&sr=1-1&keywords=exquisite+little+knits

The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Simple Knits

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The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Simple Knits

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Simple Knits – Back Cover

This book is one of a series of books created by owners of the Yarn Company shop in New York City – Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs. This one was published by Carlson Potter in 2002.

Before I start the review, I’ll add a spoiler alert. I’m keeping this book and thus a thumbs up. Maybe I’m waffling in my old age or something, but the book does have some interesting designs and I’m almost in the mood to make a sweater. Haven’t done one in a long time.

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Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs

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Cast on Illustration

The illustrations are clear and easy to follow. There are approximately 30 pages of how-to’s including a few finishing and simple crochet edgings.They are much better than photos.

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Decreasing how-to

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Key to Yarn Weights

The above page shows weights of yarn used in the book. If I had one complaint about the book it would be that only heavier yarns are included. The lightest weight is a heavy worsted. On the other hand, the projects are quicker to make.

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Variegated Yarns

Many of the designs are made with variegated yarns that a perfect for newer knitters.

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Simple knit cardigan

All the projects are photographed on mannequins that keeps the book from becoming dated.

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Pattern layout

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Schematic drawings

The pattern instructions and schematic drawings are also clear and easy-to-use.

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Hoodie Pullover

My favorite project! Would make a nice present for someone.

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Hats from Simple Knits

A few accessories and home dec pieces end the book.

Well done Julie and Jordana!

 

http://www.amazon.com/Yarn-Girls-Guide-Simple-Knits/dp/0609608800/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457620323&sr=8-1&keywords=the+yarn+girls%27+guide+to+simple+knits