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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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.

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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.

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.

 

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.

Aran_knitting

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.

bohus_knitting

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.

stickning_knitting

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.

 

Shetland_lace

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 Pretty

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Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival

Another little book today. Even though it’s little, it has taken me awhile to get this into my blog. Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival (published in 2002 by Chronicle Books) is an easy to read and easy to use book. I have some negative comments, but generally it’s a nicely done  120 page volume.

Thumbs up or down: I liked the top down sweater at the end of the blog post, but most of the patterns are too simple for me. I’m going to pass on this book and keep my shelf space for more important books.

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Knitting Pretty – Back Cover

There is the usual “Getting Started” and “How to Knit” chapters

illustrations

Knitting – American Style

The American Style “How to Knit” page shown in the book has very small illustrations ( all illustrations are similar and all too small). Could you really learn from these illustrations? The next page is the Continental Style with no illustrations – yikees! Plus I wonder if a beginner would get the difference between the two styles and why to choose one over the other.

instructions

Simple Garter Stitch Scarf

After all the “How-to” pages – through page 40, the first projects were simple and noted by a “1” in a circle. Clever graphics. The instructions tell you what you need to know and what page to refer to for a refresher on the technique – very clever. I like the step-by-step numbered instructions.

mittens

Warmest Mittens – level 4

I include this project only because I’ve been working on mittens this winter and looking at various patterns. There isn’t a section which shows how to cast on and join for double-pointed needles. Not the easiest for someone who is using the book as a novice although there are lots of places where one could go to find the technique on the internet.

swatches

Simple Squares

The swatches used to check gauges have other uses. This spread talks about ways to use squares, but the patterns are a bit vague.

sweater

Simple Sweater – Level 5

Knit in the round from the top down, this is a nice sweater. It’s made in a chunky yarn which would make it a faster-to-knit project. The lack of how to knit with circular needles makes it again a bit of a stretch for a novice.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Pretty-Instructions-Fabulous-Projects-ebook/dp/B00HSXBZ8I/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459799819&sr=1-1&keywords=knitting+pretty

 

The Knitter’s Bible – Knitted Accessories

The Knitter's Bible - Knitted Accessories by Claire Crompton

The Knitter’s Bible – Knitted Accessories by Claire Crompton

Today I’m doing an easier book. By easy I mean that I could read and review in one sitting – 128 pages and I could skim through it pretty easily.

The important info: The Knitter’s Bible – Knitted Accessories by Claire Crompton (published in 2006 first in the UK).

Thumbs up or down: I’m having a hard time deciding on this one. I like a couple of projects, but I hated the English (UK) slant in language and instructions. To be fair, it was really designed to be published in the UK and doesn’t seem to have been Americanized.

Knitted Accessories - Back Cover

Knitted Accessories – Back Cover

I’m going to begin on a positive note. I did love the back flap with a ruler and abbreviations. Very clever and helpful for the knitter, although some of the abbreviations are not ones commonly used in the US.

Back Flap with abbreviations and ruler

Back Flap with abbreviations and ruler

two-needle mittens

two-needle mittens

I usually love books of accessories. They always make good gifts or are good charity projects. I admit that I really hate mittens, gloves and wrist warmers that are made on two needles that require seaming when complete. This book seems to have only the two-needle type of accessories. I’m assuming that the author must have thought this would be easier for a novice knitter. Overall a beginner knitter might have problems following this book. There is a lot of info on combining yarns to change the weight, but the explanation is not too clear for a knitter who doesn’t know about various types of yarns. Also, the “how-to” info (while very well done) is way in the back of the book. The author’s explanations of fibre (UK spelling), combining yarns, weight and texture of yarns is a bit stiff and would be a bit confusing for someone just coming into the knitting world.

How-to Illustrations

How-to Illustrations

A couple of the projects I did like that make me want to consider this book a keeper.

Cabled Wristwarmers

Cabled Wristwarmers

Mitered Square Scarf

Mitered Square Scarf

I did like the author’s addition of a page of flowers that could be used to attach to hats or scarves or as pins.

Knit Flower Illustrations

Knit Flower Illustrations

As a recap, I’d say that as an American knitter, the biggest gripe I have with this book is it’s non-American slant in writing, abbreviations and spelling. Otherwise a handy resource for making accessories.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Knitters-Bible-Knitted-Accessories/dp/0715326007/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426704084&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Knitter%27s+Bible+Knitted+Accessories