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

 

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

Knitting Around the World

knitting_World_cvr

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.

knitting_world_bk_cvr

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.

steek_illus

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.

faeroe_knitting

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.

FIsle_tam

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

One Skein

one_skein_cvr

One Skein 30 Quick Projects to Knit and Crochet

Ending the year with a blog sounds like a good idea to me. I just have to make my 2017 resolution to blog more often!

When searching Amazon, One Skein is lost in a sea of “One Skein Wonder” books. This slim volume is written by Leigh Radford and published by Interweave Press in 2006.

It’s a thumbs down for me. The patterns for the most part are just OK and not worth the room on my shelf.

cabled_hats

Cabled Hats

I do like this pair of hats. Seems like an easy project in a chunky yarn on size 11 (8mm) needles.

rib_cable_scarf

Rib & Cable Scarf

This was shown as a “Quartet” with 4 versions. One scarf shown on a man is so short that it had to be fastened with knitting needles – really! It is a simple project, although none of the projects are marked for skill level.

fingerless_mitts

Fingerless Garter Mitts

I do love fingerless mitts and am always prowling around to find good ones. I’m not crazy about this pair with elongated stitches and no thumb.

felted_tote

Felted Striped Tote

Not a bad project, but I’ve seen similar ones before.

felted_bowls

Felted Bowls

crochet_cap

Crocheted Cap

The cover does say “projects to knit and crochet”, but the crochet projects are few. This is OK if you are a knitter/crocheter. If you only do one or the other craft, this is not the book for you.

I’ve omitted pics of the leg warmers, bags, projects for baby and ones for home such as a bath mat. Many are not worth including.

https://www.amazon.com/One-Skein-Leigh-Radford-ebook/dp/B00DH40O7U/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1483039896&sr=1-10&keywords=one+skein+wonders

The Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book

green_mountain_cvr

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.

green_mountain_bc_cvr

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.

jacket_pattern

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.

raglan_pullovers

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.

cables

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.

patterns

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.

yarn

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

Book of Wool – the finale!

Book_Wool_cvr

The Knitter’s Book of Wool

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally done with Clara Parkes wonderful book. Before you even ask – it’s a keeper.

In this blog, I’m going to discuss Chapter 4 – blended fibers and Chapter 5 – patterns along with a bit about the end material.

Cptr4_open

Chapter 4 – Plays Well With Others

Mixing wool with fibers such as silk, mohair, alpaca, cashmere and angora bring the best of all worlds. Clara talks about blending wool for different effects. The results are wonderful for knitters.

Cptr4_angora

Chapter 4 – blending with angora, alpaca, cashmere

Cptr5_open

Chapter 5 – Patterns

Now that we know so much about wool, having patterns to use the yarn is a “no brainer”.

Cptr5_socks

Chapter 5 – socks

Wool is a natural for socks. It’s warm, it wicks and it lasts with wear.

Cptr5_pattern

Chapter 5 – Instructions

I’m always looking for clear instructions, charts and schematics. This book doesn’t disappoint.

Cptr5_charts

Chapter 5 – Charts

wash_wool

Washing Wool

How do you wash wool? Hand washing is outlined step-by-step. Good advice. The next page covers keeping moths at bay. More good advice.

resource_list

Resource List

The resources plus processors on the next spread are a great follow up to the book. The book ends with abbreviations, a glossary, recommended reading and info on the pattern designers. What a way to end the book!

wrister

Sweet Fern Mitts

My mitts are above. Notice that the one of the left is a disaster. The cables are wrong and I really wanted a few more rows between the cables (decided part way into the mitt. The right mitt is much better. I need to make another pair now that I’ve corrected my mistakes!

 

 

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