16
Jul

Simple Crocheting by Erika Knight

A calming neutral color palette, stunning photography and gorgeously simple projects – I’m not sure which of these qualities drew me to this book first, but I instantly knew that Simple Crocheting by Erika Knight needed to have a home on my bookshelf asap. Highlighting the wide range of finished fabrics and textures, you’ll find everything from chic accessories like fingerless mitts, shawls, and jewerly to home decor and even a cardigan.

12
Nov

Book review of Knitting Hats & Mittens from Around the World

As knitters we are so lucky to enjoy a craft that has cultural influences from so many different parts of the world. And because people depended on knit items for their survival in colder climates. Ingenuity and necessity have been the catalysts for knit styles and techniques that we are familiar to us today.

In Knitting Hats and Mittens from Around the World, Donna Druchunas has gathered a fascinating collection of accessories designed by a variety of designers and inspired by our global knitting heritage.

23
Jul

The Sock Knitter’s Handbook

I love books that are already spiralbound if nothing else because I don’t have to make a trip to Kinkos to have it spiral bound. I guess spiral binding is a sign of my respect for a book in some sort of weird way that I really don’t want to examine too closely.  

 

The Sock Knitter’s Handbook by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott is one of those kind of knitting books. Not a pattern book but it will definitely get you heading towards your sock yarn stash whether you are just beginning to explore the pleasures of knitting socks or you’ve got a few dozen in your sock drawer. 

16
Jul

Knitting Scarves from Around the World

Every knitter appreciates our craft’s heritage but exploring all of those traditions is certainly daunting. On the other hand, just reading the history of sweaters like ganseys, Fair Isle, Norwegian, Cowichan and other fiber reflections of culture somehow doesn’t seem like quite enough. Thanks to Kari Cornell, you can use what I think is a brilliant way to blend samplers, utilitarians items and heritage into completely approachable projects – scarves!

Sometimes I am blown away by the way such a simple concept can be so brilliant! Think about it, scarves have been providing warmth, comfort, or decoration to both men and women almost as long as human civilization has existed. So says Donna Druchunas at the very beginning of her introduction to Knitting Scarves from Around the World. Then she goes on to appeal to my love of knitting history focusing on head and neck coverings. All the way back to 2900 B.C. and all around the world including Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, Rome on up through seventeenth century Croatian soldiers, King Charles II of England and the aeronautical scarves of Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes and WWI’s “Red Baron”.

9
May

Weekend Hats

I’ve gotten so much in the habit of knitting socks that I have forgotten that hats have many qualities that make them ideal, portable projects.

When I received a review copy of Weekend Hats it reminded me of the advice Elizabeth Zimmermann gave regarding knitting hats as swatches for sweaters. She suggested watch caps for quick swatch hats. But, I don’t really want to knit such simple hats. In their book Weenend Hats, Cecily and Melissa have provided me with a selection of stylish hats for our favorite waitress and I can pick out something for myself to swatch for the cardigan that has been on my To Do List for waaay too long.

7
May

Color in Spinning

You’re spinning? Isn’t it just too much fun?

Once you are confident with your skills, I know you are going to be happy for years as you feel all sorts of fibers slip through your fingers. But, handspinning isn’t just a tactile experience. Color is a whole other world of spinning. I think it is even more fun because it is a way for you to add your own color preferences to spinning.

Color in Spinning by Deb Menz is a large book but Deb’s lessons make working with color completely approachable. The page sizes and quality paper provide a excellent canvas for the large, colorful, detailed photos.