Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

The Winner!!

November 16, 2009

As I said, the might Google defeated me and the answer is, as so many of you said, The Sign of Four. The “Rebellion of ’57” came from that book, and when examining Watson’s poketwatch as a test of his skills of observation, Holmes spoke about the habits of pawnbrokers in England. Here’s the sneak preview of the colorway:






The winner is: Sara

Congratulations! For those who didn’t win, don’t worry, this is going to be an ongoing giveaway, though there will be 2 changes. First, that the clues will be a little less obvious, and hopefully a lot more fun, and secondly that since this will be a monthy contest (running from the 1st to the 15th of each month) the giveaways will only be for 1 month of the subscription.


It’s in the Bag Review (Day 1 of Blog Tour!)

November 16, 2009


It’s in the Bag: Knitting Projects to Take & Make edited by: Kara Gott Warner

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out her interview.

When I first had the chance to review this book, I jumped at it. It looked really interesting. I have to say however, that this is one of those books that gets better and better the closer look you take.

With 60 patterns in five categories, there really is something in this book for everyone. The 10 pages of information including knitting basics, crochet basics, embroidery and all abbreviations make this a perfect book for a beginner. I could easily see taking this book, and going from a basic understanding of knit and purl and launching into cables, lace knitting and colorwork.

Another thing that makes this book great for the new-to-knitting is the easy and accesible way the patterns are laid out. The pages themselves feel rather inviting, with large, easy to read fonts and the occasional tip or personal anecdote to ease your knitting journey.

Please don’t make it out that this book is just for beginners though. I consider myself a fair to middling knitter and I found tons of patterns in here that I couldn’t wait to cast on. Here are a few that caught my eye.

There are accesories like the Luxurious Lace Collar:LuxuriousLaceCollar

(click any of the pics to enlarge)

Wouldn’t this make a great gift? It’s quick but super-stylish! As soon as I saw this one, it went on my ‘to-gift’ list. The best part is that it’s easily small enough to take around with you. (You can gift the results to whoever admires your project the most!) I may have to buy the gorgeous Lantern Moon Bag that is featured with this pattern, though.


There are also great wearables like the “Sleek, Stylish, Sleeveless Shirt” SleekStylishSleevelessTop Now, you all know how much I love alliteration, so I couldn’t help but love this shirt. However the best thing about this shirt is that the shaping at the waist is done with ribbing. So you can cast on the stitches, work the stitch type as directed and continue on to the top. Honestly. There is no decreasing or anything. Isn’t that exactly what you want from a portable project, no need to tote instructions? 


Speaking of wearFrillyPrillyPonchoables, don’t you just love this sweater for our furry friends? Despite the name this “Frilly Prilly Poncho” is elegant and dignified for either a girl or boy and is a great idea for keeping the less fluffy warm all winter long. (Hey, it works for us humans, right?)




Doesn’t this picture just make you purse your lips and say “awwww…”? The Nautical Stripes Onesie & Sunhat  is probably the cutest thing you can make for the little man in your life. Just beware, if you take this pattern around with you, there is a good chance you will be mobbed with requests as those with their own little guy add this to their christmas list.



Out of all the great patterns in the “Home Adornments” section this particular one caught my eye because of its unique construction. The “Laced-Up Cables Afghan” is exactly what its name implies. You first create the cable panels, then lace them together using a crocheted chain (for those who haven’t done this before, it’s really simple trust me- plus you don’t even need to use a hook) This is a great way to take the sting out of knitting a blanket, and bonus, the panels will be quite easy to tote around with you, which an entire blanket wouldn’t be.


I know I already featured one baby look, but I had to recommend a pattern like this to any beginning lace knitters. I know that common knowledge is that “feather and fan” patterns are the ‘thing’ for new lace knitters, but if that has left you hopelessly frustrated try this one instead. This lace pattern is extremely easy and easy to see, and isn’t this dress just absolutely adorable? (Besides, all my friends seem to be having girls this year so this dress definitely caught my eye. Now I need one of them to have a boy so I can make the onesie too!)

Has your interest been perked yet? If so make sure that you check out Kat Coyle’s blog- Kat will spend some time with Laura Nelkin discussing her Andrea Beaded Cuffs. Also- Don’t miss Laura’s beading tutorial at Nelkin Designs.

My rating you ask? 5-BOY A perfect score, what else could I give to a book this good?

Tuesday Tip: Great Gift Ideas & Free Patterns

November 10, 2009

Okay, so while racking my brain to come up with some good tips to share today, I decided that, like me, some of you will be planning on good gifts to make for the holidays. Since I have been doing some definite research on that subject recently, please let me show you some of my finds:

I only found this blog on sunday but its great! Rachel Klein of One Pretty Thing creates “roundups” of craft projects that she finds online. She also has a Handmade Gift Guide. There are both knitting and crochet projects, but this site tempted me to try different crafts in a way that hasn’t been done it years.

The Crochet Pattern Directory, not only has its own huge list of free patterns, but it also has a Christmas section with Angels, Snowflakes, Ornaments and even a Miscellaneous Christmas sub-topic.

The Knitting Pattern Directory has its own Christmas section, with some real gems.

Knitting Daily has a beautiful Poinsettia Ornament, a Snowflake, and a Cabled Globe.

I also found this great independent site with a huge list of Crochet Christmas Ornaments.

Monday Morning Mag Review:Knotions Mag

November 9, 2009

I found a new knitting e-zine! is a wonderful knitting online magazine; it’s a diamond in the rough, only without the rough.

There are quite a few patterns on it and there was a good selection. It helped that the current issue has a ‘mini sock issue’ in it, so there is plenty of eye candy for a sock yarn enthusiast. I mean, look at these sweet things:

cute socks

That’s not all! There is also great lace patterns and some wonderful cable patterns. I personally think that this pullover would look great on just about anyone:


I absolutely love the cable pattern on the top. Don’t ask me why, but it is one of my favorite cable patterns, I just find it so elegant.

Besides the lovely patterns (17 that I can count) there are also 2 book reviews, a review on Signature Needles – something I found quite interesting, and 3 different tutorials.

The only downside of this site is that the navigation is a little confusing, it was hard to tell what was the current issue and what was archive.

My rating:5-BOY I am such a sucker for independent online magazines, and Knotions is a perfect example why.

New Giveaway-Play Detective

November 5, 2009

And now another giveaway!!

Yes, yes, I know I just finished one, but it was so much fun, that I had to do another right away. Speaking of that giveaway, I have heard from both Diane and Darcy, and their winnings should be in the mail tomorrow. 

Anyways, this new giveaway goes hand-in-hand with the updates I just made to my etsy shop. I just posted the Sherlock Holmes Clubs. There is the knitting not-just-sock club, the crochet not-just-sock club, the knitting sample club and the crochet sample club.

I love sock clubs and yarn clubs, but I noticed a few general problems:

1. They get really expensive; so I came up with a sample club. Big enough to enjoy new yarn each month, and create a small project out of it, but it won’t break the bank.

2. I like to make socks, but not only socks; so I made my clubs not-just-sock clubs, with projects made from sock yarn so if you choose you can create only socks, but there are options.

3. I haven’t seen a crochet sock club. Not to say that they don’t exist (I do not claim omniscience – if you know of one please, please, please let me know!!) So along with my knitting not-just-sock, and sample clubs, I have crochet clubs at the same price with the same theme, and same yarn. Only difference is the pattern, (and there may be a few less socks in the general scheme of things.)

The giveaway rules:

Play Detective!

December’s Shipment is based on a particular Holmes story, and I will drop hints here and there throughout the next week or so, and you, my fine readers can guess which story this month will be based on.

If you’re not a Holmes fanatic like myself, don’t worry. This works off of participation, not accuracy. Hazard a guess on which Holmes story it is, and your name will be in the drawing to win a 3 month subscription of the club of your choice. (I’m thinking one of the not-just-sock clubs, but if you would rather a sample club, that’s fine with me.)  The hints will also go from very vague to more concrete each time.

Hint #1- This story featured the “Rebellion of ’57”

Edit: Thank you Ikkinlala! Yep, please leave your guess comments on this post, though commenting on any post with a guess is valid.

Friday: Fiber History

October 30, 2009

First let me thank everyone who has commented with a suggestion about a fiber artist so far. My first few e-mails will be going out today.

Because I want to kick start the Friday Fiber Artist collectively, today will be dedicated to Fiber History. (Because, well, why not?)

I have been knee deep in Victorian historical research for the past week. In that vein I wanted to give you a couple of Victorian patterns that I have come across (and admired.)

First the Princess Crocheted Workbag. Not only is it gorgeous, but Mary Schlueter also provided translation, making the pattern workable from a modern day American perspective.

princess crochet bag

Doesn’t it look incredibly intricate? The instructions aren’t terribly complicated, and now I have a serious case of bag-envy. That seems to be a natural state for me though.

Second, from the same site: Infant’s Knitted Bootee . Unfortunately there is no gauge or yarn or needle size but hey, that just adds to the adventure!

Looking at them though, I wonder if it wasn’t done with sewing thread, because these look like terribly intricate booties to fit on a infant foot. Hmmm. Betcha if you use worsted weight and sz 5’s you could make an “Adult’s Knitted Bootee”


Monday Morning Magazine Review: Vogue Knitting

August 10, 2009

voguecoverVogue Knitting Fall 2009

Something I could tell when I first picked up this issue is that there’s a lot in it. I have to say I like that in a magazine, I would rather have tons of great designs that I don’t get to than go through the designs quickly. (But then I’m a re-reader.)

There are a lot of articles in this issue and I can only say: Yay!!

I love articles. Patterns aren’t great, but as I am spending most of my knitting and crocheting time (read: all of it) working patterns that I’m designing, I would like a good yarn-related article in the mean time.

There were lots of those, but my favorite is: Going Seamless: Part One by Jared Flood. I am a huge Jared Flood fan, though I’m probably a little biased, as he’s from Brooklyn (no- I’m not from the city, I’m from Long Island at about the halfway mark between the Hamptons and Manhattan.)

 I do try to support local businesses where I can. 🙂

About those Patterns:

Women’s: 15 cardigans (all very nice, except for one oversized one that said it had plus sizing, believe me, something that bulky only looks good on the smaller end of the size range), 4 pullovers, 1 coat, 1 dress

Accessories: 11 hats, 1 pair fingerless gloves, 1 pair fingered gloves, 1 shawl and 1 needle felted scarf (no knitting required)

Housewares: 1 knit-rose covered chair (it looked fabulous, but I worry that it wouldn’t be comfortable, I’d want to sit in one before creating my own)

Total Pattern Count: 37

That is a lot of patterns (and lots of articles to boot!)

My rating: 4BallslulzThis magazine was so close to a perfect rating, but the lack of sizing and the sheer repetition of cardigans and hats lost me along the way. If however you only knit cardigans and hats, this is the magazine for you!

Fiber Artist Friday: Wendy D. Johnson

July 31, 2009

wendyjohnsonWendy D. Johnson is a knitwear designer, author, the keeper of, and the owner of the cutest little kitty I have ever seen; Lucy.


You can’t make them more adorable than that!

Ahem, back to the topic. Wendy is an amazing designer and fantastically funny on her blog.

I own her book Socks from the Toe Up and love it. Its full of beautiful patterns and tons of useful information. Actually, you can see my review here.

She is coming out with another book March 23, 2010 called Toe-Up Socks for Everybody


I think it looks like lots of fun, and I can’t wait to get it. Hmmm, wonder if I can get an interview with her before the book releases?

The good news is that I can get drips and drabs of her wisdom (and maybe some cool patterns.) On her site. The best part about the site though, for all the knitting goodies; are the fabulous pictures of lucy.

lucy 2

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday Web of Yarn: Knitters Review

July 29, 2009

Knitter’s Review is a great website with tons of information and a great community. The main point of the website is summarized easily in the name – lots of reviews!

There are reviews on: Books ,  Tools , and, of course;   YARNS!  

Ther are also  How tos (and not just knitting!),  Events<!–  –  Boutique–> -though there are none near me :(,  Polls  I love to add my 2 cents in! 

Don’t forget the Knitter’s Review Forums. A whole chatty community to participate in!

Happy Stitching!<!–Shops–>

Monday Morning Magazine Review: Creative Knitting

July 27, 2009

creative knittingCreative Knitting September 2009

There were only a couple of real ‘articles’ in this issue(by that I mean not the collections of reviews and snippets); but the two I spotted were both interesting. A bio on Lorna Miser, the author of Faith, Hope, Love, Knitting and “The ABC’s of sock knitting; of the two the latter was definitely my favorite, but then I’m kind of addicted to sock knitting and going through withdrawal- so it might just be me.

The patterns on the other hand are both wonderful and plentiful. One of my favorites is called “Mitered Magic and it uses a mitered square technique to create a boat neck pullover. The sweater just looks like it would be simple to knit and really flattering.

Here’s the Breakdown:
Women’s: 5 pullovers, 8 cardigans, 1 parka, 1 vest, 1 pair of capris
Accessories: 1 wrap, 2 sets of mittens, 1 hat, 1 scarf
Children’s: 1 set of anklet socks, 1 sleeveless hoodie for an older girl, 5 cardigans in various sized (smallest one fits an American girl doll)
Mens: 1 v-neck sweater
Household: 1 pillow cover, 2 afghans, place mat, napkin ring

Total number:34

My rating: 4-BOYAgain the patterns are wonderful, and I debated giving it 5 balls of yarn because that’s how many skeins I would need of this yarn to make the mitered sweater; but I’m picky and I like articles to read as I wind my yarn.