Posts Tagged ‘book’

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?


Saturday Review: Couture Crochet Workshop

July 25, 2009

couture crochet

Couture Crochet Workshop: Mastering Fit, Fashion and Finesse by Lily Chin

I got this book from the Interweave ‘Hurt Book Sale’ and I am very happy to report that the only ‘hurt’ I see on this book is a little scratch on the bottom of the binding.

I have to say though, after getting a look at this book, I would have payed full price for it. There are 28 patterns in this book and that’s not the good part. The patterns are beautiful, but none of the patterns are stand alone, each of them are used as an example in a lesson. These lessons paired with the 30 pages (and I counted) of  jumpstart information in the beginning of the book, are pretty much priceless.

There are classes that will charge you hundreds of dollars without imparting a fraction of the information contained in this book.

The chapter titles are:

1. Laying the Foundation

2. Reading Charts

3. Planning Your Own Patterns

4. Refinements in Fitting

5. Crochet-Specific Stitching

6. Simpler Stitches

7. Circular Constructions

8. Manipulating Lace

9. Shell-Stitch Construction and Variations

10. Chevron Stitch Construction

I would have to recommend this information to both designers and crocheters who would simply like to alter patterns to fit them better. A lot of this information is transferable to knitting as well. (Lily Chin, if you recall, is bi-stitchual)

To give you a bit of some of the wonderful information hiding in this book, please let me quote:

Very close-fitting Actual chest/bust  measurement or less

Close-fitting  1-2 inches greater than chest/bust

Standard-fitting 2-4 inches greater than chest/bust

Loose-fitting 4-6 inches greater than chest/bust

Oversized 6 inches or greater than chest/bust”

And suddenly I understand my problems when I try sizing my own outfits. 🙂

My rating: 5-BOY Phenomenal, stupendous, amazing and any other positive superlative I can think of. If you are a knitter,  and see this book in you library or local bookstore, I would recommend picking it up. You may be interested enough to get it.

Okay, I’ll stop raving now. I have some reading to do….

Fiber Artist Friday: Edie Eckman

July 24, 2009


Edie Eckman is the author of The Crochet Answer Book and Beyond-the-Square Crochet Motifs.

At this point anything I write will be a paraphrase from her blog, so instead of a cheap imitation, here’s the real thing:

A former yarn shop owner, Edie has her hands in many aspects of the fiber arts—teaching, writing, designing and editing. Her designs are contemporary classics accessible to the average knitter or crocheter; they have appeared in many yarn company publications, magazines and pattern leaflets. Edie travels extensively teaching at conventions, shops and guilds. She enjoys sharing in that “aha” moment when her students grasp a new technique.

I had to put Edie Eckman up today, because after the post about Barbara Walker this morning I got looking for a comprehensive crochet collection, and the 2 people I came up with are Edie Eckman and Jan Eaton, and well, first of all, Edie is a lot more accessible to the online world. (I really do prefer to post people who have their own website.) Also, I own and use both of Edie’s books, so I have to give credit where credit is due, to this great crochet teacher and author.