Posts Tagged ‘Knitting’

Satuday Review: Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarn

November 21, 2009

Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn edited by Carol J. Sulcoski

As soon as I heard of this book it caught my eye. At the time I had been going through different sock patterns tired of finding great patterns that were terrible for multi-colored yarn. It seemed as if the only pattern made for a truly variegated yarn was the Jaywalker, and you can only make that one so many times before going stark raving mad. This book of 21 sock patterns by 17 designers offers quite a few ways of dealing with multicolored yarns.

The pattern selection is great, going from simple and short like the Zigzag lace anklets by Pam Grushkin to a complicated intarsia construction like the Spread Spectrum socks by Kristi Schueler.

There is also 18 pages of instruction in the front, covering everything from needle sizes to color theory and 7 pages of knitting instructions and tips which are always great when a book has more complicated patterns in it. (We’re not supposed to remember the correct way to do everything, now are we?)

There is also a clever way of sorting the patterns, putting different icons for “Nearly Solid,” “Muted Multi,”  and “Wild Multi” I do have to say that I wish “Nearly Solid” wasn’t an option in this book though. I can go to any other pattern book for socks that work with that type of yarn. Also, the icons themselves were hard to tell the difference between. They were blue circles with swirls, either white, medium blue or light blue. It is not easy to tell the difference between medium blue and light blue and if you’re going by icons, there is a lot of flipping back and forth to see which is the darker blue swirl.

I also have to congratulate the designers and especially the editor on the choice of sock yarns.  There was a great selection and some of it was from the not-so big companies. It’s another great way to see knit samples of the same yarns that I love to window shop.

<- I especially loved the “Marie Antionette” colorway from Black Bunny Fibers– point of interest; Carol Sulcoski, the editor is also the owner of Black Bunny Fibers.

All in all the book has a lot to recommend it, and a collection of really talented

My rating: A great concept and some very good designs, but not all of them were really made for handpainted yarn, and the icon classification system is hard to figure out.


Web of Yarn Wednesday:

November 18, 2009

Before I go into this, I want to apologize for missing a couple of days. You never realize how far down a bad cold can bring you until it happens. Now that I have some of my energy back though, I return you to your regularly scheduled programming. is a site I came across only recently. It has beginner and advanced knitting tips, a “Happy Hookers” section with crochet tips, and even articles on different yarns, and everyone’s favorite: free patterns!

The patterns and articles can be submitted by anyone, so please, share your pearls of wisdom with the world. (I spend way too much time knitting – I almost spelled it ‘purls.’)


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?

Fiber Artist Friday: Kara Gott Warner

November 13, 2009

Todays Fiber Artist is a wonderful knit-wear designer, an editor of knitting books *and* she has her own etsy store! 

On her blog she talks a little bit about her different activities, and boy does she keep busy. However, as many different activities as she has, she keeps calm throughout it all; which is certainly more that I can manage!

Her etsy shop, i gott knits has some great e-patterns, including her new pattern collection “Au Petit Paris” I love to knit accessories, so I really get into things like this.

cowlclochecowl 2

According to the site the pattern was inspired by her time living in Paris. I find this especially exciting, because it makes the collection name truly meaningful, rather than just pretty. I would love to translate all the french names of the different patterns for you, but I took spanish in school! 🙂

I have to say though, despite the wonderful patterns on her etsy store ( my favorite items are her “mala-esque” bracelets. I am not a bracelet person normally, but I totally covet these accessories!

mala 2mala 1mala 3

Don’t they just look intriguing?

Kara was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, and gave me some great behind-the-scenes info on the process of publishing a knitting book, so be sure to check back in 12 hours; same bat-time, same bat-network!!

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.

Web of Yarn (the late edition):

November 4, 2009

Okay, so the reason that I chose should be self-evident. I mean, really, who doesn’t like free patterns. This site has free patterns for knitting, crochet, sewing, cross-stitch, quilting and more!

Sooo…. who else is up to storming this site like a castle and raiding anything wonderful, weird and… I can’t think of another w.

Okay, have fun storming the castle!

Web of Yarn:

November 4, 2009

So in honor of the first week of NaNoWriMo – in which I am terribly behind by the way, I wanted to talk about is a “social publishing company” which means that you can publish just about anything you want and share it with the world.

This makes it a great resource for all sorts of different information. In relation to knitting and crochet in particular, if you search either term, you’ll see that there are more than 1000 entries for each. Everything from patterns to tutorials to sample pages of published books come up. Some e-books are also available, but for a price.

Scribd also has a community element, and you can subscribe to different groups and find people who share like interests.

I have only begun to scratch the surface of and I think the same is true for many people.

So go on, check it out! I promise you’ll find something you like. Besides, books are the next best thing to yarn!

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”


Weekday Deals, Steals & Giveaways

August 18, 2009

Hello everyone, I’m sorry I’ve been a complete jerk about posting for the last week, between being sick, having broken internet, and waaayy too much stuff going on people-wise, I’ve barely had time to turn around. As you can see, the internet is back on and even fairly reliable, and I am feeling better (no longer achy and exhausted 24/7 -yay!!)

So back on track and here are the steals, deals & giveaways:

The Loopy Ewe is having sales between now and Friday (8/21) at midnight

20% off all Cherry Tree Hill yarns

20% off all Heartstrings patterns

20% off all GoKnit bags

There is also a contest on their blog post a chance to win at least 3 skeins of yarn and 3 accessories.


Simply Socks Yarn Co is having an amazing sale – 33% off all Schafer Anne Yarns! That is $27 down to $17.80. That includes the ‘Memorable Knitter’s’ colorways.

Wendy D. Johnson is offering a WendyKnits pattern of the winner’s choice to 5 people who help her come up with a comprehensive list of movies with states names in the title! is hosting a giveaway for and gave us a heads up- use coupon code “FELTING854” to get 10% off on you eKnittingNeedles order and any order over $15 has free shipping. (Don’t worry fellow crocheters- they sell crochet hooks too!) is having a 1/2 price sale in order to get rid of her beautiful, lovely stitch markers before she moves. Let’s help her out! 🙂

Get ready for Stop 10 of the Summer Blogocation(tm)!

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!