Posts Tagged ‘review’

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?


Monday Magazine Review: Crochet Today

August 10, 2009

crochet cover

Crochet Today September/October 2009

Women’s: upcycled tee (collar embellishments), 1 tunic, 1 capelet, 1 beret,

Household/ Decor: 2 can covers, acorn boxes, 3 dish cloths, an eco tote, 3 river rock decorative covers, 2 afghans,

Back to school: 1 amigurumi clock (on cover), 1 large triangle scarf (otherwise called a shawl), kids cardigan, kids vest, pencil case

Halloween: Ghoul candy bag (by Monster Crochet’s LadyLinoleum!), 1 mask and 2 mustaches, 1 halloween baby blanket. 2 halloween kids hats

Total count: 26

That’s a pretty good count from a cover that only says “20+” 

There were a few articles as well, actually, there were 4. As always I would have preferred more, especially as total article page count is 5 minus the ad space. They were all quality articles however. My favorite is “It’s Easy Being Green: Learn how to be kind to our environment, one crochet stitch at a time!” There are a bunch of neat tips in this article.

My rating:5-BOYThe combination of quantity and quality make this issue superb!

Happy Stitching!

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!

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 Magazine Review: Crochet World Fall 2009

July 27, 2009

Crochet World Fall 2009

You can have no idea how happy I was to onto and see not a hint about this issue except that it is due out in October. My local bookstore had it on the shelf early, and I can see why as this is the only new crochet magazine I spotted; but seeing the cover almost gave me heart failure:

crochet world

Talk about Christmas in July!!

Although I do see another point the bookstore may have been making. If you want to have anywhere near enough time to do these patterns, you need to start now!

Because of the theme of the magazine, my pattern breakdown is more of one big list:

27ornaments, 6 afghans, 5 doilies, 3 table runners, 2 pairs of slippers, 2 bibs, 2 booties, 2 bookmarks, a treetop angel, a snowman, a pineapple stitch wreath, a ‘christmas package’ tissue box cozy, wine glass charms, towel topper, granny square tote, a stuffed football, a stuffed soccer ball, a clown face pillow (be warned that if the recipient has a fear of clowns, this will scar them for life), a woven christmas mat, a marble bag, hanging monkeys, a hook envelope

Total number of patterns: 66

You read that right- 66 patterns, and a whole lot of crochet thread. Okay, so there are no articles for me to babble on about so straight to the rating.

My rating:3Ballslulz With another one (or two-depending on quality) available if and when I see a holiday special that contains decorations for other religions. The theme is great and the issue will be quite useful to me, but then I celebrate Christmas, and I have a lot of friends who don’t.

Hmmmm… be on the lookout for a design of a crocheted dradle. 😉

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.

Monday Magazine Review: KNITSCENE

July 20, 2009


(sorry, the website isn’t caught up yet, so this is the mag on my deck)

Knitscene Fall 2009 (Special Edition)

This is a beefy magazine with a whole lot of patterns in it. My favorite articles are the information on counting for lace and cable designs. From what I have seen this is the hardest part for most people, me included, when dealing with tricky designs. “Darn! I missed a yarn over, now I have to tink back 3 rows!” This should give you some tricks to help solve this before it happens.

The cover boasts 29 must-make knits for fall and by my count:

Women’s: 10 tops, 3 vests, 5 cardigans

Accessories: 1 pair fingerless gloves, 1 pair mittens, 3 hats (1 crocheted), 34scarves(1 unisex), 1 pair of socks

Men’s: 1 hoodie

So the 29 is accurate, but the ‘knit’ is not. Eh, people never seem to want to say “and crochet” anymore. 😉

My rating: 4BallslulzActually, my only problem with this magazine is that it’s geared towards fall and summer just got here!! (At least on Long Island) I don’t want to be knitting warm clothes yet!

Monday Magazine Review: Crochet! Magazine

July 20, 2009

I have to break in here real quick to inform my readers of a small change in format. From now on Mondays will be purely Magazine review, one at 6am and one at 6pm (EST). The Welcome to the week deals will still be here, but I’m moving them to Tuesday evening and the ‘Tuesday Tip’ will be condensed to one post.

I decided on this change because of the relative size of the posts. Monday morning was always huge and the two Tuesday posts were rather tiny. Thank you for your time and I now return you to your regular scheduled program:

crochet mag


Crochet! Magazine September 2009

This magazine had a bunch of interesting patterns in the issue with a whole lot of variety to them.

Before I get to the patterns however I would like  to talk about the articles, there were a couple, but they seemed part of the patterns to the point that after flipping through the book, I had to turn and flip through it all again to find them.

My favorite article is definitely the explanation of two textured stitch patterns. Now, I love all stitch patterns because they offer so many options without the boundaries of a pattern, so maybe this isn’t a surprise, but still; I’m glad they put it there.

Back to the Patterns:

Women’s: 3 cardigans (one sized to 2x), earrings, necklace, cropped vest, top

Accessories: wrist warmers, hood/neckwarmer, felted bag, 2 hats, coaster/scarf/shawl/throw pattern (basically a motif pattern with instructions to utilize it differently

Children’s: girl’s coat, baby sweater,

Men’s: Men’s cardigan

Household: throw,  doily and second throw and coasters mentioned above.

Total number: 21 patterns of good variety


(girl’s coat mentioned above)

My rating: 3BallslulzThis is a good magazine for patterns, but though there were no ‘bad’ patterns, neither did any of them reach out and grab me. My suggestion, flip through the magazine and see if you really want any of the patterns, they’re what will make this issue worthwhile to you.

Monday Morning Mag Review: Simply Knitting and Interweave Crochet

July 13, 2009


Simply Knitting June

This magazine was a lot of fun to browse, not only did it come with a free sock needle set, holder and a lovely fair isle sock pattern but sprinkled through the magazine were 26 pages with those fun little blurbs that are so common in ‘Women’s Interest’ magazines like Cosmo, Lucky, or Redbook.

Women’s: 2cardigans, a short sleeved sweater
Acessories: crochet bag, unisex socks
One men’s sweater
Household: rug, floor cushion, hanging organizer
Miscellaneous: robot toy, and knit/crochet/fabric flower pattern, 3 lace stitches

Total number of patterns: 16 patterns (17 including ‘free’ sock pattern in pack)

There were a few cute articles in there but the one that I really did like was an interview with Kelley Deal, the lead guitarist of The Breeders. I was very proud of myself for not having to go look them up (my musical tastes are not terribly widespread.)

My rating:4BallsHonestly, with the price of this magazine, my suggestion is to look at what it’s giving away, is it worth the extra $3-$4? It’s a good magazine, but I wouldn’t pay the extra money for it by itself.


Interweave Crochet, Summer 2009

There is a lot of fun with laceweights going on in this issue, I am all for that, because I am a firm believer that laceweight is not just for knitting. Umm…working on a project that speaks to that point now. (Does that make 6 WIP’s ? 7?)
My favorite article talks all about the Victorian crochet revolution, I think I am a fan of this because I love reading Victorian era novels, and I love pulling style elements from those designs.


Women’s: 2 cardigans, 1 vest, 2 dresses, 1 skirt 1 short sleeved top
Accessories: wedding veil, purse, shawl/shrug, garter, 2 necklaces and one set of  earrings, a broomstick lace shawl, a beach sarong (think shawl for your butt), 1 hat, 1 scarf

Household:  lace curtains, market bag, crayon/hook holder

Total pattern count: 21 patterns

My rating: 4Ballslulz Good pattern count, but not a fabulous selection, though I do love all the laceweight thrown among the pages.

Monday Morning Mag Review: Crochet! Magazine

June 29, 2009


Crochet! Magazine

This was a cute summer magazine, with a lot of home goods in it.

The patterns:

Home: an afghan, some doilies, a pitcher cover (which is ,apparently, a square cloth to cover a pitcher), a small rug, a table runner, and a beautiful, lacy coverlet.

Women’s: 2 pullovers, 1 dress with a fishnet top, a cardigan, a duster, a charm bracelet, a shawl and a bag.

Children’s: an afghan, a baby sundress, and a baby hat.

Total: 17 patterns

The most interesting article to me was an article on changing the look of a pattern, though I certainly wouldn’t recommend the frilly collar they put on a shirt :


My rating: 3BallslulzThere were some cute patterns, I really liked the lacy coverlet, but overall the magazine was rather lackluster, in my opinion at least.