Posts Tagged ‘Saturday Review’

Saturday Review: The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques

June 27, 2009



The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe

I have to say that I get very skeptical when books title themselves “the essential guide” or “the ___ bible” but in this case the book is everything the title claims, and maybe just a bit more.

I can definitely say that this book answered all of the questions I had about color knitting and some that I don’t think I would have ever thought of.

It comes with a section on color theory, stitch patterns (using different colors of course, stripes, multicolor yarns, stranded knitting, intarsia, and more. It also has sections on entrelac and shadow knitting, and a few patterns.

Besides all of the things I could go on about this book having, it also has amazing, clear color pictures. The technique pictures manage to be instructional and beautiful.

My rating: 5-Balls of YarnEven the most frugal person has to admit that this book really does give you your money’s worth and then some.


Review: Socks from the Toe Up

May 8, 2009

Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson is a wonderful book bursting with beautiful patterns and useful information.

As the title says, this is all about doing socks from the toe up, a whole new ball game for me, so I am very excited. I actually found this book next to Sock Innovations by Cookie A. but whereas Cookie A.’s book has some interesting pattern, I had to grab the book that promised to teach me something.

The only downside of this book is conditional: you should be familiar with working socks on either 2 circular needles or one very long one (à la magic loop.) Wendy does put a quick explanation of the different techniques but in my opinion it is too short for someone completely new.

So where, you ask, would you find this information, my suggestion is                



2sockcover_d112807Two-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan- Oakes which will teach you magic  loop and how to make them, well, two at at time.

So, with no further ado, here’s the breakdown for this book:

127 pages of information

Technique information and lessons:

5 toe techniques, 3 heel techniques, and 4 bind-off techniques

Sock patterns:

3 basic socks- normal stockinette allowing you to focus on working the socks from the bottom up and giving you a feel for the separate techniques.

12 lace patterns-  these are lovely patterns, all very different and still nice, I also like that they are shown in multicolor sock yarns, as most of the sock yarn that you see (and that I covet) has lovely handpainted colorways, so I love patterns that use them.

3 textured gansey patterns- these are nice, mostly because the patterns are simply creative combinations of knits and purls that create shapes. (think martini dishcloth)

2 “cabled” patterns- I love cables, and though she explains that cables do tend to make the socks bulky, I am a little upset that these patterns aren’t true cables, though they are very nice and the mock cable socks are very clever.

3 sport weight patterns– ok so its really another 3 lace socks in slightly heavier yarn, and these are just as lovely as the other lace patterns so I am not going to complain.

Summary : 23 sock patterns! That and the large number of techniques in the front puts this book in my opinion in the must have category.

*Another great feature of this book is that, with the exception of the 2 last patterns, all of the patterns in this book call for the same size needle. Even if you need a different needle from the one in the book (namely a size 0) you should still only need one size for 21 out of the 22 patterns

I give it  5 balls of yarn:small-yarnsmall-yarnsmall-yarnsmall-yarnsmall-yarn