Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: 3 skeins or less FRESH knitted accessories


  
I'm in love with knitted accessories. From mittens, to hats, to scarves, and oh yes, socks! 

We all love projects that are 3 skeins or less. Think of the investment when it's more than that. That's why when I was asked to review this book, I jumped on it. Sweater in 3 skeins or less, bring it on. A cowl using 1 or 2 skeins, oh yes!

Author: Tanis Gray
Paperback: 3 skeins or less Fresh knitted accessories
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 143 Pages
Retail Price: $24.99


I'm going to show you some of my favorite projects in the books. The photography is spot on. There are 25 glorious projects for you to knit. 25 designers. 

This book opens with an introduction by Tanis herself about how magical the process of knitting is.

Here we go:

Of course I'd start with a hat. Melissa LaBarre designed this Little Vine Beret. It's made up of knit and purls, increases and decreases. Complete with a chart. I truly love this beret. It's knit with Quince and Co yarn.



Another favorite design of mine is the A Case of Lace Socks. Though, it's a bit intense with its cabling detail, the end result will certainly leave you feeling satisfyied. 



My third favorite design is the Right Round Mitts. Truly a quick knit. The lace repeat is easy to memorize and mirrored. 



What do you think? 

My overall impression is: 

1. You should go out and buy 3 skeins or less FRESH knitted accessories. 
2. You need to know if you are NOT a chart person, this book may not be for you. It it filled with them on most patterns. With that said, there is a great selection of patterns that do not have charts. 
3. This price point for this book is great at $24.99 with 25 patterns. That $1.00 a pattern. 
4. Christmas is coming and I'm sure theres someone on your list that you still need to knit for, right?

It's an accessory book that will keep you knitting. The photography is beautiful, the color choices in yarn are beautiful. 


So, I bid you much love knitters, and encourage you to take a peek at this book. You won't be sorry. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.

Knit On!

Deb

Monday, October 20, 2014

Knitting For the Season

Don't you love this time of year. It's the season where we begin to dig out our handknits, to include hats. It's the time where the leaves are beginning to fall, the temps are dropping just a bit, and the days are shorter.

My latest design is spectacular. Well, I'm told that anyway. I have this thing with creating a simple design that the beginner will enjoy knitting on, as well as a design that the advanced knitter can have done in just a couple hours times.

The Abby Hat.

A great gift idea! From Grandma/Grandpa to mom/dad, to sister/brother/ to just about anyone. This hat has 3 sizes to choose from. Small, Medium, and Large.



I believe hats are the in thing right now. This one is slightly slouched through the crown so it doesn't feel as though circulation is being cut off. It's knit with a bulky weight yarn.

I took a dishcloth pattern, my favorite rolled brim, and combined them to make this adorable hat. I’m pretty sure Abby will be your favorite go-to hat pattern. Fashionable, simple, yet sophisticated; a great hat to put on while walking the pup.

I'd love for you to head over to my Etsy Shop where you can read all the sorted details. You will also find several more fun hats there. 

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Review: Brioche Chic 22 FRESH KNITS for women & men

How many of us have always wanted to learn the Brioche stitch, but was too intimidated to try?

*raising hand*

Well, let me tell you, this book leaves you fearless when it comes to the ever-so-intimating Brioche stitch.


Author(s): Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark
Paperback: Brioche Chic: 22 Fresh Knits for women & men
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 152 Pages
Retail Price: $26.99

Let me give you a virtual "tour" through the book:

The book opens with Brioche Basics. Ok, here you go...non intimidating step-by-step instructions that will leave you feeling as though you have worried for nothing. I, recently decided to break out my yarn and needles (shocking, huh?) and get to work on this stitch.

Magic!

It IS a bit of extra effort, but the minute you see the texture appear and your piece come to life, it will seem quite obvious.

Helpful tips along the way to ease the "pain" a bit. Go slowly! That's what they suggest and that's what I suggest.

Next appears the beautiful 22 patterns. The photography is awesome, with colorful yarns and simple textures. Everything from a basic Brioche scarf, to an Arrow Yoke Cardigan. 



Arrow Yoke Cardigan


Other projects in this book are pullover sweaters for both women & men...



A beautiful pair of mittens. It has a matching hat. So love this.


And this Star-Crown Beret is a definite in my que.


My love for knitting cowls is endless. I adore this project. It's a Reversible Scarf, loop, circle. Wear long or wrap twice to create YOUR favorite look. 


What do you think. I've only given you a hint of what's in this book, so you'll run right out to your LBS (Local Book Store), LYS (Local Yarn Shop) or Interweaves website to get your hands on it. 

I give this book a *thumbs up* for photography, original design, creativity, and choice of projects. I feel it's worth the buy and a chance to try a stitch you may or may not have tried. 

So, I bid you much love knitters, and encourage you to take a peek at this book. You won't be sorry. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.

Knit On!

Deb




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Diva Knits and Photographs On!

Just when you think your to-do list is done...well, it's NOT!

Sigh...

So, I decided to procrastinate a bit longer and show you what I've been up to...

Taking pictures is my secret pastime. I love to find that perfect angle, with the perfect lighting. You like?




My daughter is always looking for a hat to wear outside when she takes her class out for recess. This is too stinkin' cute not to make. So, I'm making one for each of my girls. Everdeen Beanie in the Weekend hats book. Made with Ella Rae Classic Sport Yarn. Super cute, huh?




And last, but now least, more socks. My hunny asked if I would make him a pair. Of course. This is made with Online Supersocke 100. I have to be honest, it isn't the softest yarn to work with, but it sure washes up and softens nicely. Very durable.




I obviously could go on and on, but I MUST proceed to my to-do list. I MUST!

So, come visit me on Facebook, check out my Ravelry Store, or perhaps you Love Etsy as I do.

Knit On!
Deb

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Your Knitting Gauge

Hey Knitters,

I can't tell you how many emails I get, shout outs on Facebook, and just general, hey Deb, I have a question, kind of thing.

Sometime you may feel gauge should be a 4-letter word, am I right?

As Knitty States, "From time to time, advice is offered to a knitter who wants to tweak the sizing of a pattern: "just knit it at a tighter/looser gauge to make it smaller/bigger." While it's true that altering the gauge of a knitted fabric will alter the size of the finished piece, it doesn't always mean that you'll get a finished garment that will fit -- or feel -- as expected. Some people get the relationship between "tighter" and "looser" and increased or decreased stitches per inch mixed up. Others assume that gauge is the answer to all yarn substitutions: if it matches, it must be all right. And a bigger gauge (fewer stitches per inch) doesn't always mean easier to knit. Gauge might be a frustrating concept, but it's also misunderstood."

It's super easy, once you have the basic skills to figure it out. I promise. 

I hope this is helpful...

Yarn A-Recommended yarn for pattern
Scenario: Your pattern calls for THIS worsted weight yarn, and a size 8 needle, and you want to use a different worsted weight yarn. 

Yarn label (ballband) for your intended pattern states just that. Notice the knitting needles? Under that is the US 8 needle size. The BIG number "4" indicates the weight, which is a worsted weight.

Now, looking up at the picture, we will figure out the gauge...stitches per inch for your finished object using a different yarn. To the left of the needles in the picture, you see the 4 x 4? that tells us their swatch was 4 inches by 4 inches. The 17S tells us it's 17 stitches per that 4 inch swatch. 

Clear as mud so far? Good!

The way in which you calculate stitches/inch is by dividing the 4 into 17. 4 divided by 17 = 4.25 sts/inch. I personally would round to the nearest whole number. 4. Though, you could easily make the case to round to the 18, which would be 4.5. I would make this decision based on how tight/loose you knit. If you knit tighter, go up, if you knit looser/to gauge, go down.

Let that sink in a bit before you continue reading.  *tick-tock tick-tock*

So, for this worsted weight yarn you will get 4.25 sts/inch on a size 8 needle. Again, I round to the nearest whole number, which in this case is 4 stitches/inch. 

Now for the fun part...I'll help you see a clear picture (my hope anyway) of what a substitution looks like.

Step 1: You will substitute with a worsted weight yarn for the best results. Now, that's not saying you can't use a different weight, but honestly, in MY opinion, I wouldn't do it. You will have an entirely different finished object just by that, and besides, you would have to do a WHOLE LOTTA math to get the same gauge.

Step 2. Look at the yarn label (ballband) of YOUR chosen WORSTED weight yarn, Yarn B. This is where you will figure out how to match the gauge of the recommended yarn to the yarn you want to use.

Ok?

This is your new yarn label.


Yarn B-Your Yarn

Step 3. Notice the needle size is 7. The stitches/inch is 5. (remember, you divide the 4 inch into 20 this time.)

Step 4. You then look at the pattern recommended label and compare, Yarn A. You have 2 stitches/inch difference, right? (more to come on that) That can make or break your finished outcome of your project. Making it too small in this case.

*Go up a needle size when you want to make your garment bigger and get LESS stitches/inch, go down a needle size when you want to make it smaller and get MORE stitches/inch.* 

You need to go from 5 stitches/inch to 4 stitches/inch. That 2 jumps down, right? 5 sts/in to 4.5 sts/in to 4 sts/in.

You still with me?

We're close.

Step 5. In remembering your pattern wants 4 stitches/inch on an 8, to get the recommended size it states, you must go DOWN 2 needle sizes with the new yarn to get the same 4 stitches/inch.  For new yarn: 20 sts on a 7 (5 sts/inch), 18 sts on a 6 (4.5 sts/inch), 16 sts on a 5 (4 sts/inch) Each jump is 2 sts. 

*refer to blue asterisk again

SummarySo, in order for you to get gauge for your pattern by substituting your worsted weight yarn of choice (in this case), you will need to use a size 5 needle. That seems like a huge jump, but all worsted weight yarns aren't the same. This yarn will appear a tighter gauge as it's on a smaller needle, though your stitches per inch will be exactly the same, therefore have a garment/scarf/cowl/mitts/gloves, etc that fits as you had intended per the pattern details.

I have a passion for teaching others the basics of the nitty-gritty "stuff". I'm always happy to answer questions. So, if you feel this was helpful, I'd love a comment below or a shout out on my Facebook fan page that I did a good job. That tells me, you understood and I can continue to give my reader/knitters what they need.

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Review: Sockupied 20 Knit Projects to Satisfy your Sock Obsession

They used the word Obsession in their title!

Oh My Gosh! This book is for every Lover of sock knitting. 20 Knitted Sock Projects with many different designers included in this book. You will NEED this book in your library. 

Author(s): Hunter Hammersen, Cookie A, Ann Budd, Cat Bordhi, and MANY more
Paperback: Sockupied
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 168 Pages
Price: It sells for $24.99.

These 20 knit sock patterns are the perfect on-the-go project. This book contains patterns that show diversity of the first 10 issues of Sockupied eMag. You remember? An interactive publication that showed pop-ups, slide shows, and videos. Now, they have taken this to a new level by providing a print version. 

It showcases cables and lace, handpainted, as well as solids, toe-up, and top-down. You will find articles pertaining to sock knitting fundamentals that include techniques designed to help tweak patterns to suit YOUR feet and YOUR knitting style.

Let's dive in...

The Divas first impression: The cover is intriguing to me. Well styled, shows diversity in designs, and the color palette works!

I randomly opened the book and the Speed Bump socks, by Deb Barnhillstared me in the face. Self-striping yarn is what she, as well as others, refer to as "Comfort Food." Wouldn't you agree? And what else I love about this pattern, is she uses a yarn that can be purchased at any of your big box stores. Patons Kroy Sock yarn. Using a simple pattern makes this sock a definite go-to for me! Can't wait to begin...


One of my favorite (sock) designers is Cookie A. Passerine socks. So, when I happened to stop at this pattern, I was instantly in love. Looking at it, I couldn't really tell what the design was, until I read her description. Of course!! Feathers with sleek vanes and quills coming together. See it? A twisted stitch pattern on the cuff is my very favorite way to begin a sock. This delicious sock is knit from top-down. My style of knitting socks. Oh how I love thee...these will be on the needles SOON. That's how I roll...


Ok, let's ALL be honest, we love a well written pattern from Hunter Hammersen. Right? Definitely. Cataphyll socks. This pattern is unique with the leaves trailing down the leg and split in two. She chose a fingering weight yarn by Plucky Knitter, a fiber I've been dying to get my hands on. (making a mental, or maybe a written note, so this 50-year-old mind doesn't forget) Again, knit top-down. This pattern is filled with charts. If you love them, you will be in heaven, if you don't, sorry... you will just have to find a way to love. Because this sock is well worth the effort. I'll be making these. 

I'll post my own pics in the near future of these fantastic socks.


This picture shows the socks that caught my eye on the cover. Our Paths Cross socks. Lorilee Beltman packed a punch with this design, yet kept is very simple. It's a toe-up design with a stockinette stitch. The strands are carried vertically making this knit anything but plain. Again, using a Plucky Knitter yarn, this sock will be fun, quick, yet simple. I will knit this sock too.

Sockupied

Have you counted how many of these socks I'll be putting in my que. All. Of. Them. Oh boy. If I just had enough hours in the day, I could work these up super quick. I was told that sleeping was overrated anyway...sigh.

This was fun, right? Was I able to enable you enough to go buy this book? It's only $24.99 and you get 20 patterns. That's just over $1 a pattern. Ok, I'll do the math. Please hold...You still there? 

$1.25 per pattern. That's a steal! I don't even sell MY patterns for that cheap. 

I give this book a thumbs up for originality, photography, well-written instructions, and the well thought out group of designers. Their yarn choices are fantastic. I hope you'll step out a bit of your own stash and experience some of these. I know I will. 

Again, this book is published by Interweave, the name of the book is Sockupied 20 Knit Projects to Satisfy your Sock Obsession, and all the details can be found at that link. I encourage you to pop over and read more about it. I've only given you a little bit, there's much more over there. 

Also you may want to check with your LYS. I'm sure they'd be happy to accommodate. 

So, with much love knitters, I bid you farewell for now. I ask you to review this book for yourself and report back (as usual). I'm anxious to hear your thoughts and maybe even share a few pics. 

Knit On!

Deb


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Book Review: 25 KNITTED ACCESSORIES to wear and share

I always enjoy getting the emails from Interweave asking if I want to review another fantastic book.

This one is no exception...

  • Beautiful photography
  • Clearly written instructions
  • Nice Variety of Patterns
Author(s): 25 fantastic designers
Paperback: 25 KNITTED ACCESSORIES to wear and share
Publisher: Interweave
128 Pages
It sells for $22.99.


These 25 patterns are interweave favorites. Cozy patterns designed by incredible designers and brought together all in one book. All knitters, beginner to advanced, are invited to knit these timeless projects that include: colorful mitts, scarf and hat sets, lace shawl, socks, embroidered bag, headscarf, boot socks, and more...

Let's have a peek...

Of course, I'd start with a sock. I love socks. Toe-Up Travelers. This one in particular is designed by none other than, Ann Budd. It has a traveling-stitch pattern found in a Japanese book of stitch patterns. Worked from the toe up, with an added stitch pattern at the sides of the leg. A short row heel along with a stretchy bind off makes this the perfect knit. Don't you think so? 

I, however, have not made a toe-up sock, yet, but believe me, I will now. 



I was so excited to see this one in the 25 favorite patterns. The Wanderer cap, designed by one of my favorite designers, Jared Flood. I had knit this one last year for my favorite barista down at Poor Richards, here in Colorado Springs. He's since left the coffee shop, but from what I hear, still wears it. Proudly, I might add.

This cap is knit with a rustic tweed yarn. It features a zig-zag pattern that adds a simple, yet bold detail. A definite mans hat, in my opinion. Starts with a ribbed band and flows seamlessly for a very finished look. I loved knitting this hat. I will be making these for the men on my Christmas list this year.

Shhh...don't tell them, if you know who I'm talking about. 



The third of my favorite projects in this book are the Teak Bittersweet gauntlets, designed by Laura Irwin. You love them too, right? A panel of continuous color changes that include both stranded and intarsia, creates a modern looking design. A simple seed-stitch band completes the look. Did you notice the cute button? How many do I have in my stash? Too many to count. I will be making these. Soon.



Designers that you will find in this book are: Kristin Omdahl, Mags Kandis, Veronik Avery, Kate Gagnon Osborn, Jaya Srikrishnan, Gudrun Johnston, Melissa Wehrle, Connie Chang Chinchio, Kristeen Griffin-Grimes, Jennifer Burke, Courtney Kelley, Melissa LaBarre, Ruthie Nussbaum, Laura Irwin, Nancy Bush, Lucinda Guy, Jared Flood, Ann Budd. 

Wow!

I totally recommend this book. It's full of great photography and well written patterns. 

Again, It's published by Interweave, the name of the book is 25 KNITTED ACCESSORIES to wear and share, and all the sorted details can be found at this link. Please click over and see for yourself how beautiful this book is. I wouldn't steer you wrong, I promise! You know me, I love a knitted, well designed accessory. 


Also, check with your LYS. It's a perfect addition to your library. I'm so glad I now have a copy too.

So, with much love knitters,

I bid you farewell for now. I ask you to review this book for yourself and report back. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts and maybe even see some finished work from it.

Knit On!

Deb