December 2009

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, "Knitting Rules"

Knitting Rules is famed knitting blogger Yarn Harlot's first book, and I feel it's her best.  Although Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was already well known in the world of online knitting, this is the book which really catapulted her to super stardom.  I remember noticing how the number of comments on her blog posts started jumping after she began touring in the name of Knitting Rules - it was quite a fearsome sight, believe me!

Donna Druchunas, "Arctic Lace"

This is another in a short list of books on advanced knitting topics.  (See my earlier rants on how all knitting books are aimed at beginners here.)  2009 was the year of lace knitting for many knitters, and Arctic Lace: Knitting Projects and Stories Inspired by Alaska's Native Knitters was a wonderful entry to the trend.

As someone who grew up in Anchorage, I have a double appreciation for this book.  I recognize many of the patterns from traditional Native beaded works, and I often passed by the Oomingmak company in downtown Anchorage.  I didn't knit at the time, more's the pity!  Although evidently the Oomingmak knitters are a tight lipped bunch.  One gets the impression from Druchunas' book that she had a difficult time indeed in getting the Oomingmak knitters to talk.

Interweave Knits, "Favorite Socks"

This book collects and reprints 25 of the most popular sock knitting patterns from Interweave Knits.  The patterns in this book range from "intermediate" to "advanced," which is the first thing I find interesting about this book.  

As a rule, knitting books are all aimed at the beginning knitter.  Don't get me wrong, this makes sense.  Numerically, there are more beginning knitters at any given time than there are intermediate or advanced knitters.  (All intermediate and advanced knitters started out as beginning knitters, after all.  And not all beginning knitters stick with it and make it to the intermediate level.)

Christmas Fun

This is a great Christmas craft book for the whole family to enjoy. Christmas Fun by Deri Robins is packed full of fun crafts, games, yummy Christmas recipes that the kids can do with you and there is even a section in the book of activities you can do together after all the Christmas festivities are over. Crafters out there that like to find ways that their children can make home made gifts to give out, there is even a section of projects for that all the kids will not only enjoy doing but will ne proud of when they have their final product in hand and the receiver will cherish it for years to come.

Last Minute Holiday Knitting Patterns Round Up

Only 19 knitting days until Christmas!  Are you ready?  No?  Well, let us help you find something to knit!  There are several characteristics of the last minute knitted Christmas gift.  The first is that it needs to be small.  There is no time to knit a Christmas sweater, afghan, or lace stole!

You might be tempted to try knitting some small toys as Christmas presents.  I recommend against this, unless you have a lot of experience with knitting toys.  Even though knit toys are small, they can be surprisingly fiddly.  I suspect that if you clocked most knitters, they could crank out an entire worsted weight hat in the same amount of time it would take to knit a small toy.

Small Items

Vogue Knitting Stitchionary, "Volume Three: Color"

This is the third, and least useful, of the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary series.  In theory it would be helpful to have a collection of color motifs that you can drop into your design when you need a little bit of oomph.  In practice, it can be frustrating to search for patterns of the right stitch count and design type.

Most of the time when you are looking for a stranded colorwork motif, you have a certain number of stitches you can devote to the motif.  Unfortunately, this Stitchionary doesn't classify the motifs in any useful fashion.  Short two color motifs are jumbled up with long two color motifs in the "two color" chapter, and short multi-color motifs are jumbled up with long multi-color motifs in the "multi-color" chapter.  I dare say that organizing the motifs by the number of colors involved is one of the least relevant ways for the knitter.