Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Vogue Knitting Knitopedia

It took 5 years for Trisha Malcolm, the Editorial Director of Vogue Knitting and her crew to put together this comprehensive volume of all possible knitting terms, techniques, fibers, history points, and people of the industry.

As any encyclopedia this knit-oriented work is very easy to navigate since it is done in alphabetical order. What I like about this book that it is not your dry A to Z dictionary of knitting terms. It is sprinkled with personalized essays on different topics by people who are well-known and work very closely with yarn, design, and more. Some of the names you will recognize there are Meg Swansen, Kristin Nicholas, Debbie Bliss, Clara Parkes, Nicky Epstein, Shirley Paden, and many others.

There are 240 pages of all kinds of information including now-days necessities of the internet presence. Knitting blogs, Ravelry, online magazines (I am sorry to say that Twist Collective is not included for some reason), museums, and more.

You can be a novice or a full-blown experienced knitter or designer and you will still find this book helpful.

Here are some images (a bit fuzzy, sorry) that give you some inside peak of Knitopedia.

You never know when you need to search for a certain term or technique, but it is great to know we have a book that has the most if not all of it in one place. I am so grateful for this book and I am sure many of you feel the same.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Baby Blueprint Crochet

This book was on my shelf for some time. It was given to me by the author herself, Robyn Chachula at the last TNNA. It is not one of the books that I was supposed to review. Nevertheless I am doing it. There are two reasons for it. One is that I love the designs in it. The second one is that this a great teaching book for a beginner or an advanced crocheter. I love how the charts and schematics are done in such a clear way that you have no difficulty using them. The photography is incredible. It is the Interweave Press book, so no surprise there. They always have beautiful illustrations and charts.
Robyn is one of the top crochet designers and a great teacher. I took a class from her one time so I am not just saying that. She pays attention to all the details which show that she is a mommy herself and knows that the baby needs comfort in any clothes.

Here are some projects from the book. You will appreciate the use of color and decorative details as well as the construction. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Knitting at Home

This book is written by one of the Australia's top knitwear designers Leanne Prouse. Her Ella Rae brand of yarns is in the focus of this book. Leanne offers 60 designs that are sorted out into 6 chapters named as a certain "room". It is also a play with words. Just listen to it: "A Room for Relaxing", "A Room for Little Ones", "A Room for Living", and so on.

"It's the simple things in life that sometimes give the greatest pleasure: the joy of sharing good times with family and friends, and the satisfaction of making your house a comfortable and inviting home for those that share it with you."- says Leanne.

Here are some beautiful projects from the book. And remember, there are 60 of them total.

Friday, August 12, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: 60 Quick Baby Knits

Looking for a quick knitted baby gift? Do you know about the new book by Sixth&Spring Books called 60 Quick Baby Knits?

It is fabulous! This book is the second one in the series that features a specific Cascade Yarn. The first one is 60 Quick Knits. This time the yarn used throughout the book is Cascade 220 Superwash which is perfect for baby knits. It also offers tons of colors, so you can make the same project many times using different one every time. Here is a little tease for you.

I have to admit I have a thing for baby shoes. These booties by Angela Juergens are so adorable that I think I need to make them soon. I just need to find a recipient of my gift.

Criss-Cross Booties

Flower Stitch Booties

One of many blankets in the book is Log Cabin Afghan by Debbie O'Neill.

Garter Ridge Earflap Hat by Erssie Major

Absolutely delicious Lace-Edged Cardigan by Lorna Miser

A very manly Fisherman's Pullover by Lee Gant

And this charming Smocked Dress by Amy Polcyn

I feel that I want to show all projects, but it is not possible. You do want to get the patterns anyway, right? It is definitely worth it. The layout of the book is very nice. Each project gets a whole page photo and some of them even more. The charts, schematics, and illustrations are clear and easy to read. Soft cover has folded wings with important information on them and the end paper design is very clever. Most of all I love the photography and the cutest models.
This book will live a long life on my shelf.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I will begin with admitting that although I always admired Eisaku Noro's yarns for their color combinations and the texture, I did not see how I could apply it to my design style. I was almost afraid to work with it. The yarn had a very strong character that had to be translated into a vibrant and dynamic design. Working on the proposal of some designs for this book I became more aware of the yarn and my swatches showed that there are plenty of designs that can utilize what yarn is trying to say.

When the book came out I saw how different designers translated the yarn's story into their own style and produced one masterpiece after another. In fact, there are 30 beautiful designs in this book ranging from simple in construction and technique to, believe it or not, a Fair Isle Cardigan. The photography is superb. You do not have to be a knitter to like the look of this book.

Above is a photo of its hard cover with a stunning design
by Theresa Schabes called Belted Cardigan Vest.

The endpapers and the background of all photos are the motifs of Country French wallpaper which beautifully contrast some contemporary designs and at the same time complement the ones that look vintage.

As I mentioned, there are 30 designs in this book. I will choose a few that caught my eye.

Parasol Lace Vest by Edna Hart
I love how the same yarn looks differently in lace and the wide rib.

Trinity Stitch Sweater by Valentina Devine

This three-dimensional stitch pattern gives more depth to each color. The designer is suggesting
to play with colors by breaking the strand and choosing what color you want to be next. I think this is a brilliant design.

Cabled Cap by Faina Goberstein

I leave no comments here since this is my design :) I used 2 skeins of Silk Garden for this hat and when I needed to join the second skein I also chose with which color to start.

Fair Isle Cap by Carol Sulcoski

It is knit with Kureyon and Carol is very cleverly using the same skein from both ends to have two colors she needs for this technique. I love this hat also for the fact that it does not look like a very typical project from Noro yarns.

Fair Isle Cardigan by Mary Scott Huff

Made in Silk Garden Sock Yarn. When I saw this one, the only thing I could say is: "Wow!!"
This is what I like about books that have many different designers working on the same theme. Every one of these designs are different and exciting.

Overall this is a masterpiece and a well-deserved praise to NORO yarns.