Sunday, January 23, 2022

Easiest Shawls Ever! Everyday Shawls by Kate Atherley


Today I'm reviewing "Everyday Shawls - 10 patterns & recipes to create your own" by Kate Atherley. 

Links to Purchase:

On Ravelry  

On Payhip

Kate Atherley has produced some terrific knitting books, focusing on socks, hats, mittens, and more. Now she is tackling a style of shawl that's easy, wearable, and cozy, without a lot of fuss or bother. They are calming, too, perfect for these stressful times.

These are both patterns and recipes, so that you can substitute your own stitch patterns.

They use a wide triangle shape, starting at the point and getting wider and wider. With this approach you can just keep knitting till you run out of yarn. These are everyday shawls that you can use on a daily basis, and not save for special occasions. You can use any weight of yarn and any fiber that you like whether it be wool, alpaca, cotton, or synthetic.

The patterns use simple stitch patterns so they make for great relaxing TV knitting. They use garter stitch, garter ridges, and various styles of ribbing – just knits and purls in repetitive patterns.  

Nearly any weight or style of yarn can be used -- solid, speckled, gradient, mini-skeins, etc. And you can feel free to combine leftover yarns to create a striped or color block shawl.

Kate helpfully provides yardage guidelines so that you know how much yarn will make how big a shawl.  For example, 400 yards of worsted weight yarn gives you a shawl that's 45 inches across. Good to know! There are several variations; for example, from simple rib you can branch out to Mistake Rib or Ridge Rib or other ribs.


These shawls are easy to knit, and make great gifts as well. Using a heavier weight yarn, you’ll be done in no time!  I can't wait to pick one and get started.

Thanks, Kate, for sending me a copy of your book.



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

It's been a while. How about a giveaway?


I'm excited to review the new book by Kate Atherley - Custom Fit Hats. Not a standard pattern book, this is a complete recipe for making your own custom-fit hats, for any head, with any yarn. With directions for many types of hats, sizing information, and tutorials added for decorative flourishes like different edge finishes and pom-poms and tassels, this book has everything you’ll ever need to support your hat knitting.


 Kate is a knitwear designer, teacher, and the author of the fabulous Custom Socks book, and the Knit Mitts book

 I have knitted out of these books and the results were much loved by their recipients. 

 Now she has brought her precise, clear, and comprehensive approach to the category of knitted hats. 

 Just looking at the Table of Contents tells you how complete and how methodical her approach is. She includes worksheets to customize the fit of any type of hat. 

 Kate provides a basic pattern that you can use as a starting point. There's detailed discussion of fitting, gauge, and a method to extract your own set of numbers.


 Some of the special topics included are, chemo caps, various types of brims, slouch hats, and more. Interestingly enough, her method calls for a top-down approach. Just as with top down sweaters, this method lets you try it on as you go, and get both the width and the length just right for you. 


 A gauge swatch may not be required because you can measure the gauge as you knit.

 She discusses the beanie, the toque, and the slouch hat. She reviews the types of yarn, and a types of needles you can use. Kate discusses how to add color, for example with stripes, and how to change the look of the crown. 

 Also covered: changing the brim, and cute add-ons such as pom poms and tassels. Several appropriate bind offs are also described. 


 If you like knitting hats, or if you've ever had trouble getting the fit right, or if you knit for a wide variety of head sizes, you'll get lots of benefit from this book. I highly recommend this book if you do any knitting of hats at all. It's a great jumping-off point for your own creativity too. You can buy it here. Custom Fit Hats  




I am also running a giveaway for a copy of Kate's book. Just comment on the blog that you are interested in winning the book, and say why you'd like to win.  Contest ends on May 6th. 

Make sure to provide a Ravelry ID, email, or cell phone, so I can reach you if you win!  Good luck to everyone. 


While I have your attention I'd like to show you my newest pattern, the Color-Pop Houndstooth scarf. The classic houndstooth pattern gets an update with a pop of color in this modern scarf. Check it out here on Ravelry, or on Lovecrafts, if you prefer.










I have two new items added to my Etsy store, a project bag with this cute sheep print,








and a bag featuring a sheet music print, for all the music lovers you know.




  Remember Mother's Day is just around the corner!  And I'm having a Mother's Day sale right now.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Summer Sale! 40% off

Summer doldrums? How about a sale? Take 40% off all my patterns in my Ravelry store, using coupon code "doldrums".  Valid till July 25, 2020.
Try some summer accessories, or get started on fall and winter items.

For those of you who prefer not to use Ravelry since its recent redesign, I have an option for you.
The website hosts all my designs. Although they don't support coupon codes right now, if you buy one pattern there, I'll send you another free pattern of your choice.
Just let me know!
(email me at 

Check out my most popular designs, the Lazy Weekend Socks, the Pistachio Ice Cream Shawl, and the Richmond Mitts.


Friday, June 19, 2020

On Juneteenth

Wow, there is a lot going on. 
I hesitated quite a bit before writing this blog, because I thought, "really what do I have to add to the discussion. The world Isn't waiting to hear what I think."

I empathize deeply with all the people who have been hurt and treated badly in the United States and elsewhere, simply because of their race. 
Of course black lives matter, that should be obvious to anyone. Did I really need to say it? Well maybe I do. 
I will try to be a better ally, and educate myself more. I will work at being more inclusive than I have been. I have donated to a couple of black defense organizations.
As a child of Holocaust survivors, I don't need to be told how awful it is to treat one group of people as "other", inferior, even disposable. I carry that in my heart, and it will always be there. 
I will defer any marketing or self-promotion for another time. 
You can always find my Ravelry page, and my Etsy shop if you're interested. 

Stay tuned, there will be coupons, news, and knitting tips, offered in the future. 

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - Knits from the Greenhouse


This is a book review for “Knits from the Greenhouse”. 

From the blurb:
"The properties of plant-based yarns--cotton, linen, hemp, and others--are unique, naturally. They don't behave the same as wool yarns; to show off their best characteristics you need the right project. Knits from the Greenhouse is here to help you cultivate these fibers into beautiful finished designs. Dig in to find:
   • High fiber knitwear using 100% plant-based fibers, as well as blended yarns.
   • 18 projects designed specifically to show off the best properties these fibers ensure you have a beautiful finished project no matter the season.”

The focus of this book is knits that use plant-based fiber.
This is a perfect concept for warm-weather knits, for people with allergies to wool, and for vegans to prefer to avoid animal sourced fibers.
The book includes knits using linen, cotton, hemp, and flax. There are a few items that use silk, which comes from silkworms, technically animal sourced; and also a couple of the patterns use blends with both wool and plant-based fiber. So just be aware, it's not 100% plant-based fiber.

The book is focused on beautiful designs. It has a gorgeous layout, with watercolor sketches to enliven the pages, and clear schematics to accompany the patterns.

Here are some of the designs that stood out for me.
Spring Sprout Stole: It uses garter stitch and lace squares to make a pretty checkerboard effect. 

Dappled Leaves Scarf - has a lacy design and graceful tapered ends, and is made of a linen flax fiber. It's so pretty. I'm looking through my stash to see what I have to make this scarf right now.

Parterre Wrap. This is a lacy rectangle using delicate lace weight yarn in a linen and wool silk blend. 

The Stonecrop Shawl   is a triangular shawl with lace edging on two sides, and uses a cotton wool blend. 

The Trellis Tank has nice line and texture, with a very pretty neckline, uses cotton and hemp.

The Seabrook Top is airy and light, with its lacy stripes. 

Next the Kenno Top -  This is the item on the cover.  It's very pretty and wearable in a wool and cotton blend. 

All in all, those of us who live in warmer climates, or just prefer to stay away from wool, will find lots of inspiration in this book. It's attractively laid out and very usable.

Photos courtesy of Interweave/Penguin Random House.


Thanks to Penguin Random House (formerly Interweave Press), I'm able to offer a giveaway of a copy of this book to one lucky person who comments on the blog, naming a favorite pattern, technique, or a favorite aspect of the book. Post a comment on this blog entry, and sign up for my newsletter, and you will be entered into a giveaway to win your own copy of this book.  Be sure to give a Ravelry ID, or an email address -- or even your Instagram handle will do -- so that if you win, I have a way to contact you!  
Don't forget!  
I will select a name on February 19 2020. 
Note: I received a copy of this book for review from Interweave Press/FW Media.