Monday, June 29, 2015

A Book Review and a Giveaway: Knit Stitch Dictionary

* The winner of the drawing is Doula Mommy - MonkeyButtBabies on Rav! 
Congrats, and thank you everyone for participating! *

Interweave/F+W; $22.99

This is a review of the book Knit Stitch Dictionary by Debbie Tomkies from Interweave Press.
As a designer, I really love stitch dictionaries. They can inspire me, or they can help me solve difficult design problems. 
I really love this book!  Here are a few reasons.
The organization is fantastic, such an improvement over older stitch dictionaries. 
The Table of Contents, first of all, is divided into categories such as knit and purl stitch patterns, eyelets and lace, tucks and pleats, etc.
Best of all, it is organized visually so you get a small thumbnail picture of each stitch right in the Table of Contents, so you can leaf through and quickly identify what you might be looking for. It's also fun to just open pages at random and browse, and find new and interesting stitches to try. It includes both written and charted instructions. It doesn't address knitting in the round however.

One of the best things about the book -- that really sets it apart -- is that for each stitch there is a description. The description tells you, for example, that this stitch works best with a smooth yarn, or that it creates a firm non curling fabric, and it even gives suggestions as to where it might be used. For example, a bulky yarn to make home accessories would work well with this stitch; or an open lacy stitch would be great in a summer shawl.
This book gives you everything you would need in a stitch dictionary; not  just a bunch of stitches but guidance as to how and where to use them. This would be a great advantage for a newer knitter, who doesn't always know which stitch works best with which use.

When I was a new knitter, I often made the mistake of choosing an inappropriate stitch with an inappropriate yarn (e.g. heavily textured or highly variegated), and having results that I wasn't too happy with. This book gives you the guidance you need so that you might avoid these mistakes.

It gives you additional information about gauge, knitting techniques, discussion of the various kinds of knitting needles, and description of different types of yarn. It's an excellent reference for both the new and experienced knitter.
I highly recommend this book.

Once again, Interweave is sponsoring a giveaway of this book. Please comment on this blog post saying why you would like to win this book, and also sign up for my newsletter (top right corner of the blog) to to be entered into the drawing. Please include an email address or Ravelry ID so I can contact you if you win. I'll choose the winner on July 8, 2015 and announce it here on the blog.
Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was given a review copy of this book.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Announcing a Knit Along (KAL) - Footloose and Fancy Free Poncho

The Footloose and Fancy Free Poncho, in pretty gradient yarn from Three Irish Girls, is really catching on!
This asymmetrical poncho with optional cowl neck will be a pleasure to wear when you just want a light extra layer.  It's an easy relaxing knit, mostly stocking stitch, with just a slip stitch pattern to accent the color changes and provide a non-curling border.

Thanks to Gaye of GGMadeIt for posting about hers and getting the ball rolling :-)

The rules are pretty simple. Knit the Poncho, and finish by Sept 15, 2015. You'll have it just in time for cooler weather (in the northern hemisphere that is).
It's perfect for gradient sets, but you can use any yarn.
Prizes for finishers will include free patterns and pretty yarns!

Here is Gaye's version in gray:

Doesn't hers look fabulous? 

If you're interested, just post here in my Ravelry Group, buy your pattern, and cast on!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Happy June! A Coupon Code and a New Design

Hello everyone! 
Here we are in the beautiful month of June.
This month I'm featuring my Molto Bella shawl, a unique L-shaped shawl which makes a nice change from traditional triangles. Because you're knitting only rectangle shapes, there is no increasing, decreasing, or counting your stitches. Just a nice relaxing knit. 

There's lace at the edges, but after that it’s just stockinette stitch and garter stitch. Perfect for knitting in the car, or while socializing with friends. 
Enjoy it at 20% off with coupon code MOLTO20. Give it a try!  

The wool-bamboo blend provides lovely drape for just the extra layer you need when breezes blow or when the air conditioning is on too high.

Pattern is both charted and written, and has been professionally tech-edited and test knit.


New Design

There's something else I'd like to share with you -- I have a new pattern featured on the Three Irish Girls website. This is the Factory Girl Chevron cowl or scarf, which features their beautiful colors. 

Each stripe of the Chevron scarf is a slightly different texture, made up of just knits and purls. But if you want something simpler, just knit it all in garter stitch. It will still look fabulous! 
And don't the colors make you happy?

Here's the link to buy this on-trend design.

Finish the ends with garter stitch, or use provisional cast-on and grafting for an invisible join and you’ll have an up-to-the-minute infinity scarf or cowl. (Instructions are provided for both options.)

See you next time with a book review and another giveaway.