Sunday, October 25, 2009

patchwork bracelet

This lovely bracelet is from the August 2009 issue of Bead and button and is by Melissa van Diljk. It's a variation of the squares as in the Diane Fitzgerald book but since it was probably written up before her book was published then it came from some other source. I'm now making it in red and gold and might also make it for my daughter. It takes me about 2 weeks altogether not beading all the time. I also got a new book on cubes in beading by Virginia Jensen. The book is very interesting and full of good instructions and is meant more for the beginner to intermediate but I'm finding it very good and have discovered that Hobby here in Kfar Saba is an importer of Toho beads so I had a great time buying all sorts of 1.5mm cubes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

more new knitting books

Lots of new books to write about. Here are the knitting ones:

Cat Bordhi, Personal footprints for insouciant sock knitters. I have some of her previous books so had to pick this one up as well. She has some good ideas to make well fitted socks but I generally don't knit them unless I find my socks disappearing. My problem is my loose gauge and only size 2mm needles seem to work for me which isn't much fun.

I have the first book from Green Mountain Spinnery so bought the new one: 99 yarns and counting. I found this rather disappointing as compared to the first one. There are some nice children's sweaters and an aran hat at the beginning. They are all easy. I like the guernsey type cardi vest and the simple st st vest with a lace edging on the bottom. The shawl and scarf are very simple lace patterns. There's an easy fair isle cardi for children. Several hats and a pair of mittens follow and then the best item which is the Istanbul aran pullover with finished chest from 40-52". The aran patterns are all easy ones. Then come some Nordic hats in sock yarn and a fairisle hat which is attractive. there's an entrelac afghan using a brown variegated yarn. Followed by a raglan short cardi and a man's ribbed turtleneck. The whole book is on the easy side and the smaller items would make good fast gifts.

Next up is Lesley Stanfield's :100 flowers to knit and crochet. Very attractive book but I'm unsure just where I'll use them. Maybe that gray entrelac blanket would be a good choice if I bothered with it which I won't.

I have the scarf book by Lynne Barr so naturally went for Reversible knitting. One problem here is that the title is interpreted quite loosely. But she comes up with 50 unusual patterns and also has 20 projects from herself and other designers. I wasn't interested in any of the projects at this point but you never know, right?

OK. now for the last two books one of which surprised me and the other one didappointed me. Well, that happens when you buy sight unseen.
The bad news is All new homespun handknit edited by Amy Clarke Moore, editor of spin-off magazine. Actually that goes far to explain why I'm unhappy with it. I think if you are a spinner, it would be just right. Nowhere does she give you an alternative yarn but she does give needle size and gauge. Of the 25 small projects I did like the 3 shawl or scarf patterns and especially the one by Nancy Bush. Where needed there are good charts. I also liked the entrelac socks. There's a coin purse by Kathryn Alexander, mittens, socks, baby poncho, zipped baby hoodie (and the baby looks like he's choking as the zipper is in the back and over the back of his head). Moore herself comes up with a domino knit sweater which is done specifically for a child who is bigger in front than in back so she suggests basically that you make your own pattern and I ask then why do we need this pattern at all? Among the other small items are baby soakers.My daughter says no way will she go in that direction.

Now to end on a good note. Best for last. Mary Scott Huff's The New stranded colorwork. This is mainly Norwegian knitting brought up to date. There's tons of information here for the beginner who is scared of steeks for example. I like most of the 17 patterns (I'm not interested in bags and purses). She covers the whole family. Kjersten is a gorgeous green cardi for a woman using Brown Sheep nature spun sport in several colors. Being koi is a vest with t he Koi fish on the top and I love her colors of teals and poppy. Yarn is Harrisville shetland. Another nice vest is Queen of scots using Jamieson's spindrift. Houndstooth is a pullover with a doggie touch in a dk weight yarn. Norwegian blue is probably my favorite though and it also has Harrisville shetland as a cardi. Fleur de zebra is a pullover in Zarina yarns in black and white but with a great pink color to provide the punch. Wassily vest in a dk yarn is for size 44-49" finished chest size and is also nicely done. Finally the hardest one is Wedding belle in Dale of Norway Ull yarn and this is a cardi with lace and picot on the edges. I left out all the other projects like the baby bees sweater as I wouldn't put so much work into something like that but if you do Norwegian or fairisle definitely buy this one even sight unseen.Again, this is a great one for fairisle knitting and I want to use my J&S here.
Marian Poller

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

New books

It's autumn so I'm buying books again.
New knit books: Noble, Knits from the north sea. This got criticized on Amazon and my shawls email group because it wasn't strictly Shetland even though the second author comes from there. But I liked the patterns mainly and I have several of her books. Then Sue Flanders, Norwegian handknits. This with my Minnesota background brings back the memories but I doubt if I'll be doing anything as we no longer wear those warmies.
Crochet: Werker, Crocheted gifts. Has some nice quick projects especially the Willow hat. Leinhauser, Granny crochet favorites was ordered from ABE a nd my copy is pristine and I love it. Muriel Kent, Complete crochet course. bought sight unseen because of her Broomstick lace book. Similar material here too.
Rowan picked up this summer in England: magazines 43,44, 45. Classic alpaca book 13 and Purelife winter collection.
Ultimate design sourcebook for crafters to use when I do embroidery. I'm a little disappointed with it as the designs included don't really have what I'm looking for.
I just got the new Knitn style and the latest Interweave crochet which is really good this time. I know they changed editors so that might be the reason. Werker is a good editor but she was relying too much on her group which just hasn't got it yet.
I'm also wary of Interweave because they are bombarding me with lots of patterns for pay and these are mainly reprints from their older stuff
which I've got (if I could just settle down and find it).

I pulled out one of my fairisle projects which I started last winter. I changed it to be 9 1/2 repeats instead of the smallest size of 10 repeats as I generally get 7sts to the inch except that after I had to rip and restart as I had forgotten to start with the last 8 sts of the 32 st pattern, I then discovered that my gauge is exactly on which means what I'm knitting now will be 38" around and I want about 42". So I can't rip again as this pattern is flowery and giving me vision problems anyway. So I'm upping my needle size to 3.25mm which is called for in the pattern anyway, and if that doesn't work, I'll just block it out to be bigger when it's done.

Vision: well, two drs have examined me. I have 2 cataracts (I do have 2 eyes) and one is not ready which they both agree. But the left lazy eye might be ready and one of the drs wants to operate but the other one says to wait. So I'm beginning now to suffer. However I still passed the Israeli driver's eyetest by buying new lenses. I hate this ripoff. Spend the money and you pass. My friend J. who is quite deaf somehow passed it too (they also check hearing) but he spent a lot of $$ with them this summer on a multifocal with a very expensive Italian lense.