growing up, we weren't particularly spoiled. we got presents at christmas and our birthdays (and my birthday is 5 days before christmas so I HAD TO WAIT SO LONG EVERY YEAR) but it was a rare day if we got something extra for no reason. my mom made us work for everything. the one thing she rarely said no to though was books.
to this day, i have a book buying problem. honestly. it could be worse than my yarn/fiber buying problem and my shoe buying problem. definitely worse than my bag buying problem. (ooh i have to show you all the bag i bought in france!).
anyway, the other day i ordered 2 books by erika knight.
yeah they're basically how to crochet/how to knit books, but they are so so beautiful. i love erika knight's simple, clean esthetic. both books make me want to make all of the things.
i will review them properly and show you photos soon.
before i tell you how much i love this book, i'm going to start with what i don't like about it. and what almost made me not even consider buying it until i saw it at my local bookstore.
i'm not a monster. i'm not against pretty things. but in my experience things described as pretty have lots of pink, beading and lace and are borderline twee. and that is just not my thing. so i was skeptical. but i shouldn't have been. written by amy palangian, the book features 24 home and and fashion accessories by 12 different designers. and here are some of my favorites.
the is the stormy skies bib necklace. i love the graphic simplicity of this piece.
this is the i-cord bracelet. i love the colors. and there's a coordinating ring too.
the leather tube bracelet and rings. these are what sold me on the book. i've been an admirer of maria ribiero's work for a long time.
the window pane cuff. a quick, simple project that would be comfy to wear.
the scalloped edge neckwarmer. for when and if it ever gets cold enough.
the lillian mittens.
crochet nesting bowls.
the jersey cotton rag rug.
all of the patterns in this book are relatively simple and quick. the only difficulty for some might be those projects requiring working with thread and tiny hooks. i have to admit that i love the variety of projects which use crochet to it's advantage, something that i'm not entirely sure would be possible with knitting. certainly not as easily. (each pattern also includes some variation notes which can be used as jumping off points for more creativity).
anyway, like i said, i really like this book.
oh and the bag in the photo? that's my current favorite project bag. stitchy mcyarnpants made it. it's the perfect size for small to medium sized projects and no one is better at using super fun prints. i know you'd want one of your own.
it's been 18 years since your last vogue knitting crochet special issue.
i remember being so so excited about this issue back then. it had granny squares! i was hopeful that a special crochet issue would be an annual thing. and then i waited. for eighteen years.
EIGHTEEN YEARS! I WAS A YOUNG WOMAN IN 1994!!! I AM NOW MIDDLE-AGED!! WHY VOGUE KNITTING!??? WHY SO SO LONG BETWEEN SPECIAL CROCHET ISSUES!???
it's a good thing that this new 2012 issue is filled with so many gorgeous things.
i'll let this 18 year break go this time. but if you make me wait another 18 years for another special crochet issue, WE ARE OVER!
P.S. An annual issue would work for me by the way. Or semi-annual. Whatever works for you.
why stop at one day.
one of the greatest opportunities that came my way as a result of this blog is getting the chance to help gale zucker and joan tapper with their great book Craft Activism. i learned a great deal and had so much fun. thank you both for including me.
so in honor of it being my blogiversary week, i thought it might be fun to have a contest.
leave me a comment between now and friday, April 20th 11pm ET and i'll put all of your names into a hat and choose a winner at random.
you want this book. i swear it.
once again, thanks for visiting all of these years.
gah! so tired tonight. and i want to get a couple of rows of crochet done before doing a little reading and falling asleep. i am SO CLOSE to finishing A Game of Thrones.
yes, i know everyone else is practically done with all of the books released so far (i think there are 5), but I'VE BEEN READING OTHER STUFF TOO!!!!
anyway, that's all.
the book opens with a section on the materials and tools needed to make these truly tiny little toys. then there's a section on techniques for knitting toys in general and more specifically toys this small. the book ends with a few pages of basic knitting essentials.
the bulk of the book though is made up of 40 or so patterns for the cutest little toys you'll ever see.
anna has given us CHICKENS!
a healthy fruity snack in the form of a tiny pear
and a dessert-y splurge in the form of cupcakes. (i don't recommend eating them though, plus they have eyes, which is freaky).
and just in time for halloween, there are tiny ghosts.
and for christmas, reindeer.
and monkeys, mermaids, a telephone, ROBOTS...
i do a fair amount of secret crafting. sometimes it's because i'm working on a new design that i don't want to show until it's done. or other times, i'm working on a gift for someone. and i do do (heh doodoo) a fair amount of test knitting. sometimes that secret keeping timeline can be weeks, months, and even years! well at least a year and a half.
so when i get the ok to let loose, it's very exciting.
here are 2 of the many Sleight of Hand Mitten (by Mary Lou Egan) combinations.
my version of Ellen Bloom's Granny Greenbag.
five blocks for Kay Gardiner and Anne Shay's Fussy Cut Blanket.
want to make you're own? you can find all of these patterns (and others) in Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In by Joan Tapper and Gale Zucker.
want to read more about this great book and the crafters featured in it? check out the craft activism blog.
i am not really a lace knitter. i've done a little lace knitting in the past. (i did make this sweater a bazillion years ago). but lately i've been enjoying multi-colored mindless knitting. i think multicolored yarns can overpower lace stitches. and knitting lace for me is as far from mindless as i get.
but that doesn't mean that i'm not interested.
Wendy Johnson has just released a new book on how to knit lace and if you've never knit lace or if you've only knit lace by the seat of your pants (like me) then you may need this book.
Part I of the book covers the basics of knitting lace. Not a page is wasted on general knitting how-tos (thank christ), but rather this section is filled with information about needle types, and yarns, a lesson on following charts and how to block your work. She then goes over how to fix mistakes and lifelines.
Part II covers lace knitting techniques. She describes several methods for casting on, different types of joins, different ways of binding off. She reviews the various ways to decrease and increase. This is all information that is available in any good knitting tome, but i like how she does it here, by including clear, black and white drawings and i like that it's all in one place.
Part III is full of patterns. There are 22 patterns included in this book: 2 cowls, 4 scarves/stoles, 4 shawls, 1 afghan, 3 mittens/gloves/mitts, 3 pair of socks, 2 hats and 3 sweaters.
my favorites include the vortex spiral afghan (yay big needles, worsted weight!), the vintage knee socks ..
and the Rhossili Beach Watch Cap (see below).
The photography is lovely; the text is clearly written and there are charts through out. (I can't comment on the quality of the charts/instructions as I didn't actually knit anything).
I really like this book and if you'd like to include some lace knitting in your future, i think you will too.
i seem to have developed a bit of an obsession. and i'm not verra proud. but i also can not deny it, since it has infiltrated even my crafty life.
at least it's got me reading again. heh.