Functional Friday: Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume Three

This one is about colour-work! This is something that should be really popular now because the Nordic sweaters are everywhere! The patterns in this book are wonderful for creating your own designs. You would be able to sub in different stitch patterns if there are lines you don’t like!

VK Stitchionary 3

My friend Megan helped me find things about the book to talk about. Her first notion about this book was the proportions. This is something I didn’t really think about, but the book is slightly odd; it is wider than it is long and relatively unwieldy.

Megan also found the advertisement in the back about the needles pictured on the cover. Lantern Moon is the company that makes the needles and they are handmade, which you really don’t see very often. There are a lot of yarns out there which are handspun and hand dyed, but not many handmade needles are seen out there in the world today.

We also managed to find a couple stitch patterns that we thought were misnamed, for example the stitch called catacombs is a geometric pattern that strikes me as Myan. The sample for this stitch was knit in a very cheerful colour of pink! We thought a stitch with the name catacomb would be more subdued and perhaps have a skull or two. Something a little more catacombs of france or Jolly Rodger-ish?

That is really just aesthetics though; the book itself is a conglomeration of colour work stitches from Vogue Knitting. What wouldn’t there be to like?

A Bookworm Life for Me!

When I signed up for Vogue Knitting Live in NYC, I decided to go with the big package. When I went to Chicago I got a smaller package and three extra classes by themselves. This time, I wanted the tickets to the Gala and Cocktail Reception. Something else that came along with this package in particular was a $200 gift card to the Vogue Knitting website, which I quickly spent the moment it was in my hands. It will surprise none of you when I tell you that I bought books. That’s right ladies and gents, $200 worth of knitting books and it was spectacular!

VKL Books

The sparkles might be a little over the top, but when books come in the mail. That’s what it looks like to me!

I ended up getting Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 6 (I did not see 4 and 5 on the website or else I would have bagged them as well), Nicky Epstein’s Knitting on the Edge and Knitting Beyond the Edge (to go with my copy of Knitting Over the Edge) and last, but not least, Vogue Knittting The Ultimate Sock Book and The Ultimate Hat Book. Over the next few weeks I am going to review these books and give you my musings on them.

The first one up is Vogue Knitting The Ultimate Hat Book.

VK Ultimate Hat Book

One of my first problems with buying these books online was, how do you know if you’re going to like them or not? It’s not as though you can simply flip through them, look at the photos and decide if you like the patterns shown there. Not to be deterred in my book-buying experience, I went to Ravelry and looked up the books there. Not only can you see which patterns the book includes, but projects others have completed and shared with the community. I think this really gives an advantage to buying any pattern online or in print, because you can see how others have modified it or how lighting and colour change the look. A hat or sweater you previously didn’t enjoy the look of may be much more flattering when seen on a different model.

This book begins with a word from the author and a brief history of hats. I never really thought much about where knitting came from and how it evolved from a means of making clothing and generating income to a pastime of the middle class. The entire history is only two pages, but interesting in it’s general overview. There is also the ‘anatomy of a hat,’ to clarify terms used in the book, and ‘types of hats’ with illustrational diagrams. In the pages designating the different types of hats, there is a small blurb about the style origin, typical look and special construction information.

I am going to glaze over the ‘basic techniques’ page and move right on through to patterns. They are divided into five categories; basic shapes, cables, lace, colour and embellishments.

My favourite category is basic shapes. Most of the hats in this section are relatively simple, but really showing off the different styles that were covered in the ‘types of hats’ section. One in particular that I like is the Pillbox Hat. It is a unique shape that would suit a smaller facial structure, like mine. The intricate colour work in the photo really drew my eye, as well as the beautiful blue yarn.

Without giving you the whole book, I will say that I am really happy with content. Hats are one of the best gifts to knit, along with scarves, and there are a lot of interesting ideas I had not thought existed before. I guess we know what everyone is going to be getting for Christmas this year…

I will be reviewing The Ultimate Sock Book next Friday so drop in to check it out. I have high hopes for the sock patterns included there. I am also curious about the history of knitted socks. What is now a luxury was once a necessity, can you imagine having to hand-knit all the socks in your sock drawer? I guess I really shouldn’t say that since I KNOW there are people who do that. Respect to you sock knitters, respect.

Last post of 2013!

I personally would like to say that I am completely and totally happy to see 2013 go. It’s been a rough year and 2014 looks like it will be much better. I believe in cosmic balance and predict that 2014 will be absolutely amazing to make up for 2013.

Today will be a short post; I haven’t been feeling well so you just get a quick update on the knitty things going on.
I had a friend commission a hat for his daughter. The requirements were purple, soft and warm. Something that an 8-year-old, independent, little woman would like. At first I was a bit stumped. It has been a long time since I was eight; I am sure things have changed a bit. Working with what I had, I went to the LYS and took pictures of all the soft, warm, purple yarn they had and emailed them to said clientele. After the purple had been picked, things sort of fell into place. Friend and his wife also wanted black and white so the hat would fit with her current snow suit. BAM! This is what I came up with…

I really liked it; I am tempted to make myself one.

I did have some yarn left over and I may make her a matching scarf or cowl. I dropped off the hat today because they wanted it before the New Year, but I will see what I can do with the leftovers. If there isn’t enough for a scarf, maybe I could swing fingerless mittens or something. I’ll have to sit down and try it.
Grandmother’s sweater is on hold until I feel better. It isn’t the kind of thing you can do while your mind is only half on it. You need all your marbles in one basket to work on that thing or else you’re getting into a cabeltastrophy.
With those short comments I bring 2013 to a close, GOOD RIDDANCE!! I wish you all fitness, friendliness and fantastic fiber in the New Year!

Happy Holidays

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, lots of creatures were stirring… even a mouse.

I am joking about the mouse; I haven’t seen any mice at all. I think my parent’s dog would love that. Seeing as this has been the height of her Christmas spirit.
The first hat I knit for my nephew turned out to be too small. When I woke up the next morning my mom had put it on a small stuffed dog. I am not completely sure where it came from, but it looks identical to the ravelry mascot. I tried to send a photo via personal message, but it wasn’t working out for me. So I am going to send a link to this post instead. Hello Ravelry peeps!
The stirring definitely includes my knitting needles though. I have finished the back of my grandfather’s sweater and started on the back of my grandmothers. The best part is doing the ribbing! It is soooo much easier compared to everything else. I cannot wait to be finished these sweaters. I forget what an easy sweater is like to knit. I am going to whip up something really quick afterwards. It may have to be something I’ve done before to make it extra extra easy.
Until Friday, I wish you the happiest of holidays!!!

I Think I Can, I Think I Can

I think I may have somewhat fixed the comments. For some reason, unknown to me, they aren’t working on mobile phones, but I just write here. I will have to get Paul into it since he is more technically savvy than I.

What have I been working on lately? I’ve made some really great headway with my grandma’s sweater. I am so close to being done the back and starting on the front. I always find once I start the front, its not long before I have it done. Unfortunately I decided I am going to do the back of the matching sweater immediately after I finish the back of this first one. This way I will be really motivated to finish it.
Aside from the sweater, I’ve been making more and more of the reflective hats. Everyone loves them. I am going to humour Dave and make a doggie sweater from it. It will probably be a big fad. The other day I saw someone walking their dog with a light up leash, but that was from the people in the condo next to ours. I swear they all have dogs and all the dogs have sweaters, coats, boots, hats or something! Whenever Paul and I drive by and see a dog without some form of clothing we get really excited and say, “Naked dog! Naked dog!”
I don’t think I mentioned last time, but I ordered custom license plates for my car! They came in on Thursday and we had them put on! I am really happy with them and I think I chose relatively well…
It’s a short post today because I am getting ready to head over for a family Christmas event. It is busy busy busy, but tis the season!