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Archive for the ‘Yarn & Knitting’ Category

Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; The Knitting Book published by DK.

The Knitting Book

The Knitting Book

  • Title:The Knitting Book; Yarns, Techniques, Stitches, Patterns
  • Author: Frederica Patmore and Vikki Haffenden
  • Publisher: DK
  • ISBN: 978-1-4053-6803-2
  • Price: RRP £25.00

My Reason for Buying

Although my late mother taught me the basics of knitting when I was little and I also have the Dummies Guide to knitting book as well. I bought this book for inspiration and information, being a novice newbie I wanted photos of how things would look knitted up. The Dummies Guide is good but has few photos.

I tell you this as often a review is based on how well the book lived up to the expectations of its reader, for their purpose ;)

Contents

Tools and materials

  • Yarns, Knitting needles, Other equipment, Embellishments, Garment Care

Stitch Pattern Gallery

  • Knit and purl stitch patterns, In creasing and Decreasing, Increasing and Decreasing: Flower Patterns, Cable and Twist Stitch Patterns, Lace Stitch Patterns, Colourwork Patterns, Faux Colourwork Patterns, Edging Patterns, Medallions, Beading Stitch Patterns.

Techniques

  • Key Techniques, Preparing and Repairing, Following Stitch Patterns, Following a Pattern, Increases  and Decreases, Cables and Twists, I-Cord, Lace Knitting, Colourwork, Textural and Colour Effects, Structural Effects, Short Rows, Circular Knitting, Reverse, Twist Knit, and Tunisian, Finishing Details, Embellishments, Knitted Toys, Felted Knitting, Using Unusual Yarns

Projects

Stitch Patterns

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Superbly laid out, easy to use for reference
  • No prior knowledge of the subject needed
  • Covers a huge amount of topics
  • Projects to suit a wide range of knitters, kids toys and clothes, homewares, men’s gloves, women’s hats, socks scarves and shawls. Something for all ages.
  • Step by step photos of techniques, so you can see, as well as read, what you are meant to be doing.
  • The Stitch library shows photos of finished stitch samples, so you can see what each looks like, then the Pattern library gives instruction for how to knit them.
  • Fabulous resource for a general overview of knitting.

Cons

  • This is a big book, so not particularly portable.

As a result though, it makes a great coffee table book, best buy it in hard back as it will become a firm favorite for reference use. Short of adding a DVD in there to physically show you techniques in action, this couldn’t get any better.

Value for Money

SUPERB! As a reference book it is fantastic as so many topics are covered in one volume.

Would I buy it Again?

Totally!

Summing up

DK really ‘get it’, when they make reference books. The clear and simple layout means when you want to look up something in particular, you can get there fast. The step by step photos are clear and the instructions assume no prior knowledge of the subject and take you through all you need to become really advanced. They don’t talk to you as if you were a child, but neither do they bewilder you with terms to confuse you.

I love the stitch library, as you see just what stitch patterns will look like, the yarn section likewise has photos of different yarns knitted up, which when you are a newbie, is so helpful. Perhaps if you find a particular style that you like, you will want other books for a greater depth of that specifically, but as an all round reference book and to get you started in a new hobby, this book is a winner.

If you are a newbie and want to learn, this book is fantastic, if you have knitted a while and want to increase your pattern knowledge this book is for you too. There are some handy patterns in there, that would make up into nice gifts and plenty of inspiration. I have the sewing version of this book too, and this is just as good as that one is. A fantastic series, I’ll be on the look out to see if there are more in the range.

I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in knitting

Links

Highly worth the RRP, but we all like a bargain, and this book can also be found on Amazon ;)

  • Publisher
  • The Knitting Book on Amazon

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be picked from the cup of chance on Create and Craft TV, to win a crochet flower that Wendy Poole had made. The flower is made from Patons Fusion yarn and feels delightful.

Crochet flower made by Wendy Poole

Crochet flower made by Wendy Poole

Last year I had made a little tote bag, which was until now, un-embellished. This was the perfect place to put the flower.

The tote bag I made, with Crochet flower made by Wendy Poole

The tote bag I made, with Crochet flower made by Wendy Poole

DO check out Wendy’s blog, she has all kinds of amazing projects on there, and a lot of patterns for knitting and crochet too.

Thank you so much for the flower Wendy, its beautiful. I cannot crochet, due to limited dexterity, which makes this flower very dear to me.

The Patons Fusion yarn, is lush! I treated myself to a ball of the blue and its one that’s almost too nice to use, at the moment it’s just ‘saved to stroke’. Tell me you do that too?

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

After the success with the recent knitting projects, I began a search for a glove pattern that would work with the James Brett Marble Chunky yarn, so that I could make a pair of gloves to match the hat n cowl. I found Surley Sheep on Etsy and purchased her pattern and these are the result.

Moss stitch mittens

Moss stitch mittens

To achieve a coordinated look so that the gloves would tie in with the cowl and hat, I modified the pattern so that instead of the pearl at the top n cuff, I added some rows of moss stitch. I over did it a bit at the thumbs but its ok, I’ve got quite long fingers and thumbs so it worked out ok.

The James Brett Marble chunky is a lovely yarn to knit with and its also cozy to wear. My dexterity isn’t great and my joints really feel the cold, so I wear gloves much longer than perhaps most people do. There’s another lovely colour they do that I’ve got my eye on, it has shades of blue in it. Hmmm another one for the wish list, me thinks ;)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a picture of the second cowl I knitted.

Cowl'd and Frosty Morning 'long version'

Cowl'd and Frosty Morning 'long version'

The pattern was from Cowl’d and Frosty Morning, I messed up a bit with counting the rows and it got a bit taller than the pattern intended. This was a happy accident though, as it is very cozy and ideal to snuggle down into :)

Cowl'd and Frosty Morning 'long version'

Cowl'd and Frosty Morning 'long version'

Hope you like it, the yarn is James Brett Marble Chunky in colour MC19 which is amethyst, its very difficult to get it to photograph the colour correctly.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Just wanted to share a picture of the pretty yarn storage bag, DH bought me for Christmas.

Laura Ashley; Yarn Storage Cube

Laura Ashley; Yarn Storage Cube

Its called a storage cube and different patterns are available on Ebay. I went for this one because I love birds. It Laura Ashley fabric and looks like a pattern called Berkley Square. I like how its compact but will hold large balls of yarn, it took my James Brett Marble Chunky with ease. Great for a project bag and for keeping your ball of yarn from skittling all over the floor. It would have been nice if it had been a more stiffened fabric so the sides stayed up, but until you get to the last of your yarn, it doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Last month I mentioned that I was going to try knitting my first cowl. Today I’d like to share a picture of the finished piece.

My First Cowl

My First Cowl

  • The pattern I used (but recalculated the stitches too big ooops) was from Sixsevenone’s blog.
  • The yarn I used was James Brett Chunky; in colour MC6.

The yarn was a joy to use, especially on my new Knit Pro: Basix; birch wood circulars, that I reviewed earlier this month. The yarn colours self stripe which give a pretty result and I managed to get this finished just in time for the cold snap. I had my hair cut very short this time and have found winter decidedly chilly.

My First cowl

My First cowl

Links

Hope you like it, try making a cowl, they are great for keeping out the drafts and less bother than a scarf in use. If you don’t have the best dexterity the good news is they don’t take too long to make either ;) Oh dear, perhaps it will be another pattern I’ll use for making Christmas gifts, they’ll be calling me Mrs Weasly (Harry Potter) next.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; James Brett Marble Chunky Yarn.

James Brett; Marble Chunky Yarn

James Brett; Marble Chunky Yarn

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; James C Brett. Marble Chunky
  • Item number; Colour Number MC6
  • RRP at time of writing: £4.50 – 6.00
  • Weight – 200g Ball.
  • Length – 312m/341 yards to 200g.
  • Needle Size – 6mm. Tension – 14 stitches & 20 rows to a 10cm sq.

Reason For Buying

I cannot wear wool as it makes me itch, even if it is very soft or combined with other yarns. The only thing is until more recently there has been little colour options with acrylics. When I saw this yarn, I just had to buy it as it was such a lovely colour way.

Pros/Cons

Pros;

  • All Acrylic, easy maintenance of finished garment
  • Superb range of colours
  • Feels luxurious
  • Knits up beautifully
  • A joy to knit with
  • Cozy finished pieces, ideal for hats n gloves etc to snuggle into in the colder weather.
  • 200g per ball plenty for smaller projects

Cons;

An option of a smaller ball in the same colour ways would be good. If you only need a few grams to finish a project, 200g is a big ball.

Just a niggle, not a deal breaker.

Build Quality

Excellent, a joy to knit with. Two DK weight strands are twisted together in the yarn and the colour ways are beautifully done.

Value for Money

Excellent! It may not be the cheapest, but I was very pleased with how many small projects I could make with just one ball.

Would I buy it Again?

Totally, there are so many delicious colours that I will definitely be getting more of this yarn. :)

Summing up

I love everything about this yarn and recommend it to everyone. From just one ball I was able to make a short cowl, a long cowl, a hat and a pair of fingerless mittens!!!! With so many colours there is bound to be one you fall in love with too. Having dexterity issues I also found the larger needle size this yarn requires, easier on the hands too.

There is a DK variant of the yarn but not all the colours match the Chunky

Links

Here is a link to the manufacturers and a couple of retailers that also stock the yarn.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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