I’ve received a few books recently and I wanted to mention them. I figure it’s the least I could do, me getting these amazing tomes and enjoying them so much!

I LOVE me some books; I love looking at them, holding them, browsing through the pictures and designs – it’s very inspirational.

As a designer I find – sadly – that I tend to AVOID books of knitting patterns, I don’t want to be unduly influenced by someone else’s brain storm. I thought I was alone in this but recently Sally Melville, Lily Chin and I were sitting around chatting (seriously, not sitting – we all ran into each other at TNNA and stood around admiring the fact we were each still on our feet…) and we discovered this similarity in all of us.

To paraphrase Sally, “I don’t want to be influenced subconsciously, or discover that someone is doing exactly what I just did…”

And I feel the same way. It’s a problem, though, because I miss out on the amazing designs that are coming out, and it’s kind of rude not to be able to alert my friends, “I LOVED your new sweater/hat/skirt in IK!” as soon as I see their work.

All part of the Queen Midas Syndrome that affects anyone who turns what they love into a living. Making my knitting my gold has been the best thing I’ve done in my life, but every positive has some negatives – keeping my distance from current designs is one of those. This may change – it seems that everything in life involves change at some point.

So without further ado, I give you


Toe Up!
Patterns and Worksheets to Whip Your Sock Knitting Into Shape

Chrissy Gardiner

Okay – any book with whip in the title is bound to be good.

I loved this book – it just shines with enthusiasm about my favorite way of knitting socks – toe up. You see, I have rather large feet – and with a toe up sock I can get the foot out of the way and then use EVERY extra bit of yarn to make the tops as long as I’d like. It’s a personal thing, but it works for me!

I’m NOT a huge sock knitter, although when I do knit a sock I enjoy it fully. But I tend to be very lazy and revert back to the way my grandmother knit her socks (incidentally the way Lucy Neatby teaches toe up socks) – start with a small swatch, add stitches, work a tube and add the heel later. Yawn.

This book has me very excited, though, to give other options a try – new (to me) toes and heels, wonderful tips and, best of all, very useful worksheets make this a book that will stay on the “Constant Reference” shelf of my library (as opposed to the, “Looks good but I never open it” shelf)

Knit It Together
Patterns & Inspiration for Knitting Circles
Suzyn Jackson

Often when I read a book I start at the back. Why? Because I’m odd. Maybe trying to learn Hebrew is also having an effect on me, but I find some of the coolest stuff is in the back of the book.

So imagine my joy when I ran across this little tidbit at the back of Suzyn Jackson’s very user friendly volume, “Cheating: When Gauges Don’t Match” in the seaming & finishing portion of the book.

Since several of the patterns in this book involve sewing together pieces made by different knitters in dissimilar yarns, you’re going to have to deal with variations in gauge.

I loved this. I love that someone GETS that things in knitting are NOT perfect, automatic, exact – that just the nature of using our hands, individual needles and one-of-a-kind yarns almost guarantees that there will be subtle changes and shifts in gauge as we work through a project.

I think this sums up what I loved best about this book. I’ll ignore the fact that Confessions of a Knitting Heretic wasn’t included in the list of favorite resource books [sniff] and give this book a wholehearted thumbs up for a knitter who needs a bit of a jump start to move from, “I’ve made a washcloth!” to “I’d like to make a sweater next!”

Crocheted Gifts
Irristible Projects to Make & Give
Kim Werker

In full disclosure I have to say that I am included* in this lovely book.

But even if I weren’t part of it, I’d want to have it. The photography and styling are everything we’ve come to expect from an Interweave book – photos clear enough to allow you to SEE what it is you’ll be making, but arty enough to inspire you to actually START the project.

My favorites in the book are Robyn Chachula’s Ravissant Socks and Julie Holetz’s Sisal Spiral Rug, but just about anything in the book would be a delight to work up, and would make a treasured gift.

Some projects, like Megan Granholm’s Babymoon Robe, could require a larger investment of time than the average crocheter might muster for a casual friendship. These projects would, however, be perfect for one of the most overlooked recipients – ourselves!

I’m thinking about making this robe up for me as a jacket, and I was gratified to see that the bust size goes up to 50″! YAY!

*my piece, the Trinity Lace Shrug, has 2 errors.
Please contact Interweave Press for errata –
I know that right now we’re currently working
on wording to fix error #2.
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