Thursday, 7 April 2016
Sunday, 28 February 2016
Thursday, 11 February 2016
I read a book recently that made me a bit cranky. Craftsman by Richard Sennet, apart from the view of craftsmanship as being mostly male he also didn't get the concept of mindless crafting. Sometimes mindless crafting is an accompaniment to complex working, but sometimes it's it's own thing. When you're in a crafting slump or something complex is occupying your brain, and not necessarily a crafting project, retreating into the simple is actually comforting. When a lace project is in the slog, why is there no progress stage, a simple dishcloth can be useful, a sense of accomplishment can be made out of that little thing. Without slogging by assistants there isn't time made for a master. But also there is the issue that until you understand your material, you can't really explore it's possibilities. Without scales and warmups your hands will suffer on the piano. Also without understanding both your and the materials issues you can't work with them and through them. I will never play some pieces on the piano that require octave stretches, my hands can't do that, but I can work with it, choose the notes that sound the best, the most right.
But what really ticked me off, as the daughter of a master cabinetmaker and carpenter; sister of a master carpenter; cousin of a master glassworker (not sure of his proper title but he made a glass sword as his masterpiece!) on page 58 when he talked about a chef d'oeuvre éleve I was somewhat annoyed, it didn't convince me that he knew enough about what he was talking about because that's known as a masterpiece or master piece. And maybe if we regarded those pieces made by more crafters as being as important and we saw the beauty in them and the skill it took to make them like we look at paintings maybe we would start to have a better understanding of how there is more artfulnes in the world than we notice. That the present by someone that took more effort than a few minutes in a shop actually has worth, and doesn't deserve derision.
Cross posted to my reading blog
Sunday, 31 January 2016
Forza Scarf is a free teaser from the book, included on the Ravelry page, but I don't recall it in the book.
Thursday, 15 October 2015
The edition to hand was the UK edition in the Amazon.co.uk link and the Dublin City Public Libraries edition.
Dublin City Public Libraries
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Saturday, 15 August 2015
Stephanie Japel - Fitted Knits
Dublin City Public Libraries
Now this one strikes me like French Girl Knits, the patterns are nice, not me but there are a few that would inspire me to play with them and create something else out of them that would work for me. Being of a broad shouldered build round neck and boat neck tops don't work on me, I also end up distorting close round necks when I wear them because I spend a chunk of my wearing time tugging at them as they tend to be a wrong fit for me. This book is mostly populated by patterns of this type. I'm also broader at the hips (and stomach, yes I admit it) than the bust so long-ribbed jumpers do nothing for me. She's also fond of horizontal elements that really don't add to my comfort. However this book is full of ideas that make me want to play with the designs and make my own. I also ain't small and large sized yarn tends not to flatter either. So maybe sometime in the future I will mesh with this style more than I do now.
This is not to say that this is a book with no redeeming factors. There are plenty of patterns in this book that are quite good and the introduction about knitting for your build is excellent.
The patterns follow a similar aesthetic with horizontal and vertical elements created by different stitches and there's a lot of fitted styles here. If you suit that sort of style there's a lot here for you.
It's a book with patterns for women, done from the top down with a lot of visual elements.
After some instructions on how to decide on a size and how to tweak the pattern for your own measurements the first chapter is Tubes, tanks and tees, the first pattern is a split-neckline cap-sleeved tee. If I was making this for myself it would be a v-neck and I'd eliminate the side fastening, but then again this would change it completely. Edged in a contrasting yarn this is a fitted tee. Rated as simple.
Coquette Lace Tube Top, one for the braver than me. This relies on the stretch of the Tencel/Cotton yarn for staying power, it does suggest single crochet chains for straps, or ribbon or leather lacing. Rated Medium.
Drop Stitch lace tank is a buttoned top with a drop stitch detail, careful choice of underwear needed with this one as it will be on display. Described as very stretchy it suggests choosing a size 6" smaller than actual bust measurement. Rated Medium.
Spicy fitted v-neck tee is knitted in bulky weight yarn and has a lacy detail running from the neckline down the front and along the sides to the back. Rated medium
Crisp rectangle tunic top is worked side-to-side using short rows for shaping. It's fastened at the top with buttons. Rated Medium
The next chapter is Shrugs, Cardigans and Wraps.
First up is a Two-tone ribbed shrug, rated simple. A fair bit of picking up of stitches is involved in this and the ribbed edging wraps around the shrug.
Bold and bulky mini-cardi is one that I really wouldn't knit for me, big yarn, big buttons, and it would stop in the wrong place for me. However it's an interesting piece that would allow you to modify it if you wanted for length. Rated medium.
Carie Cropped flared-sleeve cardigan, a empire line end point on this, again in a bulky yarn this one would be all sorts of bad on me. Rated medium.
Cropped cardigan with leaf ties. A scooped neckline for this one with picot edging this one doesn't appeal to me.
Airy wrap-around lace sweater - This is one I would like more photographs of, particulalry open. Knit with large needles and a mohair yarn it has decorative cables below the elbows on the sleeves and a tie-front. The diagram doesn't really tell you much about the actual construction of the garment, I don't think it would be a good look on me but it's an interesting idea. Rated Challenge.
Puff-sleeved feminine cardigan, a variation on a theme here, the puff sleeves and high neck wouldn't make me want to knit it. Rated Challenge
Short-sleeved cardigan with ribbing. Look at the photo of this one, notice the way the last closed button on the bottom is pulling? if I was going to knit this I'd add some increases at the bottom to help this or go up another needle size for the last half of the rib. Also I think the waist of this could do with being a little higher for the model. Your mileage may vary, I'd look at the elements of this and pick and choose where things sit. Rated Medium.
I adore the look of the Elizabeth Bennett Cabled Cardigan, but not on me. Sadly the photography missed out on the flare on the sleeves but I do like the slight flare in the hips. Beautiful stuff, if I was going to knit it I would play with the neckline, but I'm not sure that that wouldn't ruin the look. Rated Challenge.
The next chapter is Sweaters, vests and coats.
Back-to-School U-neck vest. I like this one, then again I have a weakness for tank tops/vests/whatever you're calling it. Worked from the hem up for a change. Rated Medium.
Perfect Periwinkle, a turtleneck sleeveless vest. This one has not for me written all over it, to start with I don't have shoulders that need displaying. Rated Simple.
Keyhole-neck blouse with eyelet details. This is another no, apart from the neckline, the horizontal stripe at the bottom before the rib would fall on the widest part of my stomach, yeah, that would be flattering. Rated Challenge.
Cozy v-neck pullover with deep ribbing. Deep, yes, all the way from just above the waist to the bottom. Rated simple.
Boatneck Bluebell sweater, has flared sleeves and some underbust horizontal stripes with stripes at the bottom after some ribbing. This is a lovely sweater but not my type. Rated medium.
Textured tunic with side buttons, this one has buttons on the bottom to the side and a button on the side of the neck. Horizontal stripes above and below the bust with textured knitting along the bust line. This is an interesting garment, again I like it but the neckline is a problem for me and I'm not sure that I could fix it without ruining the look of the garment. Rated Medium
Alexandra Ballerina top. Knit in a bulky yarn this has cables running down the front and breaks up the variagated yarn nicely, the cable runs down the sleeve, though the photos don't really show it. Rated Challenge.
Thick and thin cardian coat is an interesting use of a thick and thin yarn with contrasting edging and cuffs. Rated medium
Long coat with chevron lace is pretty simple but the lace adds some interest, knit in a bulky yarn (9mm needles here) it's interesting and would be a quicker knit than most coats. Rated medium
Dress-up clothes is the next chapter
First up is a skirt and jacket set, tweedy v-neck, that needs better photography, nice cardigan, I could see myself wearing it. Rated medium.
Saturday in the park perfect dress is a dress with cables and a u-necked front, rated complex this is a nice knee-length dress. The cables wrap around the waist.
I had some frustration with the photographs, sometimes it looked like they were trying to cover up issues with the outfits or were aiming for more artistic than informative, but that's a personal gripe. Overall not a bad book at all.
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
Dublin City Public Libraries
This is an interesting idea, using floral motifs to create projects.
The book starts with section on how to crochet, which doesn't have a section on left-handedness and also appears to neglect to mention the difference between US and UK terminology. It's divided in three sections: Starting out; Practice makes Perfect and Confident Crocheting. There are basically two types of use of Floral motifs, applique and as part of the stitch.
Chapter 1: Starting Out.
Poppy Purse - a purse with a poppy motif in Aran yarn.
Kindle Cover - crocheted flat, seamed and lined with flower appliques, in sportweight yarn
Tote Bag - made in pieces, seamed and with appliqued flowers. Aran weight yarn.
Rose Headband - this has been in and out of fashion and it's an Aran Weight, with an applied Rose.
Baby Beanie Hat - Another pattern with applied flowers in a 4 ply yarn.
Ear Flap Hat - small earflaps on this aran-weight hat with applied flowers and a contrast trim, this one is quite pretty.
Fingerless Gloves - fingerless gloves with a small trim of flowers in a contrast colour around the wrist. Worked in Aran-weight yarn.
Bunting - triangular bunting in a DK yarn with a floral centre and linked by flowers.
Egg Cosies - again with applied flowers. worked in DK weight yarn.
Floral-edged Jam Pot Covers worked in DK yarn this is quite ornamental and would be suitable for gifts.
Pin Cushions nested flowers stuffed in DK yarn.
Hexagon Flower Throw work multiple hexagons in DK yarn this could be a good use of leftovers.
Pansy and Kittens - Cat toys with flowers applied.
Chapter 2: Practice Makes Perfect
Butterfly and Blossom Key Ring- worked in Cotton Glace this is a set of key-ring charms.
Blossom Necklace a fine necklace worked in DK yarn that is reminiscent of Daisy chains.
Flower Garland - a series of flowers on a chain in DK
Shelf Edging - a shelf edging with flowers along it in a 4-ply yarn.
Floral Shell Stitch Cushion Cover - fairly simple cushion with bouquet of flowers in the centre in Aran yarns.
Tablecloth - flowers are used as weights in each corner, DK yarn.
Lido Swimming Cap Tea Cosy Aran weight yarn used double for the body and then decorated with multicoloured Flowers, just like an old-fashioned swimming cap.
Crown-edged Cushion Cover it's like a granny square but with multicoloured centre and plain around until the edging which is in a crown-like edging.
Place Mats - using a heavy cotton yarn these circular mats have applied flowers in a finer yarn.
Oven Cloths - floral centres on these lined oven cloths.
Buggy Blanket squares created and then connected together, done in dk weight yarn.
Chevron and Daisy Scarf - Rows of colour interrupted with a few rows of a contrast and then embellished with flowers, made in an Aran weight yarn.
Beaded Craft Kit Roll - Catherine Wheel stitch in two colours with beading in a DK weight yarn.
Baby Blanket a shell stitch blanket in a dk weight yarn with an edging embellished with flowers.
Chapter 3: Confidence Crocheting
Brooch - a flower made into a brooch made in a dk yarn.
Floral Bag - multiple flowers make up this bag that's then lined. Made in DK yarn. The flowers are each created separately before, making it easy to connect them.
Daisy Scarf - worked in squares in a sportweight yarn and then joined.
Floral Lace Scarf - a flower edged shawl worked in a fine mohair yarn. Edged with flowers in a variety of sizes.
Vintage-style Vase Coaster - doileys worked in dk weight yarn. in multiple colours.
Round Rose Cushion - multiple roses worked in Aran-weight yarn and then attached to a croceted backing.
Gypsy Queen Throw - DK weight yarn in multiple colours, worked in squares and crocheted together with a loop edging.
Wash Cloths - floral centered wash cloths in DK cotton yarn. There are three, a Blossom Burst Cloth; Flower Square Cloth (with a 3-d flower); and a Petal edged circle, which is both centered with a flower and edged with a petal like edging.
It's a good book of designs which aren't too complex but do have a good result, many of them involve a lot of finishing. Many of them are too flouncy for my taste but they're quite nicely done if that's your taste and you're happy with a fair amount of sewing.
As usual this was borrowed from Dublin City Public Libraries who offer no inducement to write these others than supply plus my wage.
Monday, 15 June 2015
Dublin City Public Libraries
Using a variety of patterns inspired by Nordic traditional jumper patterns creating accessories. Most of them could be interchanged with each other. Creating a huge variety of patterns. I have knit one of them, the iPad cover
myself as a gift. And I found the instructions clear and simple. The recipient is happy with it which is a bonus.
Each section covers a particular pattern; Marius; Setesdal; Fana and Voss, there's also a section on techniques and advice on stranded knitting. She discusses each pattern and it's history in Norway and how it developed.
Marius mostly blue and white with some red highlights.
All-Day Handbag using a chunky yarn in the original the bag has red highlights on the top
Racerback top with a deep rib and patterning above it, then red on the top and along the edging on the top knit in DK yarn
Hotpants - exactly what they imply, red to the bottom. 4ply yarn.
Maurice the Teddy Bear - mostlly blue and white with some red highlights and a red head. Knit in DK
Christmas Stocking - red heel, toe and some highlights, knit in DK.
Setesdal black and white contrasts, it's an interesting traditional pattern
iPad Cover - see my version above, it's a nice piece, the contrasts make it stand out. Knit in DK.
Necktie - mostly black with a black and white end. Knit in DK.
Slippers - the slippers swap the regular pattern exchanging the white and black and Brioche stitch sides and bottom. Knit in DK.
Wristwarmers - lowering the contrast to grey and cream, knit in DK again.
Beanie Hat - again using the grey and cream, also pictured in white and red. This is knit in DK.
Fana lowers the contrast yet again to light blue and white, delicate but interesting.
Beret - knit in DK.
Half-sweater - again in DK this is sometimes referred to as a Caplet by many people, it's a shoulder cover that comes just down to the underarms.
Sleeves - could be combined with the half-sweater under or over a coat for added warmth. Knit in DK again.
Cafetiere cosy - Knit in DK again, this would be a good starter to learn how to do the techniques.
Cup Cosies - also in DK, this uses a variety of the Fana patterns for handle-less cups or tall glasses.
Voss - almost like tiles, patterns are contained within squares.
Toilet Roll Cover - for containing one toilet roll, knit in DK.
Potholder - tiled potholder, knit in 4ply doubled
Snood - a dk neckwarmer.
Cushion Cover - a superchunky cushion cover.
iPhone cover - knit in 4ply yarn
I got this from Dublin City Public Libraries and it's one I'm somewhat tempted to buy. Its another book that's very useful as inspiration for adapting traditional patterns, it's a book that would encourage looking at traditional patterns and adapting them for new uses.
Dublin City Public Libraries offer me no inducement to write these other than a salary and access to the books.
Friday, 15 May 2015
Dublin City Public Libraries
This is a book to inspire, to expore and work with knitting stitches to create different textures and to play with shapes in your knitting, a book to add to your design library more than a book to just knit from, there is a pattern and some samples but they're just there to help you start.
Many different ideas, some of which were more along the lines of what I wouldn't knit, I don't really like jumpers with holes in, but other people's mileage may vary.