Sunday, 15 March 2009

Mio Bandido

He asked for a neckwarmer (he rides a motorbike almost daily) and he asked for it to be in rib for warmth, I saw this pattern Darkside Cowl PDF on Ravelry and thought of him



It's easier than it looks, I made it about 10inches long instead of the size on the pattern out of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece bought from This is Knit

Vogue Knitting Very Easy Knits

Vogue Knitting Very Easy Knits: The Best of Very Easy Very Vogue
US Link

Vogue Knitting Very Easy Knits isn’t exactly what it pretends to be. They’re not Very Easy but a lot of them rely on knit and purl stitches to create interesting effects. You need to know about guage swatching for this one as many of the patterns are made with obsolete yarn and many of the pictures are very dated, still colours and fashions do cycle. I’ve knit one pattern from this the Short-sleeve ribbbed pullover and I like how it looks. I have a few queued as well. I wouldn’t class them as easy more as next-step knitting, stretching some of your boundries without too much of a stretch.

Passion for Colour

Passion for Colour: Designer Knitting with Natural Dyes
US Link

Passion for Colour by Sarah Burnett. I got it from Rathmines Library, part of Dublin City Libraries (yes I work for them, sometimes even I can be surprised what’s lurking on the shelves). Sarah Burnett still dyes yarn and can be found here but this book is a collection of advice on dyeing using natural dyes and patterns. The patterns are quite colourful and none of them really tempted me, there were some childrens’ wear that I could see would work but some of the patterns are too fussy, both in terms of colour and style for me (I’m not a frills person).

However what was good was the section in the front about dyeing. She has a lot of information there, which might appeal to some of the dyers around. Pretty practical and with helpful pictures (and warnings about the chemicals involved in some of the processes). She also has some nice illustrations of colour combinations and instructions on how to achieve them.

But boy are the patterns dated!


Name of Book Tweed: More Than 20 Contemporary Designs to Knit
US Link

Author Nancy J Thomas
Any other info Potter Craft, 2008, 978-0307381323

Types of patterns: Garments and accessories, some homewear, all knit in either Aran or bulky weight.

Number of Patterns: 21 (just over the “over 20” they advertise on the cover

Split of patterns: mostly women’s but a decent number of mens scarves and hats make an appearance.
Hats: 3
Scarves: 4
Women’s Garments: 10
Bags: 2
Household: 3
Men’s Garments: 1

Size Range: most patterns go from x-small (35”) to 2X (52”) for women and the solo man’s garment, the Dublin Cabled Vest runs from Small(37.5”) to 2X(52.5”)

Colour/Black & White, full colour photographs, mostly from the front with some side views. Most graphs are in black and white with some colour emphasis but the Lake District Throw chart is in full colour.

Schematics: Yes

Target Audience: Mixed; the book is divided into Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate and advanced projects (called “Walking on the Moors”; “Hiking the Scottish Uplands”; “Walking the Irish Cliffs of Moher” and “Sailing the North Sea” - gah)

How to knit guide, no only a few stitch patterns

Experimental/Classical/Modern - pretty classical stuff with the odd quirk thrown in

Comments - once you get past the twee and some of the Oirishness it’s actually not a bad book. The tweed yarn referenced is mostly spun in Kilcar and looks quite suspiciously familiar to those of us who knit with Kilcarra Tweed. Several of the patterns are interesting and I want to knit a few. I’ve gone and ordered my own copy. The scarves are pretty unisex and I like the colour use, mostly. Most of the patterns in the Tahki yarns Donegal Tweed are from the Kilcarra palette so for a change not too much mucking about to get a alternative yarn.

Buy/Borrow : I’m buying myself a copy. At around the E22 mark it’s a little over E1 per pattern, and I have my eye on about 5-6 of them to add to my queue.

Where found: Coming to a library near you very soon.

Twinkle's Weekend Knits

Name of Book:Twinkle's Weekend Knits: 20 Fast Designs for Fun Getaways
US Link

Author: Wenlan Chia
Any other info: Potter Craft, 2008, ISBN: 9780307346131

Types of patterns: Jumpers, scarves, hats, tops, shawls, hanger covers, I-pod cover, has some colourwork, cables & lace

Number of Patterns: 20

Split of patterns: Women’s, some of the scarves are unisex, the i-pod cover has no gender

Size Range: xs-l; i.e. 31” - 42”

Colour/Black & White: Colour photos, how-to drawn in black & White; charts black and white

Schematics: Yes, for EVERYTHING, including scarves and i-pod cover

Target Audience: Beginner, some stuff that I would class as almost for intermediate but more beginner looking to stretch themselves. Aimed at a younger person than me, i.e. 20’s and skinnier too! (how to make me feel old!!)

How to knit guide: Just a guide to the more complicated stuff, no how to cast on or simple cast-offs here.

Experimental/Classical/Modern - I’d rate this one an modern

Comments This isn’t a book for me. I’m not a small lass and the only pattern that uses below 8mm needles is the i-pod cosy. None of them really sang out to me or made me want to knit them, this is not to say that there aren’t good or interesting patterns in this, it and me just aren’t going to have a future relationship. The one pattern that almost tempted me is the Riverbed Shawl and the Urchin hat isn’t significantly differnt to others around. The Cloudburst Cardigan has potential but not for me.

Buy/Borrow Borrow, if it appeals to you there is potential there for some pretty quick knits.

Where found: Coming soon to a Dublin City Public Library near you.

Blankets and throws to Knit

Name of Book Blankets and Throws to Knit: Patterns and Piecing Instructions for 100 Knitted Squares (Uk Link)
100 Afghan Squares to Knit: Patterns and Instructions for Mixing and Matching Afghan Squares for Blankets and Throws (US Link and a slightly different title)
Author Debbie Abrahams
Any other info Collins & Brown pub, ISBN: 9781843404712

Types of patterns: Throws mostly, all pieced

Number of Patterns: 12 throws, 100 squares

Split of patterns: Mostly colourwork but some shades of one colour
Target Audience: Mostly beginner, some intermediate patterns, there’s some colourwork, cables, beadwork, sequin work and some embroidery.

How to knit guide There’s a technique guide at the back, she assumes the basics and then talks about Intarsia work; Knitting with beads, knitting with sequins, adding embroidery, piecing the pieces together (mattress stitch) and care and washing of the afghan.

Experimental/Classical/Modern most of the patterns are pretty classical, some have colours that are quite “now” but it’s not overwhelmingly so, many of them are a little sameish.

Comments If you’ve been doing the Art of Knitting throw and want to expand your horizon this may be the book for you.

Buy/Borrow Borrow. Some nice ideas in it but not really spectacular.

Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries. Coming soon attraction!

Harmony Guide Lace and eyelet stitches

Name of Book: The Harmony Guides: Lace & Eyelet Stitches: 250 Stitches to Knit(Uk Link)
US Link

Author - edited by Erika Knight
Any other info C&B crafts

Types of patterns: Lace and eyelet stitches

Number of Patterns: 250

Split of patterns: just stitches

Colour or Black & White Colour Stitches, Black & White techniques.

Target Audience: everything from easy to difficult

How to knit guide: Yup, done with sketches

Experimental/Classical/Modern - this is pretty classical stuff but it would encourage experimentation

Comments - the new edited harmony guide, some of the photos aren’t as clear as maybe I’d like but overall it’s pretty good, could be improved by being spiral bound, most patterns have a single page.

Buy/Borrow - if you’re interested in this stuff buy, if you’re looking for a one off borrow.

Where found: bought it in the book bargain shop opposite Easons on Abbey Street, they had it reduced to E10.99 so I couldn’t really resist.
Name of Book : Knitty Gritty: Knitting for the Absolute Beginner(Uk Link)
US Link

Author : Aneeta Patel
Any other info - this is not to be confused with a book of the same name associated with the US TV series, this is an English production

Types of patterns: very, very basic, the ubiquitus Garter stitch scarf, Baby Booties (with some variations), hats, zig-zag scarf, baby or child cardigan, cable bag, lacy wrap, mittens, hot water bottle cover, necktie, fingerless wristwarmers, phone cover, “manly” scarf, girly scarf, little’n’large cushions.

Number of Patterns: 24

Split of patterns: Men/women/children a mix of all of the above

Size Range: baby/children’s cardigan is 3/6 months or 2-3 years, it’s the only real pattern that has sizes

Colour/Black & White: colour photos, quite clear to the guidelines

Schematics: yes

Target Audience: Rank Beginner

How to knit guide: well this is what the book is about

Pretty classical, but I can see it not aging well.

Comments: I’m trying to be nice but this is not the best of it’s type. The finished objects don’t look the best, in fact to me they don’t look very inspiring. It would be fine as a book for starting with but unlike some others of it’s type it wouldn’t be a book I’d add to my owned pile.

Buy/Borrow: I’d borrow, it does go through the basics but it’s not a book I’d keep.

Where found: Coming soon to the libraries
Name of Book Knits for Men: 20 Sweaters, Vests, and Accessories (UK Link)

US Link

Author Margaret Hubert
Any other info creative publishing, 978-1589233591, 2008

Types of patterns: mostly jumpers with few hats, scarves and slipper socks

Number of Patterns: 22 (including 2 hat and scarf sets); jumpers: 11; cardigans: 4; waistcoats: 1; sleeveless pullover: 1; slipper socks: 1

Split of patterns: Men mostly though the hats and scarves are pretty unisex and one of them would probably be a great introduction to slip stitch techniques!

Size Range: 34”/36” to 46”-48” (while disingeniously supplying the yarn council standard up to XXL or 50”-52”

Colour/Black & White: Colour photos; Charts in colour, most patterns spelt out rather than charted; nice detail close-ups of any special techniques or patterns for each item.

Schematics: yes, quite detailed in both inches and cm

Target Audience: I’d rank this as both beginner and intermediate. Several of the patterns are quite basic but some are more intermediate. There are some things that might be a little more complicated (like the entrelac pullover and the slip stitch patterns) but there’s nothing thats terribly challenging. Most of the patterns are drop shouldered.

How to knit guide: yes, photographs, does assume a certain knowledge but as well as some advice on finishing near the beginning, there’s some advice on paired decreases, yarn bobbins, i-cord, three-needle bind-off and grafting.

Experimental/Classical/Modern: pretty classical stuff with some twists occasionally

Comments: passed the husband eyebrow test, i.e. his didn’t approach his hairline too often when flicking through and there were some approving noises as well as an enquiry as to whether or not I planned buying it. Some of the patterns tempt me as well and while I may not be the biggest fan of some of them they mostly rely on simple stitch patterns to break up the huge expanse you have to knit for men. The patterns are varied enough but also plain enough to keep most men pretty happy and with a stitch dictionary you really could ring the changes with it.

Buy/Borrow: I’m buying this one to add to the collection.

Where found: This one is sitting on the shelves in a few Dublin City Public Libraries now.
Latest Finish.


I started it when I was quite a bit bigger. I do like the edge detail, it took me ages to decide which way I wanted to go. It's based on the Modified Drop Shoulder Cardigan with the lace edge ripped from the lace edged cardigan from The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges (UK Link) US link

This is a great book if you want to start trying design, took me a little outside of my comfort zone but that's not a bad thing.

Made in Patons UK Washed Haze DK in Rose Pink, got from Hickeys in Henry Street
This is intended to be a blog for knitting book reviews and updates on what I'm knitting these days.