Sunday, 28 February 2010

Wrist warmers

I decided yesterday to try for another medal or two and Mrs Beeton was lurking on my queue and I then realised that it also was beaded so that was a bonus. Some Beads from the Firesale in Yellow Brick Road matched the purple yarn left from the socks I just finished and it sounded like I had about the right amount of it left to do them (I was almost right, two rows out actually but it's not all that noticeable!) I also had a yarn that would blend that I got in Dublin Woolen Mills.

The beading caused some serious swearing! The beads are JUST big enough so it took a bit of work to get them to go on.

Mrs Beeton with ruffle down With the ruffle down

Mrs Beeton with ruffle up with the ruffle up, like I'm wearing them right now. They're warming on my wrists. I think they will look cool ruffle side down under my grey coat.

ETA: The beads are actually have an offset centre, which made them quite good for this, I would use this style of bead again for edging on a knitted project.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Regal Brigit

These socks have been helped by the cold weather- myself and my husband travel by Motorbike (driven by him) to work but when theres frost and ice we don't go so this gives me time while travelling by bus.

I just finished these a few minutes ago!

Brigit Socks

Brigit by Monkey Toes is the pattern and it looks a lot better in real life, the cables don't look as good when they're at rest as they do when they're on. I mostly did these as cables without a cable needle but occasionally I didn't quite hit the three strands which meant I used a cable needle as it does fuzz a little when split. It is fairly easy to split the yarn but I do like how it looks. It's using Wildfoote Luxury Sock yarn in Purple Splendor


Dishcloths can be fun to knit, they're also a good way of curing yourself of feeling like your knitting is precious!

These two are made using short-rows, a method of knitting where you don't knit all the way to the end so you can create shapes.

The Four-corner dishcloth
for this one you knit it in four pieces forming corners as you go and then graft it together. I'm not 100% happy with the graft but for something to do cleaning up with it's not a bad thing, if I make another few of them or ones like it I can practice it more. This is another good thing with Dishcloths, slight flaws and minor errors aren't really important to the dirt you're sweeping up or scrubbing off!

A Multidirectional Diagonal Dishcloth.
this one is a good introduction to short-row diagonals. If you're thinking about knitting a scarf with this technique this is a good practice piece!

Sunflower Shadows

Finished another one

The Sunflower Tam from Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature: 39 Designs Inspired by Patterns in Nature (UK Amazon) Knitting Nature (US Amazon) using some of the Malabrigo Worsted in the colourway Alpine Pearl. I spotted someone else had done this in Malabrigo and had gone down a needle size so I followed suit, and I like it. I had to do a little bit of tweaking to satisfy my sense of balance at the end, I omitted one of the moments where you move the marker for the start because it wouldn't have continued with the spiral.
I also significantly shortened the i-chord to about 2" or so, I actually knitted the 5" knotted it and realised that it was going to have a too-long tail so I ripped it back to almost where the knot was and the cast off so I'm not 100% sure how long it really is. I used about 60% of the ball.

Sunflower Shadows

Now to get finishing my Brigit Socks, I'm 2/3 of the way there with the second sock.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Blue Embers

Found some Noro Kureyon that I had used to make a poncho and decided to knit a neckwarmer. It took less than 1.5 balls of it to make Burning Embers
Ravelompics Medal number 6

Sunday, 21 February 2010


Rogue is possibly one of the pieces that has been resting for the longest. I bought the pattern about 3 computers ago, I seem to recall printing it out on the desktop in our bedroom. I had the body of the piece sitting waiting for me to get the finger out and do the sleeves. I had decided to do it as a cardigan and without the hood as I'm not really a hood person. I inverted the

As one of the events in the Ravelmypics is to finish a WIP this seemed like a good opportunity and a great incentive to finish the damned thing. Especially as I really only had a small amount to do, the body is knit in the round and all I had to do was to knit the sleeves, sew the sleeves, sew in the hems and find a fastening for it. The hardest part was finding a fastening! Hickeys only had black frogging and while the one I found in the Dublin Woollen Mills is okay it's not absolutely what I wanted, still it's now finished and if I find something different I can use it to fix it. The collar also needs a little stitch or two to fasten them down.

Rogue Cardigan

Sleeve detail

Back of the collar:

I'd knit this again, possibly with a plain edging or possibly with an open cable to take buttons...

Small Shawl

The pattern is called 198 Yds of Luxury

all stretched out on the sweater dryer.

Outside on the bench outdoors

Knit with Noro Silk Garden it's a small shawl but nice. I wore it this afternoon on my way to the shops. I changed it a little along the edge so the edging matched the body of the shawl a little better than designed in the pattern.

Cowl Finish

Today had a combination of small things ending with three finished objects.

First was this cowl. It's only taken a little over 2 days to finish and it's wonderfully squishy.


It's made from a yarn called Malabrigo, in the Merino Worsted in the Nostalgia colourway visible here

It's quite long so it pools well around my neck

I used the knit 2 stitches, slip stitches back to other needle and knit the two together which produces an interesting effect along the edge which you can see here: 007

I'm left with about 10g from the 100g skein, which I will find a use for some day.

Friday, 19 February 2010


what once was this


is now this

ripped project

Aerial Unwind entry.

I was actually looking for the yarn to finish my Art of Knitting Scandinavian throw cause I'm missing the bag of blue yarn. which is somewhere!

Edited to add my medals!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Spring Forward Socks

So I finished them last night and have been happily wearing them today.


I still think that it's funny that Léan finished hers a little sooner and in a similar colouring. I'm enjoying mine.

I started into the sleeves of my Rogue and I have one done today.

Friday, 12 February 2010

One down and second on the heel

This sock is just flying along.


This was taken earlier this week, I'm actually finished the heel of the second one now and about to launch into the gusset.

I also took a photo to clarify what I was talking about with the front and back of the cast-on


to the front you can see the front of the cast-on and to the back you can see the back, there is a subtle difference between the two but I happen to like the one to the front.

The temperature outside isn't warm so I suspect there may be a bus in tomorrows plans. That should get some socks knit, there will also be the Friday Fiber Fun in the Tea Garden which will get more sock done.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


For the duration of the Winter Olympics people are taking part and trying to gain their own medals...

While it’s tempting to start something. I think this might be a chance to get some things finished and decisions made about some others.

For WIP-Dancing

To start with I’ll see about finishing up the Scandanivan Style Throw from The Art of Knitting. I only (only!) need to finish about 6 squares and do all the sewing up and edge crocheting. I haven’t touched it since before Christmas so it qualifies.

If I can find it I’d also like to finish my Rogue modded to be a Cardigan. I only have to knit the sleeves and it would be done and finished and it would be pretty.
I rotated the cabling down the front (why yes, I am a masochist!)

Knotty gloves (PDF Link) haven’t been lurking as long as some others but finishing them would be nice

Plaited belt in hemp would also be good.

For Designer Pattern Skeleton
Get my dad’s scarf design up. This is great incentive to get it done
possibly also the two dublin bridges done as well.

Aerial Unwind
Top of Doooooooom
007it's way too big and way to open, it's an object exercise in why Gauge is important.

Either Aerial Unwind or WIP-Dancing

Honeycomb nice pattern but the yarn isn't really working
Camo top for him

All I’m a little unsure of so I will use this to make the choice between finishing up or ripping them and getting them off my KIP pile.

I may also take part in some others but this seems to be a good way to tidy the pile up a little.

Possible new projects:

Bag Jump
Aran bag for the netbook, this might be a little complicated as I may have to adapt it a bit for size.
Celtic Aran Tote - I have this kitted up(magazine and yarn in a bag ready) waiting to go.

On Ravelry I've marked Rogue, Scandanavian Throw and Dad's Scarf for inclusion, if I get them go I will continue to work with this list.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Irish Knitting - Patterns Inspired by Ireland

Irish Knitting: Patterns Inspired by Ireland (Hobby Craft) (US Amazon Link)
Name of Book: Irish Knitting - Patterns inspired by IrelandRavelry Link
Author: Rohana Darlington
Any other info: 0713633395, 1991, A&C Black

Types of patterns: Garments

Number of Patterns: 24: Cardigan (2); Tank top/sleeveless top (2); Childs Jumper (3); Jumper (14): Baby Layette (1, 4 part); baby dress (1); bedspread (1)
Split of patterns: Men/women/children

Size Range: 32"-43" not all patterns cover this range. But with the plain portions of the garments several of them would be very adaptable both up and down.

Colour/Black & White: Colour photos, black and white sketches, colour charts, written cabling instructions, often in panels.

Schematics: no, sketches of the garment

Target Audience: Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced/mixed

How to knit guide


Comments: Pretty typical late 80's early 90's book, some of the patterns are a bit laughable but I think it could be useful for inspiration in places and in other places the patterns aren't too bad. The author also delves into history, visiting the National Museum and the Aran Islands as well as other places to delve into the history of Knitting in Ireland and doesn't perpetuate the Aran Jumpers Myth, she does detail some of the myths that have built up around it, but clearly stating that these myths have now passed into part of the story of the jumpers. She also notes which ones are newer designs than others. When she was finished talking with some people she went back to the National Museum and lodged her notes with them.

Yes there's no real shaping in the pieces and you would probably have to play with some of the designs to make them work but what's interesting about them is the completely different slant she has taken to Ireland and Irish design. She's exploring more of the heritage than I've seen many designers do and using it in different ways. A book that it would be interesting to use for concepts and ideas and maybe for some designers to look at to see if they too can play with the concept of Irish beyond cabling.

Pattern Links are to Ravelry
Newgrange Cardigan is an Alice Starmore meets Kaffe Fasset concept, the swirls of the entrance stone with a variety of yarns it's complicated and shapeless but an interesting idea, knit in 5mm needles with a bulky yarn and sport weight yarn, pictures notable for only showing back of the garment

Inishmore: uses Kilcarra Bulky yarn - a tank top with texture, designer wanted to capture the stone walls.

Crios uses DK for a childs jumper that captures the traditional belt or Crios used on the Aran Islands. Main body in bright red with colour bands on the bottom of the jumper, cuffs and top of sleeves

Torc is a sleeveless top knit in "Naturally Beautiful Aura 8/2 Silk" which sounds like fingering weight as it's knit on 2.75mm needles, plain with detail at top and hem

La Tene is another starmore/fassett work, this time in a jumper

Tara: Knotwork in the body and a torc type top, the colourwork is a bit off but it might work as a solid piece in another colour.

Kells Mosaic is a striped jumper with colourwork stripes, interesting but only for the thin

Dublin Silver is a double breasted shawl collar cardigan with colour and cableing,yeah.

Herald is a colourwork jumper with heraldic motifs. scary

Carrickmacross is a jumper worked in a nubby yarn with a lacework collar and cabled cuff and welt.

Shamrock Lace Layette is a heirloom christening set in white. There's a shamrock lace motif but otherwise not too twee, it is knit in very fine laceweight.

Primrose Petals is a baby dress in yellow with white trim, not the fussiest party garment for an infant I've seen.

Kerry Bedspread: Adapted from one crocheted in cotton in Listowel in the mid 19th century this is a spread knit in diagonal squares and then sewn together. Bobbles abound.

Sampler: In my humble opinion these belong on walls, as cross-stitch, the author disagrees and makes it into a jumper in 2ply shetland yarn no less!

Fisher Gansey: Red with moss stitch stripes this isn't a bad one of it's type, would probably suit a man

Diamond and Cable Aran - interesting rib detail with not too much cabling

Carrageen: not only modern designers show garments modelled in swimwear! Batwing jumper worked in one piece with cable running along the top of the sleeve and irish moss stitch body, original knit in Cotton DK.

Honeycomb Cable Aran - knit in aran wool, this has a cabled rib and cuffs and strap shoulder shaping

Betrothal Aran: heavily cabled with trinity stitch this is an interesting piece, blocky but the variation on the aran theme is interesting.

Rope Plait Aran - an aran weight jumper with some fairly heavy cabling this would be a good man's jumper, particularly if he likes boating.

Sailboats - Kids Jumper, inartasia but one for the boater. Not the worst of it's kind

Galway Racer - Kids Jumper with horses racing from side to side.

Seabirds is an adult jumper featuring an ocean, a few different textures of yarn for clouds and seabirds, I've seen much, much worse of it's kind.

Wild Fuschia - Plain jumper with fuschia along the neck and the sleeve top. Not something for me but not a bad jumper overall

Buy/Borrow: I'm adding it to my wishlist, I like some of the ideas and might try a few of the jumpers with some ammendations.

Where found: DUblin City Public Libraries has a few copies.

Gift for a Steam Iron

A colleague in work decided that because I was having a stressful week and one of my last straws was not being able to find my iron that I needed one, I decided that he needed something and I thought this might be a good response.

A scarf. It's double sided and actually quite warm and nice and it's made out of wool from Lidl that I had in the house. It's warm and washable and that's good because my colleague isn't all that bothered about serious care of garments.


It's also almost impossible to photograph because of the colours, it has three strands of colour in the yarn, white, grey and black and it's quite soft. It took four balls of the yarn and is long enough I think, five would be long enough for me but it's a bit bulky for me. Husband thinks it's a good man scarf. The pattern was Steam Scarf (link to PDF) free from's free patterns

Knitting For Dummies(US Link)Ravelry Link
Name of Book: Knitting for Dummies 2nd Edition
Author: Pam Allen, Tracy L. Barr & Shannon Okey
Any other info: 9780470287477

Types of patterns: mostly accessories, a few garments

Number of Patterns: Bag (4); Scarf (10); Cushion (2); Hat (2); wristlets/hand warmers (3); Jumper (1); Baby cardigan (1), Baby Booties (1), baby hat (1), baby Blanket (1); Jacket (1); Pot holder (1); Recycling/hot glue projects 3; Knit Journal Cover [vague directions] (1); Drink Cozy (1); Flower brooch (1)

Split of patterns: women mostly but hats and scarves tend towards unisex

Size Range: the top down jumper is custom sized in heavy worsted (Malabrigo or Brown Sheep Bulky is the suggestion); Jacket is 42-49"

Colour/Black & White: Colour insert but the majority is Black and White

Schematics: for the garments

Target Audience: Beginner

How to knit guide: yes

Experimental/Classical/Modern: Pretty classical

Comments: Not a bad how-to guide and the 2nd edition layout flows a bit better than the 1st, the changes are pretty minor and I wouldn't rush to buy the 2nd edition if you already have the 1st.

Buy/Borrow: As a starter book I'd buy if you're looking for a pretty comprehensive book on how to knit, the diagrams are clear and the text pretty clear too. I wouldn't buy it if you already have a good starter book or if you have the 1st edition.

Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries has a copy or two of both editions.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Socks and some thoughts

Yes I knit socks and I usually have a pair on the go. The current pair are Spring Forward from Knitty


I started them on Monday and they're just flying up which always makes me worried that there's something wrong with them and that they won't fit but a quick check assures me that indeed they do.

I often regard the first sock as a kinda gauge swatch, yes I know I'm tempting fate but at this stage of sock knitting I have a fairly good idea of what will and won't work. I pick the sock pattern based loosely on the gauge on the ballband and often increase the needle size by one because I have big ankles. I also cast on with the cable cast on turn around knit a row and join (how to speak gibberish to non-knitters) this is because I like the look of what would be the inside of the cable cast on if I joined immediately. I have tried other methods of casting on, which all claim to be loose, nope, they don't work for me. That, though, is part of the fun, trying different things.

Currently I prefer knitting socks from the cuff down, yes there is another option, toe up. This won't stop me from trying some more toe-up.

What is it about socks that make them so attractive? They're very portable, everything I need to knit them fits in a medium sized toilet bag, this makes them ideal for bringing with me when I'm going to work. If I'm on the bus I knit, during breaks in work I knit, when waiting for Mac in Blanchardstown, I knit, if I agree to meet someone in town and I'm waiting in a coffee shop, I knit.

The other thing that's interesting about socks is that it's a chance to try out patterns, techniques, and other things with what appears to be a small risk. You can also hide the evidence under shoes and clothing but have that warm feeling that you're hiding bright colour and something you made yourself.

Though the strange looks you get sometimes while you knit in public also have an amusement value!

Things to note about socks:

If you wear ankle-boots or the like you will need about 6 inches of sock before the heel, you will also want some form of reinforced heel, boots rub.

There is something balanced about having the above the heel part about as long as below the heel for me this is also about the 6 inch length.

The average sock pattern is designed for someone for whom where the calf muscle hits is about the same as where the widest part of the foot is. This isn't always true (for me my calf, about 6" above where the heel is is about 12" while the widest part of my foot is 9"). There are a number of ways of fixing this. Another repeat or two is the easiest solution. You can decrease down after the heel, you will be anyway.

When you pick up stitches after the heel you may not have as many as the pattern states, honestly, this doesn't matter, so long as you have the same number by the time you reach the main part and you're happy with the look of the heel, this is what's important, take a deep breath and just knit. Skip the first stitch along the edge and pick up the slipped stitches I usually pick up a bridging stitch between the heel stitches and the top of the foot stitches, this is because I like how it tightens the gap.

A heel usually has as many rows as you have on the needles. You can easily count how many rows you have by counting the loops on the back of the work if you're working a slip stitch heel, if not, it should be approximately square, if you fold it diagonally it should be as wide as it is tall. If you have a deep heel or a short heel adjust for you, ignore the designer if it suits you. Patterns are like recipes, people stress less about substituting in recipes than they do knitting patterns.

If you're doing a short-row heel a quick formula is usually ((stitches on needle)/2)+1 and then ssk & k1 (I regularly substitute knit two to the back of the loop) turn sl 1 k5 p2tog p1, continue slipping the first stitch k or p to the 1st stitch before the gap k or p 2 tog k or p1. Depending on how many stitches you have on the needle you may end up with the last row without the final k or p1's the important thing is balance, it should be the same on both sides.

The decreases on the heel cup don't really matter, honestly, it will probably felt.

Yarn for socks: There are patterns for almost every weight of yarn. Lighter than double knitting will mean that they're more likely to fit in your shoes without warping them beyond use with ordinary socks. If you don't hand-wash you will want to look for superwash wool with some nylon, though not all of it works. It can be useful to have friends with kids who will wear felted socks around the house. Superwash yarn is also good if your feet sweat a lot. No matter how superwash they are there is a high likelyhood that the heels, balls and heel-cup will felt (you really won't see the decreases after a while). Dryers aren't good for socks, trust me.

Another reason for sock knitting is the quantity of yarn it uses, an average pair of socks for me use a bit under 100g of yarn, this is 1-2 balls of wool. For mac it's around 100g and can sometimes be a little over so 1-3 balls. This can be where toe up wins over cuff-down, you can half the amount of yarn and knit until you run out, leaving very little left over and not running out before you finish the sock.

Anyone else have some comments?

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

10 for '10

Posted these on Ravelry but just posting them here for some updates and references

1. knit through some of the stash
2. destash some of the nasties either by giving it away or using it up.
3. practice spinning
4. sell or just publish some of my designs
5. Buy/obtain less yarn than I use.
6. review my queue try to knit at least 10 items from it
7. Knit at least 10 pairs of socks (this year I’ve almost made it to 12, I’m actually knitting my 12th pair)
8. knit from my bookstash, from at least one book I haven’t knit from before.
9. seriously review my book collection.
10. Review more of the books in my collection, try for 26 reviews (one a fortnight)
10A: organise my knitting blog.

So far I've been knitting up some of the stash (1); I'm on my second pair of socks this year (adult sized anyway)(7); I've knit samples from the Cat Bordi Sock book (8) and want to knit more, and I've been posting outstanding book reviews, I might actually make it to 52 book reviews this year, one per week. Though I still bought some yarn, it's still less than I have knit up.

I also knit a few items from my queue and then I got bored, and read some sock and cowl group posts, I now have 625 items in my queue. I want to get this down! I have to get this down. I found out that I can search projects in the search pattern area of ravelry for weight and such, so this is getting stuff out of the queue, still, pretty scary stuff.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

January's Socks

Technically, I knit three pairs of socks in January.
The first go to show why if you're knitting from Noro Sock Yarn you knit from both ends of the ball instead of weighing...

Both socks used half the weight of the ball, note the different tidelines for the other yarn. Which was a Lidl yarn. He likes them so it's okay, I like the blue and bright green in them. They're Eunice from Cookie A's Sock Innovation: Knitting Techniques and Patterns for One-of-a Kind Socks

So over the weekend I was in Galway and I used that opportunity to try out some of the techniques from New Pathways for Sock Knitters (Book 1)
(UK Amazon Link) and having a year old niece this was just begging to be made. I bought some wool and knit the two sample socks.
not 100% happy with the joins and the third pair were technically finished today, something to do with putting them aside after knitting and forgetting about sewing in the ends until today.

Yarn Pr0n

Over the weekend I did go yarn shopping and bought a couple of balls.

and this

and then I heard about what This is Knit had in...

A few balls of Malabrigo and a ball of Debbie Bliss Amalfi lost in the corner...

Everyday Style - Classic Knits for Women

Name of Book: Everyday Style- Classic Knits for women
Author: Carol Rasmussen Noble
Any other info: 156477595X, Martingale, 2006

Types of patterns: Garments with a few accessories

Number of Patterns: 14: Jumper (6); Top (5); Shawl (1); Cardigan (2)

Split of patterns: Women

Size Range: 34-52 (these sizes aren't reflected in all patterns but are a random sampling)

Colour/Black & White: Colour

Schematics: yes

Target Audience: Beginner to early intermediate

How to knit guide: Yes, with some advice on things like buttonhole placement and other useful hints, however the author takes on a little bit of a "my way is best attitude"

Experimental/Classical/Modern: Wavers between Classical and Modern

Comments: does not feel like a 2006 book, comes across as earlier. For me it commits one of the cardinal sins of knitwear books, several of the patterns have no pictures on real people, this often leads me to wonder if there is something fundamentally wrong with the design. Some of the designs are quite interesting, none made me want to reach for my needles, and some just made me want to ask the author what she was thinking.

Pleated Shirt: It's a JUMPER not a shirt, a jumper with a collar, knitted in shetland wool (Aran weight) with an interesting stitch detail, it claims that it's flattering due to the patterning and slimming, however no picture of a real person in it means we have no way of judging this, the cuff and collar detail is interesting.

Peonies: An interesting top, listed as worsted weight yarn, the shell/fan pattern will cling to "assets". This top features on most copies as the cover. Could be a good pattern, could be too clingy for some

Desert Lichen: Square top with collar. No person pictured, light worsted weight yarn

Gansey Gold: this gansey with a long rib looks interesting and has potential, no person pictured in it. Knit in worsted

Highland Mist: A Crest o'the Wave stole in laceweight, modelled

Mrs Laidlaw's Pattern: A pretty typical fingering-weight jumper in a pretty typical pattern. Looks okay.

Spring Surprise: Fitted vest or top. CHUNKY NOVELTY YARN alert, with ribbon ties. This is actually modeled by a person... and it's actually FITTED!

Sand and shore: A cardigan in DK, with a pretty simple overall pattern, round neck cardigan, not modeled.

Pralines and Cream: Chunky Thick and Thin yarn., boxy jumper with a small detail around the neck.

Tweed Comfort: DK polo-knit jumper with moss stitch overall pattern, boxy, modelled

Sea and Seashells: While this is also boxy, the pattern helps fit it to a person, light worsted weight, slash neck jumper, modelled.

Blue Hawaii: Bottom Lace and turtleneck, this is actually begging to be given a different neckline. Pretty on some it would be unflattering on others, modelled. DK weight

Starburst: Fluffy yarn tank top, unmodelled (I wouldn't have)

Watercolours: Round neck cardigan that's almost a v-neck, raglan sleeves. Modelled in a size that looks a little small for the model. Worsted weight it's a good pattern for variagated yarns and the fronts and back are knit in one piece to the armholes.

Overall not a bad read but really let down by not having some not modelled. A mixed bag of patterns that are possibly more beginner or beginner stretching their skills than where I'm at.

Buy/Borrow: Borrow, you might like it enough to buy but to be honest there are better patterns on Knitty.

Where found: Interlibrary Loan via Borrowbooks from Donegal

Name of Book: One Ball Knits: Accessories
Author: Fatema, Khadija and Hajera Habibur-Rahman
Any other info: 0823033228, Watson-Guptil Publications, 2008

Types of patterns: accessories & garments mostly

Number of Patterns: 20; Jewelry (3); Belt (2); brooch (1); scarf (2); Shawl/wrap (3); Fingerless Gloves (2); Hat (1); Legwarmer (1); Bag (2); socks (1); Caplet (1); Shrug (1); Vest (1); Poncho (1)

Split of patterns: womens

Size Range: no size or one size fits all; vest only sized garmetn in 32-38"

Colour/Black & White: Colour photos, black and white schematics

Schematics: Yes

Target Audience: mostly beginner, some intermediate stuff

How to knit guide: Yes

Experimental/Classical/Modern: Pretty classical

Comments: Take one ball make some accessories and you might get this book, there are some unusual stuff here, like the hand jewelry or Panja and the earrings and necklace, the stuff isn't very edgy but is quite classical, the kind of book that could sit on your shelf until you had that oddball looking for a project.

Buy/Borrow: I'd take a look at it and see if you like it, I liked some of the projects but it's nothing I don't already have really. If I had come across it earlier in my career I might have gone for it.

Where found: Donegal libraries via Borrowbooks

25 more Bags to Knit

Name of Book: 25 More bags to knit
Author: Emma King
Any other info: 1843403722, Collins & Brown, 2007

Types of patterns: accessories: Bags

Number of Patterns: 25

Split of patterns: Women's bags

Size Range: Small to large

Colour/Black & White: Colour

Schematics: No but dimensions are given

Target Audience: Mixture of beginner and intermediate

How to knit guide: A guide on some of the more advanced techniques like inartasia and bead knitting

Experimental/Classical/Modern: Classical

Comments: Nothing here made me want to reach for my needles but that's more a reflection on me than the actual patterns. There's a good variety of handbags in this, particularly the hand-held variety with a few shoulder bags as well. A good place to start for some interesting bags and possibly to get inspiration, some of them could be adapted with some changes and different stitch patterns used.

Buy/Borrow: I'd borrow this one to see if it's to your taste, if you're a bag knitter this one isn't a bad example of that genre.

Where found: Meath County Libraries have a copy I borrowed through the Borrowbooks ( scheme

100 afghans to Knit and Crochet

Name of Book: 100 Afghans to Knit and Crochet
Author: Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss
Any other info: 1402740271, 2006, sterling publishers

Types of patterns: Afghans

Number of Patterns: 100

Split of patterns: Knit: 14 patterns Crochet 86

Size Range: baby rugs to throws

Colour/Black & White: Colour

Schematics: No

Target Audience: A mixed bag of experience but some knowledge of US terms vs UK terms is advised (listed in the back of the book)

How to knit guide: No, some guides on some of the more complicated stitches

Pretty classical stuff

Comments: Throws fall into three real categories here: Squares sewn up, strips sewn up and work it all in one go starting at the side or bottom. Most of the knitted ones are single units with a few strips thrown in, a lot of the crochet ones are squares, which makes it a good thing for people trying to use up leftovers and also useful if you want to change the size. It is more crochet than knit so wouldn't be as useful to most knitters as crocheters. Some of the Afghans are pretty basic and I do like how many of them look.

Buy/Borrow: I'd borrow to see if it's what you want, if you're into making afghans or throws this is possibly one of the better ones out there, particularly for crocheters.

Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries have a few copies and I got them to note the UK vs US terms issue on the barcoded front page of the book.

Designer Knitting

Name of Book: Designer Knitting
Author: Hugh Ehrman ed.
Any other info: 1986, Century, 0712630236

Types of patterns: Garments

Number of Patterns:

Split of patterns: Men/women/children

Size Range: Oversized

Colour/Black & White: Both in the photos and B&W hcarts, mostly hand drawn.

Schematics: No

Target Audience: intermediate to advanced

How to knit guide Yes

Mostly classic 80's some could survive into now.

Comments: Sue Bradley; Sue Duckworth; Kaffe Fassett; Annabel Fox; Mary Hobson; Zoe Hunt; Sasha Kagan all have patterns in this.

Sue Bradley:
Japanese Stripe - jumper with a button-on collar, false buttoning for a double breasted look and batwing sleeves. While she claims Yoshimi Kihara it could also be inspired by Mondarin
Batwing - a side-to side, asymetric cardigan that makes my head hurt, described as "roomy"
Crisp Cotton - I looked at it and wondered what the collar looked like under the frill and then read the description, the frill is the collar *headdesk* Loose fitting with fair isle in a "fine mercerized cotton so it will be quite time-consuming to knit". Time possibly spent in wiser pursuits

Susan Duckworth:
Ruched Cardigan - if the title wasn't enough can I also throw in Fair Isle motifs, she did
String of beads - cotton jumper with bobbles and horizontal stripes, together
Basketweave Sweater - Could be interesting, entrelac piece with fairly small squares, I think that leaving the pattern out could be a good thing, the 3/4 length sleeves actually compliment it.
Tartary - Big Flowers on a cotton jacket. The photographer found matching trousers. My brain hurts.
Peony - "roomy" with leaves and flowers and "wide full sleeves"

Kaffe Fassett
Jeweled Stripes - a sleeveless pullover with multiple stripes, only for the thin
Feathers - Kaffe's Classic Feathers pattern, interesting and complicated but with a very boxy look here in a unisex cardigan.
Chintz - busy large flower big fitting sweater. Not one of my favourites of his.
Star Jacket - Big bulky jacket with large stars

Annabel Fox
Viking - boxy heraldic jumper that you could possibly knit for a man by eliminating most of the designs in favour of one or two.
Caribbean Cotton - Abstract fruit and flowers on a cropped jumper

Mary Hobson
Scottie - a cardigan with a high FRILLED collar a row of scotties, puffed sleeves and applied frill. *shudder*
Florentine Check - roll neck sweater with a grid pattern emphasised by metal studs, without them this would be quite a boring jumper.
Harlequin - an almost polo shirt but with 3/4 length sleeves and a busy diamond pattern in vertical stripes.
Geometric - Blocks of colour in a boxy jumper with a collared neckline. Quite busy but has potential for subtler shades
Purely Pretty. Well if your pretty has slit sleeves, anghora, cabled ribs and puff sleeves, yeah, pretty.
Bobbles for two - Squares of bobbles interspersed with plain squares, and there are multiple colour bobbles.
Honeycomb - Pink, Mohair, dolman-sleeve, frilled ruff collar, tasselled ties.... need I say more?

Zoe Hunt
Chinese Puzzle - Kids jersey with tangram style shapes.
Peacock Jacket - Zoe Hunt - puff sleeved, short cardigan with mohair
Nordic Jazz - I'm really not sure where the nordic comes in here but this is a pretty busy kids jumper, you might convince a kid into it but I'm not sure that many adults would be convinced into the adult version.

Sasha Kagan
Aztec - slipover with horizontal stripes that uses interesting textile mix and ideas.

Buy/Borrow: If you own any Kaffe Fasset books you have the patterns, this is a trainwreck of a book

Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries has a copy.


Name of Book: knitability
Author: Linda O'Brien and Gyles Brandreth
Any other info: Collins, 1987, 0004122429

Types of patterns: Garments

Number of Patterns: Jumper (14); childrens jumper (9); vest (2); Cardigan (2); Childrens cardigan(3)

Split of patterns: Men/women/children

Size Range: Adult 86-112cm (34-44"); Children's 66-81cm (26-32in)

Colour/Black & White: Colour photos Black and white charts

Schematics: No

Target Audience: Intermediate, much colourwork lurking

How to knit guide: A basic guide

Classical 80's

Comments: While there are a few patterns here that would work well as Halloween Costumes/jumpers most suffer from being from the 80's and mohair. The Kids patterns would be marginally acceptable but most of them would get the kids teased, possibly rightly so.

Buy/Borrow: Borrow to understand how nasty it can be. and why complicated inartasia and mohair should NEVER happen.

Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries have a copy.