Friday, 17 February 2012

Colorknits Fall 2011 - Review

Slowly but surely I'm working my way back through this backlog of the eMags.  This is the latest issue of Colorknits (and I beg apology if I add in the "U" to the title, it's not deliberate)

Colorknits for Mac
Colorknits for PC

Ravelry Link
at the time of typing (17th February 2012) it costs $4.99 which isn't a bad price for the magazine, I received a free copy in return for a review, Interweave tell me that there's no VAT applied for Irish Purchasers which would make it about E3.80 by today's exchange rate, but it doesn't compare badly to purchasing a single pattern, so if you like one or two of the patterns it wouldn't be a bad purchase.

As is common with this series, the magazine is a downloadable program that need Adobe Air to work, so I haven't got it to work on my main machine, a Ubuntu machine, but the patterns are downloadable as PDFs so it's not that inconvenient.

When you open the magazine you may feel a little cheated at the stated number of pages at 24 pages, which do include advertising, however many of the pages go down for more than one page.on the screen and there are six patterns, videos and articles so overall I do think that if these magazines are about what you're interested in they're worth it.

After some introductory material there's some covetables, a yarn bowl, wire stranding guide, bobbins, yarn keeper and a suggestion to use bread clips!

Colourwork would be nothing without colour yarn and the next portion reviews some long colour-repeat yarns.  Universal Yarns Poems; Crystal Palace Mochi plus; Noro Aya; Plymouth Boku; Kauni 8/2 Effektgarn and Jojoland Rhythm Superwash all swatched up in double moss stitch, which does show the variations in texture off well.

The next piece is an ideas marketplace where the magazine talks about a variety of dvds, designers and books to get more ideas.  Beside everything is a little mouse symbol and if you click it here (or elsewhere in the magazine) you're brought to this link.  Bohus; Lucy Neatby; Kieran Foley; Melissa Leapman; Alice Starmore; Barbara G Walker and Margaret Radcliffe feature.

The next piece is about some computer based/online programs to design colourwork both free and paid.

Next up there's some knitting traditions, starting with Roositud, an Estonian method of inserting colour into a project, it's something like satin stitch embroidery only it's worked at the same time, it looks pretty straightforward.  There's a mitten pattern supplied, Forest Flowers Mitts (the technique was also discussed in Knitting Daily 15th February with a free pattern)

Next a discussion of use of colour in Fair Isle, again the diagrams can be exploded from the text by clicking on the Fig. no link, which makes things nicely clear.  The photographs are great and the discussion of how to use colour is quite clear.  Accompanying the article is a tam pattern, the Faded Splendor Tam

How to Pool is the next article, an interesting article on how to work with pooling to create interesting striping then there's the Rippling Fans Cowl project that uses this, it looks like magic!  The way that the Switchback Scarf uses a yarn to create patterning is also fascinating

Working Intarsia in the round is interesting, I may have to find a project to try it out with, however the Owl-Aboard legwarmers don't really appeal.  They may appeal to owl lovers though...

There's an interview with the Fiber Company followed by a Bohus-inspired short-sleeved top, the Seurat top, a fingering weight top-down piece that has a touch of colour in the top and might be a good way to use up so pretty leftover sock yarn.

Finishing with some words of inspiration from several people, both knitterly and otherwise, about colour and working with colour.

This one I would be very tempted to buy, more for some of the techniques than anything else.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Kirstie Allsopp's Craft

 Impressions: It's a pretty book, nicely styled. The crafts require a lot of variety of skills, from very basic to more complex.
 There's one knitting project, bubble coasters designed by Suzie Johnson, worked in stocking stitch and then with an applied edging with tapered corners that are sewn afterwards (um, not my type of thing) but good practice for getting your seaming in garter stitch right.
There's also a quick piece on natural dyeing.
A lot of the projects aren't bad but some of the outlay could be a bit much to dip your toe in (rose oil in her perfume is quite expensive if you get the pure stuff). It's an interesting mixed bag for someone looking to try out crafts.

 Buy/Borrow: I borrowed this from the library and to be honest I won't be buying it, the only things I was interested in are already in my library in other books. The book does have a list of contributors and a suppliers list but lacks some suggested reading.

 Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries has copies.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

World of Knitted Toys

Book Depository Link; Ravelry Link

Impressions: Some of the patterns are pretty interesting, some a little off but overall not a bad selection of people and animals.  The book starts with some basic techniques and a generic person pattern that you can then dress as you see fit or according to the tableau you have in mind.  There's also a guide to ease of patterns in the front.

Types of patterns: Toys; People and Animals

Number of Patterns: 47

Colour/Black & White: colour with black and white charts where necessaryl.

Schematics: no

Target Audience: beginner with some skills to intermediate

How to knit guide: some of the basics are given

Experimental/Classical/Modern: pretty classical

Comments on patterns: the animals range from kittens to koalas and almsot everything in between, it's not a bad book if you want to play with making animals.  I'd say you'd get a fair number of patterns from this one.  She does explain the ease or lack thereof of knitting the pattern and what you would need to know to do it quite clearly at the beginning of each pattern.

Some of the animals are more realistic than others, but they all would probably appeal to most kids.

Buy/Borrow: If you're into making animals I'd pick this one up, it's a useful pattern book and I could see variations on some of the ideas being useful.  I love how she uses some textural variations to give the idea of the animal.

Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries has a few copies

Monday, 6 February 2012

Colorways Summer 2011

Let me preface this with some caveats.
I am not a dyer, I'm a knitter and really, I don't want to become too interested in dyeing because I have enough hobbies at the moment and dyeing isn't one I want to get into.
I didn't spend any money on this, Interweave sent it to me and asked me to review it.
Having read and enjoyed Entreknits I was fairly neutral about it, but a bit reluctant because it is somewhat out of my field but I thought I'd take a look anyway.
Again, because my primary machine is Ubuntu, I was looking at this on the netbook, the screen isn't too big but it was an interesting read, something I wasn't unhappy to read, the kind of thing that if I'd read it from the library but wouldn't put it on my wishlist.

The opening always makes me smile where it shows a stone rolling pin style grinder going across a stone grinding plate.
Then it talks about getting colour from Cochineal.
The Natural Colours of Oaxaca where a weaver explores his weaving heritage.
Next colour variety of Cotton, it doesn't just come in white you know!
Michele Wipplinger talks about global colour.
Kakishibu is a Japanese Dyeing technique that's kinda interesting and has a lot of variety and variations.  One for someone interested in playing with light and colour.
An excerpt from EcoColour talks about printing with plants.
A Verb for Keeping Warm talks about their techniques and philisophy.
Then there's some discussion about global aid via fabric.
A review of a mud-dyeing kit and some book reviews and suggestions
Lastly a song about dyeing.

It's a magazine for someone interested in dyeing and in investigating it.  A magazine I'd read in a friend's house but not really something I'd purchase for myself.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Socks and tanktop

So I've been quite productive this few days

Waves socks for Mac
Thanks socks for Mac with some extra repeats of the straight patterning in order to make it long enough.

Bramblewood nearly finished Did some infilling to the top

Bramblewood top with some extra infilling.

The socks produced a grin and the top is timely, as soon as it dries anyway!  The infilling was necessary because the armholes needed to be deepened, now they're right but then they were too small, I would never have been able to wear it.