Book Review: Superstar Knitting by Debbie Stoller

superstar knittingI simply love Debbie Stoller’s books. I currently own the Knitter’s Handbook, the Happy Hooker, Stitch Nation, and Superstar Knitting. The only book I don’t own is the one she made for men’s fashions because I don’t feel I would get much use out of it.

On to the review…

I like the concept of this book. Pretty much, it is for those of us  who want to advance our knitting techniques. The previous Debbie Stoller books had great projects but, they were limited in their techniques. This book focuses on cables, intarsia, fair isle, lace, steeking, and so much more! I am the type of person that loves to advance and challenge myself when it comes to my crafts. It’s the way I keep things interesting. So, this book definitely answers my call.

Pros:

1. 41 patterns

2. Beautiful and wearable patterns

3. Gorgeous photography

4. The book is divided by (1) instructions and (2) the patterns

5. There is a diverse set of patterns–for baby, house, accesories, and adults

Cons:

1. I don’t feel the instruction part goes into enough detail for complex techniques. There will be a need for further research.

Below are a few of my favorite projects…

superstar1 superstar3 superstar2 superstar4 superstar6 superstar5

 

Book Review: Crochet One Skein Wonders

crochet one skein wonderAs you know from a previous post, I have the Yarn Shop One Skein Wonders and Designers One Skein Wonders books. These books are great but, they are mainly for knitting. Yes, they did feature a few crochet patterns here and there but, the book’s focus was knitting. My sister, Alison,  even commented that it would be nice if they had a Crochet One Skein Wonder. Well, they answered her call. When I saw on Amazon that this book was coming, I was kinda excited.

So, I checked out my local bookstore but, they didn’t have it. They told me to check back in 3 days, which I did. Then, they told me that they won’t be carrying it.  So, I was preparing to order it from Amazon but, about a week later I happen to be in the Bookstore again. And when I wasn’t even looking for the book there it was!! So, I grabbed it and bought it 😉

Surprisingly, I have not made anything from the book yet. Usually, I am quick to pick up small projects. And I even ordered some lace yarn from Knit Picks to make the Shell Net Cowl. But, I have yet to get to it. Moving on the review…

Pros:

1. Beautiful photos with unique arrangement of the items.

2. Love the layout. It is in order by section from thread to super bulky.

3. There are versatile projects such as scarves, hats, jewelry, purses, baby wear, and so much more.

4. There are 101 patterns!!!

Cons:

1. The books does not feel that sturdy. I feel that with continued use it will begin to split in the middle.

2. I like amigurumi but, I felt there was a bit too much of it.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who has a love for crochet–from the beginner to the more experienced. Check out a few of my favorite patterns from the book below:

JKeller-25_ShellNetCowl-5_medium2 JKeller-160_SerratoPurse-3_copy_medium2 JKeller-173_BurgundyLaceHoops-3_medium2 JKeller-174NovemberMittens-6_medium2 JKeller-192BloomingBlossomCoaster-9_medium2

Book Review: Sweater Girls

Sweater_girls_lgI have been purchasing quite a few craft books in the past few months. It is for that reason that I am now on a break from purchasing more. (Even though, I have been really wanting to purchase Blueprint Sweater by Robyn Chachula)

But, on to the review. If you know me, then you would know I love all things vintage, antique, old, whatever you may call it. So, when I was browsing the books in the Needlecraft section of Books-A-Million I knew I had to purchase it. They took old patterns from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s and they put them in this book. I think there are about two new designs in the book but, they also have a vintage feel to it.

Pros:

1. A nice number of vintage sweaters. There are also some gorgeous knitted stockings, a fair isle hat, a lace skirt, and some elegant wristers.

2. Nice instructions (I have read over a few but, I have yet to do a pattern yet.)

3. Very diverse. As aforementioned the patterns are from the 1940s – 1950s so, they are all the same style.

4. Beautiful and inspiring photos. They kept with the vintage feel but, still you can really see yourself wearing the style in today’s era.

Cons:

1. All of the patterns use fingering yarn except, the wristers (sport yarn). So, for me that means I have to order because there aren’t really any yarn stores in my area. I am limited to the department stores. But, KnitPicks really answers this call.

2. The patterns are mainly worked flat so, there will be a bit of seaming and a lot of finishing.

Future projects from the book I plan on making are: Clara Bow Panel Sweater, Vivien Sweater, Great Lacy Wristwarmers

Below I have featured a few of my favorite designs:

Sweater Girls 2 Sweater Girls 4 v5_medium2

Amazon Gift: One Skein Wonders…Book 1 and Book 2

one skein wonders 1 and 2A co-worker gave me the sweetest gift…an Amazon gift card! If you know me, then you know that I absolutely ADORE Amazon. I mean it is the place for everything you can think of with even better deals than most places.

So, my mind was wracking with the many options of what to buy. Should I get a DVD, some fiction by my favorite author, or some craft books? Well, you know the craft books won, right? So, then I was like what type of craft book? Should it be knit, crochet, felting, quilting, cardmaking, etc? Well, I narrowed it down to knit or crochet (or both).

After previewing so many (and I do mean many) books, I finally made a decision. One Skein Wonders: 101 Yarn Shop Favorites and 101 Designer One Skein Wonders

The reasons I chose these books: (1) they feature knit with some crochet (2) each book has over 100 designs (3) they feature projects that can be made using one skein…thrifty (3) the projects are not complex, which means they won’t require too much time (4) because the projects can be worked up quickly, they would make great gifts (5) the pictures and outline of the book were very detailed

Expect my official review sometime in the future…

I am so excited about these books!

Book Review: Knit Red, Stitching for Women’s Heart Health

knit red 2I first Knit Red, Stitching for Women’s Heart Health advertised in my Vogue Knitting magazine. I thought it looked like a great book with a great cause and with some gorgeous patterns. So, I then checked out the book on Ravelry so, I could get a look at all the patterns and I fell in love. As soon as it came out, I scooped it up in Books-A-Million for about $20. Great deal! Let me just tell you a few things about this book…

The book features 31 patterns from the top designers in the knitting world. I’ll just name a few from the top of my head: Deborah Norville, Debbie Bliss, Debbie Stoller, Deborah Newton, Nicky Epstein, and so many more! And let me just say they really brought their A-game with these designs. The designs are so beautiful–ranging from a skill level of Easy – Experienced. The designs feature lace, cables, texture, simple stockinette stitch, and so much more. They are beautifully displayed with that gorgeous red color. Every pattern in the book is in red as a tribute to Heart Disease.

The book doesn’t just stop with the gorgeous knits, it really gives useful information on Heart Disease. Heart Disease is the number one killer on women in the United States. I must admit that I didn’t even know this. It really raised my awareness. The book features information on how we can lead healthier lifestyles, the designers tell us how Heart Disease affected their lives, they provide heart healthy recipes, and other resources on preventative measures. I am so happy that this book is helping to spread the awareness for Heart Disease.

I dream of making about 99% of the patterns in this book but, here are my top picks: (1) Cabled Knee Highs by Deborah Norville (2) Dolman Sleeve Sweater by Debbie Bliss (3) Heart Motif Mitts by Debbie Stoller (4) Modular Dress by Maie Landra (5) Cowl Neck Vest by Cecily Glowik MacDonald

I’ll leave you with a few inspiring pictures of the designs from the book…

a line hoodiecabled knee highshome spa setone shoulder tunicslip stitch beret

 

Book Review: Granny Square Love by Sarah London

The story of me and this book…So, I first saw this book in Hobby Lobby quite a few months back. I thought the book was absolutely gorgeous. I mean the pictures are out of this world phenomenal. The book is just filled with yummy, bright colors. And there were so many vast patterns to really make your space one of a kind. But, I put the book back down thinking, I can make a granny square with no problem and don’t really need this book to tell me how. Maybe later…

So, I would continue to go back to Hobby Lobby and Books-A-Million and I kept picking up the book then, putting it back down. I promise you I did this about 10 times. My sister, April, was even getting so over me picking the book up then, changing my mind. She kept trying to convince me to go ahead and purchase it. Finally, one day I was in Books-A-Million again and I took the plunge. I am so glad that I did!!!

I absolutely LOVE this book! It is simply amazing how Sarah London took the basic granny square to the next level. Who knew you could do so much with the granny square?!?! She has patterns for stool covers, a headboard, teapot cozy, napkin holders, grocer tote, and so much more! I find myself constantly looking in the book and struggling with what to make.

Over the weekend, I started making her granny square stockings since it is Christmas season. I plan on making two in deep green. One for me and the other for my sister, April to put in the living room of our apartment. I have finished mine already and I am currently working on hers (pics coming soon).

Below are just a few of my favorite patterns from the book…

Spring/Summer 2012 Magazines

I simply adore Knitting and Crochet Magazines! I actually have too many and I know that I will never knit every pattern in those magazines. But, how I would like to try!

So, recently I picked up some new magazines to add to my library. They are the Crochet Today March/April 2012 issue, the Debbie Bliss Spring/Summer 2012 issue, and Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2012 issue.I will try to give a brief overview of each issue and what stood out to me. I will also talk about the patterns that I have plans to knit or crochet.

Crochet Today March/April 2012: This issue had some absolutely lovely patterns. There were patterns for women, children, holiday inspired, and much more. There is a total of 23 patterns. The patterns I plan on crocheting are the Bright Stripes Skirt by Robyn Chachula, the Obi Cardigan by Elena Malo, and maybe the Lantern Pullover by Cristina Mershon.Debbie Bliss Spring/Summer 2012: Ok, there are soooo many projects that I want to knit in this magazine that it’s not even funny. Almost every single picture was pure inspiration and I could see myself in so many of those patterns. The colors used in many of the patterns were just gorgeous, the lace patterns were just beautiful and romantic, and the children’s nautical clothing was adorable. This issue contains 30 designs. I will post pics below of a few stand-outs.Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2012: This issue had some truly wonderful patterns and quite a few that I would like to make. The issue had a great article on the history of circular needles, beautiful patterns with lots of color, great lace projects, and a section of patterns that focused on blush pink. The patterns I dream of making are the Curve Hem Top by Vicki Square, the Stripe Tunic and Cowl by Kazekobo, the Color Zig-Zag Top by Katherine Hunt, the Slit Shoulder Top by Margaux Hufnagel, the Lace Beret by Deborah Newton, the Lace Triangle Shawl by Helen Bingham, the Lace Panel Pullover by Laura Zukaite, and the Lace Top and Cowl by Carolyn Noyes. Whew! That’s a lot of patterns. A few pics are below:Alrighty. That concludes my brief overview of the knit and crochet magazines that I recently purchased. If you’re looking for some inspiring and up-to-date patterns you should definitely give these magazines a try.