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Blog2018-03-26T09:24:21-04:00

Book Giveaway: Knitted Tanks & Tunics

Knitted Tanks book cover

If only I hadn’t broken my arm, I’d have spent the past few weeks making summer tops from the lovely book Knitted Tanks & Tunics: 21 Crisp, Cool Designs for Sleeveless Tops. Designer Angela Hahn’s patterns include a variety of techniques and skill levels, all using a nice selection of cotton, linen, bamboo and other cool yarns.

Several tops feature clever construction, like this one called “Charlotte”:

Knitted Tanks book Charlotte

 

The techniques used in different patterns range from lace, to fair isle, to this mosaic design:

Knitted Tanks mosaic Beverly

 

I love that there are patterns that appeal to many skill levels. Relatively new knitters could easily make this cute “Atlanta” top. I can see this as an excellent first project to teach a new knitter the basics of making a sweater.

Knitted Tanks Atlanta easy

 

Here’s the top want to make. I like the “Marietta”  V-neck back, mirrored by a clever V-shaped insert in the front. I like the simple cable down the center, too.

Knitted Tanks Marietta

 

A careful study of the designer’s instructions show they are well-written. Her charts are well-done, with clear symbols and detailed written instructions for special stitches. I really like Hahn’s schematics, too. They include more details and more measurements than most schematics I’ve seen. I love great schematics that enhance my ability to understand a pattern.

The other place this books excels is in the Techniques section. The directions are very well written, with fantastic photos to illustrate the techniques. Over the years I’ve been knitting, I’ve appreciated being able to learn new skills from Techniques sections like this. Well-written and well-illustrated tutorials like these have given me the confidence to try patterns that I thought were beyond my abilities. It’s so gratifying to learn new skills and be able to finish such projects!

I’m giving away this wonderful perfect-for-summer book in a random drawing from comments left here on this post. The comment period will be open until midnight Eastern Time on Sunday, August 19th.

To enter the random drawing, simply leave a comment here on this post. Please include your contact information in your comment so I can let you know if you’re the winner. (One comment per person, please, with only one comment and email address per person.)

I can mail this book anywhere in the world as long as there are no postal or delivery restrictions.

Resources:

Angela Hahn’s patterns can be found on her Ravelry page . I also recommend her Knititude website.

This book was kindly provided by the distributor National Book Network.

 

August 10th, 2018|Giveaway|9 Comments

Reyna Shawl

 

 

The Reyna shawl is one of those lovely little projects when you’re in the mood for something very easy to knit, or you have some pretty sock/fingering yarn you want to use up. The pattern, by Noora Laivola, is available for free on Ravelry.

I don’t know about you, but as the days tick down to travelling by airplane my anxiety level rises in proportion to the number of portable projects I have on hand. When I had nothing at all to work on before a recent trip across country, I was in a dither. I was thrilled to find the Reyna shawl! I zipped over to my LYS and picked up some lovely Malabrigo Sock yarn. Out of the many gorgeous colorways, I chose Indiecita – it has enough colors to keep it interesting, while not being so contrast-y as to take away from the stitch pattern.

At 16″ high and 44″ wide, the shawl is on the small side, although it’s fine as a little summery accessory. When I make another one I’ll work it on a larger needle (maybe a #5 instead of a #4) or work another pattern repeat or two, but I might need another skein.

This was one of my favorite travel projects. It’s perfect for social knitting too!

August 2nd, 2018|Projects, Shawls|0 Comments

Ripplerock Shawl

I love knitting shawls! This time I was in the mood for something subtle but beautiful to wear during spring and summer dinners on the terrace of a favorite restaurant.

Ripplerock shawl

 

Ripplerock, by Allison LoCicero, fits the bill perfectly. I chose a soft, sage color that will go with lots of my spring and summer outfits. The beautiful lace border adds a slightly dressy look for dining out.

It starts by creating a crescent shaped body from the top down. Then a wide lace border is added. I used Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport, one of my favorites.

Ripplerock Shawl Crescent

Mods:

I worked the body of the shawl in a double moss stitch rather than the one called for in the pattern. It seemed small, so continued knitting the crescent until it was the bigger size that I wanted. I could have instead gone up a needle size, I suppose, but I liked the way the border looked on my US #5’s; if I’d gone up a size some of the definition might have been lost. Thank goodness I had purchased a couple of extra skeins, so I didn’t worry about running out of yarn. The bigger crescent meant I worked 22 border repeats rather than the 18 called for in the pattern. As it is, I’m glad I made the changes, since I ended up with almost the called for size, mine coming in at about 68″ wide by about 24″ deep.

I used lifelines throughout the making of this shawl, and left them in place as I went so I could use them as guidelines for blocking.

shawl border lifelines

For more details and photos, you can check out the previous post, Using Lifelines in Blocking.

July 21st, 2018|Projects, Shawls|1 Comment

Book Review and Giveaway: Mosaic & Lace Knits

mosaic and lace knitting book cover

I love new-to-me knitting books. What a treat it was to discover Barbara Benson’s Mosaic & Lace Knits: 20 Innovative Patterns Combining Slip-Stitch Colorwork and Lace Techniques! In it she fuses lace and mosaic techniques to create patterns that have the lovely drape and lightness of lace and also the excitement of color.

I’ve had some experience knitting mosaic designs before, but still I found myself utterly absorbed by the book’s in-depth description of the mosaic technique. Barbara’s writing style is easy and conversational, yet full of great tips. She explains the mosaic charts made popular by Barbara Walker. Then she tells us why she deviates from that convention, adding the “return row” to accommodate her use of lace stitches. (I confess that when I come across Walker’s style of chart, where every charted row represents two rows of knitting, I always re-chart it to include all rows; I find it more fun and relaxing.)

One of the sections I learned the most from is the discussion of carrying yarns up the edges in a way where the edges match each other. I’ve made several striped shawls over the years and the difference between the right and left edges has always bugged me. Barbara solved the problem brilliantly.

The book’s 20 patterns include a nice variety of projects, from mittens to scarves to shawls, hats and more.

Love Child shawl

When I review a book I like to make a project from it to assess the author’s pattern writing. I made the “Love Child” shawl above (which I’ll post about in the future). I was very happy with the clarity of the instructions. Each pattern includes photos that show the entire project and also detailed close-ups.

The next project I want to make is the “Pinwheel Market Bag”:

Mosaic & lace market bag

 

“Sailing Diamonds” is one of several fun hats:

Mosaic & Lace hat

The book’s back matter includes a variety of useful cast-ons and bind-offs, seaming techniques, and a well-done table of abbreviations. All very helpful!

The Giveaway

I really like Mosaic & Lace Knits and I’m giving you a chance to win an autographed copy of your own. Many of the patterns are perfect for summer knitting, as the lace gives them lightness. That’s why I’m calling this the “Summer Solstice Giveaway”. The drawing will be open until midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday, June 20th. We’ll celebrate the Summer Solstice on June 21st with a random drawing of the winning name.

To enter the random drawing, simply leave a comment here on this post. Please include your contact information in your comment so I can let you know if you’re the winner. (One comment per person, please, with only one comment and email address per person.)

I can mail this book anywhere in the world as long as there are no postal or delivery restrictions.

Resources:

Mosaic & Lace Knits: 20 Innovative Patterns Combining Slip-Stitch Colorwork and Lace Techniques by Barbara Benson. You can find more of Barbara’s patterns on her Ravelry designer page

Publisher: Stackpole Books.   March 31, 2017. 128 pages

Available in paperback and Kindle

Errata for the book can be found here

June 6th, 2018|Book Review, Giveaway, Techniques|68 Comments
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