Sunday, October 31, 2010

Whereupon I Post About Knitting Books I've Recently Acquired

Sorry for the long subject title, I've been reading Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman and a lot of his chapters are titled in that manner. I have three books here that I recently have acquired, though, and really want to share them with you!

First up is The Ohio Knitting Mills Knitting Book. The book is comprised of the history of, you guessed it, the Ohio Knitting Mills. The Mills kept a copy of every sweater they'd ever knit for commercial use (back before all commercially bought sweaters were knit in sweatshops), and the author got a unique chance to visit these gems. There's some examples of 1950s sweaters as well as some vintage labels as well as just a huge amount of history about the Mills, the people that worked there, as well as the patterns that were inspired by this Mill. It's honestly, a little slice of America that's fascinating to read about. The patterns in this book are timeless, vintage, and rather fabulous. The cover dress resembles and reminds me of Piet Mondrian, the artist, and while I've got a not so great track record with knitting dresses that involve color-work, I'd absolutely love to give this one a go. There's a few menswear patterns in this book that are actually wearable. I'd be lying if I didn't get it because I saw a page that expressed that the sweater the Dude is wearing in The Big Lebowski (my favorite movie) was from the Ohio Mills, though. The patterns are so classic that I think I'll be going back to this book often, and there's so much information about the Mills and the knitwear industry in America in this book that reading it is rather fascinating as well.

Yes, I know. I keep bringing this book back! But this time the book is finished and on shelves! The patterns in here are great! A little more toned down and knitable, I think, than the other books Debbie's put out. There are a few things in here I'm just DYING to knit. In true Debbie Stoller fashion, this book really takes those scary topics like steeking, designing, adding a hood to a sweater, different kinds of cast ons or cast offs, beading, embroidery on knitwear, and more advanced stitch patterns, and turns them into something even a caveman could do! When I brought this to the NYC SNB on tuesday, we were all rather pleasantly surprised with the amount of knowledge in this book and how advanced it was (how many books tell you how to cable without a needle?).

FULL DISCLOSURE: I worked pretty hard on The Needlework Book for DK Publishing as the US Consultant Editor. Their books are generated in the UK, and I tried hard to make sure there weren't any silly words like "habberdashery" in there for the American audience. That being said, I'm quite intimate with this book. It's really great if you want to see all the different needlecrafts out there and want to experiment. DK guides you in the best way they know how, via pictures and diagrams to ensure that you're learning how best to do something from real examples. The book focuses on Knitting, Crochet, Embroidery, Needlepoint, Quilting, Applique and Patchwork. For each craft, the tools needed for the craft are displayed, a general how to do that craft is explained, there's a stitch dictionary (or, in the case of the quilting section, it shows different ideas of how to arrange quilt squares) for each craft, and a project. There are also a few projects in the back. Really, it's a great reference for those, like myself who consider themselves a knitter, and would like to employ some other, and interesting techniques while knitting.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rhinebeck 2010!

Another in a long list of Rhinebeck posts I'm sure you've already seen.

One of the things I love the most about Rhinebeck are the sheep:


Ram 2010

The fabulous fiber works are always amazing to look at as well.

What is this shawl pattern?

Macrame pattern for Ruth

And of course, who can resist the lamb ravioli, the apple crisp, the fudge, the wool, and the friends? The ambiance is half of the reason to go, right? :)

Huge needles at Rhinebeck

Relaxing at Rhinebeck

Matthew Knitting in color

Oh, but don't you just want to know about the yarn I bought? Is that why you're here?
Both Briar Rose Sonomas

Firstly, some Briar Rose Sonoma. I knit a Quincy hat (Ravelry Link) already (I finished it on the ferry this morning, wove in the ends and wore it right off the boat!). I'm also going to knit a nice bulky scarf (maybe edged with icord like Quincy?).

detail: Decadent Fibers Creme Brulee

The only other yarn I bought was this beautiful yarn from Decadent Fibers. The yarn is called Creme Brulee and is quite fabulous. It's a merino, silk mohair blend. So soft and so beautfiul. It really wants to be a simple v-neck pullover. I'm thinking of this (Ravelry Link) one from Fitted Knits. Only trouble is that when I moved to Stan's apartment in July, I had to put a bunch of stuff, including knitting books into storage. So I have no idea where this book is. I'm not quite ready to knit it, but I think Ruth might loan it to me so I can use the pattern.

Though, I must admit, I have no idea when I'm actually going to be ready to knit for me what with all my friends having babies and my brother getting married and all that. I'm so in love with this yarn though, that I hope I can get to it soon!

Oh, I feel like I have so much more to say, but I need to pack for yet another trip to Rhode Island this weekend. Gotta check out the bridesmaid dress I'm going to wear at my little brother's wedding (and pay for it!)