October 27, 2006

Magazine Review: Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts

Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts is a special magazine issue filled with gift ideas and knitting projects for the holidays.

The issue has over 30 knitting projects including a lace scarf pattern by Annie Modesitt (author of Confessions of a Knitting Heretic) , sachets and drawstring bag patterns by Leigh Radford (author of One Skein: 30 Quick Projects to Knit and Crochet) , a floral felted bag by Nicky Epstein (author of Nicky Epstein's Fabulous Felted Bags: 15 Bags to Knit And Felt), along with patterns for Christmas stockings, scarves, hats, mittens, a afghan, a cardigan, and slippers.

Gift ideas for knitters include Blue Sky Alpacas Five Inch Double-Point Needles, Artyarns Silk Rhapsody yarn, The Knitter's Satchet by Jordana Paige, and the book YNotKnit by Jill and Susan Wolcott.

Tags: Knitting, Knitting Patterns

Book Review: Arctic Lace by Donna Druchunas

Artic Lace: Knitted projects and stories inspired by Alaska's Native knitters by Donna Druchunas

Artic Lace is a fascinating introduction to Alaska's native knitters, women who not only knit original lace work in qivuit, the fiber from the musk oxen, but also knit hat, scarves, and other knitted items. It provides an introduction to lace knitting and several lace knitting projects.

The first part of the book provides comprehensive information about the Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers' Co-operative, a co-op for Native Alaskan knitters, in Anchorage Alaska. The history of Native Alaskans along with examples of lace work knitted in villages across Alaska provides a unique perspective. The first part also includes a chapter on musk oxen in Alaska, their origins, how they have adapted to the arctic weather, and their behavior.

The next part of the book focuses on the qiviut and other lace yarns and provides an in-depth chapter on lace knitting with step-by-step instructions. It covers reading charts, basic knitting skills, and stitches needed to do lace work. The lessons for learning lace stitches are especially informative. Each provides a practice swatch of different lace stitches along with written directions and a chart.

The reminder of the book provides 15 lace-knitting projects. These include projects for a headband, hats, wrist warmers, scarves, stoles, vest, and fingerless gloves. The final chapter offers directions on designing other lace knitting projects.

I really enjoyed looking through this comprehensive guide to lace knitting from the perspective of Native Alaskan knitters. The history of the Native Americans and their knitting helped bring alive their rich background. The step-by-step instructions on lace knitting are easy to read and offer a better understanding lace knitting. If you’ve been looking for a book on learning lace or already love lace knitting, Artic Lace: Knitted projects and stories inspired by Alaska's Native knitters by Donna Druchunas is a great choice

Tags: Knitting, Knitting Books, Knitting Book Review

October 15, 2006

Online Knitting Magazine Reviews: Knitty.Com and MagKnits

A couple of online knitting magazines have recently published issues with free knitting patterns and knitting related articles.

The Fall 2006 Issue of Knitty includes knitting patterns for sweaters including viveka which is pullover with a deep V and flared sleeves. Ivy is wrap sweater with ribbing looks vines of ivy. Avast is a classic looking men's cardigan with zipper closure. Also, in the issue are patterns for socks, bags, and wraps.

The October Issue of MagKnits includes a felted pumpkin basket, a mitred skirt, a shawl, and wristwarmers.

Tags: Knitting, Free Knitting Patterns, Knitting Patterns, Socks, Scarf, sweater, Fall 2006

October 06, 2006

Vickie Howell and South West Trading Company Team Up

Vickie Howell, host of the DIY Network's Knitty Gritty and author of several knitting books, has teamed up with South West Trading Company to create the The Vickie Howell Collection, a set of three new yarns and booklet of crochet and knitting patterns.

The three new yarns, which will be available in Spring 2007, are CRAFT (35% Milk Fiber,65% Organic Cotton), ROCK (40% SOYSILK,30% Fine Wool,30% HEMP), and LOVE (70% Bamboo,30% Silk).

Tags: Vickie Howell, Knitty Gritty, Yarn

October 02, 2006

Free Knitting Pattern: Vicki Howell's Blush & Bashful Scarf

Vickie Howell of the popular DIY network's Knitty Gritty has posted her free pattern for the month of October.

The pattern is Blush & Bashful Scarf from the book Celebrity Scarves 2. A percentage of proceeds from the book go to the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade to help find a cure for breast cancer.

The pattern calls for 2 balls Berroco Quest Yarn, 1 ball Koigu, and 165 Beads.

Check out the free knitting pattern at Vickie's Web Site.

Tags: Vickie Howell, Knitty Gritty, Yarn, Scarf, Free Knitting Pattern