December 28, 2006

Friday Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs is a wonderful novel that follows the fictional lives of members of a knitting group at the Walker and Daughter yarn and knitting store in New York City.

I could hardly put this book down. The Friday Night Knitting Club is a touching and poignant story. This wonderful tale celebrates the lives of women from all walks of life who meet to knit each week at a fictional New York City yarn store, Walker and Daughter.

But it is much more then a book about women knitting. The yarn store is a backdrop for the stories of strong, independent women who love and support each other through tough times and good times through relationships and break ups.

Georgia Walker is the self-reliant business owner of Walker and Daughter, the knitting store where the novel takes places. She is raising a teenage daughter, Dakota, an entrepreneurial in her own right, as a single mom.

The other women in the group: Anita, Cat, KC, Peri, Lucie, and Darwin, have their own stories that weave together with each others and forms the close bonds between them.

The book is expected to be adapted to a film of the same name starring Julia Roberts. It is scheduled for release in 2008. I'm looking forward to seeing Julia portray Georgia Walker in the film. Both are strong, independent women (who love to knit!).

Non-knitters, inspired by the book and who want to learn how to knit, will enjoy a basic garter stitch scarf pattern at the back of the book. This is an easy pattern and a great introduction to knitting.

And for knitters, the book's setting and analogies of knitting to life will really touch home. We already know how knitting brings families and people together. The book reinforces this in a way we can identify with.

I think The Friday Night Knitting Club is a wonderful book for both knitters and non-knitters alike. It offers a touching story about independent women supporting each other that will be hard to put down, even for knitting!

December 26, 2006

Continental Knitting - Book Review on YNotKnit

YNotKnit: Step-By-Step Instructions for Continental Knitting & Knitting Basics by Jill Wolcott and Susan Wolcott.

This spiral-bound knitting book is a great introductory book for knitters wanting to learn to knit using the Continental style of knitting.

Continental knitting, sometimes referred to as "picking", is a style of knitting where the yarn is held in both hands while holding the knitting needles. The yarn is then pulled through the knitting to form the stitch.

Jill and Susan have an informative section in the book specifically covering the history and myths about Continental knitting. And they also write why they like Continental knitting better then English knitting.

English knitting, sometimes referred to as "throwing", is a style of knitting where the yarn is held in the right hand. The yarn is wrapped around the needles in order to form the stitch.

Throughout the book Jill and Susan offer knitting advise and tips along with clear instructions, line drawings, and black and white photos.

The first part of the book covers the basics of knitting, continental knitting, knitting needles, casting on, holding the yarn, the knit stitch and purl stitch.

The book offers exercises and projects to do to practice and improve each new skill.

The exercises including the garter stitch, purl garter stitch, stockinette stitch, a knitting sampler, and an increase - decrease bow.

The projects include a garter stitch scarf, a garter edge scarf, a ribbed scarf, a sampler necktie scarf, a basic garter face cloth, and a ruffled scarf.

So if you are looking for an introductory guide to Continental Knitting, YNotKnit: Step-By-Step Instructions for Continental Knitting & Knitting Basics is a good choice. I especially like the spiral binding in this book. It makes it easy for the book to lie flat while open. Jill and Susan's enthusiasm about knitting and Continental Knitting really show through in this informative book. Despite the fact that the book does not have color photos, the drawings and black and white photos are clear and easy to use. Continental Knitting has never been before been made so easy to learn!

December 23, 2006

Sock Knitting Book

Are you looking for a sock knitting book? There are many knitting books available and many of them have knitted sock patterns in them. But books specifically geared to sock knitting offers many choices of sock patterns to knit, so it easier to find just the right pair of socks to knit.

If you are just starting out knitting socks, you might enjoy Socks Socks Socks: 70 Winning Patterns From Knitter's Magazine Sock Contest. In this book, there is a section on the "anatomy-of-the-sock" which explains the different parts of knitting a sock.

Socks Socks Socks: 70 Winning Patterns From Knitter's Magazine Sock Contest is also a great book for experienced knitters who are looking for challenging sock patterns with different types of stitch patterns.

Many knitters knit socks because socks are a portable knitting project. Unlike a knitted sweater, a sock easily fits in a purse or bag so that you can knit on your socks no matter where you are. Sensational Knitted Socks is a popular sock knitting book that offers many knitted sock patterns.

Many knitters attest that knitted socks are far superior to regular store bought socks. They can be knitted to size, so the socks are neither too small nor too large. And the feel and warmth of knitted socks just can't be beat!

Most knitted socks are knitted with sock yarn, which is yarn that is typically 75% wool and 25% nylon. The nylon gives the socks a little bit of elasticity, while providing the warmth and comfort of wool.

Some knitter use reinforcing yarn or reinforcing thread along with the sock yarn at the toes and heels. This helps prevent the socks from wearing out too quickly.

Many knitters have "second sock syndrome" which is the tendency to knit only the first sock in a pair of socks. In order to avoid this, I recommend knitting both socks at the same time. Just use two circular knitting needles. A great book that teaches this technique is Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles: a Manual of Elegant Knitting Techniques and Patterns.

There are even several books on vintage knitted sock patterns. Two books by Nancy Bush, Knitting Vintage Socks: New Twists on Classic Patterns and Folk Socks: The History & Techniques of Handknitted Footwear are great books to get you started knitting traditonal socks.

And if you just can't stop knitting socks, a book with plenty of patterns to keep you busy is The Sock Journal: Knit the Year in Socks.

A sock knitting book, no matter which you may have or how many you have, can keep you knitting this wonderful footwear for years to come.

Tags: Knitting, Socks, Knitting Books, Sock Knitting Book, Knitting Patterns

December 19, 2006

Quick Christmas Knitting Gift

Vickie Howell, host of the DIY networks Knitty Gritty, has a great Christmas knitting gift that is quick and easy to make.

Vickie shows how to sew up a knitting needle holder using vintage holiday fabric. So not only is the gift practical, it serves has built in wrapping paper!

Check out Vickie's Vintage Holiday Fabric Knitting Needle Case for a quick, easy to make knitting Christmas gift.

December 17, 2006

Knitted Fingerless Gloves Pattern

Knitted Fingerless Gloves
Are you looking for a knitted fingerless gloves pattern? Unlike regular gloves or mittens, fingerless gloves, also know as wrist warmers, keep your hands warm while allowing your fingers freedom. They are great for wearing while doing outside activities or at the computer in a cold office. So knit up a few pairs of these fun accessories.

Below are some free knitted fingerless glove patterns and free knitted wrist warmer patterns to get you started:

Get a custom Wrist Warmer Pattern. Just enter your wrist size, gauge, and needle size. The wrist warmer pattern generator creates an easy wrist warmer pattern just for you!

Pamela Grossman's Knucks Fingerless Gloves are a fun way to keep your knuckles warm while expressing yourself with a faux tattoo. I especially like the embroidery used to embellish the gloves.

Another knitted fingerless gloves pattern I like is Kid Merino Fingerless Gloves in Rainbow Stripes by Cathy Campbell. These warm looking gloves are knit using left over sock yarn in a variety of colors.

Web Surfing Mitts by Melisa McCurley is an easy to follow pattern that uses ribbing and cables in the fingerless gloves, giving them a bit of style while keeping your hands warm.

The Custom Fit Fingerless Mitts pattern has great directions on measuring your hand (along with pictures) to get great fitting gloves.

December 15, 2006


Yarnplay: Colorful Techniques and Projects For The Creative Knitter by Lisa Shobhana Mason.

This is the first knitting book by this talented knitting pattern designer and teacher residing in Austin, Texas. Lisa really makes an impact with her artistic use of bright bold colored yarns in a multiple of yarn styles.

Most of the patterns use several colors of yarn. Some of the patterns are
knit with monochromatic shades, while other use stripes and still others use two contrasting colors together.

The book includes a variety knitting patterns in beautiful yarns including those for knitted hats, knitted scarves, knitted sweaters, knitted vests, and knitted home decor including a knitted afghan and knitted washcloths.

Yarnplay: Colorful Techniques and Projects For The Creative Knitter by Lisa Shobhana Mason.

Spindlicity Winter Issue

The Spindlicity Winter Issue, an online magazine for spinners and knitters, is now avaliable.

For knitters who spin there are several free spinning articles that include how to make a supported spindle, how to use bead whorl spindles, and how to use a half-hitch on a spindle with no hook.

Free knitting patterns include:

December 08, 2006

Knitting Magazine: Winter

The winter issue of is now available. Included in this issue are some great free knitting patterns:

center square - fair-isle hat knit in the round
calorimetry - headscarf
antifreeze - knit mask
binary - scarf
argosy - modular knit scarf
corazon - mittens
tiffany - Fair Isle mittens
legwarmer socks - knit legwarmer and socks all in one
rolling thunder - knitted socks
monkey - knit socks
eiffel - DK yarn knit top
lauren - bulky yarn scarf
emerald - cardigan
twinkletoes - knitted balarina style slipper
spanish dancer - mitered, bottom up shawl
slingshot - knitted coffe cup holder
babe - ice skate blade covers
venezia - knitted wire napking holders
brown bag - felted luch bag
starsky jr - child's cardigan
blended hues - baby sweater
piggle - child's hat
norberta - knitted stuffed dragon
sheldon - knitted stuffed turtle
book of Knitty - knitted book

The issue has some great knitting articles including:
Sez who? by Cheryl Krementz
Vintage patterns by Kristen Rengren
Felted beads by Star Athena
The magic of hand-painted yarn by Beverly A. Army
Knitting in the Indian Himalaya by Tracy P. Hudson