November 28, 2007

New Japanese Knitting Pattern Blog

The Japanese Knitting Pattern Blog is a resource for English speaking knitters who love Japanese knitting patterns.

Japanese knitting patterns are gaining more popularity with English speaking knitters. However, the language barrier and the differences between knitting pattern instructions, knitting symbols, and knitting needle sizes, makes it difficult for English speaking knitters to knit the patterns.

The Japanese Knitting Pattern blog hopes to help jump these hurdles and offer resources for knitters to translate patterns that they can knit.

The blog covers such topics as:
Japanese Knitting Books
Free Japanese Knitting Patterns
Japanese Online Bookstores
Japanese Knitting Patterns
Japanese Knitting Symbols

Knitting Daily Announces Yarn Spree Giveaway

Enter at for a chance to win $600 in gift certificates to your favorite local yarn shop.

Loveland, Colo., November 28, 2007: Knitting Daily wants yarn lovers to shop till they drop in the New Year. Knitting Daily, Interweave Press’s new online community, pattern library, blog, and e-newsletter for knitting and fiber enthusiasts, announced today the opportunity for readers to enter the chance to win $600 in shopping sprees to their favorite local yarn shops (LYS).

Simply visit the Knitting Daily Yarn Spree webpage, provide your contact information and the name of your favorite LYS, and automatically be entered to win a LYS yarn spree. Three winners will be drawn at random and will win a gift certificate to shop for free yarn, needles, books, and magazines at their favorite LYS compliments of Knitting Daily. The grand prize is a $300 gift certificate to the winner’s favorite LYS, followed by a $200 LYS gift certificate to the second-place winner, and $100 LYS gift certificate to the third-place winner.


Knitting Daily Editor Sandi Wiseheart will announce the winners in January 2008.

November 22, 2007

The Knitter's Book of Yarn

The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn by Clara Parkes is an informative and entertaining guide to everything you need to know about yarn.

The Knitter's Book of Yarn is written by the editor of Knitter's Review (, Clara Parkes, who has been reviewing yarn, needles, and all things knitting for years.

It includes a thorough discussion of the 4 major types of fibers used to make yarn: protein fibers (wool, cashmere angora, etc.), cellulose (plant) fibers, cellulosic fibers (rayon), and synthetic fibers (nylon, acrylic, etc.). Clara writes about the characteristics of each kind and where they come from. More importantly she explains the properties of each kind of yarn and what type of knitting uses are best for them.

Clara also has a whole section of the book that covers how yarn is made from the major mill to the microspinneries and everyone else in between. Plus she discusses the different processes used to dye yarn.

Finally, in the third section of the different plys of yarn (single, two-ply, tree-ply, four-ply, cabled, textured, boucle, brushed, and chenille), she has 40 knitting patterns that take in the best features of each type of yarn.

I especially liked the two-ply Baby Soft Cardigan (page 91), the four-ply Princess Mitts (page 173), and cabled-yarn Cabled Headband (page 187) by designer Jennifer Hagan of Figheadh Yarnworks. The baby cardigan has an unique slightly asymmetrical front placket that doesn't require a button band to be knit. And the fingerless gloves have a beautiful cable pattern on top.

Amy King has several nice patterns including an angora cardigan, Vines Cardigan (page 103) and a cabled-yarn vest, XOX Vest (page 183).

Other designers featuring patterns in the book are: Adrian Bizilia, Cat Bordhi, Teva Durham, Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer, Norah Gaughan, Amie Gavin Glasgow, Bess Haile, Lana Hames, Shelia Janury, Elanor Lynn, Tara Jon Manning, Gina Wilde, and Margaret Klein Wilson.

Clara Parkes has included several of her own patterns including a lovely Butterfly Moebius shawl done in a cabled-yarn.

What I especially enjoyed about all the great patterns in the book is that in addition to listing the yarn used in the pattern, the book also has recommendations on what type of yarn to use for substitution.

Two patterns from the book are available for free, Maine Morning Mitts by Clara Parkes and Princess Mitts by Jennifer Hagan

Errata for the patterns is available on the Knitter's Review website.

The finally section of the books is a great reference that any knitter could use. It includes how to care for handknits and special considerations to keep in mind for each type of fiber. There are couple of invaluable charts, one on figuring out Wraps Per Inch (WPI) and the other listing the standard yarn weight system. And the abbreviations and technique section is invaluable.

Overall, The Knitter's Book of Yarn is a must have for any serious knitter who want to knit better finished garments. It gives all the information you need to make better buying decisions of yarn and wonderful patterns to use the yarn with.

November 11, 2007

Pretty Knits

Pretty Knits by Susan Cropper has 30 feminine-styled knitting patterns knit with some of today's' most beautiful yarns by popular knitting designers.

If you are looking for a knitting pattern book with a little less glam and a lot more feminine, then you should check out Susan Cropper's Pretty Knits. In it you will find stylish knitwear as well as beautifully lush home decor.

Susan Cropper is the owner of the London yarn store, Loop. In her book, Pretty Knits, she has patterns from popular knitting designer such Debbie Bliss, Leigh Radford, and Claire Montgomerie, as well as lesser known designers.

The book has four sections of patterns and there are several patterns in each section that would be great knits.

The first section, Flirty Fashionista, has several feminine tops including the Beaded Camisole by Lesile Scanion, the "Bliss" Empire-Line Top by Debbie Bliss, the "Elsie" Swing Cardigan by Amy Twigger Holroyd, and the "Avril" Shrug by Kristeen Giffin-Grimes.

The second section, Divine Accessories, has the "Anisette" Wrap by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes.

The third section, Beautiful Boudoirs, has the Lavender Sleep Pillow by Ruth Cross, Floral Bolster Pillow by Catherine Tough, and Lace Ruffle Bed Socks by Leslie Scanion.

The fourth section, Feminine Fripperies, has Scallop-Edged Lace Wrap by Kate Samphier and Lavender Heart by Catherine Tough.

November 08, 2007

Knitty Fall Surprise Patterns and 2008 Calendar Available has published 3 new patterns for their Fall 2007 Issue. They are:

Intarsia Fun - Two intarsia patterns by Debbie Bakerfield, one a hat, the other a scarf.
Juno Regina - A lace wrap by Miriam L Felton
Oblique - a cardigan by VĂ©ronik Avery

Also available is their 2008 Knitty Calendar, available in the Knitty Shop. The calendar uses photos of completed Knitty projects. The winners are:

January: Alicia Ramirez
February: Sarah Wilkin
March: Jo Kerrigan
April: Flora Wermuth
May: Jenny Spencer
June: Suzie Putnam
July: Heidi Kastner
August: Angela Daff and her bunnies!
September: Lindsey LaPlant
October: Angela Moore
November: Jennifer Schmitz