Japanese Inspired Knits

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
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Sometimes, mere association with one of my favourite bloggers will cause me to want to buy a book. This is a perfect example: Birgitte strikker got a book by Marianne Isager recently, raved about it, and knit a pretty sweater. Now I’m finding out that Interweave is publishing the book in North America, and I want it!

Japanese Inspired Knits

This sweater isn’t the one Birgitte knit, but it’s also pretty.

Luke warm knits

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007
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Interweave Knits Fall 2007I’m once again not impressed with the preview for Interweave Knits’ Fall 2007 issue.

I like the styling for the Hedgerow coat, but I don’t think I’d ever wear it. The Placed Cable Aran looks boxy and shapeless (enough with the boxy and shapeless!) and did they even block this sweater? If they blocked it, they still have some work to do. Maybe it’s the yarn.

I love the cables on the Dickinson Pullover, but again, it’s a bit grandmotherly (that may just be the collar and the photography) and I’m not sure I’d choose it over the other more stylish sweaters I have on my list. I love the little details on the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. It looks a bit short, but that could be modded. I wish I could see the picture of the Concentric Vest, but they only have about 20 pixels of information there. The Minimalist Cardigan is ok and the Luna Dress is quite pretty, but… I seem to be getting the feeling about all of these designs. None of them really spark my interest. Which is too bad, because I was really looking forward to Eunny Jang’s first issue. Oh well, I guess you’re only as good as the best design, and the best design is Eunny’s. (I want to qualify that by saying that it’s just my own preferences; some of the designs are beautiful, just not my style.) I just want more stuff like the Gatsby Girl Pullover, y’know? Why didn’t I just buy that issue instead of bothering to subscribe? Oh well, guess I’ll have lots to put on the destash blog. I’ll wait a few weeks in case some beautiful versions pop up on the blogosphere, but I’m not holding my breath.

Side note: is there anything that Wenlan Chia has designed that doesn’t use her specific brand of yarn? This is starting to annoy me.

Book Review: Romantic Style

Friday, July 6th, 2007
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Romantic StyleI just got out Romantic Style from the library and I thought I’d share my review here on the blog. The patterns are absolutely adorable, and I love that I no longer have to watch eBay for a cheap copy of Rowan 37 just because I want to knit Butterfly. It’s right here in the book!

There are so many clever details in these patterns, from the beading in Butterfly to the subtle white trim in the Chevron Lace Top. The obvious comments about styling apply here as they do to all Rowan publications; these photos look good enough to eat. Most of the work is done in the pink, blue and purple pastels that are so popular now, but the knits themselves are classic shapes that I don’t see going out of style very soon.

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Book Review: Loop-d-Loop

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007
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Loop-d-LoopI got Teva Durham’s book, Loop-d-Loop, out of the library last week. This week, I had some time to look over it. Teva’s introduction was an interesting look into her process:

“I want my designs to reveal the craft at its most elemental and to focus on the experience of forming knit fabric. To do this, I often emphasize a single technique or tradition and blow it out of proportion (such as colossal bobbles or a massive cable) so the hand-wrought is in your face.”

This is exactly how I like to look at knitting, too, and I think that’s why I love her designs so much. My favourite knitting projects have always been those where a) I focused on and learned a particular new technique, or b) the pattern caused me to look at basic techniques in a completely new way. I’d much rather wear something that was fun and interesting to put together, and Teva’s designs never disappoint in the interestingness and process category.

Then again, I think she’s a bit pretentious about her designs at times and talks about how she’s oh so very creative and adults tried to squelch it, etc etc etc. I prefer writing that’s a bit more down to earth, but there are plenty of great patterns in here to make up for the starving artist bit.

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From Chapter 2 of The Picture of Dorian Gray

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007
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I really like this paragraph, and I felt I had to share it with you folks.

“But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!”

Emphasis mine. A line like that hasn’t affected me in such a way ever since I read “Ffangs the Vampire Bat and the Kiss of Truth” (for approximately the 5th or 6th time) and was suddenly struck by the phrase, “guzzling cakes.”

I wish Knit The Classics was currently reading this book so that it would be relevant to knitting. It should be; the first two chapters at least have been obsessed with the concept of art, creativity and genius. I think any knitter would benefit from reading it. There’s also a romantic subplot that feels a little like 19th century pseudo-slash.

OMG, I just looked up Oscar Wilde on Wikipedia and it says he made out with Walt Whitman!

The ‘Fun’ Way to Learn Knitting

Friday, January 26th, 2007
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I borrowed a book from my aunt that teaches you how to knit and make hilarious mitten puppets. It’s pretty comprehensive for just a few pages. Teaches you how to cast on, knit, purl, cast off, as well as things like joining yarns and fixing dropped stitches. And of course the mittens are hilariously comical. Enjoy!

Cover: The 'Fun' Way to Learn Knitting The 'Fun' Way to Learn Knitting

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I love books. Booky book books. Here they go down, down into my belly

Thursday, January 25th, 2007
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I didn’t know how to modify that Anchorman quote without including the last line. I think it’s because of my affinity for the word “belly.” Anyhoo, on to the subject of books! I am in the midst of reading these bad boys:

Humorous Texts: A Semantic and Pragmatic Analysis Linguistic Theories of Humor Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach Schools for Thought: A Science of Learning in the Classroom

And so I have not been able to read this one:

Friday Night Knitting Club

This baby was sent to me by a guy from penguin because I run a blog and blogs are the new hip way to advertise. It makes me feel special because it means that people actually think it’s worthwhile to advertise their product by sending me a free book and having me talk about it. It’s like getting honked at by a car when you’re walking down the street. You feel sorta used but also flattered. I got a regular copy (not a limited distro pre-copy) because it ended up being sent to the wrong address at first and I only received it last week. I hear it’s really good, so I actually want to read it. I had the same misgivings as Aija did (that it was an attempt to cash in on the knitting craze), but her commentary has given me hope. I don’t usually read chick-lit but I liked Bridget Jones’s Diary*, so if it’s similar to that, I think I’ll enjoy it. Once I get all these books read (hopefully the first two by tomorrow, and the second two by Friday), I’ll be able to jump into it. It went on sale two days ago, so you should be able to pick up a copy on Amazon if it hasn’t shown up yet in your local megastore.

* I went on a trip to Hawaii a few years ago and took a bunch of my friend’s chick-lit with me because I thought it would be hilarious to read trashy novels while tanning by the pool and on the beach. I did dilute the chick-lit with A Clockwork Orange, though, which is an incredible book and everyone should read it.