Phew! the first 3 days of this series have just flown by! Thanks for stopping by to read each day!
Today’s Favorite thing: BOOOOKKKKSSSS!
Ever since childhood, I have always loved books of all kinds. Lately it seems that my stash of “how to” and pattern books has grown a lot faster than my fiction collection, but hey… it’s not terribly surprising I hope. I have dozens of books about quilting techniques, and patterns ranging from stitch-by-hand-appliqué to stack-and-whack. My knitting and spinning collection makes my quilting books look like a *small* pile… I am afraid the quilt books are sadly outnumbered up in the studio!
Today’s post is about books I am already lucky enough to own… and the next Book Feature will discuss some books that I am hoping will show up in my stocking ;) ahem*hint*hint
The Ultimate Norwegian Mitten Book -
Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition by Terri Shea
Some time ago, when I was new to searching the internet for knitting resources, I came across a review of this book quite by accident. I had never been exposed to fair isle knitting or the breathtaking art of knitting 2-colored patterned mittens. I was completely dumbstruck. I remember just staring at the patterns featured in the article and thinking “holy crap… I simply must learn how to make these!!!” At that point in time, I did not have a lot of experience purchasing things online, but decided to go for it anyways and boy am I ever pleased that I did.
Terri Shea’s book is full of folklore and history – and some amazing mitten patterns. The charts are easy to read and the mitten patterns are quite complete and straightforward to follow. There are errata available where errors exist, but these are uncommon. The one challenge I found to making these mittens was finding suitable yarn, as the majority of the yarns listed in the book are not sold by any yarn stores in my area.
If you think you will ever want to learn to make Norwegian mittens, this book is an ultimate anthology of patterns and a very helpful resource. Everyone I have shown this book to has wanted a copy… and for good reason – it’s the best book I’ve been able to find on the subject.
Great Sock Knitting collection -
Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol Sulcoski
I am a self admitted Sock-a-holic… and I have a serious willpower problem when it comes to purchasing skeins of temptingly beautiful hand painted Indie yarns. The truth of the matter is – I love to knit socks, and the more patterns I can find that make my fingers itch to cast on something new the better.
I knew this book was going to be a winner before it was even released. One of the designers featured in the book, Deb Barnhill, worked at the Dalhousie College of Pharmacy where I spent 4 years of my life. I have been lucky enough to keep in touch with Deb over the years… and when I heard that one of her patterns was to be featured in a sock book, I ordered it before hearing another word. This book does not disappoint.
The beginning section of the book teaches readers about the many types of hand painted yarns available today, and helps outline the nuts and bolts of the way that each yarn behaves in different types of patterns. I liked the simple and no-nonsense descriptions and advice given – i.e. how to avoid/encourage pooling and flashing, and of course choosing patterns that will most complement the delectable yarns that you already have in your stash too! Also included are handy tutorials for several kinds of cast-ons, bind-offs and Kitchener Stitch.
Then comes the patterns section… I have flipped through this book countless times, drooling over admiring the eye-catching photography and day dreaming of the process involved in each pair of socks. This books features many different sock construction types, and lots of unique and different strategies to avoid pooling. With 21 different patterns by 17 different Sock-RockStars (i.e. Chrissy Gardiner and Ann Budd) – there is something for every sock knitter in this book… in fact I have personal plans to make at least a half-dozen of them, maybe more. Every time I look through it, I find something else that I want to try. Make sure you have a couple skeins of hand painted yarn and some needles close at hand when you bring this little gem home… you might not be able to resist the urge to cast on!