Friday, 12 March 2010

Lilies and hearts


My blog started hibernating when I was still working on my "Fleur-de-lis" shawl and I never posted any pictures of the finished project. And, it is not the only shawl that I made during this "internet wintersleep".

My Fleur-de -lis turned out beautiful (how humble of me!) ! I love it and I'm sure I'll be making another one very, very soon. As soon as I pick a new colour .

I swear I'm not mad! I just look mad. It is very important to point that out in my case: I'm barely ever mad but I always look that way!
Another KAL, another project designed by ShuiKen Kozinski and another beautiful lace shawl around my neck:

"My Valentine" shawl.

I went for the same winning combination of materials that i used for my Luna Moth shawl- mohair and glass beads.
Finally, the contenct of one swap package that I received last summer from my German swap pal turned into another triangular shawl.

I love the colours and I love how the shawl turned out. I improvised and now I'm trying to decipher my own notes; in case I succeed, I should have the pattern written down by the end of this spring. Or next spring! :D

Again- not mad!
(I should definitelly find a pro model for my projects! :)))))

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Can you knit&read?!

At the same time, I mean? I can, only I make many mistakes! :D

I've been knitting a lot lately but, besides knitting, I have also been reading about knitting. And I would like to recommend you some of the books that I have come across lately.

The truth is- I'm not really in love with knitting books. I find the majority of very popular books to be non imaginative, overly expensive and often lacking in some basic informations. I apologise to the authors (not that anyone knows who they are!) but it is true. :)
And yet, I do have a secret wish- list and this winter I was lucky enough to actually become the owner of some of the books from that list. But it turns out that some of the books that I'd badly wanted, turned out to be a complete disaster and were erased from my wish-list whilst Luckily, I had a chance to see them before buying them which has saved me some money. At the same time, I fell in love with some other books I didn't even know existed. A few of them are now on my shelves.

Here are some of them:

This is one great book and I'd never even heard of it before this winter. A really great book! Great for beginners, great for intermediate knitters and something every experienced knitter should have or at least read.

And you'll find all sorts of tips and useful explanations in it: cast on, cast off, increases, decreases, blocking, pockets, collars, grafting, short row method, joining yarn, striping, sewing, shaping shoulders (now, that is something that you can't find very often), buttonholes and hems ....many, many great things and yet it is a very simple book. You'll even find some basic tips and advices for shaping garments, taking measurements, adjusting tension etc. ('cause in order to finish something you first have to know how to make it, aye?! :) )

A real jewel, I think it would make a great present for a knitter beginner.
"Knitting on Top of the World" by Nicky Epstein is one of those books that I'd wanted for quite some time and that didn't disappoint me at all. First of all- it is a REAL book , with many pages and many pictures and all. :)))
Second of all- it is full of lovely patterns, inspiring pictures and lovely colours. I'm sure you'd love it.

Now, although my list of great books for lace knitters or, should I say, for the knitters of lace :) is much longer and although I'll probably post it here soon, I just had to mention these two books:
- the first one is called "The Gossamer Webs Design collection". It is a booklet rather than a book is a real treasure for all those interested in mastering Russian shawls from Orenburg. It is probably a rare widely available source of all the tips, techniques and explanations necessary for making traditional Orenburg shawls and it isn't very expensive either.

- the second book is called "Haapsalu sall"and it is a "must have" for every lace knitter especially those who do not own the "original" Leili Reimann's book. In Hapsalu sall you will find what is probably the biggest collection of traditional and lace stitch patterns in general.

This book is still pretty new to me but I think that some of the patterns published in it can be very inspirational for all of us who are still thinking about knitting heavy jumpers and warm shawls and having trouble realising that warm days are just around the corner. I think you could use this book to turn your needles into the direction from which the summer is coming. Because it is on its way!

And, by all means, Jared Flood's "Made in Brooklyn" : brilliant, imaginative, full of fun knits, lovely patterns and actually wearable things. :))) I just love it! You will too- that I can guarantee!

Finally,  there's one more thing that I think you should definitely treat yourself with- the Interweave knits Fall 2009. issue. It is called The Natural issue and I'm not even sure what it is that makes it so special - most patterns are quite simple but they're all amazingly appealing. Bulky yarns, easy yet fascinating knits, natural colours, lovely colour-work, warm hoodies, casual purses....oh, just get this issue, it is great!!!!
Here's what you will find in it (among other just as lovely patterns).

Do I need to say more?! :)
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