Monday, March 25, 2013

Why don't I knit sweaters that fit me?

Do you follow a pattern for a knitted garment such as a sweater exactly as written? Or do you envision a couple of changes you would like to make to a pattern that you otherwise like the structure of but you don't quite know how to go about doing it? Or maybe you're not sure your changes are even going to work correctly. Well Sally Melville reveals the secrets to creating or modifying a pattern so the finished project looks and fits exactly how you want it to in her book Knitting Pattern Essentials

Sally breaks down each skill in this book ...

• calculate your personal measurements, ease, and stitch patterns
• create a pattern for an existing garment that you love
• shape a variety of necklines, shoulders, sides, sleeves, and hemlines
• combine garment elements for an endless array of design possibilities
• rescue a project when it doesn’t turn out as expected
• finish your projects with a professional look
• knit 8 original projects that showcase the elements covered in the book

The last chapter being Chapter 9, includes 8 new patterns by Sally. 

I confess that at first glance, I wasn't pleased with the style of all of the patterns in the beginning until I took a second look [and then a 3rd] after studying over the other chapters. I then started thinking, "I could change that collar to this one. Add more detailing or structure to the bottom, fix the waistline, or any other change I might need to that one. Just make the alterations needed to suit my own body type. My own style. I must admit I have dismissed many other patterns for the same reasons when I looked at them the first time. But if I apply Sally's rules, tips and applications for size and personal style, I could use just about any pattern I find or even create my own design. Or even just have the patterns that I do like from the book to fit me, the StitchingNut correctly. A proper fitting garment. Wow what a concept, huh? Trust me, I have a lot to learn in this department.

I really do like these two ...

But of course they wouldn't fit me without some alterations for my own measurements.

Now how exciting is that? To become my own designer?? Well I certainly might start knitting more sweaters for myself and stop giving away what I just finished [like I have in the past] just because once again ... it really doesn't fit right. It doesn't look good on ME.

In summary, I found this book very interesting, helpful, and educational. A future designers' must-have-in-the-library book. If I don't design for others I should at least be designing for myself. And this book is sure to help me in that direction.

Thanks to Random House for giving me this opportunity to review this very informative book. Check it out for yourself!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Investing in a new innovative product ...

Check out The Pasta Partner!

I made an investment to purchase 2 (one for a gift) of them and can't wait to get mine!!

And while I wait I'll be knitting as much as I can ... even using up bits and bobs of yarn left over from other projects ...

Bookmarks!  All can be found on Ravelry and FREE.

Can't beat free patterns can ya?

(now go ahead and check out the Pasta Partner)
(they've already made some improvements you don't see there on original website such as; cup & litre indicators, larger numbers, and more.)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sweaters for your Guy that he would really like!

But you might want to wear them too.

Boyfriend Sweaters by Bruce Weinstein. 19 Designs for him that you'll want to wear. Plus 19 techniques that help you knit almost anything.

This Random House knitting book is going on sale at Potter Craft December 18, 2012 and it's a great one to have in your own personal library. Check it out!

What I like about these sweaters are the good simple basic classic styles to most of them. Which I think is what men mostly like. No fussiness or wild style or colors for most of them. At least it's that way with my guy. He likes to keep things simple. Such at the Shaker Cardigan or the Textured Argyle Cardigan. But then I saw a couple that I would love for myself and not necessarily the style my guy would wear (to be honest, he says he's "Not a sweater kind of guy"). But I personally love the following; Honeycomb Pullover and the Seed Placket Pullover ...

In fact, the more I look at this sweater the more I want to knit that one for myself. Maybe my guy would like it better for himself if he saw it in another color? He's not a "green" guy and has a hard time envisioning something in other colors when he looks at it in a color he doesn't really like. Maybe THAT's why he doesn't want to learn to knit. Yah, must be it. Beside the fact that he's part color blind. Really he is; I can hang dark purple curtains and he thinks they're blue. But I digress. There are some more complex patterns and colors  to be knit in this book, such as a Fair Isle Cardigan and the Plaid Pullover. Frankly, I would love to see my guy wear the plaid pullover. Especially in the colors shown in the book. I just might convert him into a sweater guy yet if I just go ahead and knit one. Really. If he doesn't wear it then guess who will. That's right; the StitchingNut.
Well this book has more than just sweaters (as well an the sprinkling of tips & techniques throughout the book) as you see here ...

There's one hat in the book but I just fell in LOVE with the scarves.  The Reversible Herringbone Scarf above  would be a winner for any man I bet. And the one below might be more for my wild sensibilities in color and style. It's called the Double-Knit Double-Knot Scarf. And I really can see myself wearing this one ...

But my most favorite of all is one I think my guy and I would both like and would wear. One for each of us of course in different colors such is shown in the next picture.

The Linen Scarf or Wrap in blues would defiantly work for my guy and the color shown here for me would be perfect. Oh yes, this scarf is a winner!
So if you want to knit for a man and go with a style he would really like, this book is for you. Or if you're a Guy who loves to knit and have trouble finding something you would like to knit for yourself or a friend that suits your style ... well check out this book by Bruce Weinstein. I think you're going to like it!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Fabulous Fashion Hats from Fiber

Our local yarn store, Seed Stitch Fine Yarn  challenged us to come up with fabulous hats knit, crochet, felted, stitched together from recycled fibers, the sky's the limit fashion hats. A fabulous fashion show of these hats were presented this Friday (11/2/2012) to show them off. Also there was a local milliner Scout King, showing off her wares and available to discuss the process of hat creations as well as one of the curators of the PEM's hat exhibit, Madeleine Kropa.

Fun and refreshments and really nice people!

Presenting: Fabulous Fashion Hats from Fiber

And now I really want more hats ... one for every day of the week!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Exploring the circle ...

Knitting in Circles by Nicky Epstein offers us another crazy inspiring reference book. This time showcasing her distinctive design style using the simple circle. 

Knitting in Circles has instructions for knitting 100 patterns for circles and spiral shapes that can be used in 21 patterns for garments and accessories such as sweaters, dresses, bags, hats, afghans, and more. She encourages you to use your imagination. Each chapter focuses on a specific technique, from basics to ornate, colorwork to cables. From knitting from the center out, outside in and top to bottom. Everything you need to know about creating the basic shapes is detailed in the shaping chapter and knitting techniques explain as well as joining all the circles when you're done. She shows the knitter how to mix, match, while easily combining the patterns using cut-and-paste design templates, to create garments and accessories that are truly unique.

Not only is this book like many of her others, one that you would be proud to set out on the coffee table, but also wildly inspiring with Nicky Epstein's distinctive design style. All of her books have truly been an inspiration to me and have added to the progression of my knitting skills and style.  Needless to say I’ve gone over this book many times trying to decide what to make first. Although, I should be working up each and every circle pattern for a blanket, I’m excited to work up at least one quick project for some instant gratification first. That’s got to be a hat right?  Yes, a hat.

Here’s the one I’m talking about ….

And that poncho cover-up is on my list of “must knit” also. So simple yet stylish.
As it happens with Nicky’s designs, not all of them appeal to me BUT they certainly inspire me to think and perhaps encourage me to alter the design to fit my own tastes or inspire me to incorporate her’s style into something else I would wear or love to gift.

With this innovative book, you’ll never look at a circle the same way. Once again, Nicky Epstein has opened up a world of creative possibilities with a gorgeous knitting book that will have you knitting in circles over and over again.

In summary; when thinking about whether to purchase this book, think first about what you actually want it to give you. If you want a directory of knitted circular or spiral stitches and techniques for beginners through to advanced, with information on how to integrate it into a garment or blanket etc., then this book is for you. If you are looking for a book of patterns to work through without using your own imagination, then don't buy it. Although you may want to reconsider that and think about how much you'll want to reference her techniques in your future projects as taste and style changes.

Consider this … if you knit just one circle, you’ll be inspired to knit more.

It's just like eating potato chips!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

My views about a new book ...

About knitting, of course.

Knitting the Perfect Fit by Melissa Leapman is a guide for anyone interested in learning and perfecting shaping details and incorporating them into their knitting. Melissa shows the knitter how designer details and shaping actually work. From a variety of necklines and arm details to different shaping techniques that offer a more slimming and flattering look to any garment. She examines mastered techniques that knitters can use to adapt and customize any project. Each technique is thoroughly explained with tips and exercises, and then featured in a project to allow knitters to practice their new skills.

The book has four chapters: Basics, Step Away from the Edge, Designer Details and Figure Flatterers. Each chapter has several designs which illustrate Melissa’s styling points. Nineteen (19) patterns are included in this book. The patterns are labeled with codes to help you choose the styles that are best suited for your body type. I’ve had a few weeks with this book, now and have browsed through it quite a few times. I will admit that for many years, I’ve tried to keep away from close-fitting sweaters because I thought they would magnify unwanted or rather unsightly curves that I don't want to have attention brought to. But what I discovered was that women of any size can find some ideas in this book that will help them choose design styles that flatter their body type. I really think this is a valuable addition to any serious knitter’s library.

I liked the designs in this book quite a bit also since they are stylish without being too over the top or weird. They look wearable and comfortable. I’ve liked Melissa Leapman’s designs before and she hasn’t disappointed me this time either. The one thing I’m really disappointed about though is that the book is not spiral bound. I wish all instructional books like this would be spiral bound so that it could be laid out open and flat in front of me without the pages turning while I try out new techniques or patterns. Publishers please make a note of this. Knitters everywhere would be so grateful. 

All in all, this looks like a great book for anyone who is interested in creating better fitting knits.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Creating Street Art ...

The yarn bombing project at the Peabody Essex Museum went off without a hitch!

Let me tell the story in pictures ...

Needless to say; I had a wonderful time helping to dress up PEM for this event!