Monday, 11 June 2012

In Review: Knit with Love

This week I am review Knit with Love by Lisa Bogart. (I received this book for free from Lisa in return for a review)

I entered a give-away on Lisa's blog a while back, she then sent me a message on Ravelry telling me it'd been received etc etc. We got talking, and a few messages later Lisa asked me if I would review her book, Knit with Love: Stories to Warm a Knitter's Heart. Of course I said yes, a little while later the book arrived and I set to work reading it.

You can't help but pick up the book once you've taken a glance at the beautiful front cover, and I'm pleased to say the opening sentences lived up to expectation:

"Knitting can't feed the hungry, fight crime, or stop global warming. But a hand-knit sweater warms a cold child. A cozy scarf eases a homeless night. A tiny hat comforts a preemie head. A lovely prayer shawl wraps a worried patient in peace. Knitting quietly eases some of the hurts in the world."

Each chapter is metaphorically linked to knitting (such as chapter 2: Place a Marker - Aha Moments), and includes a scripture or two from the Bible. 

I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses so I enjoyed seeing scriptures used but despite this, it still left me feeling awkward when a scripture was linked with knitting, as to me it is a misunderstanding of what the scripture is referring too. (If you want to know more about my beliefs you can message me on Ravelry)

Lisa's writing style is very casual, as you read you genuinely feel as if you are having a conversation with her. Without her down-to-earth style, the book just wouldn't work. Throughout the book Lisa shares stories, anecdotes, tips & tricks and even the odd pattern thrown in the mix. My favourite chapter has to be Chapter 7: Increase. Where Lisa covers subjects such as Yarn Bombing, your Stash (there is a funny anecdote about an overheard conversation at a yarn store), she also includes a few patterns such as the Crazy Garter Stitch Scarf, and she shares a brilliant idea called 'The Great Sock Lottery'. 

I could only read this book a couple of pages at a time, as reading about knitting for others kept inspiring me to pick up my needles. Which just proves how inspiring and encouraging this book really is. So on the whole, I like this book. How can you not? Get a copy for yourself, snuggle up on the sofa and make sure your knitting and a box of tissues are near, and learn how you can bring comfort and hope to others with just a skein of yarn, some needles and a whole lot of love.

You can purchase Knit with Love from the following retailers:

Friday, 8 June 2012

Finally, Something Finished!

I don't remember the last time I took part in FO Friday, but I'm pleased to be back! I have just the one FO to show you today, but at least it's something.

I am rarely moved enough by a pattern to cast it on immediately, especially such a big project as a blanket. This is what happened last month when I got the latest issue of Simply Knitting magazine, and I saw the pattern Hit the Road.

Mum's friend at the local art centre is due to have her first baby in August, so Mum asked if I would make her something. I had no ideas, until I saw Hit the Road, at which point I decided to make a baby blanket.

The blanket in the magazine uses 7 different colours, but I thought I would use just 3. I have a few pastel colours in my stash, most of which I've lost the ballband for. I do know though, that the yarns I used were Stylecraft Special DK in Wisteria and White, and what I think is Stylecraft Special Baby DK in Baby Lemon (have you noticed that I have a thing for Stylecraft yarn?).

The pattern is very simple, moss stitch stripe at the bottom and top, and then moss stitch bands on the side. Then all the rest in the middle is stocking stitch. The way you changed stripes was quite interesting, rather than just changing colour, you do a fair isle chart. With over 170 sts on the needle though, the fair isle rows did take a while!

As I didn't have enough yarn to do the full 9 stripes, I stopped at 7. Which turned out to be the perfect baby blanket size! It took me 10 days to knit, 

I'm quite pleased with how the colours go together, and I think I'll use this colour combo again in the future, and I think I will actually use this pattern again! 

The blanket is in the wash now, so I'll get it all hung, dry, and wrapped up to give to Roz on Monday. Let's hope she likes it!!

Remember on Wednesday I mentioned that I'd ordered yarn from Well, it arrived this morning, just as I had casted off my beanie! (which I'll share with you next Friday) 

Sirdar Supersoft Aran, is for my niece's couch potato monster which she has been asking for for months, the Stylecraft Special 4 ply is for a pair of my own socks, and the Sirdar Country Style 4 ply is for a secret project which I'll be working on this weekend.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, and before you go, check out the lovely blogs I'm linking up to today!


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Thursday Book Challenge: Week 12

I have finished Catching Fire, and by far it is my favourite of the three. I moved swiftly onto Mockingjay, the final book in the series. I'm both sad and happy, sad because the series is coming to an end and happy because I will finally know how it all ends. I'm about half way through so far, and there are so many twists & turns I'm not sure how it is all going to pan out. I darn't say any more encase anyone reading this post is planning on reading the series.

So, instead I shall talk about what I plan on reading next. I have so many books on my to-read list, I just can't seem to decide what to choose! I've whittled it down to Sense & Sensibility, The Name of the Book is a Secret, or the re-reading of Matched, Jane Eyre or Inside Out. What do you think?

That's all from me this week, what have you been reading?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

I Have a New Addiction....

Since my little away time from both blogging and knitting, I'm finding it difficult to get back into the swing of things. As I'm struggling to sit down and finish a 'proper' project (such as Sara's socks for example...), I'm making do with lots of little projects. So, what does that mean?


Yes, the rumours are true. I am now apart of the Beekeepers Quilt clan. I bought the pattern late Saturday afternoon, and immediately sat down to knit one of these little puffs of happiness. 

I've knitted 8 so far during this jubilee weekend, using my leftovers of Mistofellees Summer Berries and RICO Design Superba Mexico 001. When people said hexipuffs were addictive, I didn't realise they were this addictive.

Now you would think that this is where my hexipuff chat ends for this week. But, you're wrong. My lovely Bichon Frise X Poodle, Lilo, needs a new bed as her current one is too big for my room (it is meant for a Rottweiler. yes it is that big), so I kicked around ideas on how we could save money and then it hit me, why not make one out of hexipuffs?

The idea is to knit a load of bigger hexipuffs using DK yarn and 3.75mm needles (making them about double the size of a regular puff), and tack them onto an old pillow. It would look like this (but on a much bigger pillow). So far, I've knitted four hexipuffs.

Unfortunately, that is all I can show you today. I'm hoping I feel well enough to re-do the toe on Sara's socks this afternoon, but we shall see. Otherwise it's more hexipuffs I guess!

I am planning on doing some online yarn shopping this afternoon, for a secret project, a couch potato monster and a pair of my own socks. So by the end of the week, I should have casted on something new... 

PS, Check out the interview I had with the lovely Vicki from It's a Good Place to Knit!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

This Week in Knitting: A Royal Celebration

I haven't been around on the internet at all since last Thursday, due to my M.E getting bad. We think I'm back on the mend now so there should be a few posts on the way over the next week or so. I thought I would kick off the jubilee weekend with a Royally Inspired edition of This Week in Knitting.
© Rowan Yarns, 2012

Get comfy in style while you watch the Jubilee celebrations this weekend by knitting 'this beautiful royal cushion, with a lovely crown motif on the knitted front and a union jack style appliqué fabric back, designed by Anna Nikipirowicz and using the ever popular British Sheep Breeds DK yarn.'

The pattern is available for free on Ravelry as apart of the Rowan Jubilee Knits - Online Collection. There are some lovely patterns in the collection, another one of which I'll be featuring in this weeks edition.

The cushion uses Purelife British Sheep Breeds DK yarn by Rowan. A wonderful silky smooth 100% British Wool, undyed, plied yarn which I would be happy to knit with any day. In the UK you can buy the yarn from Deramores for £5.95 a skein. I also managed to find it in the US at Yarn Market for $8.35 a skein.

© Rowan Yarns, 2012
If you are one of the many having a street party, then you'll need Bunting!! 'Knit this quirky Jubilee Bunting in the beautiful Pure Wool DK, with 3 different motifs for you to mix and match, this project will get your celebrations off to a great start.' The pattern is free to download if you are a member of the KnitRowan website (if you aren't, it doesn't take long to sign up!). Yarn used for this pattern is Pure Wool DK by Rowan.

You can buy the yarn in the UK from Deramores, for £4.75 a skein, and in the UK from Jimmy Beans Wool from as low as $4.25 a skein.

© 2012 Alex Bump
It may be June but the British weather is never a certainty, so having a pair of Jubilee Mitts in your handbag will help see you through the nippy weather. 'These quick lacy mitts are knit from the bottom up, with a garter stitch edging and stockinette thumb gusset. Use a bamboo or cotton blend for a cooler mitt, or a luxury wool/silk or wool/cashmere mix for an extra special pair.'

To celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, you can purchase this pattern for only £0.60 ($0.92, 0.74 EUR) until midnight BST on 5th June 2012!

Rachel has used Canopy Fingering by The Fibre Company for the show knit. It is a delicious mix of 50% alpaca, 30% merino and 20% bamboo. I managed to find the yarn in the UK at Loop for £12.50 a skein. The cheapest I could find it in the US, was at Noble Knits for $12.79 a skein.

© Rowan Yarns, 2012
Finally, you can't watch the Jubilee without a cup of tea in hand. 'Knit this cute crown tea cozy with sequin detail, designed by Sarah Pinkness in beautiful Pure Wool & Cashsoft 4ply, it is the perfect way to get your jubilee celebrations off to a little bit of sparkle.' The Crown Tea Cozy is available for free on Ravelry. There are two different yarns used for this project, Rowan Pure Wool and Rowan Cashsoft.

You can buy Rowan Pure Wool in the UK from Deramores, for £4.75 a skein, and in the UK from Jimmy Beans Wool from as low as $4.25 a skein. You can buy Rowan Cashsoft in the UK from Deramores for £5.75 a skein, and in the US from Jimmy Beans Wool from as low as $4.25 a skein.

I hope you enjoyed this Royal edition of This Week in Knitting, how will you be celebrating this weekend? 

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