Fresh Designs: Hats, edited by Shannon Okey, pub. Cooperative Press, 2012.
Editor Shannon Okey has put together a collection of 10 hats, each with a special feature or unexpected twist. They are unified by the color scheme of blues and browns with a punch of red. There is no chit-chat and no advice; they get right to the patterns, and knitters are on their own for any techniques that aren't explained therein. The models are appropriately spunky and the photos by Robert Gladys show (mostly) what I'd like to see.
The first hat in the collection, Left Turn at Albuquerque, has an allover cable pattern which zigs and zags its way through the crown shaping. The Samui Toque uses short rows for beauty and fit (I wish the book included a side view which designer Kendra Nitta made sure got onto the pattern page photos). Tamalpais is a head-sized counterpane (would be nice to see the top of it, which designer Linda Wilgus has thoughtfully posted on Ravelry). Ulaan requires minimal swatching and no purling (although it does require picking up stitches), using a stretchy sideways garter stitch instead of ribbing at the brim.
Half the hat patterns are written for only one size. I have a really big head, so this disappoints me. I know knit fabric tends to be stretchy, but that doesn't always help. Of the one-size patterns, Troche as a pleat in it, Tamalpais is supposed to sit on top of the head, and Tundra is huge with earflaps. So there are really only two troublesome patterns in the collection as far as sizing goes. I have already knit Troche, and I know it fits me, though it does fit differently than in the photos.
The three cable patterns are both charted and written out. The lace pattern is written only.
This is an inspirational collection with many intriguing constructions. I had a hard time deciding which to knit first!
Disclosure: Cooperative Press sent Kangath a copy of Fresh Knits: Hats FREE for review. Kangath was not compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in the review are the blog author's and are not necessarily the opinions of Cooperative Press, Shannon Okey, or the designers.
Last week I made applesauce out of the bruised apples. My friend Mary Arlin gave me a super-easy recipe years ago and I've been dying to use it.
It's basically the same recipe as the one I use for tomato sauce. Just put the whole fruit in the pot (cutting off any bad spots first, if there are any, or the tomato ends), put the lid on, and cook. I don't really know how long, but I put it on the stove before lunch and checked it after I ate and the apples had already burst so I figured that was long enough. Afterwards, pluck out any apple cores, put the mush and skins in a food processor and blend.
My homemade applesauce was a big hit and hardly any work. Next time I have an excess of tasty apples, I will definitely do it again.
I forgot to take my camera with me to Ithaca. Too bad, because there were several camera-worthy events that I wasn't able to chronicle. I'm sure my phone has a camera on it, but I haven't even tried to figure out how to use it and I sure don't know how to hook it up to my computer. I should really enter the 21st century one of these days.
Remember Dave's period stockings? Well, Dave and I got together in Ithaca and he actually tried on the finished one. It fits beautifully! I had been worried about the fit because
Dave was thrilled with his one stocking and can't wait for its partner. He vowed to use, appreciate, and enjoy anything I ever wanted to knit for him. It's good to have devoted friends.
Since we were in upstate New York last week and it's impossible to find decent apples down here we tried packing a few to bring home.
We ended up sending the suitcases through baggage check, which made me nervous, but they traveled just fine.
The key is to put a cushion (such as dirty laundry or yarn in zip-loc bags) between the apples and the suitcase and to pack the apples as tightly as possible so as to minimize bruising. If they can't move, they won't bump each other. A few stems might poke holes in their neighbors, but that should be the extent of it.
We bought half a bushel of Jonamacs from Littletree and a few more special apples from Black Diamond Farm (several Pixie Crunch, Honeycrisp, and Bramley's Seedling to pack; and two Kidd's Orange apples for eating right then). We sauced about half a peck of bruised Jonamacs, but packed the gourmet apples so well we will be able to eat them all fresh. We can't resist cooking some of them, though---on the menu for next week are apple pie and cinnamon stuffed baked apples.
Apples are just about my favorite fruit, and I have missed them terribly. If you've flown apples to other parts of the country, I'd love to hear your experiences. Did we just get lucky? I'd be willing to try again.
My recently released San Graal was one of the garments featured on the Clotheshorse blog modeled at a trunk show at Yarns in the Farms. The photo at right is not from the trunk show---I just wanted to show you how great it looks with tights!
We're leaving tomorrow for our molasses moon, so I expect the blog to be pretty quiet until I get back on Tuesday. Have a great weekend!
After my husband and I got married he had to go right back to school, which meant no honeymoon. After 15 years we are about to take our first trip away from our children. It's not really a honeymoon---he's attending a conference given in honor of a couple of professors entering retirement---but it's as close as we've come. He calls it a molasses moon.
Isn't that sweet?
Double Knitting: Reversible Two-Color Designs
by M'Lou Baber; pub. Schoolhouse Press, 2008
Meg Swansen rightly proclaims that the cover photo alone is worth the price of the book. But there are many more beautiful photos inside.
The book begins with an overview of the double-knitting technique, including casting on, increasing and decreasing, open and closed edges, ribbing, reading charts, binding off, and more. There is also over a page devoted to estimating yarn quantities, as well as a paragraph about getting gauge. All instructions are clear and concise, with helpful photos.
The patterns start out fairly simple, with potholders, coasters, headbands, and a baby blanket. Then the fun begins with "Knitting the Refrigerator Door," a section on converting children's art into double-knitting. Whee!
Also in this book are patterns for a bag, some children's bonnets (and an adult bonnet!), a gorgeous fair isle vest, a couple of lovely shawls, children's cardigans with matching hats, and an armload of adult coats and jackets with and without matching hats.
Unfortunately, only the children's sweaters come in different sizes. The adult garments are one size only, ranging from 35" (Camilla Vest) to 57" (The Far East Jacket). All can be worn open at the front. The patterns range from classic fair isle to cute animal depictions to stylish abstract looks.
This is not a new book, but one that deserves renewed attention in light of the recent upsurge in double-knitting. It's a wonderful introduction to a useful technique.
Disclosure: Kangath reviewed her personal copy of Double Knitting. Kangath was not compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in the review are the blog author's and are not necessarily the opinions of Schoolhouse Press or M'Lou Baber.
When we first moved here we inherited a contract with a pest control company that liberally sprayed evil poison to deter termites.
I think it deterred a lot of other things, too.
We cancelled the termite contract, and in a few years many other pests appeared. It's a sign that our soil is no longer evil. That's a good sign, right?
We have a plague of silverfish in our house at the moment, and the little guys are chewing up my knitting (I have a lot of my yarn tucked away from them---I'm talking about the projects I'm currently working on (they're like cats in that way, only less cuddly)). I ran across a post on the Seventh Generation site with a recipe for silverfish deterrent:
If you try this, let me know how it works.
Dylana is complete! Dream in Color's model is a little bigger than I am---if I were knitting for myself, I would have chosen the next size down. Still, the sweater looks good and feels great. I expect the pattern to be up on the Dream in Color site soon after it's edited.
The color is beautiful, and everyone who saw it mentioned it---since I knit in public, that's a lot of people. My husband remarked on it every time I got out my knitting.
The yarn was a bit stiff while I was knitting it, but became much softer after having been washed. I attribute the preliminary stiffness to the superwash treatment which makes wool machine washable.
This design has undulating cuffs, a magically curvaceous collar (with a slick trick involved), lovely shoulder increases, and a graceful A-line shape. I can't wait for its release!
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