The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Bit of Fibery Goodness

          Our local library, the one closest to the house, the one I know how to get to, has a nice wealth of knitting books…and more.
          They even get a subscription to Vogue Knitting magazine…among other things  . And unlike the WV/OH libraries we are so used to, we can take the magazines home, just like the books.  Woo hoo.  I currently have Vogue Knitting winter 2009/2010 sitting here beside me.  You cannot take out the current issue, but all the rest are yours to borrow.
          I forget which knitting books I got last week, except for one.  Speed Knitting by Kris Percival.  I liked this one so much that I ordered myself a copy before I had even knitted one pattern.  The first pattern I knit was the ribby tank.  There is one mistake in this pattern…I forget what it is now.  I can’t find my notes, but it is something that, if you are not a brand new knitter, you will see it and say oh, I get I need to do this too.  The pattern missed on stitch, one step, on the cup.  
          I really like this pattern.  I love how fast and simple it is.  I don’t think there is any way I can start the sweater in the morning and have it done by lunch, as the little blurb in the book says, but I can surely get it done very quickly.
          I bought this book outright because it is very rare these days, what w my own massive library of knitting books, because there were at least five patterns as I flipped through that I thought, yes, I am going to knit this.  I do that a lot, but the difference is I immediately began to run my stash through my head – having just organized the whole thing really helped.  As soon as we made it home that day, within minutes of having been to the library, I pulled out not one yarn, but three, for three different projects.  As soon as I am finished knitting for E’s birthday, I am planning to cast on for either the scoop neck vest or the cap-sleeved summer shift.  Not to mention, I am planning to do the ribby tank again as well.
          I am absolutely determined to knit my own summer wardrobe, the tanks and the halter tops especially.
          I borrowed two other knitting books yesterday—and they can go back today as well. 
          The first is Classic Knits by Erika Knight.  To me, it has some cute patterns in it.  I really like the wraparound jacket.  I have plenty of other coats and jackets and cardigans on my knit this first list, so even if it is made w super bulky yarn and would be a fairly quick knit, I won’t be making it.
          I like the tank top, also made in super bulky yarn.  I always read through the pattern before I start to knit.  This is not to catch errata—I rarely catch those mistakes during the read through.  I read through the patterns to be sure I understand what is being done, to see if I comprehend the pattern itself, to see if there are any techniques I need to research and/or learn.  I decided a long time ago I will not work any pattern that says “reverse all shaping” for the second side.  If you cannot write the whole thing out, so that beginner’s and for people like me who don’t want to try to remember to reverse everything can just blindly go along, don’t bother writing the pattern for me.  I won’t bother to even consider buying it or knitting it.
          The Bardot sweater is darling.  But I never thought, oh wow, I have to knit this.  Over all, I find the patterns nice, but not anything I would want to knit myself.  I love Erika Knight.  I have several of her other books.  This is simply not a book I need in my library.
          Please keep in mind I am about to go through all my fiber books (knit and crochet and whatever else I have there) and sell the ones that are simply taking up space.  As I am working through my closets and getting rid of all these clothes that no longer, if they ever, represent me, I am also turning to things like my books that no longer serve my purpose.  Lots more stuff is about to go.
          The next book is Never Too Old To Knit edited  by Karin Strom.  It is a beginner’s book.  I always like to look at different books, so I have some good things to recommend to people when they ask me, whether they are starting to knit, or re-learning, or whatever.   Sometimes these books do have some good information I can use for my own knitting.  Sometimes there are terrific patterns. 
          This book is very nice for new knitters.  There is a great deal of simple information.  I did not read through the entire book, but what I read was written clearly, is clearly accessible, and is open and friendly.  Which is what I like.  All the patterns are very simple.  This is a great book for a beginner knitter.  There are scarves, but there are also sweaters, grown-up sweaters, not just for babies.  I think the simplicity of these patterns will be terrific for new knitters and their self-esteem. 

          Now, you know I am in the process of learning to spin.  Mostly it’s all cerebral at this point…as in I have yet to make the time to do more than watch the dvds I have…and I did order myself a couple more for Mother’s Day—that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it.
          The one dvd that I have watched all the way through is Start Spinning: The Video by Maggie Casey w Eunny Jang. 
           I really like the dvd.  I did learn quite a bit from this dvd.  But, my one issue is the camera isn’t really held close to what is going on.  We never really get to see what is going on in either woman’s hands.  When Maggie showed us where to oil our wheels, there were times I had absolutely no idea where she was w the oil or what she was doing.  That is the real issue.  There was so much good information, but so much of it was missed due to the camera angles.  It was a terrific video.  Maggie and Eunny were both great.  I simply could not see so much of what I wanted and needed to see in order to really figure out what is going on. 
          The other dvds that I have are Drafting:  The Long and the Short of It and Respect the Spindle The Video, both by Abby Franquemont.  I have only watched a bit of one of them—I forget which—it’s been a bit—but I do love Abby’s style…I love the way she speaks and the stories she has.  We’ll see how the rest of the dvds go. 
          As soon as the BOOM of birthday is over, I am planning to re-educate myself and my knitting.  I have been practicing the continental knit stitch.  I am currently a thrower, knitting English style.  Continental knitting is picking.  I want to learn to do the Norwegian purl.  I don’t know why that all of a sudden caught me one day, but for some reason it has.
          Just do a search for Norwegian purl on youtube…lots of stuff comes up.