I'm still around. We have a house guest crashing on our aerobed
right now, which has thrown all our routines and plans into a muddle. He's just moved to JC from Dallas, and had to start his job before his apartment was available on June 1. And he's a great guy, but it's hard having a third person taking up space. We only have two rooms in our house! But that's ok. I'm glad we are here to support him while he needs us. It's just meant that I haven't had a whole lot of time to knit or work, or drum...
I'm still working on my Girl Friday
sweater. I have the back done, and am halfway up one side of the front, but I've really been concentrating on finishing at least one of my May socks (spiral boot socks
) before the end of the month. I don't think there was any way I could have gotten the whole pair of knee socks done in a month. Each one is over 12" long before you even get to the heel! But I've turned the heel on the first one now, and I'm pretty sure I can finish them by Wednesday. I'm already falling behind in my sock plan. But that's ok! I'm still using yarn from my stash, and I'm still working on projects that have been in my queue forever. So it's all good. Eventually I'll have tons of new socks, and will have gotten through a whole bag of sock yarn. Some day... Just gotta keep my eyes on the prize, as they say. I can't wait until these socks are done though, as my boots are all brown, and the socks are brown, and I think it's gonna look way rad.
In the meantime, I'm reviewing another one of my new knitting books. I got this one on my recent trip to Dallas. There is a great bookstore chain in Texas called Half Price Books
, and whenever I find myself near one, I have to go. Well this is the first time I've been in there since I started knitting, so I did check out the knitting books. There were quite a few, but mostly the duds, or the one-trick ponies (Pretty in Punk
, I'm looking at you), but I did manage to find two books I wanted. The other one I'll talk about next time. Today's find is Closely Knit: Handmade Gifts for the Ones you Love
by Hannah Fettig
I really love the cover of this book. It's got a girl's arm reaching up to touch the shoulder of a guy standing behind her. She's wearing a cardigan from the book, and he's wearing a knit vest over a dress shirt. I like the fonts they used for the title, etc., and the whole package is just very inviting. Anyway, I'd looked at this book several times in the bookstore before, just to see if I wanted to order it from Amazon or not, and I never did. I think it was because it just wasn't a very big book, and I was not sure I'd ever make anything from it. But finding it at half price, now there's a different story! I think it was totally worth what I paid for it, and I do think that I will make a few of the projects.
A lot of the accessories are pretty basic. But I think that fits what the theme of the book is. The book is a collection of stuff that is supposed to be gifts for loved ones, and if you're anything like me, you're probably knitting these gifts at the last second, so you want something that looks good but is easy to make. Having said that, there are a few sweaters too, in case you need to make something more involved for someone. I probably wouldn't do that for anyone but my mom, but I can still use the sweater patterns to make stuff for me. There's a plain pullover that Spanky quite likes too.
The book is divided into sections depending on who you are thinking of: mothers, daughters, sisters, men, babies, and friends. That's kind of convenient, and I'm sure it helped her organize her thoughts and designs, but in truth, a lot of the patterns cross categories too, so don't get hung up on the book's categorization. There are 31 patterns--each section has about 5 or 6.
Here are my favorites:
1. Bird's Nest Pin Cushion
I just think this is adorable, and I love the addition of the fake bird. This is in the "Mom" section of the book, and my mom, who sews and quilts, would indeed love it. I don't like how the stuffing shows through the eggs, but I think a tighter knitter could get around that problem (or if a different yarn was used). Also, what a great way of using up scraps of sock yarn! You could make a bunch of different kinds of eggs, and gift the nest with some cute fancy pins.
2. Cashmere Ruffles Scarf
This is a gorgeous scarf. Also in the "Mom" section, but I think this would be a great holiday gift for a co-worker. Maybe not in cashmere, but perhaps an alpaca blend? I want one too, in the same red they've shown in the picture.
3. Vintage Knee Socks
After knitting my current knee socks, I'm not going to be too eager to embark on another pair, but this is a great pattern to remember in case I want to do a second set. I especially like how the pattern stops at the ankle, so that the foot will go much faster. This is in the "Daughter" section, and yes, it's quite young, but I'd wear these, and I might have made some for my sister, if she didn't live in Florida. She barely wears shoes let alone knee socks...
4. Cap-Sleeved Eyelet Top
This is also in the "Daughter" section, but I want to make it for me, me, me! I'll probably lengthen it a bit, but other than that, I just love it.
5. Simple Sweater
This pullover can be done from a variety of patterns out there. I don't know that it was necessary for this to be included. How boring! But yet, Spanky only likes sweaters like this. She doesn't ever want me to do cables or raglans, or anything colorful, so... I can always use a simple pullover pattern, even if I really could just use the Ann Budd sweater book to do the same thing.
6. Heart-Patch Pants
Obviously from the "Baby" section, I just love these to death. I've only made one pair of pants for a baby, which I hated making but turned out really cute. So I think if I make these, the baby's got to be one I really care about. But they're so cute!
There are a few more basic patterns in there that I think are nice, but eh. I'm probably not going to be doing a garter stitch blanket or some embroidered socks any time soon. There are plain hats, plain mittens, plain socks, that sort of thing. The most interesting part of the book was the baby part. I like a few of the baby sweaters, and I can see myself turning to this if I am looking for something interesting to knit for some co-worker's child. But I think for the ten bucks I spent, this was a good investment. There's enough here to make it worth it. If you're a really advanced knitter though, you might take a look through it at a library or B&N first, because you can find a lot of basic patterns like these on Ravelry for free, or in many, many other knitting books. If you want a handy one-stop shop though, with a few basics in every category, with a few interesting twists, then this is a good thing to invest in. I do feel like it's a good addition to my knitting library!
Be back when I have one completed knee sock! Ack!