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review 2015-11-30 00:30
Update: Woodland Knits by Stephanie Dosen
Woodland Knits: over 20 enchanting patterns - Stephanie Dosen

Note: I'll be updating this review occasionally as I knit up patterns from the book.

 

There are some absolutely beautiful and charming projects in this book but there's some strange stuff too.  But that's always the case with books like these, isn't it? I can't wait to make the fringed duster, the legwarmers, the gypsy petticoat, seedpod purse and the wishing scarf but I might have to pass on the antler hat and the dragon watcher's hood (seriously it's just a hood, it's cute but where's the rest of it?!). Some of these projects would be gorgeous for photos and costume parties or jaunts through the woods if you're looking for fairies while picking berries but I can't see them being worn daily and I'm too lazy to put that much work into something that my kid will only wear once or twice. There are enough projects in this book that I'm dying to knit up to make the cost of the book a bargain but I'm a bit strange style wise so you need to keep that in mind. I like fringe and flowy, nature inspired styles and this book has plenty of that. Your best bet is going to ravelry.com (but you'll need to sign up - it's free - feel free to friend me!) and checking out all of the patterns before purchasing. You can also check out the designers website at Tiny Owl Knits.

 

I'll write more and post some pictures of the projects when I knit up a few and have access to a real computer. 

 

UPDATE Sept 2015:

 

I'm finally getting around to knitting something from this quirky little book. I started knitting up the "juniper wishing scarf" with some doubled up cotton yarn but have since switched to a chunky acrylic because the cotton/needle size was hurting my hands. This is how far I got before ripping it out. It's a super easy cable repeat so I can get it done while watching tv and not feel like I'm wasting so much time :)

 

 

 

This is what it may look like when I've finished. Would you wear it?

 

UPDATE NOVEMBER 2015

 

Here's mine, finally finished! This sucker is heavy. If I were ever to knit it again, I'd pick a lighter yarn. It's nice and toasty warm and it's FREEZING here today, so I'm pretty happy with it. It was super easy to knit but my hands hurt.

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2014-01-02 14:35
knitting With Dog Hair
Knitting With Dog Hair: Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You'll Never Meet - Kendall Crolius

Taking recycling to new heights, I present Knitting with Dog Hair. I haven't tried it yet but it won't be long now before I have a big enough bag of golden fuzziness to get going!

This was an interesting read. Why spend all sorts of money on yarn when I already have two fuzz producing critters? But then again who wants to wear a hat that smells like dog?

Smell was my biggest worry when I ran across this book. I know only too well how stinky my wet dogs can be, but apparently they say the smell can be washed out quite permanently and easily and then they ask if one has ever smelled a sheep up close. Good point!

With smell issues out of the way, I read on with interest. Instead of throwing away all of that lovely golden fur floating around my home, I might actually be able to use it. Of course this involves quite a bit of work. Daily brushing, the labor intensive washing, washing and washing again of the fuzz (without clogging your drain in the process), then one must card (comb) the fuzz so it all lays the way it should, then you've got to oil it, spin it (an art in itself) and ply it into yarn. Yikes, it looks so easy when laid out in a few pages in a book but it sounds too much like work for someone like me.

After you've done all of the above, you can knit hats, scarves and just about anything that you'd knit with wool. The projects seem pretty straightforward but the instructions assume one has some familiarity with knitting. There are scarves, hats, mittens sweaters, even a doggie sweater (the pic shows a pug smugly wearing a sweater made from newfoundland fur, way too cute!). You must know the basic stitches, know all about knitting the round, know how to use your double pointed and circular needles and how to work fair isle/intarsia if you want to finish many of these items. I would've appreciated a little knitting 101 section here (especially for the color work, are you supposed to purl or knit the colors??), but that's just me and I suppose that stuff can easily be found on google but still . . .

The other downside of this book are the black and white photos. The items are described as beautiful tones of "golden retriever fur" or whatever and then they show a grainy b&w photo of a fuzzy looking scarf which was so disappointing. There also are not nearly enough photos showing how to make and use the drop spindle (though the carding section was well illustrated and appears simple enough). I seriously doubt I could learn the art of spinning dog fuzz using only this book and will look for a video if I ever get my fuzzies washed and ready (I think this part intimidates me the most!).

There is a section outlining breeds and their "spinability" for those on the lookout for fuzz machines. Lucky for me, my golden is a top producer but my hound, as sweet as he is, is a poor choice. Apparently, though, his "short sprinkles" can be added to all of the glamorously soft golden fur to spice up the color. Who knew?

This was an informative, very niche book, that takes its topic seriously and was a fun read. It's got me looking at the fuzz balls strewn about the house in a new way but I'm not sure if I'll ever work up the energy to collect, wash, card, and then spin this stuff into workable yarn because I'm just too lazy. Though it might make a nice little side business for someone with a lot of time to spare. Imagine a keepsake of your beloved pet that you could wear all winter? The possibilities are endless . . .

Wait someone has already beat me to it!

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