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review 2018-07-03 11:34
Knitting Ganseys, Revised and Updated
Knitting Ganseys, Revised and Updated: Techniques and Patterns for Traditional Sweaters - Beth Brown-Reinsel

by Beth Brown-Reinsel

 

Not just another knitting pattern book!

 

Ganseys and their southern cousins, Guernseys, are a traditional form of textured sweater made for fishermen to keep in extra warmth and with gussets in the arms for extra freedom of movement.

 

This is a new edition of a book already in publication. It's well presented and has lots of good quality color photographs. It starts with a little history, explaining exactly what a Gansey is and where they come from. It goes into detail about the materials, tools and methods traditionally used, but adapts instructions for modern knitting tools.

 

It explains the forms and construction of this type of sweater and the reasons for such attributes as the underarm gusset. The instructions start with basic casting on and include design variations and a selection of edges the knitter might want to use for their project. It also includes instructions to make samplers for those who don't feel confident to jump right in with a full-sized pullover.

 

Reasons for different designs of ribbing and welts are explained and I saw some interesting possibilities for using side welts to make a more tabbard-like project. Knitting in initials was shown with a chart for all letters and my imagination took me well out of the traditional with possibilities for writing slogans on the backs of knitted projects!

 

There are lots charts for different traditional patterns of textures and information about how they were traditionally used. One thing that is different about this book is that it encourages the knitter to create their own designs, based on the basic elements. There is a little cabling, but most of the patterns are a matter of basic knitting and garter stitch.

 

Naturally a few different neckline choices are also offered. I have to say that as far as personal design in knitting goes, this is probably the most interesting and useful book I've seen. I can see myself experimenting extensively with these ideas! The way the patterns are broken down into basic squares, gussets, edges and shoulder straps and joins allows for a very personally tailored fit and completely personalised combinations of textured designs.

 

The knitting methods themselves are pretty basic and should be easy for any knitter to follow. Charts are given for measurements when creating your own designs as well as instruction for making the right fit. There's even a worksheet for planning out your project.

 

The last part of the book gives nine of the author's own patterns for those who feel more comfortable with working with an established pattern and these make good examples for the adventurous who are ready to jump in and design their own. One of the things I note is that the sleeves tend to mostly be roomy, which allows for wearing a pullover over a long-sleeved top which is likely in the sort of cold weather that would merit wearing a pullover at all.

 

I really liked this book. I think I may get more use out of it than any knitting book I've had before.

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review 2018-06-12 13:00
Kid's Knitting Workshop
Susan B Anderson's Kid's Knitting Workshop - Susan B. Anderson

I had taken my girls to the library and while I was waiting for them to find books and fill out paperwork for the reading program and playing a game, I saw this book on a shelf and decided to borrow it (what can I say, for every 5 I borrow, I get an entry into a prize, too). I flipped through the book and saw something new to teach my daughter. Then I found another thing that I wanted to make and marked it. Then I started teaching my daughter how to make the items (bracelets). The projects are well photographed and the directions for new techniques are very easy to understand and good for learning. 

 

 

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review 2018-06-12 00:15
Entrelac Knitting
Entrelac: The Essential Guide to Interlace Knitting - Rosemary Drysdale

I loved this book. It starts with a very good explanation of how to make entrelac and then it gives a variety of patterns for entrelac to make the squares different and then gives patterns for entrelac. I even marked some to try and make. 

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review 2018-06-01 04:02
Knit Along with Debbie Macomber: A Good Yarn
Knit Along With Debbie Macomber - A Good Yarn (Leisure Arts #4135) - Leisure Arts,Debbie Macomber

I love the books that this pattern book is based on. I love the idea of working on patterns based on the characters or designs the characters were knitting or admiring in the book. The patters range from beginner to a a fair isle scarf and hat but most of the designs are not something I would wear or knit for a friend. I will have to think about these patterns and what I could do with yarn choice to make them into something more my style.

 

One thing I don't like about this book is that it doesn't suggest a specific yarn.  I know they probably did this because the yarns get discontinued but I like to look up the yarn to get an idea of what they used in the pictures.  Sometimes I can look it up on ebay and find enough to make the pattern.  I wish I could find some of the self-striping yarn they used to make the socks but I don't even know what it was.  I thought it was Red Heart's Heart & Sole but that is much thinner.

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text 2018-05-31 04:30
Catching Up

I'm catching up on my reading from when I wasn't feeling well.  I've been reading a lot this month and now I'm only 1 book behind schedule.  I read 8 books this month!  I'm not counting the one that was a picture book without much to read.

 

I've still been having a lot of fatigue and I often sleep in late and end up going to bed early but I haven't been having as much pain.  I'm good with less pain.  

 

I've been knitting again and finished the one blanket I'd started at the end of last year.  I was going to donate it to the ER but since it is bigger than it was meant to be I decided to donate it to the Nursing Home that is part of the hospital.  It would make a great lap blanket for someone in a wheel chair.  I've already started another one.  I wanted to make a similar sized blanket for a man at the nursing home.  I asked my husband to pick out the yarn for me.  He bought a solid gunmetal grey and a variegated with various shades of grey, black and white.  There are a few pictures of the first blanket on my instagram.  I'll have to take one of the 2nd blanket soon.  I did order some gift tags from zazzle to attach to the gifts I make.  I want them to be anonymous but wanted them to have pretty tags to make the gift receiver feel more special.  Now I have to get some pretty gift sacks and tissue paper.  

 

So, I asked my husband to pick up some clothes I ordered and I expected him to get mad at me for spending money.  We just had to replace our dryer and I'd placed this order just before it broke.  I sent him another funny text with an eggplant emoji hoping it would forget about the money I spent.  He comes in with his arms full of bags of clothes and groceries and this surly look on his face but when I started taking out the clothes there were 2 dresses I didn't order.  He bought them for me because he knew I liked the colors.  One is a turquoise blue and with a floral print and the other is more of a green with floral print but full length and spaghetti straps.  I've been having hot flashes so I have been living in summer dresses.  Then, when I was unpacking the groceries there was this huge eggplant lol  Now I need to look up some recipes.  I don't know what to do with it.  

 

So, what has everyone else been up to?

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