Category Archives: Books

Woodland Knits by Stephanie Dosen

A little bit of fun back story before I talk about the book: I met Stephanie Dosen of Tiny Owl Knits about two years ago, when I was in the UK for one of Joey’s shows. Stephanie toured with Midlake on one of their previous albums and came to visit everyone in the artist area before the show. A mutual friend of ours told me that Stephanie was a knitter too and so we exchanged Ravelry names and promised to friend each other later on. We didn’t really talk much about knitting, but she did mention that she had put out a pattern for a quilt made with little knitted honeycombs and that lots of people had started knitting it and she was so surprised and delighted that other people were loving it too. I hadn’t heard of it yet but made a mental note to check it out next time I was online. I was traveling and didn’t really have internet access for the next few days, so I didn’t get to it right away but once I checked out her Rav profile I was kicking myself for not talking her ear off about knitting! She has SO MANY ADORABLE PATTERNS and I was instantly in love with all of them. In fact, I cast on for a Fairy Castle as soon as I got home from my trip and also started a Beekeeper’s Quilt not too long after that. So as soon as I found out her book was available for pre-order, I snagged a copy and HOORAY, it arrived last night!

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My first impression of Woodland Knits was that I love the size of it- it’s a little smaller than I was imagining from the photos online, but it’s a not-too-big- not-too-small size that I think will easily travel in your knitting bag.

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I also love the photos. The cover shot is beautiful and Stephanie looks great modeling her Deer with Little Antlers hat. The photos show the pattern details well, and the mossy forest setting and the styling of the models is perfectly suited for each of the designs. (PS my photos were taken using a filter app so the colors aren’t quite accurate here)

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There are over 20 patterns in the book and it’s a good mix of classic Tiny Owl Knits patterns and lots of new goodies as well. My top three favorites are Mr Fox Stole My Heart, the Dragon Watcher’s Hood and Fawn Poncho.

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I also really love how Stephanie has included helpful tips for felting and shaping freshly felted pieces, and words of wisdom for the colorwork patterns. The Tiny Owl even peeps in and offers a few words of owly wisdom for each pattern too.

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Insta August

Insta august

August brought me a little bit of downtime to finish up a design that I’m very pleased with and time to start plotting my next few designs.  I’ve been looking at lots of yarns online and trying to keep myself from always picking heather greys, though they are my favorites.  Joey had a two week trip to Europe with the band and I got to watch one of his shows that was live streaming online.  I watched it with another of the band wives and we clapped and cheered and even snapped a few pics of our husbands onscreen looking like badasses and it was almost like we were there.   I even snagged one of Joey’s instagrams to share here—just look at that crowd!   Once he was back home we had a couple of lazy days together, strolling around town after a nice brunch and later him puttering around in the studio while I sat within earshot knitting.  I’m hoping for a similar couple of days this weekend!

FO: Chevron Rug

I fell pretty hard for the recent chevron trend and decided I needed a little zig-zag décor for my house. Using a rug from West Elm as my inspiration, I decided to crochet a rug.

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This was my “back-burner” project over the summer as I would pick it up in between some of the other projects I had on the needles. It took a long time for me to finish something so simple, but it came out really cute.  I used cotton/acrylic yarn, so it will be easy to just toss in the wash when it gets dirty…. cause somebody around here loves to dirty up my rugs!

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Pattern: Slightly modified version of Sahara from the book 200 ripple stitch patterns by Jan Eaton. I crocheted 6 pattern rows before changing colors.

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease, in colors grey and white

Hook: size G 4.25 MM

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Pom Pom Quarterly

Have you heard of the new knitting/craft/food/drink/music/art magazine Pom Pom Quarterly yet?

I came across Pom Pom on Ravelry and was instantly smitten with what these lovely London ladies are doing; this is a beautifully designed/laid out/photographed and printed magazine that is so different than your typical knitting mag.

The patterns are interesting and ones that you’d actually want to knit AND wear and they are photographed and styled so beautifully.  Plus, there are food and cocktail recipes, a bit of music love and some great articles that you want to read while snuggled under your favorite knitted throw.  (That’s what I did!)

There is a lot more to this great new publication, but I don’t want to show you everything here, because I think you should hop on over and buy an issue or subscribe and support what these fabulous ladies are making.  Something this great doesn’t come along too often, but I’m very glad to see that it has.

 

 

 

 

 

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Stash Party

I woke up Saturday morning dreaming of yarn.  I had an overwhelming desire to go through my yarn stash for inspiration, so I decided to do a little reorganizing while I was at it.  I usually keep everything in shoebox-sized boxes from ikea inside my armoire, but keeping everything contained in boxes makes it easy to forget some of the goodies that lurk under those lids.

I still have some yarn in boxes (the brown and white  flowered boxes in the background of the top shelf), but I decided to display my favorite yarns front and center, so I can be inspired.  I open these doors every day and smile while contemplating what I want to knit with each skein on that shelf.  I have many colors of Palette, which are lined up and at the ready for all the hexipuffs I’ve been knitting for my Beekeeper’s quilt; a skein of Shelter, leftover from the Guernsey Wrap I knitted last year which is dying to be knitted into a tweedy beanie; a luscious skein of Jade Sapphire cashmere, waiting for something that is worthy of cashmere; and lots of soft wonderfully tweedy Rowan Felted Tweed, which I am completely in love with and can’t wait to knit with again.

The bottom shelf holds the fabulous crocheted Henry that my sister in law made for me and the panda bear I made after I forced her to show me how to do amigurumi.  I have a basket full of hexipuffs, and some of my favorite knitting books– lots of Elizabeth Zimmerman and a few Vogue Knitting Stitchionaries for good measure.

I’d love to know what yarns and books you’d bring to a stash party.  Please let me know in the comments or post a link to your blog post if you’d like to join in and share.

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FO: Market Bag

I finished off the crochet market bag last night and decided to take it for a test run to the coffee shop this morning filled with just the essentials- plastic baggies for doggie doo-ty, keys, wallet, sunglasses, and a knitting book.  I haven’t tested it yet with heavy grocery items like fruits and vegetables, though I know it will stretch a little more when filled with those items.

Pattern: Rust Goes Green by Jill Chatelain (slightly modified)

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cotton DK, four balls

4.00mm crochet hook

Overall, I think this turned out pretty well.    It was a quick and fun project, perfect for the summertime and I think it resulted in a pretty cute bag.

The Kindness of Knitters

One thing that’s great about being a knitter is the online community and the wealth of friendly support out there.  When I started knitting five years ago I constantly perused Craftster for tutorials, inspiration, and encouragement.  That lead me to plenty of knit blogs (I subscribe to over 100 of them and read them daily!) and later, to Ravelry, where the online knitting community finally found its central rallying point. From these online sources, I have been inspired to participate in knitterly events such as Secret Pal or knitalongs, and I have “met” many wonderful knitters along the way.

Recently, Leslie of A Friend to Knit With hosted a blog contest.  The prize was a copy of Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume 5 Lace Knitting.  I have the first two volumes of this beautiful and detailed series, so I left a comment, knowing I wouldn’t win.  I couldn’t believe my  luck when I checked my daily blogroll and saw on Leslie’s blog that I had won!  If you haven’t checked out Leslie’s blog, please do so.  It is full of beautiful photography showcasing crafty knits, delicious-looking foods, and its a great read.

One of the knitters I’ve met online and has become a great blog friend is Kim of Hand Eye Crafts.  She and I were partnered in a Secret Pal round a few years back and we’ve kept in touch ever since.  Kim’s blog is a great read full of fun knits and great stories about her beautiful family.  If you haven’t checked it out now is the perfect time to do so; she’s gearing up for the annual Knitter’s Hunk contest!  Kim is such a genuine person with a great spirit.  I happened to mention once in a comment to her that I was going through some stress (finding and moving to a new apartment) as she was going through some stress of her own.  And next thing I know, there’s a sweet encouraging card in the mail!

I am very lucky, indeed.

Books, Dogs, and Knitting. Three of my favorite things.

I went to see the Yarn Harlot’s book reading last night at Barnes and Noble with Erin.

Sorry, it’s kind of hard to take a one-handed iPhone photo!

We knitted, we listened and we laughed.  It was a great time and now I have another book to read!  Reading is part of the reason that I’m still not finished with these dang socks.  (That… and the fact that they’re guy socks which are inherently bigger than the normal sock.)  

Yes, I’ve been sucked back into reading a lot and really enjoying myself.  Some of my recent reads:

Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, all by Stephenie Meyer: I highly recommend these books- I’ve gotten my sister and my mom to read them, and my sister in law just bought the first one the other day.  My favorite of all the books is the first, though I didn’t really like the way the series ended.  I read all four of these hefty books in the period of about one week- I couldn’t put them down.

Two of the Women’s Murder Club Series by James Patterson: 1st to Die, and 2nd Chance.  Both of these are about a group of four women who help each other solve horrible murders and help each other with life’s problems.  They also happen to be good page-turners to keep you busy on the train.

 Marley and Me by John Grogan:  Joey was browsing a bookstore and picked this one up for me.  It was definately cute, but it made me miss Daisy and Henry.

Speaking of dogs…. HENRY’S COMING TO LIVE WITH US AGAIN in a little over a week!  If you don’t know the story- when we moved to Brooklyn we had to leave the dogs back with my parents in Texas because our landlord wasn’t sure he wanted us to have pets.  Well now that we’ve shown him that we’re good tenants he’s allowed us to bring a dog.  We’re just bringing up Henry at first cause he’s a little easier to handle: he doesn’t cry or howl when you leave the house and he doesn’t try to bite strangers.  Plus I know Daisy is living the life and being spoiled rotten by my parents.  Seriously- she and my Dad have bonded and she waits patiently next to him every morning while he eats breakfast and he always saves the last bite for her. Not to insinuate that Henry’s not being spoiled- he definitely is getting the free run of the house and farm. He’s even gone down the road a few times to meet the neighbors (another reason why he’s the one we’re bringing up first.)  I can’t wait!