Archive for August, 2010

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Episode #53: Knitters Are Like Salads

August 4, 2010

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  • Please use dtp.requests {AT} googlemail {DOT} com if you have an event to announce, would like me to review your product or have a product review request.
  • June’s prize drawing for the Zauberball went to KnitterPat, Congratulations Pat!
  • As you might have noticed, July I was on “vacation” and so, I did not record or blog in the month of July.  If you left a comment during the month of July, you will be added to the August Prize Drawing for: Knitting Mochimochi: 20 Super-Cute Strange Designs for Knitted Amigurumi by Anna Hrachovec.
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  • Explanation of Skeining System, here.

Book Reviewed:

Vogue Knitting Stitchonary, Vol. 5: Lace Knitting: The Ultimate Stitch Dictionary from the Editors of Vogue Knitting Magazine, Published 2010 Sixth & Spring, ISBN: 978-1933027937

(Transcribed from Destiknit the Podcast, Episode #53)

A hard covered book with dust jacket, Stitchonary 5 is broken down in sections by type of stitch pattern.

  • Easy/Mesh These are simple lace, perfect for first time lace knitting.  These stitch patterns require minimal stitch manipulation. The knitter must be able to work knit, purl, yarn over and in some cases, single and double decreases.  Stitch patterns include eyelet, fagoting and dropped stitch patterns.  These stitch patterns can be used in garments, socks, home items (pillows, curtains), shawls and bags.
  • Edging A nice collection of selected edgings/trims.  These edgings can be used to finish a garment, shawl, pillow, etc.  Edgings feature eyelet, leaf, twisted stitch, decreases and slipped stitch patterns ranging from simple (eyelet) to more complex (combinations).
  • Chevrons Knitters, especially sock knitters, love chevrons.  Chevrons create zig-zag type patterning, in this case, with lace work.  Examples of chevron-like stitches are Feather and Fan, Simple Chevron (created with eyelets), Arrowhead, etc.  Lace styled Chevrons can be used in garments, shawls, afghans, socks, etc.
  • Allover Allover lace stitch patterns are just as the name implies, a repeated pattern used to create a fabric,  creating rhythm in a piece.  This section of the book offers the most patterns.  Allover lace stitch patterns presented range from simple (eyelet) to more complex (cabling, twisted stitches, etc) and can be used in all types of knitting.
  • Panels Panels are a very versatile, yet often overlooked stitch pattern.  Panels are mostly used in lace shawl knitting but can also be used as a stand alone centerpiece, or combined with other panels or stitch patterns, to create gorgeous, romantic effects to a garment.  Leaf, eyelet, vine, bobble, cables and twisted stitches are all featured in this section.
  • Combos These are fun patterns, where stitch patterns get together and throw a party!  Cable and lace, twisted stitches and lace, colorwork and lace or a combination of all.  These patterns seem to beg to be knitted!
  • Motifs Motifs are very interesting stitch patterns.  Often worked on DPNs or circular needles, these designs create a distinct shape; circles, hexagons, pentagons, octogons and even rectanlges.  Often times these patterns feature a shape within a shape, such as the Botanica Medallion, a flower shape within a cirlce, one of six motifs featured in this book.  Motfis are often worked into hat, coasters, shawl and pillow designs.  Sometimes you will find motifs worked into garments as well, such as the Pinwheel Sweater.

My opinion:  I love that this book is hard covered with a dust jacket, always a plus.  I also love that each and every stitch pattern is presented in both written and charted instruction.  The color photography is great, you are able to see all the stitches worked, a great reference to compare your work to.  I do wish this were a wider collection of stitch patterns.

Overall:  A quality book of selected lace stitch patterns for sampling, especially for new lace knitters.  Certainly not the last lace stitch dictionary you will buy (if you find you love lace!), but a very good first buy.  The most valuable feature is the translation of many common lace stitch patterns from written to charted instruction.

A three skein rating =  worth looking into.

Product Reviews:

Blackthorn DPNs by My Favorite Thimble

Overall: A very impressive knitting needle!  How so?  Made of the same material used in the Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird”, a  softened titanium, you can bet these needles are durable!  I myself was fooled into believing these needles might actually be made of an organic material.  They look like thin sketching charcoals and feel just as light.  Knitwise, they work much as a bamboo or wooden needle might.  Not at all slick and definitely ‘grabby’.

For knitters such as myself, those who prefer sharp, pointy tip and slick movement, these needles may not be right for you.  I did find that three of my five needles were blunt, while two were quite pointy.  Were there more consistency in the tips, I might get over the ‘grab’ factor.

If you are looking for a bamboo or wood-like set of DPNs but wish for more durability, Blackthorns may be your answer.  Available in sizes 0000 US / 1 mm  – 3.5 US / 3.5 mm at a cost of $24.95-29.95 USD (less shipping).

A three skein rating =  worth looking into.

Ruddawg KIP Knitting Project Bags

KIP Knitting Project Bag, inside out

Overall: You might think you have the perfect knitting project bag but unless you have a Ruddawg KIP Project Bag, think again!

This bag is fantastic.  I really was not in need of another bag (or so I thought!) but once I saw the features of this bag, I knew I had to have one (and perhaps a few more!).

Available in sizes Small (socks) and Medium (sweater pieces, shawls, etc), each lined and padded (bottom) bag features pockets all around the inside, note photo above.  Perfect for needles, scissors, gauge rule, etc.  And the price is right, too!  Small KIP bags are $9.50 USD*, while medium bags are $17.00 USD.  For an additional $3.50 – 5.50 USD, you can add a divider and keep those cakes from tangling!

A five skein rating = Must add to stash!

* In the podcast, I incorrectly priced this sack out as $24.  My apologies for any confusion.

Other Items Discussed:

Knitters are like salads!

After reading that 70% of knitters in North America follow their knitting patterns as written, I am very curious to know if most knitters follow their patterns to a ‘T’, if they use a pattern as a guideline only, or if they completely wing it!

I truly had a hard time accepting this number and with the help of my husband, realized it might be true.  My husband and I both love salads.  However, we differ in the preparation department.  He is perfectly content buying pre-washed, pre-cut, bagged salad.  He rips it open, pours it out and tops with dressing.  I, on the other hand, prefer to buy a head of lettuce, wash out the dirt and bugs, tear it with my hands and finish off by topping with herbs, oil and vinegar.

How does this relate to knitting you ask?  It was this example that made me realize that having a pattern written out in minute detail (and some times not so minute!) is a convenience to many knitters, especially those who do not care for measurements and calculations.  And this realization that those number might well be true.

Still, I don’t always eat what I’m fed, so I thought I would conduct my own numbers poll!