8.29.2013

You Get What You Pay For


The circular knitting needle set above is by Knitter's Pride and is a wonderful set that is very enjoyable to use!  It was also a gift from my mom <3

Many months before receiving this very nice gift I went to a chain hobby store that will remain unnamed and bought a relatively inexpensive circular knitting needle set that was something like their "store brand".  I thought I was getting a great deal on a great set of tools, but I was wrong.

The cables were very inflexible.  In an effort to make up for that, they had these bent joins that made the cables even more difficult to work with.  I actually resorted to using DPNs once instead because they were so unpleasant to work with.  All the knitters I knew insisted that circulars and magic loop were better than DPNs, but because of my inferior tools, I preferred the DPNs.

Not many months after purchasing that set, one of the cables separated from its metal connector.  Now, I did not ever contact said store, or manufacturer, about that.  Maybe they would have replaced the cable, but I doubt it.  And even if they would have, I would not have wanted it.

Thank goodness for moms that understand the joy of good tools!  My mom spent more on this set, than I did on the other, though not tons more.  Thank you Mom!  The cables are supple and easy to work with.  The needles are nice and pointy...I like that.  They are wooden...even better.  She bought them at Gourmet Yarn Co. -- my fav LYS.  If one of them ever breaks or has a problem, I already know exactly who to ask to replace it.  Her name is Margaret and I've met her.  She knows my name and says hello when I walk in the store.

Ahhhh....that's better.  You get what you pay for.

Happy stitching!
April


8.22.2013

I think it's time for a WINNER and a sneak peek!


Here is another sneak peek for my upcoming e-book.  I'm not telling anything else about this project...

But let's announce the winner of the free copy of "The New Tunisian Crochet" by Dora Ohrenstein!

And the winner is....

Eve!

Congrats!  Please send me an email (bananamoonstudio @ gmail . com), or otherwise contact me, with your address and I'll forward it to F+W Media/Interweave.  They will send you your copy of the book.

Happy stitching!
April

8.15.2013

Book Review: The New Tunisian Crochet

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing another book for you.  This time I bring you "The New Tunisian Crochet" by Dora Ohrenstein.

Interweave/F+W Media; $24.95
True to Dora's other writings with which I am familiar, she begins by discussing the history of Tunisian crochet and shows pictures of early projects worked in Tunisian.  She then moves on to explain the very basics.  So, if you've never tried Tunisian crochet at all, than this book will teach you what you need to know.  However, the book assumes a knowledge of traditional crochet, so if you are not familiar with traditional crochet, you'll want to learn that first.

Dora includes a list of websites where Tunisian hooks may be purchased, and then covers various techniques such as double-ended hooks, making circles, entrelac, and colorwork.

The next section is a stitch dictionary.  This part is really exciting to me because my current repertoire of Tunisian stitches is quite small -- simple stitch and knit stitch.  I have not published any designs in Tunisian, but I have made some projects in it, and you can expect to see some in the future.  And now, thanks to Dora, you can expect to see stitch patterns besides simple and knit.

Next come the projects, which, of course, we all love!  My favs are:

the Marisol Cardigan by Andrea Graciarena

Photo by Joe Hancock
and the Lorelei Pullover by Dora Ohrenstein.

Photo by Joe Hancock
I've thought several times now that I'd love to have some openwork tops like this to wear over a tee.  I'd also love a nice cardigan to wear when Mr AC and I go out to eat because I am always FREEZING in restaurants.  The Lorelei Pullover is made in Malabrigo Lace.  I may actually have some of that!  Excuse me please while I go stash diving...

Rats.  Nope, it was my Tosh Merino Light I was thinking of, but, I digress.

The very last part of the book is a symbol key, because, thankfully, there are lots of symbol diagrams in this book.  I love those things!  And there is a glossary with line drawings of the various stitches.  Dora and F+W Media/Interweave were also kind enough to include designer bios for the 8 designers whose work is included.  I always appreciate that, of course.

This really is a wonderful book that I am so glad to have in my library!  I will be using it, you can count on that!  Many thanks to F+W Media/Interweave, because they have agreed to provide a FREE copy of this book to one lucky reader!  Please leave a comment here on the blog, or tweet a link to this blog post @BananaMoonStdio to be entered in the drawing.  I will compile a list of entrants and choose a winner in one week!  Good luck!

April

8.07.2013

FO: Glen Lennox Shawl

Remember my review of the book "Free-Spirit Shawls" by Lisa Shroyer?  Well, I recently finished a project from the book and turned out to be so beautiful and soft!


This is Glen Lennox, designed by Kate Gagnon Osborn.  Most of the shawl is worked in seed stitch with a cabled edge.  I used Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Worsted #100, which is so soft.  I used 3 full hanks and part of a 4th.

I learned something while making this.  This was my first knit cable project ever, so it stands to reason that I would learn something, right?  Well, what I learned has to do with how you wrap your working yarn, but now for the life of me I can't remember which way it was wrapped that made it look better.  When I started, and most of the way through, when I put my 3 held stitches to the back I was taking my working yarn across the front of those stitches, I think.  Then, when I was nearly finished, I switched it, and it made the cable look so much nicer!  Did I rip it all out and start over?  Of course not!  Now, when I do something for publication, I am really meticulous and hard on myself about making the models perfect...which is why I don't design in knit...yet.  However, I was not going to rip this whole thing out and start over.  I just decided to consider it a lesson learned...except that I forgot which way I wrapped it that worked better.  However, next time around, I'll look at it carefully and make sure I get it right the first time.


Can you see the difference between the left and right sides of the picture?  The left side is how I started; the right side is how I finished.

Any experienced knitters out there that want to chime in and say which way it should go for sure so that readers don't leave here confused?

Have you made a knit cable project?  How did it go?  What was it?  What did you learn?

Happy stitching!

April