Friday, May 21, 2010

{Some Book Reviews}

I got FOUR new knitting books for my birthday!  I am so excited!!  It's even more fun when I get to share my opinions of these books with my blog friends, right?

 Hand Knit Holidays by Melanie Falick

It was my family that bought me this one off of my Amazon Wish list.  I put it on that list as soon as I saw the patterns online. They are AMAZING! It's a hard cover book and there a lot of patterns in this one, more than normal it seems.  They cover all the different holidays, not just Christmas, and there's a huge variety of patterns, from decor, to sweaters, to socks, mittens and hats.  There are hardly any patterns in this book that I flat out wouldn't knit, and unfortunately the cover is one of those.   I would have put any other pattern on the cover. lol There are so many patterns that I just love love love.

                                  Hannah's tablecloth   Over-the-knee socks      Aran tree skirt

These are just three patterns that I really really want to knit.  The Tablecloth is just gorgeous and uses store bought linen napkins and then pieces them together with lace knitting - breathtaking.   The Over-the-knee socks are pretty!! I imagine it would take me a year to knit them, but I could make them a size to actually fit!  And the Aran tree skirt is definitely getting made for our tree this year, and I think I even have the yarn for it! Ours had a mishap last year (of the kitten variety) so it got trashed.  I'm thinking green for the body with red trim for a more traditional feel.

I give full review points for this book.  Can't wait to start knitting out of this one!

Socks From The Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson

Every since I trashed my first sock on 5 double pointed needles and went searching for the two circulars method, I've been in love with it.  I adore knitting socks from the toe up so this book jut seemed like it would be a good fit, so I was thrilled to get it as part of my Knit Picks gift from my Mister!   I was blown away once I started reading! They list three different heel methods with just plain vanilla socks as lessons and then go on to write patterns for each method.  They seem to be split almost half and half between lace socks and patterned socks, not much colour work or cabling in this one.  This book has so much information in it! It's now an invaluable addition to my book collection.  Here's a couple of my favorites:

                                      Dead Simple Lace Socks          Diamond Gansy Socks

Most of the patterns are on fingering weight, but there's a handful at the end on sport weight, too.  I think I'm going to pick one to cast on this evening because the cotton cardigan I'm knitting right now is a little tough on the old digits. hehe  These will be so much fun!!  I have a feeling everyone might be getting socks for Christmas this year. lol  Definitely full marks on this one too!

Knitting the Perfect Pair by Dorothy T. Ratigan

Another soft cover book from my Amazon wish list.  My family really loves me! hehe  I put this one on a while ago because it looked like they had a wide variety of socks, and do they over!  The only problem with this one is I'll have to read the pattern backwards to go from the toe up.   With this book you get colour work, lace, lots of cabling, heavy weight and light weight, the whole gambit of what socks can be!  Even toe socks! Two I'm looking at are:

                                        Textured Stripe Socks                      Fishnet Stockings

The stripey ones just seem a great way to use up ends, don't they? Or maybe all those odd skeins of Palette I have around.  I love the textures and I even get to practice some fair isle!  The fishnets are just pretty and fun and I'm certainly going to be making a pair of those, too.  This book is up there on the scale, just not as high as the other two.  There are some kinda zany patterns that are fun looking, but maybe too much for me to invest time in, ya know?  There are only a few of those, though. 

Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Isn't this one just a standard for every knitting library?  I haven't read all the way through it yet, but I really enjoy the conversational style of Ms. Zimmermann's writing.  It's like having an aunt over your shoulder explaining why we knit like we do, passing along the information from generation to generation.  There aren't any huge fancy pictures and it's mostly formatted like a reading book, not an instructional guide.  Old fashioned, but tried and true!  I got mine used from my family, which I love too!

Thanks folks! I hope these were helpful to you guys and if you have any other questions shoot them along! I have so many blog posts ready to go in my head, but I'm trying to pace myself. lol   Oh, and Popeye is doing great now! Thanks for everyone's caring comments!  He's eating and playing like his old self. :)


  1. I just read this post going "oooo! Ahhh!" all the way through. I love EZ's Almanac...tho I have yet to complete a project from it. I love her writing style, too.

  2. Oooo, great books!! Love that Christmas Tree skirt!

  3. I think I may have to make an amazon wishlist for my birthday and email it to all my family members :) thanks for the good book ideas!

  4. I'm getting caught up on my reading this afternoon! My DH gave me the Wendy Johnson book for my birthday, too. I haven't had a chance to dive in yet, but it looks like fun. Yay for toe-up socks!!