February 06, 2003

Knittin' blab.

I promise I'm not procrastinating on seaming my son's tweedy jacket. Me? Procrastinate? Never. We all know that I just rushed to sew that jacket up, because seaming is like number one on my list of Top Ten Favorite Knitting Things of All Time. Right up there with ripping out entire garments knit in mohair.

Meanwhile, I've been working on a surprise scarf for a friend that should be done this evening. I've also swatched some of the pink yarn I had in my stash and boy, oh boy does "pimp coat" come to mind when looking at it. Still, it's neat in a fluffy, valentine pink way. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

In other news, my dear sister - bless her heart - got another of her stories published, and had the publisher send to me her earnings in a gift certificate from Amazon.com. Part of it will be used for one knitting book off my wishlist because, well, I just can't seem to get enough of the knitting lit. I'm considering i) Simple Knits for Cherished Babies by Erika Knight, ii) Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmerman, iii) A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker, or iv) Dogs in Knits by Judith Swartz (I've been dying to knit another sweater for my lawyer pal's pug dog and this book seems to have a lot of neat designs). Any feedback on these books is welcome.

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19 comments to this entry:

Becky, that sheep pattern is CUTE...it is just too wonderful that his/her little fleece comes off. Books...a vote for the Barbara Walker. Her First Treasury is THE book of stitch patterns IMHO. If you are designing, you need this. I've got the Second Treasury too, but I don't use it as much as the First.
I just knew you'd like that sheep pattern, Claudia. If you'd like to try out it out, let me know if you'd like me to help out with the French knitting terms.
my mom is mad b/c that dog knitting book has really neat patterns, but their large dog is like only 45 pounds or something. hello my parents have a at-least 70 pound lab, and that's the "small" one. but if he's a pug, it should be OK. i don't know what that zimmerman book is like but i recently got her knitter's almanac. it's lots of fun to read b/c it's more like reading someone's diary than a knitting book but i know i would wind up using the "pithy" directions rather than free-flowing my way through the knitting!
Carolyn, I don't own any Elizabeth Zimmerman books, but she seems to be so highly recommended that I feel the need to get one. Do you think that it would be good if I started with that one?
Wow - Knitting Around is a wonderful book - it's her story of her life in Europe and the U.S.A., interspersed with great knitting patterns, articles, tips, observations. I've made lots of her things. She really is wonderful. But I would agree about the Barbara Walker book - I have all four of her stitch books, and I love wallowing in them when I'm trying to think of something to design with a plain DK yarn.
B. Walker or E. Zimmerman get my votes - also Knitting Without Tears by Zimmerman.
Patricia, you have all four of Barbara Walker's books? You lucky. Can I come over to your house to play?
I've got Simple Knits for Cherished Babies, & although I do like it (the pink stripey baby sweater I made is based on one of her patterns, as is the tiny wrap top), the largest size she gives is 6-9 months. the patterns are all v simple, so resizing would be no big deal, but still, it's pretty limiting. as far as the patterns themselves go, the simplicity of them is really charming, & they're done in beautiful yarns (she's one of those "cotton/wool/cashmere/silk for babies!" people), but they're not especially unique. I'm sort of thinking of it as one of those good "starting point" books -- & so I think I'd agree with everyone who's recommending Walker instead. if you go with Zimmerman, I hope you'll report back on whether you like her -- there seems to be an interesting difference of opinion about whether her technical super-genius overcomes her design weaknesses. (as an aside, my favorite new baby/toddler knits book is The Baby Knits Book, by Debbie Bliss, & I am eagerly awaiting the Rowan Baby book by Kim Hargreaves that's coming out this summer.)
Hi, you don't know me but I like to knit and I work in a library. We have the Cherished babies and the Dogs in Knit book, they are both nice books. Although I didn't like the patterns for dogs that much. I think my problem is I have a sweater in mind for my pug, stockinet stitch with a rolled edge at the collar and arms. So what I am saying is go with the Erika Knight book, all of her books are so lovely.
I think I'm leaning towards Barbara Walker and Elizabeth Zimmerman, but now the question is which of Elizabeth Zimmerman's? Knitting Around or the Knitter's Almanac? (Daria, Kim Hargreaves has got to be among my favorite designers, ever. Thanks for that tip on her new book.) Romona, the first sweater I knit for my friend's pug was knit in stockinette stitch with a rolled ribbed neck and ribbed sleeves! I got it from a Phildar book because the dog modeling it looked like a pug. If you're interested in the pattern, write me.
I vote for Knitting Around - I don't know how to say this, because I think Elizabeth is wonderful, but I agree re: "design weaknesses", and this is especially true about the Almanac (although there are a few cute baby things that I have made). Knitting Around freed my mind more, LOL. However, everything she does, in any book, makes you think about possibilities for lots of other things. Yes, you can come play at my house! I have to say I collected all four books over ten years - Elizabeth Zimmermann's daughter Meg Swansen now publishes the stitch directories - www.schoolhousepress.com. Meg is a knitting genius....NO "design weaknesses", IMO.
looks like the consensus is for knitting around. but FYI i think most people not familiar with zimmerman at all start with "knitting without tears." however for a knitter extraordinaire like yourself i think that would probably be too easy. but i think it is where she first set out her knitting in the round, only seaming when absolutely necessary process. knitting almanac the one i have has some very strange patterns. like adult leggings but they're not like leggings they're sort of looser like knitted sweatpants or something? and a very weird sock pattern. but the aran for january looks cool and there's an interesting shawl pattern in there i think a lot of people have made.
The baby book is beautful and gives some good ideas for making special presents--heirloom type goodies for babies, but because it *is* so simple (title doesn't lie) I think you and your superior abilities would probably be pretty bored. That just sounds like a good book for someone, oh, I don't know who, to send you as a present sometime.
Knitter extraordinaire? Superior abilities? Oh, please say that you're talking about me even if I don't deserve it. That way, I'll forget that I once IRONED hand embroidery on a WHITE baby sweater for no reason other than I misplaced my brain. (Thanks for making me smile!)
of course we are talking about you... :) hee hee.... hopefully you are having a knitting-successful weekend!
I think the Erika Knight book is quite commonplace. I had it and returned it to the store, because I didn't find it worth the price. Most of the "specialness" of its knits comes from using extreme luxury yarns for very simple styles. Also, Dogs in Knits is OK, but Patons publishes two little booklets of dog sweater patterns, A Dog's Life and A Dog's Life 2, that only cost $5 each and give between them, I think, a good approximation. I only have the first one, and I don't think I'll ever need more doggie patterns, personally. So my vote would be for the Barbara Walker.
Patons? I sure wish I had a Patons over here so I'd know what you were talking about, Miranda :-)
Hi Becky, If you decide to translate that sheep's pattern into english (my French is really rusty and the web page doesn't translate properly on my browser so I get lots of question marks in the middle of words) please let me know! Oh, and I got the Phildar book--I printed out two of the translations, but am forcing myself to finish some in-progress projects first. Thanks again, Becky.
when i saw this post, i, as a short story fan and knitter, want to know: where did your sister's story get accepted? rather nice of her to send you her wages too! :) if you do decide to do an english translation of the mouton avec and sans laines, i would like to see it. i can read simpson's comic books in french, more or less, but can't do a knitting pattern! :)

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