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Knit Wear Love: Foolproof Instructions for…
Knit Wear Love: Foolproof Instructions for Knitting Your Best-Fitting…
by Amy Herzog

I really loved the idea of Amy Herzog's Knit to Flatter book, which is about finding and adjusting patterns to suit you. It's a great book (from what I can tell without actually following any of the patterns since I just had it from the library for 3 weeks), but I found that the patterns didn't inspire me, so it hasn't gone on the list of things I want for my personal knitting reference library.

Knit Wear Love has solved this problem for me: rather than focusing on body type, the designs are more heavily focused on aesthetic: classic, sporty, bohemian, etc. She's got some really cute details, and it's showcased by lovely photography. Plus, of course, huge numbers of charts, advice about fit, etc. It's pretty much everything I wanted in a sweater book. I borrowed a copy from the library to check it out, but this one is going on my personal library wishlist for when I'm interested in tackling a sweater for myself.
terriko: Adorable icon care of John (bubble bobble)
And, to offset the griping in my private posts today, here's a pretty picture of something I'm working on:

Knitting big and small

I took this photo for the Active Assignment Weekly flickr group, which gives a weekly photo challenge. I haven't been participating much for a variety of reasons, but this week's challenge was "big and small" and the knitting was right there.

I have to say, though I love the final look of knitted cables, they are the most hand cramping awfulness at that size and my level of experience. The metal needles are new, purchased because I have horribly bent the wooden ones in that size that I was using. Glad I started on the wood, or I'd have given up in despair over dropped stitches on slippery needles, but I'm also glad I switched because it's so much easier now that I've got the hang of it. And I'm glad I didn't give up, 'cause gloves are a nice size to carry around and now that the first one's close to done I'm so darned pleased with myself for managing it! I have clearly leveled up in knitting between this and the chunky lace scarf I've been working on.

Next up: finishing my long-neglected pony for Katie (she has hair now, but I'm rubbish at embroidering cutie marks on crochet...) more crocheted angry birds for people to play with at the Albuquerque mini maker faire, and finishing my set of mane 6 teensy tiny felted crochet ponies. Plus a Top Secret present project that must be done before the end of September.

I am also trying very hard not to get drawn into making an arcade sona dress. I've been playing some more LoL specifically because she was free in the pax swag bag and not only do I like playing support (something I didn't have a char for in LoL) but I also enjoy the cute little video game touches they put on that skin. The DDR attack forces people to dance!

Unfortunately, I'm not interested in spending a day wearing nothing but a bra on top, so it's not likely cosplay for me. But I am obsessed with her skirt right now with the pixels and the rainbows. I have a problem, I know.

Edit: because the Arcade Sona costume idea is in my brain now -- wouldn't it be cool to build her console and have the buttons make the light effects, including the DDR attack? I could totally find a little set of projector lights that would let me do that... Darnit, I'm not talking myself out of this anytime soon, am I?
terriko: (Default)
Ken sent me a text message this weekend that said something like, "Thanks again for the scarf. I've found it meets a niche in my life not unlike the towel in the hitchhiker's guide."

I think this may be the greatest endorsement ever. :)
terriko: Yup, I took this one. The eyes are paper, not photoshop (chair)
I don't normally review craft books, but since I've started getting them from the library and need some way to keep track of the ones I've seen and might want to get out again for projects, I figured book reviews was a good solution.

Knit Your Own Royal Wedding
by Fiona Goble

Instructions for very cute and slightly kitschy William & Kate royal wedding dolls. Lots of pictures and details in the clothing, so it's fun even if you haven't got time to knit and just want to look at the little doll dioramas. I think my favourite are the little corgis.

Last-Minute Knitted Gifts
by Joelle Hoverson, Anna Williams

As a newbie knitter, I definitely appreciate patterns for things that are small and have estimated times attached. Unfortunately, the books are starting to all blur together since most contain variations on the same hats, socks, scarves, small bags, etc. The thing that makes this particular volume stand out is actually the photography and the careful use of colour (there's even a whole section about it!)

Positively Crochet!: 50 Fashionable Projects and Inspirational Tips
by Mary Jane Hall

I loved many of the patterns, many of which are nicely modern (surprisingly hard to find in a crochet book!) though I found the "positive" sidebars totally insipid. If, like me, you find that's not your thing, at least it's easy enough to ignore. I liked the mix of small and large projects, and the couple of patterns I've tried from this book have been clear and well-written. Looking forwards to trying a few more in the future!

Simply Crochet: 22 Stylish Designs for Everyday
by Robyn Chachula

A beautifully photographed collection of nicely modern crochet designs. I haven't tried any of the patterns yet, but it looks like the instructions are very clear, and many projects are photographed from a variety of angles so that you can see the detail of the pattern and the places where joining might be tricky by instruction alone. I'm pretty sure I'm going to want to buy my own copy rather than constantly renewing the library one before I start any patterns, which is the reason I haven't done any yet.
terriko: (Pi)

The scarf is finished and gifted! As I said in the first post, I wanted to make the scarf for Ken because he's the one who's really carried me through the new seasons of Doctor Who with his enthusiasm, even when my faith in the writers often flagged.

I hope Ken enjoys it. I'm sad I didn't manage a better photo of him -- he's usually quite photogenic when I don't mess up the focus on my camera! It's soft and warm, so at least it'll do its job as a scarf. He agreed with my choice to prioritize softness over perfect colour matching, of course. Turns out Ken hasn't watched much of the old Doctor Who, though, so now he feels like maybe he should.

Quite a few other people have recognized and liked it, at least, including my mother. Tom Baker is the doctor that I remember watching sometimes as a kid 'cause he was the one my parents liked, so no surprise that she thought this was fun (if a little crazy). And of course John wants one too, but I think he should learn to knit one himself! He's good at this sort of thing and I like the idea of him messing with people's heads when they ask, "Oh, did Terri make that for you?" and he can say, "No, I did it myself!"

The best story I heard was from my friend Andrew, whose sister-in-law asked if she could knit him anything for Christmas and he said "a doctor who scarf" and she said ok without knowing what that was. When she found out, she had to retract the offer and told him he was getting gloves or something else manageable!

I say the scarf is finished because I've given it away, but if you look at the picture you can tell I only got this far in the scarf pattern:

Just over 70%, or I think around 8 feet long? I forgot to measure it. Obviously long enough for usual scarfy purposes. It's also slightly less wide than the pattern calls for because I thought it was hilarious if it was 42 stitches wide. If I were doing one for myself I think I might make it even less wide, although I *did* appreciate being able to use it as a blanket while I was knitting on the plane. ;)

I keep saying it took me around 3 weeks, but looking through my journal it turns out I started on Mar 22, so it's actually been closer to 2 weeks. 2 weeks + 2 days in fact. This was helped by the fact that I can knit at work during seminars, colloquia and other meetings (an extra 5-8 hours of knitting at work per week), but I also spent a lot more time than usual listening to audiobooks, the radio, podcasts, and even watching TV. It was fun -- often I get so bored/fidgety when i try to watch TV that I'll wind up doing things like getting up and cleaning just to avoid staying still (which is why I usually prefer audio-only media and am so hooked on the radio) but the knitting kept me busy enough that I could actually enjoy TV on my own while John was off at collab summit. I'm pretty impressed with myself regardless.

I'm most definitely not taking orders for any more dr who scarves anytime soon, but I might consider doing it again sometime just so I can say that I made a complete one. Right now, I'm trying to lay off the knitting for a bit I work on wrangling mentors and student applications for Google Summer of Code, but I'm finding that I've gotten so used to having my hands busy all the time that I'm craving a new project. Perhaps a smaller one this time, though!


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