Showing posts with label knitting books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knitting books. Show all posts

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Knitter's Guide to Hand Dyed and Variegated Yarn

Last weekend I attended an author event at my local yarn shop. Lorna Miser, founder of Lorna's Laces, gave a talk about her book, The Knitter's Guide to Hand Dyed and Variegated Yarn .

Lorna Miser

The book is filled with techniques and projects for multicolored yarn, including many new stitches I have never run across before. I probably wouldn't have paid much attention to this book if I hadn't attended the talk because I didn't realize how much there is to know on the subject of working with variegated yarn. It was fascinating to hear about the different methods for making certain colors pop, preventing pooling, and selecting the best lace patterns for specific types of colorways.

Lorna talked about each chapter in the book and showed us the gorgeous knit samples used in the photographs. (I wanted to tuck more than one item in my purse and quietly walk out the door with it.) She gave us tips on patterns, stitches, and techniques that make the best use of variegated colors. I was completely inspired and couldn't wait to get home and start knitting.

Here are some of the highlights from Lorna's talk:

-She founded Lorna's Laces and raised it like a child until it grew to the point that it needed more than she could give. She sold it in 2003 and went to Scotland to recover from exhaustion.

-She now designs knitting patterns for many companies, such as Fiesta, Red Heart, Lorna's Laces, and more, and says you can support yourself doing that.

-On a skein of variegated yarn, the longer the section of color, the more opportunity for pooling. She recommends untwisting a skein before you buy it to look at the dominate color and check out the length of the sections of color.

-Adding bobbles to an item (like the cute mittens in her book) can help prevent color pooling.

-When knitting Fair Isle, to prevent puckering, first drink a glass of wine.

-Seed stitch can add weight to lighter yarns.

I'm currently knitting this neck cozy from Lorna's book using a stitch called Webbed Float Stitch with alternating strands of variegated and solid colored yarn. Next I want to knit a pair of lacy silk fingerless gloves.

Next month is Stitches West! I'm attending a class on designing with lace and can't wait.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The joy of knitting books

This morning I started to write a post about my favorite knitting books. I was going to begin by telling you that the books I've bought over the last five years were a good investment, but I don't plan to buy any more for a while because they tend to be pricey and there are plenty of free patterns available on the Internet.

But something funny happened. As I was writing, I realized how much I love my knitting books. I return to them again and again for inspiration, to revisit favorite patterns, refresh my memory on how to do certain techniques, and sometimes just to look at the pretty pictures. They are particularly useful late at night when I'm too tired to read a novel but not tired enough to fall sleep.

It was difficult trying to pick my favorites because almost all of them have something special to offer. They're like comfortable old friends. The worn out Leisure Arts books I bought when I first learned to knit have a special place in my heart. The Louisa Harding books are simply gorgeous, and the Knitting for Baby book has some of the cutest babies I've ever seen (the patterns are quite nice, too).

The more I thought about it, the more I recognized the value of knitting books and began to rethink my decision not to buy them.

So this evening I treated myself to a a book that caught my eye last month at my local yarn shop. More Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.

It has some of the cutest patterns I've seen in a long time, like this knit house and fingerless gloves. There are many more patterns I'd like to knit, but even if all I ever do is look at the pictures again and again, it was totally worth the price.

I've only owned this book for a couple of hours and I already love it.

Do you have a favorite knitting or craft book?