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Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Yes, I always title blog giveaway emails with that. I just can’t help it.

Congratulations to the randomly-chosen winners, Linda R, Karen S, India, Savannagal and Shelly! I have sent you all individual emails confirming your win, so check your spam in case you have not received it.

Keep in mind that in December, I’ll be doing “12 Days of Giveways” with yarn, notions, treats and fun knitting-related items. There will be a trivia question to go along with the post, so be ready to do some searching online for your chance to win!

 

Book Reviews & Giveaways!

I believe in many things, good knitting books and blog giveaways among them.

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I’ve been blown away lately with all the good knitting books coming out. The chill in the air reminds a lot of knitters that it’s time to start pulling yarn from their stash, going to their LYS to peruse and purchase some new fibers, new books and magazines to pour over, nightstands stacked high with knitting-related reading and a WIP in your bag at all times (you never know when you can sneak a few rows in, right?).

Interweave has come out with some great books lately, and I’m happy to be finishing up another book with them and just signed a contract for another. Being a member of the Interweave family is a wonderful family to belong to.

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It’s no secret that Fair Isle and I are BFF. I love knitting Fair Isle, I love drawing the charts, I love designing projects with Fair Isle, I love teaching it… FAIR ISLE FOR ALL! That’s why I was downright tickled pink when I cracked open Mary Jane Mucklestone’s new book, Fair Isle Style. The FI yoke pullover on the cover is to die for, but page through and there’s something for everyone – booties, cowls, gloves, socks, mittens, a super-cute FI cat skirt, a blanket, a bag, a cardigan I have queued up on Ravelry and some hats (20 projects in all). There’s a nice little bit about choosing the appropriate yarns and how to block. The charts are full-color and easy to read. Each knitter seems to excel at one particular technique, and Mary Jane is clearly in her element when it comes to Fair Isle. I’ve been lucky enough to work with her a couple of times and she’s as colorful as her new book. If you like FI, or if you’re even remotely interested in it, get this book!

fis1 fis2 fis3Mary Jane and I are alike in the fact that we never seem to not be working. Perhaps a book full of FI projects is not for you and you want something in more of a “pattern dictionary” vein? Mary Jane also has a 150 Scandinavian Motifs book out now as well! Each motif is knitted up (which makes a big difference… Sometimes it’s hard to envision what a pattern will look like with just a black and white chart), some with multiple color ideas. This book has some great information in the front regarding how to hold your yarn, weaving in ends, transition charts (going from one FI pattern to another) and steeking. If you’re a collector of stitch or pattern dictionaries and love FI, this book is for you!

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Speaking of color, have you seen Stephanie van der Linden’s new Op-Art Socks book? I only knit socks for my mother and when the time rolls around for me to do so, I am very picky about what kind of socks I’ll be knitting. There’s some really interesting patterns in this book (19 in all) for both women and men. Solid, variegated, motif, fair isle, textured… What I like about this book is no two patterns are alike. There’s some unique ideas and I definitely want to explore sock knitting further with this one!

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Melissa Wehrle’s Metropolitan Knits has been out, but it’s definitely worth mentioning as gift season approaches. Touted as “chic designs for urban style” this book lives up to it’s word and I’m a fan of the cardi on the cover. What I like about Melissa’s designs are they are classic. Knit one of her sweaters now and pull it out of your closet 10 years later and it’ll still work. The book is divided into three sections – “Heart of the City, Urban Bohemia” and “City Gardens.” Simple silhouettes and nothing overly complicated about the patterns with a pop of detail (lace on the sleeves, textured bits, cool little touches here and there) make this a really good gift book for you or any of your knitting friends.

metro metro3 metro2So now we come to the fun part, dear readers… All of these books will be given away to 5 lucky readers (there’s an extra book in there, Kristin Omdahl’s Knitting Outside the Swatch) on Wednesday, November 20th. Leave a comment here and let me know which book you want to win and why. Winners will be chosen at random on Wednesday! Good luck!

 

 

Knit Lamby

My son has a tattered, matted, well-loved stuffed animal named Lamby. Lamby comes with us everywhere.

Because of Lamby’s frequent excursions (supermarket! park! preschool! doctor’s office! friend’s houses! the zoo! the museum! restaurants! Metro! library!) Lamby is in a rather, dare I say, crusty state. I understand 100%. I had a Care Bear that got dragged around with me everywhere for years, the bright bubblegum pink slowly fading to dusty rose over time. Deep down I know that Lamby and Care Bear are cousins and Lamby will be part of our family for years to come.

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Due to the frequent washings of Lamby version 1, 2 and 3 (yes, we have 3, all in various states of disrepair) it’s lost the softness and satiny feeling it once had. I got the brilliant idea to knit a version of Lamby that would stay in the house, not lose the softness in the wash, yet be as loved as the others.

Enter in Cascade’s Pluscious, an amazingly soft 100% polyester that’s both machine washable and dryable. While choosing the proper yarn for Knit Lamby, softness was at the top of my list since my son will sleep with it. It also had to be easy to throw in the laundry without worry. Can you imagine an impatient toddler waiting for me to handwash a favorite toy? Insanity! I liked that this yarn didn’t shed like some others with similar texture can, it knit up super fast on size US 9s, and the color is easy to spot among the wasteland of toys that is our living room. In just under 20 colors, you’ll be able to find one that suits the young recipient in a solid or variegated. What else did this frugal mom appreciate? A great price point meant that the 2 skeins you need for this project still equalled 1/3 of what a store-bought Lamby is. Plus, this one is made with love. 🙂

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Safety eyes and a safety nose ensure that no chewing or pulling can make them come off the knitting. The appendages are simple extensions of the knitting, so nothing can fall off.

Welcome to the family, Knit Lamby. Prepare for some serious toddler love.

Download the free Lamby pattern here.