Albers Cowl & The Knit Picks Book Sale

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABehold, I’ve finished the third and final log cabin square that makes up the Albers Cowl.  Now all I have to do is weave in like a gazillion ends and then sew the three squares together. This will not be a swift or fun process. At this point it will be several months before it’s cold enough to start wearing cowls again so I’m not going to sweat it. But I’m not going to let it sit unfinished for months, either. I’ll work on it little by little along with a newer and more urgent project: a set of dishtowels for my brother for his birthday. Because I never know what to get him (i.e. he’s kind of a pill), and everyone uses dishtowels, right? I have until July 4th to finish a set of four towels. So I’ll work on a warm-weather project and a cool-weather project at the same time for the next month or two. No biggie.

One of the things I look forward to each year is Knit Picks’s annual 40% off book sale. This year I got a couple of great bargains on books I’ve had in my wish list for a while.


The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt

This book is HUGE! I’ve been looking around for ages for the compendium of knitting knowledge and I’ve been thwarted at every turn. Richard Rutt’s History of Hand Knitting? Forget it. Vogues’s Ultimate Knitting? It’s hard to find a good vintage copy. Principles might just be what I’m looking for. First released in the 1980s, this reissued edition is bigger and better than ever; completely updated for today’s hand knitter. From gauge to measurements, math for designing garments, to finishing techniques, this book promises to be a treasure trove of important information and practical guidance. I’ve only flipped through the book so far, but, despite it’s hefty size, I’m looking forward to reading this from cover to cover. Coz I can be a total knitting geek like that.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKnitting With Two Colors: Techniques For Stranded Knitting and Designing Color-Patterned Garments by Meg Swansen and Amy Detjen

I’ll admit it: I judged this book by its cover. I am so in love with this beautiful Norwegian colorwork. And there’s that blue again.  I’ve long been an admirer of Meg Swanson and her Schoolhouse Press website, and so I decided that this would be a great addition to my knitting library and repertoire. After all, I love two-color stranded knitting.

As stated exactly in the title, the book’s focus is on the techniques for two-color knitting and on how to design garments. That’s great. I assumed, reasonably, I thought, that this book would include the chart pictured on the cover along with other colorwork charts. It does not. The focus is strictly on the processes described above. Except for a couple of tiny charts printed as examples, the book refers the reader to several Schoolhouse Press patterns available for purchase separately in order to knit the projects shown in the book. The blurb for the book states: “This book is a two-color knitting workshop for beginner to advanced knitters and a companion to the multitude of color patterns and color charts available in our knitting world.” I guess if I had read it more carefully I would have picked up on the phrase “companion to the…patterns and color charts available.” The misunderstanding could be on my end alone; I tend to hit the Buy button with an itchy trigger finger at times, especially when there’s an almost half-off discount to be had. But to me the wording seems a little vague, so I didn’t originally pick up on it. I think it could have been made a little clearer that there were no actual charts to knit from.

I liked the chart on the front cover so much I bought 6 colors of Knit Picks Wool Of The Andes because I wanted to use the chart to make a long cowl, perhaps with a picot edge. Sort of dipping my toes into the designing pool–the book’s purpose–but coming up with a simple shape and then using a chart borrowed from someone else. I’m disappointed that the chart is not part of the book. I might buy it from Schoolhouse Press, but I will probably just use a chart from one of the colorwork books I already own.





Who says you can’t buy candy for a quarter anymore?


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