These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Today I’ll be sharing some of my favorite knitting things. Some are old favorites, some are new favorites.  These are things that help me in my knitting, enlighten me, turn me on to new techniques, and just plain make me smile. Share some of your favorites with me in the comments!

Go-To Reference Books:

knitspeakKnitspeak by Andrea Berman Price. My sister gave this to me for Christmas several years ago and it’s rarely out of my sight. This little pink book is packed with information on knitting techniques. Unlike many other instructional books, this one is small and compact and fits easily into a bag with your project, while the hard cover insures your book won’t get mangled, bent or torn while carrying it around. It may be small in size but it doesn’t skimp on information in the alphabetically listed techniques. I refer to this book all the time because I can never remember the difference between a Make 1 left increase and a Make 1 Right Increase. I have a 3 Needle Bind Off coming up soon and I’m counting on Knitspeak to walk me through it. Indispensable!

annbuddThe Handy Book Of Patterns by Ann Budd. Beginners learn from Ann Budd as she teaches the basics of garment construction. Experienced knitters can also benefit from the basic patterns as a jumping-off point for improvising and designing to the next level.  This book covers gloves, mittens, hats and sweaters. Each pattern gives you information, gauge and measurements for several yarn weights and needle sizes, allowing the knitter to choose the type of yarn they prefer or to work with what they already have on hand. This book taught me how to knit mittens and gloves and I haven’t looked back since. Educational!

Tools:

knitpicksKnit Picks’ Caspian Needles  I  knit socks. A lot of socks. if you’re not a sock knitter, you should try it. Just once. Trust me, once you put on a pair of handknit socks you’ll never go back to store bought. I’ve been known to use Addi’s size Us#1 DPNs for sock knitting but overall I prefer wood needles. I’ve long been a very vocal fan of Knit Picks’s yarn and tools, and lately, it’s like they’ve been reading my mind. Last month they released Caspian, a new line of needles in beautiful deep blue and green mixed colors. They had me at blue.  I purchased the set of 6″ DPNs that come in the usual sock-knitting sizes, from 0 to 3. There are 2 sets of US #1s–one is 2.25 mm and one is 2.50 mm–and two sets of US #2 (2.75mm and 3.0 mm). Now I know to check my sock patterns for the Metric measurement behind the American measurement! I’ve knit a few rows of leftover yarn with these just to feel them in my hand. Serious sock knitting will resume after I complete some of the things I’m working on now.  it will. I’ve already bought more sock yarn. Useful!

I got a little bizzay once the Christmas tree went up:sock2

sock1

The Internet:

New-to-me blogs and podcasts:

1. Yarning Over The Days Constance does a lot of knitting…a lot of knitting I’m extremely jealous of. Plus, she has a killer fashion sense. She’s currently knitting bunnies to donate to children. If you want to be dazzled, look no further than her work on Andi Satterlund’s Hortencia sweater. Inspirational!

2. Prairie Girls Knit And Spin Dani and Susie, the self-styled prairie girls, live in Nebraska and co-host a podcast on knitting, spinning, In between they talk about life, husbands, fiber festivals and all sorts of yarny topics. Listening to this podcast is a joy because of the rapport the two ladies share. Feeling guilty about buying more yarn? They’ve been there, done that. Knitting project bumming you out? They can relate. We all can, and that’s part of the fun. They also have a group on Ravelry. Hysterical!

Old Favorites:

1. Prick Your Finger I’ve been following Rachael Matthews’s zany and unique blog for a few years now, and she never disappoints. Prick Your Finger is the name of her London yarn shop and textile collaborative that specializes in British wool, teaching and empowering people, and community efforts. Start reading and you’ll soon realize what a free spirit she is, and her blog is full of joie de vivre! I wish I could visit her shop. If I’m ever able to take another trip to London, Prick Your Finger is going to be my first stop. Whimsical!

…when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things

yarn

and then I don’t feel so bad.

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