Recently in Books and Patterns Category

I'm Back!

I landed back in San Francisco late last night. Man, I don't know what time it is or what day or anything. I've slowly been going through my bags, putting stuff away. I managed to pick up some crafty things on my travels, and thought I would share them with you all.

In Amsterdam, I went to this neat quilt shop called Den Haan & Wagenmakers. If you are ever in Amsterdam, I highly recommend you go! They are not far from Dam Square. The shop is chock full of their lovely fabrics, with lots of kits and examples of how you might put them together. There is also a cute little quilt shop right next door, which was more of traditional quilt shop, more like what you'd find in the states.

Fabric for the Quilt

I picked up a kit, which included the fabric above. It makes a small wall hanging quilt of different squares. Should be quite nice when finished.

Dutch Tile Fabric

I also picked up this tile fabric and a set of fat quarters. They showed an example of the tiles cut with the fat quarters fabric as a border. I originally got this as a gift for my mother, by I love the fabric so much I may have to keep it for myself.

We past a cute little crafty shop while in Skagen, and I was sure to go back before we left in the morning. The shop was a strange mixture of yarns, fabric, cross-stitch kits and clothing. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for how things were organized in the shop.

Christmas Table Cloth Kit

I did find this Christmas tablecloth kit though, and decided that it was worth it. It seems to be a more traditional design. The woman at the shop commented that it was "a big project" but we both agreed that it will be lovely when complete. I may or may not stitch the words in Danish... might change it to English. We'll see.

In Copenhagen, I went to a number of knitting stores. One of the stores, Sommerfuglen, had yarn, cross-stitch and embroidery, as well as fabric for quilting. I almost got a pattern for a lovely cardigan, but I was afraid that the directions would be too hard given that they were only in Danish. They also had some lovely cross-stitched maps of Denmark that I was really tempted by as well.

Blomster, Blade Og Baer I Korssting

In the end, I decided to get this book of cross-stitch wreaths and flowers. It's easy to follow the patterns, since it doesn't matter that they are in Danish.

I also picked up some yarn while I was at Uldstedet. This was a cute little shop with a fairly good selection, though not as large as Sommerfuglen. I went back and forth and back and forth over which yarn to get. They had a wide range of colors and it was so hard to decide.

Tvinni Alpaca

In the end I settled on this denim blue fingerling-weight yarn. It's Alpaca, so it's very soft. I don't have a pattern to use it in yet. I'm sure three skeins will be either way too much or not enough.

Knitted Dragon-Skin

In the Knitting Daily newsletter I received yesterday, there was a lovely picture of this:

It's the Dragon-Skin Wrap by Angela Hahn (shown here in bamboo-merino). I eagerly clicked through the link, ignoring the fact that the whole newsletter is devoted to what to make for baby. But sadly the pattern only appears to be in baby/child sizes.

I wonder how hard it would be to covert it to grown-up size? Probably not too difficult, but not something I should undertake with all the other projects that are in the queue.

But it's so pretty!

The Knitter's Handbook


I only have one book that I keep next to my knitting basket for constant reference. That books is the Knitter's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting by Montse Stanley.

Stanley packs this book full of illustrations, photographs, and step-by-step directions. I picked this book up when I first started knitting, and I'll admit, I found the drawings of yarn and needles a bit hard to follow. Now that I've been knitting for awhile they make perfect sense.

Stanley has whole chapters just on casting on, binding off, seaming, cables, pockets and more. I find myself reaching for her book whenever I come across a pattern that calls for something other than knit or purl. I highly recommend it to add to your library of resources.

Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter!

Beatrix Potter is one of my all-time most favorite artists, authors, farmers, environmentalist, animal-lover and all around kick-ass ladies. Her life was really amazing, especially when you think about the time in which she lived. She was from a well-to-do English family. She didn't get married until much later in life. She earned her own living by writing her "little books." And she helped preserve the Lake District in England with all the farms she bought and helped to form the National Trust.

Growing up, I had many of Beatrix Potter's books. I enjoyed them greatly. As I got older, I learned more about the woman behind the books. On a trip to England a few years ago, I was able to visit her house, Hill Top, in Near Sawrey in the Lake District. I was able to see first hand some of her beautiful paintings of flowers and animals. She had such a wonderful eye and was able to capture the beauty of nature. Some day I'm going to make a quilt that resembles the one at Hill Top.

I have a number of crafty projects in the making that use Beatrix's illustrations and drawings. Today I will leave you with two wonderful books. Sadly, both are out of print now. But a quick look on Amazon.com shows that they are still available from a number of used book dealers. The authors do a wonderful job of translating Beatrix's work into yarn and needlework. I have a number of projects in the queue from these books.

Knitscene Magazine

My copy of Knitscene Magazine arrived this Saturday and I am just thrilled. There were a number of patterns in it that made the decision to get it easy.

The first is the Opulent Raglan sweater by Wendy Bernard. I love the shape of the neckline and the little touches such as the slightly ruffled sleeves.

Next there is the Ahlstrom Bodice by Lou Schiela. Again it was the shape of the neckline and the lovely shaping at the sides.

Lastly the cute and adorable Kimono Socks by Star Athena just made me giggle. I seem to be much better at collecting sock patterns than actually making socks (seeing how I've yet to even cast on my first pair). But these are just so fun.

Of course, I have no idea when I will actually get around to making any of these. And I don't want to think of the cost of buying that much yarn. But it sure is fun to think about and pine for them.

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  • One woman's adventure with yarn, fabric and needles.

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