what’s on the bookshelf? books with knitting & crochet

My mini-series of posts about crafting books is coming to a close.  My knitting books and my crocheting books are great, but I have a couple  left to share that actually have both in them (& more).

Hannah's Crafty Books


First up is a book called Freeform Style, and just by the name you can probably tell it’s very whimsical.

Freeform Style


I have not made anything from it yet, but some of the ideas and techniques are cool and can be applied to other items.  Who else kinda thinks the hat looks like octopus tentacles?  I really like the wrap she’s wearing, though, so that might be a nice pattern to make!  Here’s another example:

Freeform Style example

I do like the idea of using both knitting and crochet in the same piece.

This next one though, while it has knitting, crochet, and embroidery patterns, doesn’t really mix them together like that.  This is more of a traditional book that, while older, is a great resource.  It’s the Better Homes and Gardens Complete Book of Knitting Crochet & Embroidery.  My ex’s mom gave this to me and I’m really glad I still have it:

Knitting Crochet & Embroidery


It has samples of various techniques for all of these specific crafts, and it even has specific methods such as aran knitting:

Knitting Crochet & Embroidery example

Another specific method it demonstrates is filet crochet:

Knitting Crochet & Embroidery example


And then of course it has full patterns, too.  I really want to make this hat (I tried back when I first got it but was still too new to crochet to understand the slightly older way of writing patterns):

Knitting Crochet & Embroidery example


Well, that concludes my bookshelf tour (well, my knitting and crochet book section, at least)!  Hope you enjoyed it.  Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

what’s on the bookshelf? knitting edition

The other day we covered the crochet books I own, now it’s time for the knitting ones (the list is shorter…maybe)!

Hannah's Crafty Books


This Jane Austin Knits magazine is great — my parents got it for me when we had Christmas in England a few years ago.


Jane Austen Knits


Here are some of the designs found inside:

Jane Austen Knits examples


Jane Austen Knits examples

I really want to do some of those wraps/shawls in particular!

Next up is Knitting in the Old Way, which I got in an attempt to learn how to magically come up with perfect patterns without having to think too much.  So far I haven’t had success.

Knitting in the Old Way


Knitting in the Old Way example


Next up are a couple of books by the fantastic Arne & Carlos, 55 Christmas Balls to Knit and Easter Knits:

55 Christmas Balls to Knit


55 Christmas Balls to Knit examples

I love the idea of either the Christmas balls or the Easter eggs as gifts, don’t you?

Easter Knits


Easter Knits examples


My friend bought the next single pattern for me along with some yarn so I could make her one.  It wasn’t too long ago!  It was a difficult knit for me at that time but I was proud of the result:



Next up is Sock Knitting Master Class from which I learned little — the DVD was nice but to be honest I like using YouTube for tutorials.  There was some good beginner info in there though that’s worth getting!  I haven’t completed a pair of socks from this yet but I plan on it!

Sock Knitting


Sock Knitting example


The Cool Girl’s Guide to Knitting was a nice companion to the crochet version, and it has some cute beginner patterns in it:

Cool Girl's Guide to Knitting


Cool Girl's Guide to Knitting example


Cool Girl's Guide to Knitting example

Next up is a great reference book given to me by the wonderful Nicky from D’NALI and it is so useful!  It’s got patterns as well as technique instructions and different stitch patterns:

Vogue Knitting


Vogue Knitting example


Vogue Knitting example


Next up is Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, which I have not yet used.  There are some super cute things in here, but I’m not so sure about last-minute…

Last-Minute Knitted Gifts


Does this look last-minute to you?

Last-Minute Knitted Gifts example

I really do like this scarf/head wrap though:

Last-Minute Knitted Gifts example


Well that’s all for today, thanks for stopping by!  I’ll have one more of these book posts and then it’s back to projects!  See you soon!

themed yarn & projects

A few other lovely bloggers have posted lately about getting color inspiration for their yarn colorways/combos from books and movies.  There have been a few projects of mine that have patterns based on books/movies (check out my Hermione hat from Harry Potter, my Harry Potter scarves, and my Luna Lovegood scarf, also from Harry Potter; can you tell I love Harry Potter?), but I don’t think I’ve ever bought yarn in a book/movie inspired colorway before.  Until now, that is.  Check out these beautiful Hunger Games themed yarns from Etsy:

District 12 2-Ply Sock Yarn from BrazenStitchery

District 12 2-Ply Sock Yarn from BrazenStitchery

Effie Trinket Nymph Sock Yarn from supernaturalyarns

Effie Trinket Nymph Sock Yarn from supernaturalyarns

I bought both of these very different colorways and am planning on making a reversible hat with them (probably with this knitting pattern from Purl Soho).  It will represent two very different characters in the Hunger Games trilogy (Katniss and Effie) that come from opposing worlds but who are both good people in the end.  To me it symbolizes cooperation, peace, and the triumph of good, etc., etc…

If you haven’t read the Hunger Games books, I highly recommend them.  They get a little bit teenage-girl-y occasionally but definitely NOT in a Twilight saga kind of way.  The story in the Hunger Games books is about a young girl who is strong in the face of overwhelming danger and misery, and about the horrors of war and fighting for what’s right.  It’s dark and horrifying and moving and inspiring all at the same time.  I also really like the movies based on the first two books (the third one comes out next year, I believe), although they seem to downplay the horror/violence and over-stress the romance parts a bit, sort of diluting the general message a bit in my opinion; if you really want the full message, go for the books!  These would probably be good books/movies to allow your teenage kids to read and then discuss with them afterwards.  I say teenage kids because the third book is super-extra twisted (as if the first two aren’t twisted enough), and I’m not sure I’d want my young kids to read that one, if I had any kids.

So anyway, what do you think of the yarn combo above?  Have you ever made projects inspired by books/movies or bought/dyed yarn that has been inspired by them?  If so, what?  I think it’s a really cool concept and makes projects just a little more meaningful when they are attached to stories you enjoy.

I also bought these beautiful stitch markers on Etsy from the writer of the blog ruth plus two:

Glass/bead stitch markers

Glass/bead stitch markers

Well, that’s all for now, I guess.  I’m making some fingerless mitts for a coworker but I’ll share them when I’m finished — it shouldn’t be long.  Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy holidays to you all!  If you are traveling, please stay safe!

answers, thrumming, and a full day

The local public library in my new town is HUGE — I got a library card and immediately went to the knitting section too see if I could find the books some of you recommended that I check out after my last post (when I asked about double knitting).  The books suggested were not there, but I found this:

IMG_2352It’s a very large and heavy book written pretty recently, and it does indeed have a little section about double knitting — turns out the recommended way to cast on for double knitting is the tubular cast on, which is also good for k1p1 ribbing.  Yay answers!

The book, however, did not have a section on thrumming, which I learned about the other day and REALLY want to try.  I’d never heard of it, so I’m going to take the chance that some of you might not know and explain what it is.  Thrumming is when you work short pieces of wool into the stitches of a knitted object, such as a mitten or a hat, so that the loose ends are on the inside and provide ultimate insulation.  They usually make some sort of dotted pattern on the surface, and you don’t have to tie them off or anything because the loose wool fibers entwine on the inside and keep everything in place.  Click here for a photo example of thrummed mittens on the inside, and for a tutorial on how to do it.

Thrummed mittens would be completely unnecessary here in South Carolina (unless I decided to camp on a mountain with no fire for days on end), but I might make some anyway just for the fun of it.  If I don’t end up doing that, I’ll eventually try to make a similar pair of mittens to the ones pictured above (the pattern looks like a good one for a first pair).  You can apparently even use the thrumming technique with crochet!  Have any of you tried thrumming before?  If so, what was your experience with it?

My day did not start off well — I woke up late for something important, which was very embarrassing and did not at all look good.  Then I got my first allergy shots at my new clinic here in town.  After that was the library trip, which made the day better, then dinner at Panera Bread (it’s one of the few restaurants that’s not awkward when you go alone).  Once I’d been home for a little bit, some Mormons came knocking door to door to talk about their beliefs, and I didn’t want to be rude so I talked to them for a while (even though I’m not interested in becoming a Mormon).  They were nice but it was a little weird.

Well, that’s all for right now.  I’m off to browse through Ravelry and maybe start a knitted hat for a Christmas present.  See you next time!



busy busy!

Guess what I got in the mail!

haulMy stuff from KnitPicks actually came in yesterday while I wasn’t at home, so I had to pick up the parcel today at the post office.  It only took 4 days to get here, and I was so surprised at that and the products (I had been expecting a paperback book, not a nice hardback one) that I sent KnitPicks a thank-you email!

So anyway, I got the Christmas book by Arne & Carlos:

55christmasballsbookIt is amazing!  I love it and I’m super-excited to get started on some of them for Christmas gifts!  These moderately easy projects have both written instructions for the balls and charts for the pictures on the balls, which is great (I say moderately easy because they do involve DPNs and switching colors, so they’re not super-easy).  I still have to get the yarn, but I really only need 2 or 3 colors so that’s not a problem.  Of course I’ll be getting Stylecraft Special DK, my new go-to yarn.  And I’ll be making these ornaments with these needles:

6indpnset0to3These DPNs are gorgeous and I can’t wait to use them!  They’ll be perfect for socks, too (I’ve got an upcoming post on DPNs vs. the magic loop method, so look out for that).

And of course, here’s the bit that I didn’t need for anything in particular, but purchased anyway:

dishieThis 100% cotton yarn, as you could guess by the name “Dishie,” is good for washcloths, dishcloths, tea towels, and perhaps hot pads (not sure about how well cotton would hold up to a hot pan — better than acrylic but maybe not as good as wool).  I’m sure there are plenty more possibilities, but I will be making something either kitchen or bathroom related.  I haven’t picked which.  Nor have I decided whether to use this for knitting or crochet.  It’s not the softest yarn, but it’s pretty good for cotton, I suppose, and it’s not like I’m going to be using it for clothes, hats, or scarves.  I’m pretty excited about it.

I know I’ve been posting a lot lately when I said I would try not to, but I’ve got so many crafty things going on right now and I don’t want to wait because I’ll forget!  Thanks for stopping by!





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