Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fiber'Tudes Blog and Fan Page

Like our Fiber'Tudes Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio? Listen to it via podcast (fibertudes) on iTunes? Now you can follow along with our blog and fan page.

Stacy has created a wonderful blog so that we can post show notes and insights from the co-hosts. Be sure to check it out and become a "follower" of the blog.

I've also created a Fan Page on Facebook. Be sure to become a fan of the show's!

And as always, be sure to tune into Fiber'Tudes Mondays, 1:30p ET LIVE or listen On Demand. You can always download our podcast (FREE) from iTunes - search for fibertudes. Thanks for listening! And be sure to get your weekly dose of fiber with Karen, Stacy, Lara, & I!


Book Week Day 3:Hat Heads by Trond Anfinnsen

Book Title: Hat Heads 1 Man +2 Knitting Needles = 50 Fun Hat Designs
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8230-9236-9
Craft: Knitting
Approx. Price: $22.95
Length: 171 Pages
Number of Patterns: 50
Pattern Presentation: Written and Charts
Difficulty of Patterns: Beginner - Advanced Beginner

Hat Heads is a collection of knitted hat patterns by Nordic Designer Trond Anfinnsen AKA KnitKid. Anfinnsen transforms the classic beanie into 50 fun designs for this functional piece. Easy to follow patterns and whimsical designs allow the knitter to quickly knit a personalized classic beanie for any member of the family. Not just a book of patterns, Anfinnsen takes the reader on a mini-journey : describing his need to inspire knitters to knit and create; discussing his collaboration with photographer Klaus Nilsen Skrudland on their "Knitting Project;" explaining his journey of knitting, self discovery and identity as an artist; and exploring a brief history of Norway and knitting.

What I liked about this book:
  • The photography in this book is not just of the finished creations - but also a part of the art itself.
  • Understanding that the basic beanie is a great beginner project, Anfinnsen takes great care to explain to the beginner knitter how to get started himself/herself. He discusses yarn, reading yarn labels, needles and notions, knitting abbreviations, how to knit to size, and even how to decrease evenly atop your beanie to create the perfect spiral.
  • Each hat is the same basic beanie. This gives the beginner knitter the opportunity to explore each one of these patterns without hesitation.
  • The charts created for the designs are large, easy to read, and color-coded. This makes it the perfect book for one who has never knit from charts. - Allowing the newbie the opportunity to become familiar and comfortable with knitting charts.
  • Anfinnsen shares his love of designing by explaining how to go about designing your very own hat.
Overall I enjoyed reviewing this book. The photography is wonderful. The care Anfinnsen takes to write about his creative journey and the people he has designed the hats for is both interesting and delightful. He manages to make the task of knitting your first hat or first hat with design less daunting and more pleasurable.

My favorite patterns from this book: Aslaug, Hege, and Kjersti


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Book Week Day 2: Knitted Gifts by Ann Budd

Book Title: Knitted Gifts by Ann Budd
Publisher: Interweave Press
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59668-091-3
Craft: Knitting
Approx. Price: $21.95
Length: 143 Pages
Number of Patterns: 30
Pattern Presentation: Written and Charts
Difficulty of Patterns: Beginner - Intermediate Knitter

Knitted Gifts is a collection of patterns of smaller projects perfect for knitting as gifts. These patterns are perfect for the woman, man, child, or baby in everyone's lives. In this collborative work, editor Ann Budd brings together designers and patterns that are classic, varied, and for every skill level. Budd herself even contributes some of the patterns.

Some of the things I enjoyed most about this book:
  • There is nearly a pattern to match virtually every gift giving opporuntity
  • There are quick knits as well as more detailed knits to fit any time frame
  • The patterns are all well-written and easy to follow
  • A variety of fibers is used - not a central focus on one yarn
  • I found patterns ranging from traditional to comtemporary and everything in between - making it easy to match a pattern with my gift recipient
  • There are patterns in this book which my son can knit. I love that Budd mixes beginner patterns with intermediate patterns in this book. - Thus leaving the opportunity for everyone to knit a gift to give
I actually gushed over this book. As with most knitters, I LOVE to knit items as gifts. And with my Christmas knitting in full swing, this book came at the right time. The pattens are well thought out and gorgeous. These are not the ugly knitted scarf or chunky sweater I remember getting as gifts as a child. And honestly, I just may knit some of these patterns for myself. This book will be my go-to book for gifts. The gifts are functional and beautiful - not just items to knit. I really enjoyed reviewing this book.

My Favorite Patterns From This Book: Knitter's Duo by Mags Kandis, Texter Gloves by Kim Hamlin, and Ballet Flats by Marta McCall


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Book Week Day 1: Book Review: Feminine Knits By Lene Holme Samsoe

Book Title: Feminine Knits by Lene Holme Samsoe
Publisher: Interweave Press
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59668-140-8
Craft: Knitting
Approx. Price: $22.95
Length: 127 Pages
Number of Patterns: 22
Pattern Presentation: Written and Charts
Difficulty of Patterns: Advanced Beginner - Intermediate Knitting

Feminine Knits by Lene Holme Samsoe is a gorgeous collection of sweater patterns (and more) of the female persuasion. With 22 patterns in this book, you're sure to find something that catches your eye. Samsoe's patterns are very well written and clearly presented complete with notes, stitch guides for unusual or complicated stitches used in her patterns, full color pictures, and pattern illustrations. Samsoe mingles classic sweater patterns with feminine touches to provide the knitter with stunning yet classic pieces for her wardrobe.

Some of the features I enjoyed most about this book were:
  • I found a pattern for nearly every women in my life in this book. From tanks, to shawls, to scarves, to jackets - there is something in here for everyone.
  • I was very impressed with the time she took to add the illustrations complete with measurements. As a newbie sweater knitter, I've shied away from a lot of sweater books because they seemed written only for seasoned sweater knitters. I felt equipped to tackle the patterns in this book based on all of the information she provides.
  • I really loved the timeless pieces in this book.
  • I enjoyed how even the most bulky sweater pattern in this book still has feminine flair.
  • There are patterns for every season in this book. So it's not a book I'll only pick up in the winter months.
Personally, this is a book I can see myself knitting a sweater from. It has gorgeous patterns I would not only enjoy wearing and certainly knitting, but patterns that I CAN knit. That's a big plus. I really liked that she worked with so many different fibers, weights, and details. I truly cannot wait to cast on some of these projects.

My Favorite Patterns From This Book: Lace Scarf, Flower Jacket, and Bolero


Monday, July 27, 2009

Prayers for Stellan

Prayers for Stellan

I was going to post my latest book review here today but then came across a tweet by someone I follow about a little boy named Stellan, who is gravely ill with a heart condition. Then I saw another tweet from another Twitter member. Than another tweet. Than another. I immediately followed MckMama on Twitter to find out what was going on. When I read her tweets, my heart sank. When I started reading her blog, my heart sank further.

I do not know this family personally, but as a mommy myself, cannot imagine the pain this family is going through. They seem to be a family of great faith. And I have said a couple of small prayers all afternoon for them. Then I spent time with my kiddos. - Remembering what's important in this life. So tomorrow, I will carry on with my book reviews. But tonight, out of respect for another mommy - I want to devote my post to her and her family's struggle.

If you believe in prayer, please say a prayer for their family. If not, please keep them in your thoughts. Life is so fragile and precious. Every day is a miracle.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Book Week on KnitPurlGurl

This is an exciting week on KnitPurlGurl! Being the book-geek that I am (and of course the fiber-geek that I am), I was super excited to have the opportunity to review some amazing books! So be sure to check back each day this week to read about another great book find.

Don't miss my discussion about 2 of the books I am reviewing this week, Feminine Knits by Lene Holme Samsoe and Knitted Gifts by Ann Budd, on an all-new, LIVE Fiber 'Tudes Radio Show tomorrow, 1:30p ET. (Or catch it On Demand on BTR anytime or via podcast on iTunes, FREE, by searching for fibertudes.)

I'm also going to sneak some yarn and needle reviews in.. Think Kollage. So pop by often - and don't forget to leave me some comment love! :)


Friday, July 24, 2009

Knitting Basics AND a Giveaway TONIGHT!

Be sure to check out the YoBaby Giveaway I have running on my Mommatudes Blog right now!

Tonight LIVE on Stitch & Dish:
  • Newbie Knitters - learn the basics of supplies and getting started with this amazing craft! Be prepared to become addicted!
  • Experienced Knitters - Bring your tips, tricks, and suggestions for newbies with you to share!
  • I'll be giving away the AMAZING new book by Danish Knitwear Designer, Marianne Isager: Classic Knits: Marianne Isager Collection (Courtesy of Interweave Press). Read my review!
See ya there!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

SITScation - What Happens in Vegas..

I'm so excited to announce that I will be attending SITScation '09 in Las Vegas, NV in October! There will be some amazing speakers including Keep it Classy Jen of & The Classy Closet, Sugar Jones of Sugar in the Raw, and Laurie Turk of Tip Junkie & Executive Homemaker and so many more amazing bloggeristas! I'm really excited to meet these amazing bloggers and learn more about social media. I think the sessions will be incredibly informative.

I am currently accepting sponsorship for this event. If you are interested in sponsoring myself (KnitPurlGurl) for the SITScation conference, please email me at knitpurlgurl [at] gmail [dot] com.

Here are the other places you can find me:
Mommatudes (My Mommy & General Product Review Blog)
Fiber 'Tudes Radio Show (Creator/Co-Host of the radio show)
Stitch & Dish Web Show (Creator/Host of the web show)


Monday, July 20, 2009

Book Review & Giveaway! - Classic Knits:Marianne Isager Collection

Book Title: Classic Knits: Marianne Isager Collection
Publisher: Interweave Press
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59668-115-6
Craft: Knitting
Approx. Price: $24.95
Length: 182 Pages
Number of Patterns: 21
Pattern Presentation: Written and Charts
Difficulty of Patterns: Advanced - Intermediate Knitting

Classic Knits: Marianne Isager Collection is a book of knitwear designed by traditional Danish designer, Marianne Isager. Not only a pattern book, it's a resource of knitting techniques utilized in Isager's patterns. Isager blends classic knitwear looks with modern accents to provide garments that are as timeless and functional as they are beautiful. With patterns for every member of the family, this book is sure to become a staple in any knitter's library.

Some of the features I enjoyed most about this book were:
  • Isager's attention to the small details. Some of her patterns might seem plain upon first glance. But upon further investigation, one would note the small details which make the garment 'pop' but keep it classic as well.
  • Isager designs garments that have minimal finishing - a plus for a busy knitter. (Or someone like myself who hates the finishing part.)
  • She includes explanations of some of the knitting techniques used in her patterns such as color stranding, double knitting, slip stitch, and herringbone
  • She includes a picture of each gauge swatch. (I was immensely impressed by this.)
  • The full-color pictures are gorgeous and really highlight the design of each garment.
All in all, I really enjoyed reading through this book. Unfortunately for me, Interweave Press has only sent me one copy of this book.. As promised I will give this book away on my Stitch & Dish Web Show. (I rather wish I had gotten to keep this gem!) So please be sure to tune in to the July 24th episode as I pick a random winner from the show's chatroom.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

DS is the Featured Crafter on Craft Corps this Week!

The amazingly talented Vickie Howell has launched her Craft Corps site. Each week she features a crafter from the Craft Corps Community. So this week when I opened the email to find out who the featured crafter was - I was SHOCKED & excited to see that the featured crafter is none other than my talented l'il man! So be sure to check out this week's featured crafter! How much more proud could a knitting mama be?

Craft Corps


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Crochet, Star-Struck, & Giveaways - Oh My!

I have been a bad little blogger! I have NOT updated my blog in like, forever.. okay, more like 3 weeks. (I get a tad dramatic when it comes to yarn, dontcha know.) A TON of things have been happening in KPG land.

First up: I have been crocheting granny squares. Basically, I've been experimenting with different patriotic-themed squares. The square pictured above is a design by Bonnie Batten called, American Pride Square. I haven't affixed the star to it yet. I really love this granny square pattern - but didn't like the colors I used and couldn't see myself crocheting an entire throw of these. So I decided to just crochet up some red, white, and blue basic granny squares. They look nice. And let's face it - I'm a newbie crocheter so granny squares are really the extent of my crochet prowess.

Next Up: I am so amazed that my little webshow, Stitch & Dish, is taking off. It's certainly not because I have a high-tech set. Even my headset screams 1988.. And it's not because I have a mesmerizing beauty or fabulous voice. It's not even because I am a knitting guru (far from it). It's because knitters/crocheters/fiber artists will find any excuse to get together! And like a complete goober and fan of fiber, I Tweeted and messaged some terrific authors and asked them to be on the show! To my surprise, I've gotten some responses (And acutal nice ones - no restraining orders ;P )! This Friday, Susan B. Anderson, author of "Itty Bitty Hats," Itty Bitty Nursery," and "Itty Bitty Toys," will be joining me on the show for an interview! SO thrilled! In August, Amy Gaines, author of "Cute Little Animals" will join me on the show. Cosette Cornelius-Bates, author of "Knit One, Embellish Too" & Etsy Shop Owner, may also be making an appearance later this summer. And {{Fingers Crossed}} Franklin Habit, author of the hilarious blog, The Panopticon and cartoon book, "It Itches," may be making an appearance. (He said he'd love to discuss it when he returns from vacay.) I'm like a kid in a candy shop! These talented, brilliant, amazing authors are so inspiring - that I may have to finish a pair of socks to celebrate! (I know - I'm getting all crazy!)

And to top off all of the very cool things going on... Interweave Press is going to be giving away some books on the Stitch & Dish Show!!!! OMG! {Picking jaw back up off the floor}

As always, be sure to tune into Fiber'Tudes for your weekly fiber fill. Check in with Karen, Stacy, Lara, & myself as we talk all things fiber! If you can't listen live Mondays @1:30p ET - be sure to listen On Demand on BTR or download from iTunes (fibertudes) and listen at your convenience!

Stay Tuned - Soon, I'll be launching my Etsy shop, KPG Yarns & Sundries. I have a feeling I'll be updating my blog frequently!

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