Monday, July 26, 2010

Book Review: Gifted - Lovely Little Things to Knit & Crochet

Title: Gifted - Lovely Little Things to Knit & Crochet
Author: Mags Kandis
Publisher: Interweave Press
ISBN: 978-1-59668-178-1
Approx. Retail Price: $24.95
Release Date: 8/1/2010

I was so thrilled to receive Gifted in the mail to review.  I'm not sure if you can tell, but I have about 20 WIPs at any given time (okay, maybe more..).  Yes, it's true.  I'm a procrastinator.  Duh-duh-duh!  So not unlike other procrastinators, when holidays or gift-giving opportunities present themselves, I'm usually in a pickle because I realize all too late that I need to start a project.  And then I don't have the time so I end up buying something.  This book, however, mingles quick little projects to knit or crochet with fabulously useful gifts that will not only be appreciated, but treasured by the recipient.

Some of the elements that really impressed me in Kandis' book are:
  1. The thought she put into gifts that are both useful and adorable 
  2. The fact that each product can be produced in virtually no time at all  
  3. The projects are chalk FULL of texture.  Kandis, who is known for her colorful designs, sticks with what she does best: produce fun, textural patterns which enrich the projects
  4. Kandis urges the knitter/crochet to move outside of her/his comfort zone and incorporate a bit of sewing, embroidery, felting beading, and applique to enhance each project.
  5. The recipes that are thoughtfully placed in the book to create that something extra to include in a handmade gift basket including Ginger Syrup, Tomato Jam, Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix, Vanilla Sugar, and Mulling Spice Mix
  6. The book is divided into two parts: Gifts for the Body (Wearble projects) and Gifts for the Soul (non-wearables)
  7. The book includes hints, tips, and a glossary to help the knitter/crocheter learn how to embroider, applique, bead, and finish their projects.
  8. More complex colorwork patterns include easy-to-follow charts.
I'm really looking forward to giving some of these patterns a whirl.  While I'd love to make the Modern Mangas for myself, I think the Heart Milagros Door Hanger would make a fun teacher gift.  The Lavender Sachets would make a wonderful shower gift.  But I already have ONE specific use in mind for some of these patterns:

I would love to host a tea for my knitting friends. I could knit the Felted Tea Cozy and the Felted Trivet & Coasters.  Then I would gather some vintage tea cups, saucers, and spoons from our local flea market.  At each setting I would set a tea cup and saucer upon a coaster and lay a spoon across the saucer.  Then I'd place several gourmet tea bags in the cup.  The ladies could then take the cup, saucer, spoon, & coaster home as a simple table gift.  And of course there would be knitting while we enjoy our tea and biscuits!

So pick up a copy of this book.  The ideas will start flowing.  And Kandis makes it easy to personalize each project by offering suggestions but not limiting the crafter to specific embellishment patterns.  Here's a preview of the book courtesy of Interweave Press:

Lovely Little Things to Knit + Crochet

Patterns Included in Gifted - Lovely Little Things to Knit & Crochet:
Gifts for the Body: Simple Ribbed Cap, Linen Summer Wrap, Cabled Boot Toppers, Hazy Frills Neck Wrap, Felted Leaf Brooch, Shoulder Cozy, Arm Cozies, Ruby Foo Baby Cap, Granny Bag, Paper Roses, Petaled Slouch Cap, Precious Baby Jacket, Crochet Flower Brooch, Cheerful Earmuffs, Gilded Mesh Scarf, Weekend Socks, Modern Mangas, Bevy of Bangles, Baby's First Felted Feet, Heart-in-Hand Mitts
Gifts for the Soul: Tea Cozy & Felted Tie Fob, Felted Egg Cozies, Felted Heart Milagros, Heart Milagros Door Hanger, Notebook or Netbook Cozy, Colorful Crochet Flowers, Lavender Sachets, Wrist Rest, Gift Bag, Double-Pointed Needle Case, Cut-and-Sew Egg Cozies, Felted Yule Bling, Scissors Sleeve & Heart Pincushion, Felted Trivet & Coasters

Disclosure: KnitPurlGurl was given a free review copy of Gifted - Lovely Little Things to Knit & Crochet from Interweave Press.  All opinions expressed in this post are of the blog author.  This is an unpaid review.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

My New Babies

Recently I happened upon an online yarn shop that I'd never seen before.  Impossible, you say?  No, it's true.  I stumbled upon DBNY (Discontinued Brand Name Yarn) and fell in complete and utter LUST with some of the yarns.  DBNY is kinda like the TJMaxx of online yarn stores.  They carry discontinued yarns or discontinued colorways.  They have yarn by the skein, bag, cone, mill ends.. Most of us have stash from years ago that is discontinued anyway.. so it doesn't bother us to buy discontinued yarns.

So I did what any fiberista would do - I bought more yarn.  Of course I do not need more yarn, but nonetheless..  So here are the new hanks that arrived at my door today:


Louet Gems Fingering Wt.
Cloud Grey
100% Merino Wool
Machine Washable
50g/185 yds per hank
Bag of 5 hanks = $16.99 TOTAL!


Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted Tones
Hawaiian Sunset
100% Wool
Hand Wash
100g/220 yds per hank
Bag of 5 hanks = $19.00 TOTAL


Himalaya Yarns Tibet Cotton Lace (bulky wt)
100% Cotton
Hand Wash
100g/90 yds per hank
Bag of 5 hanks = $14.49 TOTAL


Monday, July 19, 2010

New Knitting Room

'Sorry I've been quiet these past few weeks.. I've been moving from our apartment to our house.  We finally sold our house in OH. and although we were used to a huge colonial we opted to downsize and buy a house with a lot less space, but well designed living space.  (Less to clean)  It's a cape cod with a cottage feel to it, surrounded in 4.3 acres of woods (all ours! LOVE that we were able to find acreage.)  It has a modest kitchen, living room, master bdrm with master bath, and dining room on the main floor.  Upstairs are the two kids' bdrms and a bath with dbl sink in between.  On the lower level is a finished basement/family room, laundry room, extra kitchen, bar, and utility room.  There's also a root cellar. The outside of the house has a very cute front porch, a covered patio on the side of the house, and a brick patio in the back off of the kitchen.  There is a small, man-made fishpond, an English Garden, and an original and working hand-pump well!  It's so charming and homey and I LOVE it!

But here's what I ADORE most about this house.  Our television and main family activity will be on the lower level in the finished basement/family room.  I purposely do NOT want a tv in the living room!  The living room will become my knitting haven/a keepin' room (as we say in the sticks - to keep company).  It will discretely store my yarn while maintaining the appearance and function of a living room.  Other than wall hangings, I've finished unpacking this room:





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