Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Book Review: New England Knits

 

Title: New England Knits: Timeless Knitwear with a Modern Twist
Author(s): Cecily Glowik MacDonald & Melissa LaBarre
ISBN: 978-1-59668-180-4
Release Date: July 1, 2010
Publisher: Interweave Press
Retail Price: $24.95
Patterns:  25 Knit Patterns

When I read that New England Knits was being released, I practically BEGGED Interweave to let me review it!  I absolutely adore New England style.  And anyone who has been to the East Coast will tell you that there is a central theme: classic, stylish, and functional pieces that reflect a quiet refinement that you may find a New Englander sporting whether boating, shopping at the Farmer's Market, coffee with the girls, or trips about town.  This book brings that New England feel to life and adds a few little touches to modernize each pattern.

Of course this book is laden with sweater and cardigan patterns. But what you may be surprised to find is that they aren't merely cable patterns.  For instance, The Salem Hooded Jacket is lush with all of the texture you'd expect, but adds a ribbon detail to lend a little feminine flare to the rugged jacket.  Though an unexpected contrast, it works well and is uber cute!  Another unexpected pairing is the three-dimensional pattern and fuzzy, warm look of the Portland Mittens.  Quite a functional piece, this pattern combines softness and warmth with an interesting and highly textural pattern.  And as every East Coaster knows, the sunny, fall days can be warm yet crisp - a fact that did not go unnoticed in this book: with sweaters that provide enough lace to breathe, but enough wool to keep you warm on a cool October day.  My favorite example of this is The Hampton Cardigan - a gorgeous lace piece, that basically lays open in front.  What a terrific piece to layer in the varying temperatures of fall.  And while one will not be disappointed with the highly textured garments in this book, let's not forget the refined, structured pieces that are also synonymous with the East Coast.  There is perhaps no better example of this than the Auburn Top - a classic pullover with a shawl collar and princess detail.  It's beautifully shaped and lends a subtle elegance to the everyday sweater.

So whether one is looking for a nice bulky cardigan, a textured jacket, functional mittens, or stylish sophistication, New England Knits is sure to bring out the East Coaster in all of us!  Be sure to pre-order your copy today!!

The patterns in this book are divided into three categories:

Around the Town:
 Hampton Cardigan, Chelsea Skirt, Ashfield Cardigan, Auburn Top, Groveland Satchel, Northampton Neckerchief, Greylock Tunic, and Fairfield Sweater Whale Watch Hat

Fall on the Farm:
Brattleboro Hat, Greenfield Cardigan, Portland Mittens, Melrose Peacoat, Augusta Cardigan, Mystic Pullover, Montpelier Jacket, and Providence Hoodie

Along the Coast:
Salem Hooded Jacket, Derry Raglan and Cowl, Old Port Pullover, Lewiston Striped Vest, Middlefield Pullover, Cranston Coat, Montague Bulky Lace Vest, and Windsor Warmer

Interweave Press provided KnitPurlGurl with a FREE Review Copy of New England Knits.  This is an unpaid post and all opinions expressed are those of the blog author.




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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Crafting Wishlist

Hubby NEVER knows what to buy me for birthdays and holidays.  He usually just drives me to the store or buys me a gift card.  So I've decided to create a craft supply wishlist.  Some women give their hubbies a card with their measurements and ring sizes on it so they can purchase lingerie and jewelry for their wives.  But me, I'd rather have a bouquet of Addi Turbos than a bouquet of roses.. So here's (part of ) my wishist:

Silhouette SD Digital Craft Cutter




Bernina 830 High Performance Sewing Machine


Hot Start Pro Glass Kiln


5' x 5' Yarn Display - This display unit is made of cherry, but I'd prefer cedar for my wool!

72" Quilter's Design Wall - Would like to make my own free-standing wall on legs that tilts (the way old chalkboards used to) into a veritcal OR horizonal wall.  (See dry erase board above for general idea) One side, I'd have cotton flannel for quilt design and the other side, I'd have a blocking board for my knitting projects.

Idea Paint - Dry Erase Paint that turns any surface into a dry erase board.  Would love to have this in my craft room!

The Workbox Craft Storage Armoire

AccuQuilt Go Fabric Cutter


These are a few of the things on my wishlist.  OF course I have a zillion little things and tools on my list as well.. but these are my dream items.  I'd also like to set up stations so that I don't have to move my items around: Fiber Arts Station, General Crafts Station, Soap & Lotion Making Station, Glass and Beading station, Sewing Station.. What is on your wish list?  What would your ideal craft space look like?


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Monday, June 14, 2010

Coming Soon: Learn-It-Yourself (LIY) Series


As many of you know I am a late craft bloomer.  I learned to knit and crochet in my 30's.  And I can safely say that I am hooked!  Now that knitting has whet my appetite for crafts, I want to learn more!  I want to learn everything and anything out there.

So, in a new blog series I am going to get started here on KnitPurlGurl, 'Learn-It-Yourself' or 'LIY,' I will attempt to learn new crafts and techniques with the help of crafty peeps all over the blogosphere and companies who'd like to get the word our about their craft-related products or books.

Here's what I'm looking for:
  • Crafty peeps who are willing to share their amazing tutorials as a guest blogger.
  • Companies who want me to create a series for the learn-it-yourself crafter.  Many crafters are busy working urbanites who have a burning desire to learn to sew, scrapbook, applique, embroider.. you name it!  But they do not have the time to take a class.  Wouldn't it be great to demo your product while teaching them via another learn-it-yourself crafter?  This proves that anyone can pick up your product or book and create. - thus boosting sales to wanna-be crafters who were afraid to try a craft due to lack of time or a class.
  • Crafts I'm interested in highlighting or creating learn-it-yourself tutorials for: Just about anything!  I'm especially interested in crafts that enhance home decor like sewing, vinyl lettering, general crafts, repurposed crafts.. I'd LOVE to learn to sew, but am terrified that since I have not taken a class, I will fail miserably.  I know a lot of crafters feel this way.  I'd be especially interested in creating a sewing learn-it-yourself series and working with a sewing machine company.
  • How can you inquire about working with me on this new blog series?  Email me at: knitpurlgurl[at]gmail[dot]com
I'd like to launch this series in August.  And I've put out a lot of feelers in the social media community and found many learn-it-yourself crafters who'd be interested in this series.  If I get good response, I may take it from my blog to webshow as well!



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Happy Flag Day!


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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lace Race

Okay, so being the queen of starting projects and UFOs - I have some lace going on right now to feed my addiction to all things lacey and pretty.  I just recently added another lace project.  I figure since lace is terrific to knit in the summer, I am in a race to complete these lace projects during the lazy days of summer.  Can I do it?  Who knows.  But I know I'll have fun trying!

Here's what I've got cooking:

"Forest Canopy Shawl" knit in Kraemer Yarns Sterling Silk & Silver

"Wabenschal Scarf"knit in The Yarn Side Glorificus






IMAG0285

"ElleMyra Shrug" knit in Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky




IMAG0027

"Frosted Ferns" knit in DMC Cebelia Cotton Size 30



IMAG0229

"Victorian Rose Scarf" knit in Cascade Yarns 220 Wool


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Friday, June 4, 2010

Winners of the Hannah's List Giveaway!

For those who entered the Debbie Macomber/Hannah's List Giveaway: half of you entered via the linky and the other half via blog comments. Since obviously it was confusing to some to use the linky, I took the people who entered via blog comments and added them to the end of the linky list.  So, we ended up with 358 entries in all.

The following two entrants will each receive (1) copy of Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber!

Congrats to thegrants!

Congrats to  missrantsypants!

The following entrant will win the Grand Prize Pack which includes a $50 Visa Gift Card AND a copy of Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber!!!

Congrats to jewelknits!

Thanks to all who participated and a special THANK YOU to Debbie Macomber and her representation for providing KnitPurlGurl and it's readers with this AMAZING giveaway!!


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