I have here a review copy of an upcoming book: Uncommon Cards by Jeanne Williamson, due for publication June 25.
This is not a knitting book, but a book that shows you how to make stationery and greeting cards with a sewing machine and a whole bunch of everyday items, found objects, and recycled materials.
The book has inserted into the back 8 sheets of card stock in different colors to get you started. The book has 52 different projects and gives you complete directions for applying different items and sewing to create one-of-a-kind cards.
There are some wonderful creative ideas in this book — like saving the plastic webbing from a crate of clementines for this clever card design:
Or how about this one, using a sleeve from a coffee cup?
This started me thinking (which I’m pretty sure is one of the goals of the book!) about what else you could save and use for your one one-of-a-kind cards. Fancy papers — I get mailers all the time from Chanel, for example, and their fancy gilt envelope liners could be recycled and reused. When you get a gift in a pretty gift bag, or wrapped in unusual paper, think about how you could use that paper. Even wrapping from items you have purchased might be usable, along with cuttings from magazines, etc. Once you start looking at items with an eye to recycling them, it’s amazing how many fun and creative ideas you’ll come up with.
Who’d like my review copy of this intriguing book?
To be entered in the drawing to win Uncommon Cards by Jeanne Williams, please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00 AM Eastern Time on Sunday, June 2, 2013. I’ll pick a winner at random at that time.
Speaking of Uncommon
Have you visited the Signature Needle Arts website recently? They have just introduced a new needle concept: Signature Convertible Circulars.
It is no secret that I love my Signature Needle Arts circular needles. And that I dislike interchangeable needle sets because most of them have joins that don’t work for me — they invariably come unscrewed and/or have lousy joins. I gave away the set of Addi Clicks I purchased. Ditto the Knitpicks interchangeables.
This is not a set of interchangeable needles, but rather a way to convert a single size circular to different lengths. From the website:
Convert your size-specific circular needle stalk/cable combinations to easily meet the needs of your project with Signature Convertible Circular Knitting Needles. Signature Convertibles offer cables and stalks that can be changed within a size to create a new overall length when the size on the needles matches the size on the ferrules.
I personally think that this interchangeable concept is a great idea — I will continue to use my beloved Signature Needle Arts needles, and if I need a different length circular, I will not have to buy a whole new needle, just another cable. Cheaper than a whole new needle. Also, for projects that grow or shrink, I can change lengths within the project. I do find that I do that quite a lot.
If you are someone who knits all your projects on a single length circular, for example, if you find that a 32″ circular meets all your needs, you won’t find much advantage with this new concept. But if you change needle length like I do, I think you’ll be pleased with these new needles. When I am knitting a triangular shawl from the bottom up, for example, I start with at least a 32″-long needle and as I work up the piece and the rows grow shorter, I want to switch to a shorter length. I don’t like having a lot of extra needle length — I find that it slows me down. And of course when I knit in the round, I need different lengths for different items.
The joins between needle “stalk” and cable on these new needles are great — each cable is carefully crafted for each size needle stalk, they are carefully and beautifully made. The join is smooth and does not become unscrewed — let me repeat that: in my experience it does not come unscrewed, no matter what. This is a huge pet peeve of mine with some needle components. The only other needles that are in components that I have used that do not come apart are the Dyakcraft Heavy Metal needles (I reviewed these needles here a few months ago). All the others that I have used (and I have used plenty over the years) work themselves loose.
I have been testing these new convertible needles for the past 6 weeks, knitting with them exclusively. And I have done a lot of knitting: two samples full-size shawls for my Summer Mystery Shawl KAL, one full-size-and-then-some Viajante, and I am currently halfway through another Viajante. I’ve used several different sizes and a number of different cord lengths and I can honestly report that they work just as well as the old fixed length Signatures. Not only have I not had a join unscrew, but the joins are beautifully smooth. I have knit laceweight yarn with a size 6 needle and had no problem whatsoever sliding the yarn over the join.
The corresponding needle size is marked on each cable piece so you don’t get your size-specific cables mixed up.
And of course you have all the fabulous choices of needle length and point as you have with the “regular” Signature Needle Arts needles.
I want to stress that the opinions above are my own — I am honestly delighted with the new needles. While I have a fair number of fixed length Signature circulars, yesterday I ordered and paid for some convertibles. I am willingly and by my own choice spending my needle budget on this new concept.
Speaking of this weekend, my Mystery Shawl KAL starts on June 1! Have you bought the pattern yet? Remember, if you purchase it before June 8, it is half price: $2.50.
There is pre-KAL discussion in my Ravelry group, here.
“Such a deal!”