My current work in progress:

1. Hats!
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Looks Like a Penguin

First things first, the winner of a copy of Good Measure: Knit a Perfect Fit Every Time by Deborah Newton is Jeannie Gray, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment to enter the giveaway!

Speaking of books, have you seen this one?

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This is Penguin: a Knit Collection by Anna Maltz, which came out earlier this month. I follow Anna Maltz on Instagram (she is @sweaterspotter) and pre-ordered the book from her when she first announced it. It arrived at the beginning of last week, in hard copy, along with a code to download an electronic version on Ravelry. You can order your own hard copy and eBook here.

The book has 11 adorable penguin-inspired patterns, and you can preview them on Ravelry, here. I love how they are all inspired by penguins but are not all in-your-face obvious penguins. well, go look at the patterns and you’ll see what I mean.

That said, the first thing I cast on was the adorable Pinglewin — a soft toy penguin.

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One of the things that makes this toy so stinking cute is that the penguin itself is all white. The black portion is a removable hoodie she wears!

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Seriously, how cute is that?

I have knitted Pinglewin’s body, and have given it a bath, fulling it slightly while bathing it.

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I knit her from aran weight wool, and I did not have any aran weight black or charcoal wool, so have sone on order. When Pinglewin dries I can assemble her and then when my black yarn arrives, I’ll knit her little hoodie.

Along with the patterns, there are lots of cute stories, illustrations, and photos. Look at the endpapers!

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So cute! It is a lovely book, through and through and I have a feeling that I will be knitting another Pinglewin soon! I am still working on my cowl, which is nearing completion, but sometimes you just have to knit a penguin, you know?

Loki sez:

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“What’s the deal with penguins, anyway?”

 

 

Good Measure

If it is Wednesday, it must be time for a book review, right?

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This is Good Measure: Knit a Perfect Fit Every Time by Deborah Newton.

If you have been knitting for any length of time, the name Deborah Newton should mean something to you. She is a long-time designer, teacher, and author. Her previous books include Designing Knitwear and  Finishing School: A Master Class for Knitters. In this new book, she teaches us how to select and adjust patterns to achieve a perfect fit, no matter your shape or size.

The book teaches you how to analyze a pattern so that you can customize it, make alterations in your knitting, and figure out how much ease you need in a garment. There is also a lot of useful information on choosing the right yarn for your project. And tips and tricks abut everything design and fit-related are sprinkled throughout the book.

There are 23 projects, and these projects are used as examples as the author goes into detail about the techniques and methods being explained. The patterns are offered in a wide variety of sizes, and there is a great deal of basic how-to information on techniques, tools, materials, etc.

You can preview the patterns on Ravelry. My faves:

Ribbed Yoke Cardi

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I thought this design looked familiar to me. This is why. icon smile Good Measure There are actually 4 different cardigans based on this pattern, and the author goes into detail in her chapter “Variations on a Theme.” The Ribbed Yoke Cardi is a pattern that appeared in Vogue Knitting a few years back . . .and that is when I knit it. Here it is expanded into three more variations: a short-sleeved cardi, one with a collar, and one with a peplum, so you can pick the one that looks best on your body type.

“Marbleized” Paper Skirt

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I just love this because it looks so much fun! The “Fit Lab” for this pattern is about incorporating shaping within pattern stitches. The skirt is a gentle a-line and the shape is achieved by varying the width of the lace pattern panels.

Houndstooth Coat and Overvest

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Speaking of so much fun, how fun is this? The coat is worked in a large houndstooth check design, and shaping is achieved by incorporating panels of smaller houndstooth checks. There is also a removable over-vest with a hood in the smaller check pattern.

This is a great book to have, not only for the great patterns, but to take your knitting to the next level and customize and alter patterns so that the garments you knit are flattering to you.

I selfishly want to keep my review copy, so I shamelessly asked Deborah if she could offer up a second copy for a giveaway and she kindly agreed — so we are giving away a signed copy to one of you.

To be entered in the drawing for a copy of Good Measure: Knit a Perfect Fit Every Time by Deborah Newtonplease leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Sunday, December 20, 2015. The random number generator will select a winner.

I’m still working along on my cowl, and Loki is just worn out from supervising. See?

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The Cowl Goes On

The winner of a copy of the eBook River Ganseys: Strikin’ t’loop, Swaving, and Other Yorkshire Knitting Curiosities Revived from the Archives by Penelope Lister Hemingway is Roz Thompson, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment. Tune in Wednesday for another book review!

My latest cowl design is growing nicely:

WIP121315 240x81 The Cowl Goes On

This photo is not great — the light was not the best for photo ops. But the location was Loki-free, and that is important.

In other news, remember my original Generic Toe-Up Sock pattern? It is now available in Danish, here, thanks to Marianne Holmen.

Loki says:

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“Touchdown!”

River Ganseys

I have another great book to talk about today: River Ganseys: Strikin’ t’loop, Swaving, and Other Yorkshire Knitting Curiosities Revived from the Archives by Penelope Lister Hemingway. It is available in both eBook and paperback formats.

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That’s quite a title, isn’t it? That was my first clue that this wasn’t just a book of gansey patterns. Rather, it is a fascinating history of knitting in Yorkshire, including the origins of ganseys, gansey motifs (including superstitions and folklore about said motifs), and even a chapter on a Yorkshire knitter, an ancestor of the author, who emigrated to America in the early 1800s. And more!

I have had a fascination for ganseys for nigh on 30 years and have knitted a few. I went so far as to knit one in the round using 14″ deadly sharp steel dpns and a knitting belt for authenticity’s sake. In the 1980s and 1990s I acquired every book I could find on ganseys and traditional British knitting. (I have a copy of the original edition of The Old Hand Knitters of the Dales that was recently re-released with a new foreword, photographs of original Dales knits, and patterns by Penelope Lister Hemingway, the author of River Ganseys.

River Ganseys has lots of photos and illustrations that I have never seen before, a delight considering how many books I have on the topic of gansey knitting. And it is fascinating reading.

In addition to a carefully researched history, there is a chapter entitled “Gansey Knitting 101″ that has all the nuts and bolts and how-tos for knitting a gansey using traditional techniques. There is also a great chapter on spinning yarn for gansey knitting.

And, of course, there are some lovely gansey patterns. There are 7 patterns in all, and you can see them on Ravelry, here. All but one of them use traditional 5-ply gansey wool, and one is knit from a fingering weight wool from Blacker Yarns.

Here are my favorites — all very traditional looking designs based on historical examples.

This is Phoebe Carr:

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And Lizzie Lee:

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And Ebiezzer:

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Another beautiful gansey. My only complaint with this pattern is that, oddly, it only goes up to size 34″.

All in all, this is a fascinating book, and I read it cover to cover and thoroughly enjoyed it. Anyone with any interest in ganseys will find it worthwhile!

Once again, the publisher has generously authorized me to give away a copy of the eBook to one of my readers. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing for a copy of River Ganseysplease leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Sunday, December 13, 2015. The random number generator will select a winner.

Meanwhile at home, the Little Prince takes a well-deserved nap after some extended play. He is napping on his toy to ensure it does not escape.

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Obsessive Knitting

The winner of the giveaway for a copy of Cast Iron, Cast On, Cooking and Knitting Through the Seasons by Calley Hastings and Becky Herrick is Beverley, who has been emailed.  Thanks to all who entered the giveaway! I’ll have another review on Wednesday, with another giveaway, so please check back then.

Thanks also for your nice comments about Dottie and Inga’s new dresses. I knit them each a new dress for every month in 2015, so now I think I am done. Their December dresses were knit from Madelinetosh Tosh Sock. So for 2016, I’ll have to think of something else to do obsessively. I have some ideas . . .

Speaking of obsession, I am back to working on something I’ve been obsessing about a lot: a colorwork cowl. I really love cowls, or infinity scarves, as they are sometimes called. Of all the things I have knit lately, cowls are the things I get the most use from in winter months. I started a new one this past week:

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This is my own design, and it consists of all smaller pattern motifs, or border patterns. They are all based on traditional Nordic designs, and no two patterns will repeat.

The yarn I am using is wonderful: Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock (merino/cashmere/nylon) fingering weight yarn, in the Silver Fox and Heliotrope colorways. I have been a fan of Dragonfly Fibers deep rich colors for years, and this cashmere blend yarn is a dream to knit.

I have a feeling that Loki would enjoy sinking his little claws into this yarn, but he will not get the chance to do so if I can help it!

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“Who, me?”