My current work in progress:

1. Hats!
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Slightly Different

Today I have a slightly different type of book to review — I guess you could call it a history book:

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This is
Knitskrieg: A Call to Yarns!: A History of Military Knitting from the 1800s to the Present Day by Joyce Meader, published by the University of Chicago Press. On Amazon.com right now it is the number one book under History / Military / Uniforms.

So yeah, history!

It is basically the history of “knitted comforts” for soldiers and covers three centuries, up to modern times and the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When you think of “knitting for the troops” the first thing that springs to mind is (at least for me) socks, followed by hats/balaclavas and scarves. This book covers all sorts of knitted items that have been produced over the years by different  nations involved in wars and skirmishes over the years.

The book is filled with a lot of great photos and facsimiles of old posters, leaflets, patterns, and other items. Here is a great photo of World War I soldiers knitting in hospital:

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The book also contains patterns to knit facsimiles of some of these knitted comforts. and some contemporary photos of the items in use. I love this dapper fellow decked out in his Crimean War regalia:

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And there are lots and lots of interesting odds and ends — facsimiles of old patterns and even songs about wartime knitting!

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It’s a fascinating read. Who’d like to read it next?

To be entered in the drawing to win my copy of Knitskrieg: A Call to Yarns!: A History of Military Knitting from the 1800s to the Present Day by Joyce Meader,, please leave a comment on this post by 11:00am on Sunday, October 23, 2016. I’ll once again prevail upon Loki’s good will to draw a winner.

He’s resting up.

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And Now For Something New!

Loki has spoken! He has chosen Karla Wigley as the lucky recipient of my review copy of Knit a Square, Create a Cuddly Creature by Nicky Epstein. I’ve got a stack of books still left to review, so be sure to come back for more chances to win for great books!

On Friday night I finished this (pardon my awkward folding — it is quite long and hard to photograph!):

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This is my Hitchhiker Beyond (design by Martina Behm) that I made from gorgeous handspun yarn spun by my friend Leslie. The yarn is a merino silk blend, 2-ply sport/dk weight, and there are approximately 350 yards of each color. I used up most of both skeins and my shawl is nice and big. And it is very soft! It will be a welcome addition to my winter wardrobe.

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On Saturday I started this:

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This is a baby dress — the pattern is the Muti Dress, from Taiga Hilliard Designs. It’s for a colleague’s soon-to-be-born little girl. I’m using this yarn:

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Knitpicks Comfy Fingering, a cotton/acrylic blend. I wanted the dress to be easy to wash, as well as comfortable to wear year-round — this way it can be worn over a top and leggings in the winter and as a sundress in the summer. Because of the style and large armholes, I think it will fit the baby for a fairly long time.

Lastly, here is Loki with his current favorite toy:

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Creature Feature

I have another book to review:

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This is Knit a Square, Create a Cuddly Creature by Nicky Epstein, It has patterns for 29 adorable creatures, and each one starts with a knitted square. Add some further knitted pieces and embellishments and you have some really charming toys!

You can preview all these cuties on Ravelry, here.

Each pattern includes a large photo of the finished creature, as well as a photo of all the creature’s components, a graph/chart for assembling the creature, and detailed written instructions.

For example, Grayson the Squirrel:

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Here are his components:

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And here is his pattern:

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I am hard pressed to pick only a few favorites because they are all so cute, but I’ll try. Apart from Grayson, a few more of my favorites.

Starting with Yin & Yang, the Fighting Fish:

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They are knit from Crystal Palace Mini Mochi self-striping yarn — but you could use any striping sock yarn. They are so cute and so clever! This is one of the easier patterns: apart from the square, you knit three fins that look pretty simple and either sew on beads or embroider French knots for eyes.

Here is Stella the Dove:

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Her tail is knit separately in a lace pattern and — this I love — her wings (part of the square) are edged in a picot pattern. Wouldn’t she make a gorgeous Christmas tree topper?

And this is Rocky the Raccoon.

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He requires a bit of intarsia work for his face and he has a glorious striped tail!

I could go on . . .

A very cute book indeed, with lots of really fun toys that are relatively easy to make. I will, somewhat grudgingly, give away my review copy. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing to win my copy of Knit a Square, Create a Cuddly Creature by Nicky Epstein, please leave a comment on this post by 11:00am on Sunday, October 16, 2016. I’ll wake Loki up to draw a winner.

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“Huh — what?”

 

Hey, guess what? I finished my colorwork jacket. You may have noticed that I have barely blogged about it here. There is a reason for that (she said mysteriously). All will be revealed in the fullness of time!

Weekend Summed Up

The winner of my review copy of The Knitted Hat Book: 20 Knitted Beanies, Tams, Cloches, and More by Interweave Editors is Rosemary, who has been notified via email.

Here in the U.S. we are on Day Two of a three-day weekend, and I can sum up my weekend with one photo:

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I am knitting the bands on my colorwork coat. All bands al the time.

Meanwhile, the awesome responsibility for picking a winner in my book giveaway has been too much for Loki. He has collapsed under the pressure.

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Being a cat is hard work!

The Knitted Hat Book

Next up for review:

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This is The Knitted Hat Book: 20 Knitted Beanies, Tams, Cloches, and More by Interweave Editors. Published September 16, 2016 by Interweave, it is 128 pages of hats! You can view all the patterns on Ravelry, here.

There are patterns for guys and girls both, and there is lace, texture, and colorwork: a little something for everyone.

Some of my faves:

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The Frolic Paperbag Hat by Alexis Winslow is made from fingering weight wool in two colors (the pattern calls for Quince & Co. Finch). This is such a cute solution for someone with a lot of hair. Don’t know what to do with your ponytail? Here’s a solution!

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The Forge Graphic Toque by Meghan Babin is another two-color hat knit from fingering weight wool (in this case, Brooklyn Tweed Loft) but it is stranded colorwork instead of stripes. Think how fun this hat would be using a gradient for the background and black for the contrast.

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The Timber Cabled Toque, also by Meghan Babin, is worked in Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Worsted and is a great, classic unisex hat. For a more luxurious hat, you could knit this up in a cashmere blend. Yum!

Those are just a few. Which one is your favorite?

And . . . who’d like my review copy?

To be entered in the drawing to win my copy of The Knitted Hat Book: 20 Knitted Beanies, Tams, Cloches, and More please leave a comment on this post by 11:00am on Sunday, October 9, 2016.

Loki will wake up in time to draw a winner!

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