My current work in progress:

Tawney Sweater,by Jenni Barrett, knit from MadelineTosh Tosh Sock, using 3.25mm and 3.5mm needles.

Great Little Gifts to Knit

Last month Jean Moss contacted me to ask if I was interested in being part of her blog tour for her newest book, Great Little Gifts to Knit.


Of course I said yes. Jean Moss has been one of my knitting heroes for quite a while so whenever she contacts me I fell like an amateur musician being contacted by, say, Mick Jagger and asked to review his work.

So . . .the book is Great Little Gifts to Knit, and it is available now — good timing for getting a jump on your holiday knitting! There are thirty projects divided into sections for baby, hers, his, and home. And as the title suggests, all the projects are relatively small, so they will not involve a huge investment of time or money. They also use a variety of techniques, so you get a mini-lesson with each project you knit. For the sized items there are a nice variety of sizes, and the patterns are thorough and well-written, just what you would expect from Jean Moss. And there is a great techniques section in the back of the book.

I picked a favorite from each section:



This is the  “Cuddle Cocoon” — isn’t it sweet? I love that it comes in five different sizes, so you have some choices depending on the anticipated size of the baby. It is knit from Rowan Big Wool, so it is a fast knit. And there are two versions: an easy one knit ins a straight rib, and a more challenging version in a “swirl rib.”

From the “Hers” section:

Kitten's Paw stole

The  Kitten’s Paw Stole. I love, love, love this! The pattern has directions for two different weights of yarn, so you can make an airy light wrap or something a bit more substantial.

From the “His” section, my favorite is the Hendrix guitar strap and belt:


This is knit from linen yarn so it won’t stretch. Very clever!

And I think this is my favorite piece in the whole book, from the “Home” section:


The Welcome Toran Door Hanging. As the introductory text tells you, a toran is a Hindu or Buddhist door hanging that both welcomes guests to your home and celebrates events like weddings, births, and traditional festivals. This project is knit from cotton and cotton blend yarns (but you could of course use up your own odds and ends) and is a great introduction to stranded colorwork.

Each of the patterns tells you how long it will take to knit, be it a day, a weekend, or a vacation. Everyone is different of course and knits at a different speed, but it is nice to have these estimates.  The yarns used are all Rowan yarns, but you could easily sub others.

Jean is offering a free copy of this great book to one of my readers. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing to win this book, leave a comment on this post by noon on Sunday, September 8, 2013. The Random Number Generator will select a winner at that time.

Be sure to visit the project gallery for this book to check out all the patterns. And stop in on all the stops of the blog tour:

Blog Tour Itinerary
Mon 2 Sep       Wendy Knits Wendy Johnson
Wed 4 Sep       WEBS    Kathy Elkins
Fri 6 Sep          Getting Stitched on the Farm Kristin Nicholas
Mon 9 Sep       Stolen Stitches Carol Feller
Tues 10 Sep     Knittedbliss Julie Crawford
Wed 11 Sep     Black Bunny Fibers Carol Sulcoski
Thur 12 Sep     Rhythm of the Needles Joanne Conklin
Fri 13 Sep        Tiny Owl Knits   Stephanie Dosen
Mon 16 Sep     Just Call Me Ruby Susan Crawford
Tues 17 Sep     Zeneedle Margene Smith
Wed 18 Sep     Redshirt Knitting Erika Barcott
Thur 19 Sep     A Friend to Knit With Leslie Friend
Fri 20 Sep        Craft Sanity Jennifer Ackerman Haywood
Mon 23 Sep     Connieleneknits Connie Lene
Tues 24 Sep     Knitsofacto Annie Cholewa
Wed 25 Sep     Ulla Bella Anita Tormoen
Thur 26 Sep     A Really Good Yarn Julie Schilthuis
Fri 27 Sep        Urban Yarns  Alexa Ludeman
Sat 28 Sep       Linda Marveng  Linda Marveng
Mon 30 Sep     Yarnings Jen
Tues 1 Oct       Tentenknits  Margaux Hufnagel
Fashion Crochet book giveaway
The winner of my copy of Fashion Crochet is Chris Reeske, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!
Look at what I finally finished!
This is the Maidenhair Cardigan from Alice Starmore’s Aran Knitting. I made it from Wollmeise DK (a heavier yarn than called for in the pattern) and knit the smallest size. I also made it longer than directed so it’s more of a coat than a jacket.
I started knitting this in early June and finished it on August 31. Why did it take me so long? I also knit two other cardigans while I was making this — two of my three Camp Loopy projects.
I’ve started something new, but I’ll save that for my next blog post. As you can see, Loki is very excited about it!
He looks so innocent, doesn’t he? Do not be fooled! He is just resting up.


  1. OMG! I have to have this book, if only for the Cuddle Cocoon! Adorable!

  2. Loki is beautiful, keep those pictures coming!

  3. This looks like a perfect book to gift to my niece who is a relatively new knitter, but an adventurous one at that.

  4. Looks like a great book!!

  5. Lisa smith says:

    Thanks for the chance to win

  6. I would love to have this book. I would go through it many, many times marking all the things I want to make, many more things than I would ever be able to complete. Because that’s the way I roll. 🙂

  7. What a great book! I would love to make guitar straps for my husband and two kids. Thank you for the giveaway.

  8. Erica Roberts says:

    What a great book!

  9. Oh, a blog tour! How fun! Winning the book would be a bonus too. 🙂

  10. Amy Schulze says:

    Sounds like a fun book!

  11. Surprisingly, I actually want to knit all the examples you showed. My brother plays guitar, there is ALWAYS somebody expecting a baby, etc. etc. I would love to win this copy.

  12. Like you, Jean Moss has inspired me. Even if I don’t win the book, I certainly will purchase it (which is a good argument to drop my name from the drawing, right?) Nonna Kisses to Loki from Mimsey Whimsey (Nonna’s mutt semi-Siamese).

  13. Wendy, Which buttons did you choose for the Maidenhair beautiful cardigan??
    Can you let us know? Kinda hard to see the details of the buttons.
    Thanks for chance to win a great book!!

  14. This is a great time for this book with Christmas coming! I would love to have the book and it would be great for gift giving ideas! Thank you Wendy for all you do!

  15. Catherine S. says:

    Why, yes! I’d love this book. The Kitten’s Paw stole and Toran Door Hanging are singing to me.

    As is your lovely Maidenhair! Beautiful job on this, Wendy. This one’s been grinding away at me since Aran Knitting came out. Now I live on Bainbridge Island, WA (home of Churchmouse) and am thinking I’ll finally knit this using a yarn by Insouciant Yarns (wool from local sheep).

    God knows, I need another project. :-# Hi, Loki. Looks like you’re settling in well. xo

  16. Thanks for the heads up on the book! Pick me! Pick me!

  17. I’d love to start holiday knitting early. This would be wonderful inspiration for sure!

  18. Murray McKnight says:

    What a great book. I would love to win a copy. Also, I must say Loki is adorable, but he does has mischief in his eyes. Your sweater-jacket is awesome.

  19. This book looks so interesting! Thanks!

  20. Pat Sywenky says:

    I would love to have the opportunity to win the book. There are some nifty looking projects in there.

  21. Oh, pretty pretty please!!!!!

  22. Holly Dambaugh says:

    The book looks like a great one. Love the samples you picked. I think it would be a great bookto own.

  23. Shirley Ryan says:

    Sounds like a really fum book!

  24. The projects in the book look lovely.

  25. Love that green color! The Jean Moss looks interesting.

  26. I like the idea of several sizes for 1 project – how versatile!

  27. I would love this!

  28. This looks like a fun book. I see something’s that would to great gifts.

  29. Yes please enter me in the book give away. I want to knit the toran! Loki is beautiful, love that fluffy white belly!

  30. Luanne Patterson says:

    What a fun book!

  31. Loki is a beautiful kitty. It looks like he loves his new home.

  32. I’d love to receive a copy of the book. i also like the sweater you finished. Great for winter!

  33. I would LOVE this book, and your cardigan is just beautiful!

  34. Looks like a fantastic book!

  35. Jeanne Palermo says:

    I’m another Jean Moss fan and would love to add this to my library. Thanks Wendy. Love your posts.

  36. What a neat book. I just finished a baby snuggie that has a button open bottom. They are fun easy and quick. I love the swirl.

  37. It looks like a great little book, with good ways to use up my stash.

  38. These are all great ideas. I’ve downsized recently and seeking new ideas for gift making.

  39. The book looks very interesting with not the “same ole” gift stuff.

    Your cardi/jacket is lovely and seems well worth your efforts.

    Loki sounds like he still has a lot of kitten in him and I bet he keeps you on your toes and makes you laugh, which is a good thing, at least the laughter.

    Thank you Wendy.

  40. Wow my jind of book. Thanks Wendy for the chance to win.

  41. Joan from Wisconsin says:

    Would love the book. Sounds so great. Love your new kitty too. What a sweetheart. Will follow the blogs. Love to see and learn new things.

  42. Natalie Doyle-Hennin says:

    Gotta love that Loki! He seems to have found the home of his dreams.

    Small projects sound like a big idea right now; I haven’t been able to pick up my needles in weeks due to problems coming from out of left field.

    The Alice Starmore project made a beautiful coat, Wendy.

    Cheers, all.

  43. Love the projects in this book and I enjoyed your review. It would be a great addition to my knitting library. Thanks Wendy!

  44. gayle crowley says:

    Fabulous book. Would love to add it to my collection!

  45. I would love to win this book.

  46. Sign me up for this book!!! Maybe I’ll be able to finish one of these projects and not add another UFO (unfinished object) to my already overwhelming stash. I am so busy…I want to make something…I get started, have to put it down and after awhile, I loose interest. Finishing one thing always encourages me to work on an old project to get it finished also.

  47. I love it! I love the stole and the door hanging and want to do both. The only problem will be deciding which one to start first!

  48. Midnite Baker says:

    Wendy, so glad you have found a new furry companion. Loki is a long whiskered fluff ball.
    And your sweater looks lovely too. Sorry, like your cat better. Take Care. M

  49. Book looks great, cat looks greater! I have an all white cat too, not long haired (Thank heavens, he leaves enough fur as it is!), who loves to sleep on his back. It’s practically the only way Sushi sleeps, granted with various contortionist variations, with his green eyes closed on a white sofa . Would you care to guess how many times he’s been sat upon?

  50. I already see two patterns featured in your review which I could definitely use – the “Cuddle Cocoon” (for baby expected Jan 9th) and the Hendrix guitar strap and belt (for my grandson). Thanks for the opportunity to win the book!

    I love your Maidenhair cardigan as well as everything you knit!

  51. Oh dear. If I don’t win, I’ll have to buy it. There are many clever ideas in here.

  52. I would love to win. Thanks for the chance. I would like to make the baby cocoon.

  53. That looks like a really cool book. Please count me in for this one.

    The Maidenhair looks great, and I certainly love tunic length tops and long sweaters, but how long does it take you to button all the buttons?

    And Loki has certainly perfected that “Who me?” look.

  54. Great book for the holiday knitting!

  55. Love the Cuddle Cocoon. I have three babies arriving soon so its the perfect quick knit. Thanks for the giveaway. the new cardi looks great.

  56. Gina Zahra says:

    OOOhhhhh…..Christmas Presents!!! I have my fingers crossed 🙂

  57. I love the welcome toran sooooooooooo much! (and Loki is really gorgeous too)

  58. I simply adore the welcome torn!

  59. Loki is soooo adorable and I love his name! Please put me in the drawing for the book 🙂

  60. TooTwistedDonna says:

    This looks like a perfect little book for all those last minute Gifts!!!! What a great
    addition to any library!!

  61. Nancy Butnick says:

    Great ideas for new things to knit! Love it!

  62. What a handsome boy Loki is! Love the cardigan, some day I may finish one myself but I think the book of great little gifts might just be more my speed.

  63. I would have a hard time picking a few favorites from this book! I think the tea cozies are whimsical and fun. The Kitten’s Paw Stole and Cuddle Cocoon have also caught my interest. Is the book available in the US?

  64. I’m ready to start knitting for the holidays. I’ve made a similar baby sack before. They are awesome!

  65. knittingdancer on Ravelry says:

    Love the Kitten’s Paws Stole pattern.

  66. Love that Cuddle Cocoon! Thanks for the chance to win.

  67. The book looks fantastic. I’m adding it to the wishlist now 🙂

  68. what a great book. Sure I would love a copy of it. Looking forward to reading all the blog post too

  69. Grandchild number 2 on the way. These patterns would be great!

  70. I love books that have quick fun projects for gift giving. This book look like a fun adventure.

  71. Yipee! Another draw.
    Loki you’re looking great.

  72. I am always looking for new ideas as gifts so this would be a very welcome addition to my library. Thanks for the tiveaway.

  73. That looks like a sweet little book!

  74. This book looks great. Thanks for the chance to win!

  75. Almost instant gratification projects:)

  76. Not to jinx my chance to win the book, but I will be buying this one if I don’t get picked to win.

  77. I would love to win this as we have a new little one coming to my niece and she would love a cocoon.
    Thanks for sharing..

  78. Would love this book! Have hit the knitting doldrums lately and think a clever small project is just what I need to get back into it.

  79. I’d love to win the book!

  80. The Toran hanging would be ideal for my many Noro leftovers! I love Jean Moss’ designs, and win or not, I’ll be adding this book to my collection.

  81. I love knitting books! Especially ones that have lots of neat gift ideas!

  82. Patti Dmytras says:

    Your last three sweaters are just beautiful. Please include my name in the book giveaway.
    Thank you.

  83. What a fun book! And timely.

  84. This book looks fantastic! I have to get on the ball for my holiday knitting, and this will really help.

  85. What a fantastic looking book! and lots of fun with the learning…..

  86. Oh what a fun book! I know I would love a copy:) and your sweater is fantastic. It looks amazing and so comfortable to wear too. 🙂 enjoy!

  87. Linda Hasley says:

    Wow, I love the sweater, Wendy.

  88. Vicki Johnson says:

    The book looks great! Loki is lucky to have such a wonderful mommy. I am so glad you found each other.

  89. Loki is such a beautiful cat.

  90. Looks like a great book. I would love to add it toy collection. Thanks!

  91. Cecilia David says:

    I love Loki’s facial expressions. Only another cat owner knows that innocence is deceiving.

  92. This book sounds like a catalog of “instant” knitterly gratification. I love small projects! Having said that, here’s my disclaimer: I’m currently working on a sweater (!) for my niece, and two tricorn (pirate!) hats that will be felted — I tried on the first one kntted, and it’s wider than my shoulders. So most of what’s on the needles right now is BIG.
    Your Maidenhair is luscious; I wish I could knit that fast!
    CeltChick´s last blog post ..Two idiots & a van

  93. Thanks for the chance to win this book. The projects look like a fun knit.

  94. Loony Nuna says:

    What fantastic projects in the book. I really like the Odalisque and Jubilee hats.

    Your Maidenhair is lovely!

  95. Have to make the Hugs socks!

  96. Those gift ideas are GREAT! Thanks for passing it along and I hope I win!

  97. Elaine Larsen says:

    Entering the drawing!

  98. Love the stole!!! I would like to be entered to win the book. Please more Loki… soon.


  99. Gina in the San Francisco Bay Area says:

    As you said, the timing on this book is perfect. Looking forward to the further adventures of your beautiful boy.

  100. It looks like Loki is settling in just fine. He is a beautiful boy.