Category Archives: Book Review

Review: Pom Pom Magazine


I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I’m a fairly monogamous knitter. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been blogging about my Coquette Vest/Tank/thing, and it’s still coming along great. In fact, I’ve already separated at the armholes and am almost halfway up the back. The end is in sight! Still, nothings really changed enough for me to take pictures, so I figured that I would blog about something else today.

A couple of weeks (months?) ago, I participated in the Playful Day Podcast’s post-Ravellenics Knit Along. I managed to win a copy of the super-awesome Pom Pom magazine, a UK publication that has been in the podcast several times but I was not able to get my hands on. It came in the mail a few days ago, so I thought I would blog my thank you to Magazine and Podcast for such an awesome gift. Thanks!

First of all, the wonderful ladies over at Pom Pom wrapped my copy in tissue paper with a personalized tag, which was a wonderful touch. I really appreciated that!

And after I ripped that tissue paper off, here’s what I found. Surprisingly, it feels a little more like a booklet then a magazine, at least in size and binding. They used matte paper (instead of glossy, which is what most magazines use), too, which was something different. It definitely fit their aesthetic  was probably more economical, and I don’t think it took anything away from the magazine. Overall, it was probably a smart choice.


Like all Knitting Magazines, my definite favorite part is the patterns. Onda was one of my favorites! This publication follows the whole pictures and brief information in the front, pattern in the back model, which was something to think about as I flipped through. I don’t think it’s my favorite way to go about things, because I might fall in love with a sweater and get really excited, only to realize that it uses a method or construction that I don’t like further down the road. Still, it doesn’t make these patterns any less yummy!

Speaking of patterns, I wanted to give you a little glimpse at the layout Pom Pom uses. It is definitely not what you see in most magazines! I really enjoyed how the schematics actually showed what the garment looks like. Plus, they’re plenty big. The type and charts is bigger than what you find in most magazines, too, which was a pleasant surprise. It felt much more like I was getting a pattern out of a book or the internet!

The next most awesome thing about this magazine was the variety of features. To top off the crafty-ness, there is also a Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead, a Mexican holidy) theme going on here. They included a recipe for Chili Chocolate Cake and a Skull Embroidery Pattern, along with a small section about the holiday. Coming from 4 years of High School Spanish (and even some Elementary School Spanish!), this is definitely a holiday that I know a fair amount about. Still, I’m not sure how familiar someone from the UK would be with it, probably making it a very original idea!

Overall, there are definite plusses and minuses to this magazine. Still it’s a very original approach to a knitting publication, so I encourage you guys to check it out. Thanks again to the publishers of Pom Pom and the Playful Day Podcast for letting me win a copy- I’m really enjoying it!






Catching up and Interweave Review


My internship is over, so I finally, finally have the time to sit down and write a long post. I’m going to miss it, but I do look forward to all of the knitting and blogging time in my future!

I finished the Molly hat just in time to give it away…and not enough time to take any pictures with it (or even block it). Still, the recipient loved it, so I think that I will survive! I’m back to working on my Zest Cardigan. I just CO the first sleeve. It’s a bottom up raglan, so after than I’ll just have to do the yoke, block, and sew up- easy peasy! (Famous last words)

But none of those projects are the reason that I felt obligated to post. Two days ago, the Fall 2012 Interweave Knits hit my mailbox. Okay, so it probably hit my mailbox at school days before that, but campus mail was nice enough to forward it to my parents’ house, so now I finally get the chance to talk about it with you. There’s something about this issue that I’m not completely in love with. There’s not a single pattern in here that I JUST HAVE TO KNIT, which is really strange for me, especially considering that this is a fall, not summer or spring, issue. In fact, I don’t think that I’m going to make anything in here. Most of the pieces either feel like they’re for someone much older than me, or that they drastically miscalculated what 20-somethings like to wear. Let’s take a look, and I’ll show you what I mean.

Take, for instance, these three pieces from the Stitches Go to Town Collection. Besides the strange construction of the Blooming Forest Pullover (won’t sideways ribbed sleeves stretch a lot?), I feel like all three of these patterns are for people way, way different from me. The Petit Four Pullover is growing on me as something that would be great for work, but the lines of the second two aren’t very modern at all. I guess they’re all just too conservative, but especially since I think of hip and urban when I hear “go to town,” not 40 year old suburbanite.

These socks (from the “On the Road” collection) strike me as the most modern and forward-thinking piece in the magazine…and they’re socks. They remind me of a toned down version of the bubbles socks that I made a couple of months ago. Maybe I’ll give them a try. Maybe.

Next are the Roam Tunic and Sweetheart Pullover, also from the On the Road Collection. I guess it gets cold enough in some parts of the world for tunics and pullovers made from chunky yarn in some parts of the world, but I don’t think it ever gets that cold here. Ever. Plus, I don’t think that a tunic is the shape for me, and the picot edging on the pullover…to cutesy. But I do love the cables of both of them, which is just making me think of OTHER patterns, not either of these.

Amstel Hat

While I think that I would love knitting this hat, I’m not sure that I, or anyone else that I know, would ever wear it. I think it goes just past that hip/homemade look- not something anyone wants. That’s just my opinion, though. If I end up making a hat for a fashion-forward friend, I would definitely show them this pattern (although I admit that I would be surprised if they picked it!).

I think that this pattern might be the least of the evils in the All Wool and a Yard Wide collection. I guess it was aiming for English Country Garden (maybe that’s why there are so many rain-related patterns?), but I think it was a miss. Once again, I would show this to a fashion-forward friend, but I would probably be surprised it they picked it!

If I can ever bring myself to learn how to do colorwork, I would definitely make this as a warm and cozy rainy day cardigan (because I don’t have enough of those). This might be one of the few patterns in here were the vintage feel actually worked- maybe because the styling of the rest of the picture feels so modern. I don’t know.

So, what do you think? I’m excited to read everyone else’s reviews of the magazine- maybe someone can convince me that it wasn’t as horrible as I thought! And I completely promise to be back on Wed. with an update on the Zest Cardigan. It’s probably been over a month since I’ve taken pictures!



Feeling Lucky?


Guys, I don’t know what they’re putting in the water over here, but I have been winning blog contests left and right! First, I won the blogiversary contest over on Learner’s Per-Knit, then I won Tami’s anniversary contest for Candy Skein, and now a copy of California Revival Knits from Knitting to Stay Sane. I honestly have no idea what to do with myself (except knit!).

What with all of the traveling and starting my internship this week, I really don’t have much time for blogging. I feel like I should warn you guys that, honestly, there probably won’t be that many posts in the coming weeks. I’m thinking of moving to a once or twice a week schedule, instead of the three or four times a week that I normally do. I hope that’s OK with you guys!

California Revival Knits

But, in the mean time, I thought I would do my review of California Revival Knits. To be honest, I’ve been stalking this book as it has made it’s way around the blog-o-sphere, hoping that I would win a copy. And then I did! The book starts with an introduction to the California Revival style and some information on Stephanie Tallent’s design process, which I am very excited to read…eventually. And then, oh then, it moves onto the patterns.

Wrought Iron Cardi. Sniped from the ravelry page, link below

Right now, I’m keeping my eye on two favorites that I really must knit: the Wrought Iron Cardi and the Peacock Stole. The stole is a rectangular lace piece made out of DK weight that would probably make a very nice holiday gift. The Cardigan is part of a line of wrought iron pieces that have some beautifully featured delicate cables. As you might know, I have really been digging the cables recently, and am so excited to work on some more!

Peacock Stole. Sniped from the ravelry page, link above.

I also have a couple of other pieces that I really like, and will probably work on some time in the future. There’s the three others in the wrought iron series, a pair of fingerless mitts, socks, and a beret, plus the lacey Undersea Garden Cowl and the slightly beaded Tiles, a v-neck pullover. Most of the other pieces use some sort of colorwork, which is not really my thing, but they are completely beautiful, and may be how I learn 🙂 All in all, I am so thankful to Stephanie Tallent, the designer, Cooperative Press, the publisher, and Glenna C. over on the Crazy Knitting Lady for my copy of this wonderful book. It was such an AWESOME gift!


Review: Interweave Knits Summer 2012


Ok, so I’ll admit it: I got the magazine well over a week ago. But at the time, I could only spare a couple of seconds to flip through it, and then I had to focus on studying. And then I had to pack everything up to move out of my dorm room in a couple of hours, which means that I have basically no idea where most of my stuff is. But I did find the newest mag!

First of all, can I start by saying that I don’t usually find very much to like in the spring and summer mags? I’m not very into light garments, but this one had some ideas that really caught my eye. It was a pleasant surprise.

Greta Headband

First, the sterotypical headband. Still, I like the detailing on this one, and if I ever have a reason to make a knitted headband, this will probably be it. The stitch pattern and gathered (twisted?) detail will probably keep it pretty interesting. It’s certainly a step up from a simple garter stitch band, which is what I’ve had to do in the past.

Sakura Tee

Can I say how pretty this is? I’m not sure that I’d actually make it- if it’s warm enough for me to go sleeveless, it’s probably too warm for what looks like worsted-weight yarn, even if it is lace made out of cotton. Plus, the sleeves would NEVER sit normally on me. But the front panel sure is pretty to look at.

Planche Vest, Pianissimo Mitts, and Coquette Vest

Now, I actually am considering making the Coquette Vest (right). It’s done out of much more practical lace-weight (although it might take FOREVER), and I think it might look pretty good with a t-shirt underneath it. It looks like it’s pretty fitted (and the description also talks about a “strong hourglass shape”), so it might be something that would work with my shape. This might be the one thing from this mag that I actually make (there’s usually at least one)…we’ll see.

Seaglass Shell

Like the Sakura Tee, I just had to show you this shell. I mean, I’d never wear it (I don’t know about most professional settings, but a lace back panel is a big no-no for teachers), but it sure is pretty to look at.

Popsicle Dress

The other garment I’m considering making is the Popsicle Dress. OK, I do think that knitted dresses are generally pretty stupid, but I really like this one. It could just be the colors, but it’s really catching my eye. And THIS is something that I could wear to work, especially with a little sweater and a couple extra inches on the hem.

Needle Guide

Moving away from patterns, my favorite feature (and the only one I actually read) was the Tools of the Trade segment, which this time focused on needles. While it did cover the basics (metal needles are more slippery, circulars are good for knitting in the round, etc.), it also went more in depth, especially when reviewing brands. I really appreciated the comparison of different types of interchangeables. It was nice to know that other people (or at least the reviewers) have problems with their joins becoming untwisted while knitting.

Well, that’s it for me now. I will definitely be back with a WIP Wed. post. It’s definitely going to be one of my designs, although I’m not sure which one. I guess we’ll just see!


Review: Slipped Stitch Studios Needle Nook


So, as promised, I’m reviewing my new Needle Nook from Slipped Stitch Studios. Before I start, I just wanted to say that I am in no way affiliated with Slipped Stitch Studios. I had to pay for my Needle Nook fair and square, including shipping! That said, it was pretty reasonably priced. $13.50 plus $3.25 came out to just under $17, and that shipping was really, really quick. I think it got across the entire country in three days!

Nook in Action.

Onto my description. You guys are going to have to forgive me, because I don’t know very much about sewing terminology, beyond the fact that this baby is really, really well constructed. You can’t see any of the seams, inside or outside, and there have to be several layers of fabric. My super-sharp US 1 DPN’s could even get through this fabric, and I’ve had them poke me through my heavy-duty LL Bean camping backback, my Vera Bradley quilted purse, and basically anything else I’ve tried to keep them in. There are three snaps on the inside, with two on one side and one on the other to accommodate for shorter DPN’s. I probably don’t need to, but I always end up using all three. They do make a very satisfying snap!

Inside and Out (love the polka dots!)

Slipped Stitch Studios does her products in a TON of different fabrics. It was a tough choice (second choices were a more abstract pattern and sock monkeys on pogo sticks), but I finally settled on the penguins wearing knitwear, which is just plain adorable. The inside lining makes a pretty contrast, and I really appreciate that detail. Also, I don’t even remember if it said this online, but she added a zipper in between the two layers to make a side pocket. Unfortunately, my zipper is a little broken, but it still works very well. Definitely not worth the trouble of returning it! The only thing I don’t like about the pocket is that it covers the whole nook, not just a certain area. The yarn needle that I slipped in there ended up in the opposite corner as the zipper, but I found it with a relatively quick feel around.

Broken Zipper. It’s usable, and the fabric covers it up so you can’t really tell unless you’re looking. I’ll live.

In the end, I would definitely recommend this product for those of you who make socks on DPN’s as often as I do. As long as I actually use this, I’m sure there will be no more accidental self-stabbings! The flaws in the design and definitely outweighed by the construction and attention to detail. At just under $17 after shipping, this thing is practically a steal!

Bubble Sock No 2!

And if you’re here for a progress report on my Bubble Socks, I’m about halfway through the foot of the second one. As long as nothing changes, they should be done by my next post. Or are those famous last words?


Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner


A couple of weeks ago I won a blog contest! The lovely autumngeisha was generously giving away her doubles to two items: Knitting it Old School by Stitchy McYarnpants and Caro Sheridan and “KnitScene” Winter 2011. Thanks to her wonderful generosity, I have two new knitting books to add to my shelf! First, I thought I would review the copy of KnitScene.

KnitScene and Knitting it Old School

Although there are a few patterns that I really like, there’s not much in here I would knit. These, for instance. Really pretty on the page, but not quite worth my time to knit…mainly because I would probably never wear them!

Nora Dress

Tereza Pullover

Uxbridge Cardigan

I do, however, like the Francisca Hat by Amanda Scheuzger. It’s got a nice amount of slouch, and would probably make a great Christmas present…for someone. I will definitely add it to the list and keep an eye out for some suitably drapey yarn!

Francisca Hat

Can I just say, though, that what really made this mag worth it for me are the articles? First, the history geek in me rejoiced for the one about the history of Angora Bunnies. Did you know that rabbits really only native to Spain, and that their diversification is really due to traders? Plus, it comes complete with a map, which really made me happy!


And then, of course, I really loved the article on drape from Stefanie Japel. When I first started really knitting, Japel’s Fitted Knits was one of the first books that I bought, so I really trust that she knows what she is talking about. It was really informative to me, especially as a budding designer!


Stay tuned in the next couple of days for a review of Knitting it Old School, plus my progress on a little distracting project AND the Locke Cardigan.


Lazy Saturday


It’s been a kind of dark and rainy day, so, despite my best intentions, all I want to do is curl up and go to bed. After a laundry debacle, I’m trying to work (rather unsuccessfully) on a paper. Of coarse, the paper is not due for another three weeks. Then why would I be working on it, you may ask? Well, it’s because I just realized that I had FOUR papers due in the same week. That’s right, every class that I have to write papers for has a paper due in the same week. I’m going to knock one out this weekend, and another next weekend. Of the last two, one is a group project, so that shouldn’t take TOO much time. The Professor of the last one is being a little pissy about setting topics in advance (OK, his wife is pregnant, so I bet things at home aren’t going too well. And I do love this guy…I am making the baby a blanket, so forgive that comment. I wasn’t being mean), so he’s just going to get a paper that was written two days before. He’ll survive. My grade will survive. It will be fine. So, to kill time before my dryer finishes my laundry, I thought that I would write this up.

the section is literally called 'fancy work.' literally.

I got my new edition of Interweave Knits in this morning, and I must say I’m not extremely impressed. I know it’s the Spring issue, but can there be something in here that’s not a short-sleeve tank-top kind of thing? I just really don’t want to invest all of that knitting time in something I’m pretty sure that I’m never going to wear…and I’m never going to wear a tank-top the thickness of a knitted garment. Never.

Helpful, but not a whole ton of new information.

Still, there’s a nice feature on lace that goes from explaining the basics (a yo creates a whole in your fabric…and an extra stitch) to some explanations about how the patterning will pull the fabric. It’s interesting, and I liked some of the other articles, but I’m pretty sure that there’s not a single thing in there that I would knit. Sorry, Interweave, but I’m going to call that issue a fail.


I have been getting some pretty steady work on my cardigan. I finished the first sleeve, and am about half way done with the second. I’m hoping to finish it up today or tomorrow, and then I’ll do that last little ribbing on the body before moving on to the button band/collar. I’m imposing a deadline on this sweater: if I’m not finished by the end of the month I’m moving on to the baby blanket, because that has a pretty set in stone deadline 😉