Posts Tagged ‘crochet books’

31 Days to Get Organized: Organizing Your Craft Books, Magazines, & Pattern Books

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
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Wow! We’re just about halfway done with organizing our knitting and crocheting lives. I’ve been impressed with all of the work you’ve been doing so far this month. Great job everyone!

Next up we’re tackling our knitting and crochet patterns. Today we’re going to sort through our books, pattern books, and magazines – all those patterns we might keep on a bookshelf. We’ll cover organizing single patterns tomorrow and digital patterns and eBooks on Saturday.

Gather Your Stash

If your bookcases are overflowing with knitting books, craft magazines, and crochet patterns, today’s task is perfect for you. Start by pulling all of your craft books, pattern books, and magazines off of your shelves. You might have these spread all over the house. Some of them may be hiding in a stack on a table or desk. Collect them all into one place.

Pre-Sort Your Stash

If you have a sizable collection, do some pre-sorting as you’re pulling everything together. Don’t spend too much time with this step. Don’t start flipping through the pages yet. This will slow you down. Just start stacking in broad categories like pattern booklets, magazines, knitting books, crochet books. This will speed up your finer sorting stage later. Also if you need to break up today’s task over a few days, it’ll be easier to sit down one day and just tackled magazines for example.

De-Stash

Now it’s time to make some decisions. What are you going to keep and what are you going to get rid of? This is going to feel a little like when you were de-stashing your yarn – keep, give away, toss. Keep anything you think you will use someday. I have a rule for myself I try to follow. If a book, magazine, or pattern book doesn’t have at least 3 patterns that I will make someday, I get rid of it.

Your tastes change over time too. Maybe you bought some sock books at one point, but realize after knitting some that you actually hate making socks. No reason to keep them. Getting rid of duplicates is a no-brainer too. When you’re done going through your stacks, consider getting rid of your give-away pile the same way you got rid of some of your yarn. Books and patterns are great additions to a yarn swap.

Fine Tune Your Sort

Go through your keepers and start sorting them like you would want to store them. Group your magazines by publisher and sort them by date. Magazines are floppy, so I like to store them in magazine files since they don’t take up much space on a shelf. A magazine binder also works great. I find pattern books kind of floppy too and tend to get lost on a shelf, especially the kind with stapled spines. So I like to keep these in magazine files too.

For books, I sort them by craft, and then sort them further by how to, stitch dictionaries, and pattern collections. Most books fall into one of these three categories. Others may prefer to sort by author name or book title. When I’m looking for a book, usually I’m looking for a type of book such as baby garments. Pick the sorting method that works for you.

Flag Your Favorites

Now comes the time consuming part. If you have trouble finding the patterns in your collection that you’re looking for, you might want to add this extra step. As you’re doing your fine sort, flip through the pages and mark your favorite patterns with a sticky note or tape flag. Sticky notes can be particularly nice since you can jot down the name or type of pattern on the edge of the note and have that portion stick out from the edge of the book. On Sunday, we’ll be covering more tips on how to track your pattern collection so you can find what you want.

Hope you have fun with this task. When I go through my pattern books and magazines, I always rediscover something I forgot about and get inspired all over again.

What is your favorite tip that helps you find the pattern you want from your pattern books and magazines?

- Dena

The Buzz at WEBS – December 16, 2011

Friday, December 16th, 2011
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This week the WEBS staff is buzzing about some of their favorite books.

There have been lots of great books published this past year but one of my favorites is the recently released All Wound Up by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  This latest collection of knitting essays is a fun and enjoyable read, perfect for any knitter on your holiday list. We can all use to laugh a little more!
> Kathy E.

Vintage Modern Knits slowly crept onto my radar as a ‘must own’ book. First we received the trunk show in the store and I tried on the Brigid Jacket, knit in my favorite shade of green. Next, at Stitches East, I saw fellow staff member Greta wearing the Yangtze Cardigan sample and she “convinced” me to try it on. Now I walk by (and check out) the Cady Twisted-Stitch Mittens displayed in the store throughout my workday. I’ve been itching to work with more Fibre Company yarns lately and what better way to start than with this collection of gorgeous patterns designed for those same yarns?
> Emma W.

Knit Noro Accessories – I love the beautiful colors of Noro yarns, but I have trouble finding projects to do with them. I’m not the kind of person to wear an entire sweater out of something so colorful (I have a lot of gray in my wardrobe), so accessories are a perfect way for me to have fun with color without going over the top. There are great basic accessories as well as some Entrelac Mittens that I’m smitten with!
> Mary K.-H.

Crocheted Softies by Stacey Trock is a great addition to my crochet book collection. The patterns are so fun, and there are so many different critters to make! I love how the finished softies are big and squishy; perfect for a little one to cuddle. If you aren’t quite confident in your crochet skills, don’t worry! Stacey is coming to WEBS January 21st to teach the tricks and techniques used to make these softies.
> Grace H.

The Intentional Spinner is a fantastic introduction to the world of fibers, spinning technique, theory and love for anyone with an interest in spinning their own yarn. It includes an instructional DVD for spinners who are just getting started, as well as advanced techniques for experienced spinners and a great explanation of multiplayered terminology that is claear, easy to read and very practically helpful as you perfect your skills. One of my favorite spinning reference books.
> Ashley F.

The Buzz at WEBS – August, 19, 2011

Friday, August 19th, 2011
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This week the staff is buzzing about…

1. Recently I was at Sock Summit. As crazy as it sounds, surrounded by an entire marketplace of gorgeous sock yarn, one skein kept calling out to me – and it was in our booth!  Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, in the colorway Kale, was too pretty to pass up that weekend, so I cast on for a hat to help keep my hands busy while we waited for dinner and on the trip home. Knit on size US 5 needles, I am so happy with the drape of the fabric and the crisp stitch definition in the cables.  I’m glad this yarn finally caught my eye. > Tina M.

2. A lot of the older issues of Interweave Crochet Magazine are now out-of-print. But The Best of Interweave Crochet includes some of my favorite patterns such as Northern Dream Pullover, Babette, and Luna Sweater. What a great collection! > Dena C.

3. Swans Island Worsted – This gorgeous certified organic merino yarn features all natural dyes. It is an exquisite merino that is worth considering for your next special project. > Kathy E. (Note: Patterns for this yarn coming soon.)

4. The Fibre Company’s completely awesome new yarn, Acadia, felt like knitting with a fluffier, bouncier version of my former favorite yarn of theirs, Terra! I love the rustic texture, gorgeously saturated color, and the sheen from the silk; the complexity of the yarn worked really well with the pattern, Kate Gagnon Osborn’s Avery Cowl, which is a free Ravelry download. I was so sad to give this up, I think I’ll probably be buying enough of this for a sweater sometime in the near future! > Elisabeth P.

5. I have been scoping out my next weaving project for several months. And every time I walk by the weaving samples the Blue & White Striped Dishtowels catch my eye! I just love the feel of the Valley Yarns 8/2 Cotton Linen and the absorbancy it has is incredible. It has been a while since I have woven some towels for myself, I think it is high time for a fresh new set! > Karen M.


The Buzz at WEBS – July 8, 2011

Friday, July 8th, 2011
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This week the staff is buzzing about…

1. Little Red in the City: An Ysolda Knitwear Collection – This is a great collection of patterns for women of all shapes and sizes. But it’s the other details found in the book that make it extra special. Wonderful illustrations and photography, each pattern offered in a huge range of sizes, and a hefty resource section to help you achieve success with each sweater you knit. > Dena C.

2. Rollie StitchKeepers – Great to keep your stitches from sliding off your double point needles, and to hold the heel flap when turning the heel. > Gail C.

3. Sara’s daughter has finished crocheting the Monkey with a Fez from Creepy Cute Crochet. Way too cute!

4. Apparently humans aren’t the only ones excited when a new WEBS catalog arrives in the mail. Milo the cat loves our catalog too!

5. Tulip ETIMO Crochet Hook Set – Fantastic! Ergonomic grip handles are comfortable for long use and the set has scissors, yarn needle & ruler in with a transparent zippered pouch all wrapped up in an elegant looking snapped clutch!! I could be stranded for days with just this set , my Addi Lace Interchangeable needles and just one bin from my stash. > Lisa G.

http://www.yarn.com/webs-expert-knitter-certification/

Don’t Disrespect the Granny

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
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Hi Everyone:

When Knitting It Old School was published last year, I was excited on many levels.

Old School

1.  I was thrilled that Caro & Stitchy were being published.  They are super talented and lovely and I was just happy that good things were happening for them.

2.  I knew there were a couple of garments in the book featuring our Valley Yarns.

Sock Hop

Pump Jockey

Rudies

Always awesome to see our yarns turned into something inspiring! But it’s even better to see them on real people:

Caro in her Rudie and her adorable hubby in his Pump Jockey

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Pump Jockey finished!

 

3.  Last but not least – The Dress.

 

Go-Go Granny (1)

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I talked about the Go-Go Granny Dress on Ready, Set, Knit when I interviewed Caro & Stitchy.  Yes it’s kitschy but there was something about it that just tickled me.  I’ve actually referenced it on a couple of occasions on the show.

Then the haters came along.

Okay, not haters per se but customers & friends who emailed or pulled me aside in the shop and said “Okay Kathy, please tell me you don’t REALLY like that granny square dress, tell me you were just saying that for the show and because the authors were in the studio with you”.  I heard this same comment MANY times in various iterations.

For the record:  I REALLY LIKE THE GO-GO GRANNY DRESS.

Think what you want but I don’t care.  This is a classic case of passing judgment on a garment without giving it a chance.

Look:

blog032711 757

That’s Caro & Stitchy and our dear friend, teacher and EZ disciple Annie F.  Annie is an AH-MAZE-ING knitter.  Seriously.  Look at her ROCK the dress.

I tried it on too and love it even more!

I saw Annie the next day and we chatted about the dress.  We discussed how great the dress looked on her.  she did point out that that everyone in the store LOVED the dress on her,  but she was wearing it in a “safe zone” surround by her peeps.  Good point.  Maybe she (and I eventually) will get strange looks or snickers when we are walking down Main Street in Noho in our dresses but that’s okay. (Maybe walking down Main Street together wearing the same dress at the same time, albeit in different colors and most likely different yarns isn’t the absolute best idea ever)

She bought yarn to make the dress at the event.  She’s using Cascade 220 Sport instead of Cotton Classic.  This was a personal choice, she doesn’t like crocheting with cotton.  I haven’t decided yet.

I realize that this particular garment may be an extreme example but try to keep in mind that even with the best models, stylists and photography its hard to judge garments without trying them on.

Also – when I’m excited about something here on the blog or on Ready, Set, Knit, it’s genuine.  For those of you who are longtime podcast listeners, you’ll recall I broke up with Silk Garden on the air.  I respect the yarn and its loyal following but we are not friends.  I just tend to chatter about the things I like vs the ones I don’t.

Do you have a knit or crocheted garment in your collection that you love but can’t believe you ever would?

Kathy

Building a Crochet Library Part 1

Friday, October 9th, 2009
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Recently on our podcast Ready, Set, Knit, Pixie and I finished up our latest project.  It was the Summer Pedals Cardigan from Interweave Crochet Summer 2009.  Before we started the project, we spent a couple of episodes reviewing the crochet books that we love and cherish.   I realize not everyone listens to the podcast, so I thought I would take our notes and give all of you that read the blog the information.  I’m thinking I’ll do this over two posts, but it may turn into three.  We’ll see.

Let’s start with crochet reference books & stich dictionaries.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have at least on solid reference book in your collection.  What will work for you will probably be different than what works for me or Pixie, so we’ve compiled a healthy list.  Everyone learns differently and some books have different strengths and teaching methods than others. 

In terms of reference books, one should be small enough to carry in your crochet bag so you’ll have it with you at all times.  Two books that fill the bill are Edie Eckman’s The Crochet Answer Book

and Nancy Brown’s The Crocheter’s Companion, which is spiral bound – a definite plus when you are using it on the go!

They both have good illustrations and cover a wide variety of techniques.  Another good reference book that is spiral bound is Nancie Wiseman’s The Essentioal Book of Crochet Techniques.

 

It has excellent illustrations in color as well as all of the requisite information.

A larger book that we really love but can’t easily carry around is Crocheting School:  A Complete Course, puslished by Sterling. 

 

It has the best, large color illustrations of any crochet book and it’s one Pixie depends on and that I have in my own personal library.

Crocheting in Plain Englishby Maggie Righetti is another very good reference book, particularly for beginners. 

Be sure to read Chapter 1,  “A Living History”.   It is a charming short story about the author’s experiences with crochet from the age of 7.  What’s lovely about this book is that the author writes as if she’s talking directly to you and shares many of her experiences as a struggling crocheter and as a crochet teacher. 

A new book out by Jane Davis, Crochet:  The Complete Guide (spiral bound as well = love) is a lovely little book with lots of great information – however, in this instance the title maybe a tad bit on the ambitious side.

Rowan also has a new book out called Crochet Workshop:  The Complete Course for the Beginner to Intermdiate Crocheterby Emma Seddon and Sharon Brant (spiral bound too) that is quite interesting, has wonderful color illustrations and covers pretty much everything a crocheter needs to know. 

In addition, there are some great patterns and a lot of ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

One last book to mention is by Pauline Turner and is titled Finishing Techniques for Crochet. 

This is the first book we’ve seen that is dedicated to finishing techniques for crochet and it certainly has some great information.

Next, you need at least one good stitch dictionary – but Pixie and I both agree you can never have enough of them.  Some personal choices we like are as follows.

The Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden (spiral bound):

 

The Harmony Guides 300 Crochet Stitches vol. 6 and 220 More Crochet Stitches, vol 7

I own both of these books and refer to them frequently when I’m itching to crochet.  They give charted as well as worded directions (which is why Pixie & I both love them – she’s a chart lady and I need words) along with some of the most wonderful stitches you’ll ever see.

The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs by Linda Schapper has 500 classic and original patterns, a wonderful pictorial index so you can find what you need very quickly and an overall nice format. 

Finally, another little book (spiral bound) by Helen Jordan is called Textured Crochet and contains some very beautiful and unusual stitches. 

This would not be my first choice if I was looking to purchase my first stitch dictionary, but that’s just me. 

I hope you find this list helpful and not too overwhelming.  Like any tool or yarn choices, mileage may vary based on your own taste and learning style.

What crochet book do you love and turn to again and again?

Kathy (and Pixie too!)

Note – Edited on 10/12/09 to correct a couple of typos!

Substituting is Hard to Do

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
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I was really thrilled when this showed up at the shop last week:

There are two reasons – well make that three.  First, I love Storey Publishing’s series of One Skein books.  Secondly (and consider this the full disclosure portion of this post), there are several WEBS staffers (current and former) who have projects in the book, along with a couple of other industry friends.  Congratulations to you all.  Thirdly, I have a wee little projected included as well!

Just a sweet little baby hat, knit using a bulky yarn.  I chose to use Fibre Company’s Pemaquid.  It’s a yarn we’ve carried for awhile and I’ve always been enamored with it.  I selected it because I wanted to use a chunky yarn -I knew there would be lots of stunning lace projects and gorgeous socks and just wanted to be a little different.  The pattern itself is simple and I even incorporated some beads on the tassel.

While waiting for the book to come out, one of the worst things that can happen to someone who has used a yarn in a project that has been accepted for publication happened.  I found out the yarn was discontinued.  UGH!  How did I let this happen to me?  I own a yarn store!  I speak with the yarn vendors all the time!  I made the fatal error that sometimes happens to designers.  I fell for the yarn.  Head over heels, I-must-have-you- and-nobody-else-but-you, in love.  I just had to knit with it!

Rather than be practical and make a quick call or send an email to double check and say “Hey, Pemaquid’s solid for the next couple of seasons, right?” I let the yarn fumes get to me.  I basked in the glory of swatching, knitting a bit, frogging, knitting some more, etc., until the wee little hat was done.  For what it’s worth, the yarn did behave well during the process.  I was a little worried, given its content (60% baby alpaca/30% merino/10% soy) and the fact that it’s loosely spun,  that it might not hold up to the frogging, but it did so quite nicely.  So, there is my hat in the brand new book.  Now, I must find a substitute.

In considering what yarn to use, I had to start with gauge.  Pemaquid knit at 3 sts = 1″ on a #10.  I took a look at our Valley Yarns line and although Berkshire would knit to the gauge I need, I didn’t think the yarn was right for this project both in feel and quite honestly, as much as I love Berkshire, I wouldn’t classify it as luxury.

So, out to the store I went.  I stayed out of the warehouse because selecting a closeout would only compound the problem (although I do think there are a couple of nice options out there).  Now, for those of you who have shopped the store, you know we have a lot of yarn.  That’s true even for those of you who shop on-line with us.  I figured I’d have more options than I’d know what to do with.  Wrong – again!  Although we have quite a few 3-3.5 sts to the inch yarns, the second criteria I was using was feel.  How would the yarn feel on a little one’s head?  Nobody wants an uncomfortable baby!  Uncomfortable babies = unhappy babies.  Unhappy babies are no fun.

Here’s what I’ve got for choices at the moment:

1.  Ariosa from Classic Elite.

This yarn was actually one of the first ones that came to mind.  I knew without looking the gauge would be right and I knew it was super soft.  Ariosa is 90% extrafine merino/10% cashmere.  It has 87 yards and at 3.5 stitches to the inch, I’m confident I can get it to the gauge I need.  The only problem?  Ariosa has  pretty sophisticated color palette.  I was going to leave this one off the list, but kept coming back to it.  For the traditionalists among you, there’s the cream color and a few primaries.  For the rest of us, I’m pretty partial to the lime green.

2. & 3.  Next up are two similar yarns.  Misti Alpaca Baby Chunky and Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande.

Both are 100% baby alpaca and both are spun similarly (to each other and Pemaquid).  Misti’s has 108 yards and knits at 3.5 sts = 1″.  Plymouth’s has 110 yards and knits at 3 sts = 1″.  The color palettes are different although I think both have nice options (both also have handpaint options if that’s the look you are interested in).  One other point to make with these two options is that I think you would be able to get two hats out of one skein – not 100% sure until I try it out, but that’s what my gut is telling me at the moment.

4.  Lastly, I had to consider the pinnacle of luxury -  cashmere.  Despite Steve’s diatribes about my cashmere stash (which is not nearly as extensive as he thinks it is) we actually don’t carry a lot of it in the store.  I also want it noted that I did not go with cashmere in the first place.  For me, the natural choice was Classic Elite’s Sinful:

Sinful is 100% cashmere and knits at 3.5 sts = 1″.  The palette is lovely and the yarn screams “make me into adorable heirloom quality baby items”.  This is the most expensive of all of the options shown.

So, what do you think?  Do I have a winner here?  Is there another yarn I’ve overlooked (it’s got to be one that I carry – only criteria).  Vote in the comments so I can get knitting!