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Every Which Way Crochet Borders By Edie Eckman: A Review And A Giveaway

This book review is part of a blog tour* to celebrate the publication of Edie Eckman’s new book: Every Which Way Crochet Borders.

Waaaaaaaay across the Atlantic in the US, is a woman who likes to live life on the edge. She’s based in Virginia** (which is on the edge of the US, you’ll note. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.) And this month, she’s brought out her second book about ornamental crochet borders. Y’see? Life on the edge. This woman adores borders. Can you imagine living in her house? Borders. Everywhere. I bet even her fridge has a perfect little fringe of picots across its top.***

Edie Eckman Every Which Way Crochet Borders review

But for just a few moments, I shall be serious.**** This is a book with charts and written instructions for 139 different crocheted borders. (Don’t be fooled by the fact that the numbered patterns only go as high as 125: there’s also designs A-N to top up the total.) You can apply these motifs to your crocheted, knitted, or fabric projects. That’s great, but what I really like is that the first thirty pages are devoted to the principles of creating the right border, in the right yarn, and the right colour(s) for your project. It will not tell you that your knitted washcloth must be edged with three rounds of purple puff stitch, but it will show you how to design an original border that’s just right. I like the fact that it’s not prescriptive, but instead empowers you to be creative.

Edie Eckman Every Which Way Crochet Borders review

Same design. Different colours. Big difference.

So of course, I had to have a play. Time was short and the twinnage were tetchy, so I’ve only made one border for this post. But I’ve followed Edie’s patterns/charts in other books before, so I know that they’re reliably clear and accurate.

She advocates working a base round in the same colour as the body of your project, in order to neaten away a multitude of wobbly yarny sins, and prepare for the ambitious stitchery ahead. This woman talks sense, and I wasn’t about to disobey:-

Edie Eckman Every Which Way Crochet Borders review

Ha, they’ll never see my wobblesome edges now.

I do like the fact that there’s a photographic directory at the back. Experience has taught me that I’ll never again buy a stitch dictionary without a photographic index. Look at all the pretties!

Edie Eckman Every Which Way Crochet Borders review

It was so hard to choose. But 68 is a nice number. Let’s try 68. (Yarn = Stylecraft Special Chunky. Hooks = Clover Amour: go speak to Janie Crow if you fancy some these super-speedy hooks. No that’s not an affiliate link – I just think that Jane is brilliant at what she does.)

Edie Eckman Every Which Way Crochet Borders review

The first round.

Now I’m immediately sinning by working a border that’s bigger than the fabric it encloses, but this is just a swatch, so I hope that you’ll forgive me.

Edie Eckman Every Which Way Crochet Borders review

Round two. Ding ding!

The written instructions combined with the charts should ensure that everyone is catered for, regardless of whether you’re a visual or a verbal thinker. There’s also an adapted chart that you can use if you want to work each design in back-and-forth rows, rather than in rounds.

edie beckman every which way crochet borders

Oops: never scribble reminders on your hand when you’re due to photograph said hands for a blog post. (Still, that’s not as idiotic as the time when I wrote loads of reminders on my hand at bedtime and then went to sleep… with my hand pressed against my face. Thank goodness I looked in the mirror before I went to work the next morning. Don’t try this at home, folks.)

Each design requires multiples of a specified number of stitches, but I warmed to Edie considerably when I saw that she’d included a brief note on fudging stitch counts. (Is it me, or does ‘fudging stitch counts’ sound like something you’d mutter under your breath when your mum’s visiting and you can’t swear properly?)

edie beckman every which way crochet borders

The range of designs is enormous, from very simple edges, to clever and elaborate borders:-

edie beckman every which way crochet borders

HOW cool is this?!

It’s written using US crochet terms, so those of us on the Brit-side will have to remember to adjust accordingly (unless you’re like me and show a rare disloyalty to the UK by using American crochet terms). In case you need a reminder, Edie includes a brief table of translation.

edie beckman every which way crochet borders

But between bouts of flicking through these fabulous finishes, I completed #68. Here y’go:-

edie beckman every which way crochet borders

Delightful, no?

Sorry folks, the final gong has sounded and the giveaway has closed. But a’fear ye not, there’ll be plenty more giveaways on this site soon…

A-n-y-w-a-y, did I mention a giveaway? I do believe that I mentioned a giveaway. Would you like to win a copy of this marvellous book, regardless of which corner of planet Earth you currently call home? Yes? YES? Well read on, Macduff.

To win a copy of Every Which Way Crochet Borders, leave a comment below. To gain a sneaky additional entry, you can also ‘like’ the Yarn’s Facebook page here, and leave a comment under the Facebook post for this blog post. (For Facebook comments only, you’ll need to include some way of reaching you in case you win – your Ravelry username would be just perfect.)

The competition is open worldwide, from RIGHT NOW until noon UK-time on Saturday 25th February 2017. After the gong sounds at that very moment, all the entries will be gathered up and a winner will be chosen randomly with assistance from the marvellous yet inscrutable folks at random.org. The winner’s contact details will be passed to Storey Publishing, so that they can arrange for your prize to be sent out. Don’t worry, neither they nor I will spam you.

And if you’re not lucky enough to win, you can buy a copy right now (£13.99 in the UK, and, um, other prices in other places). Enjoy!

edie beckman every which way crochet borders

#68 rocks.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book for review, so obviously my shallow and fickle mind has been swayed by a mere freebie, and you cannot trust a single word I say.

 

∗See yesterday’s post at Not Your Average Crochet, and tomorrow, hop on over to Petals To Picots.

∗∗No, I’m really not her stalker. I just read the blurb on the back of her book.

∗∗∗With apologies to Edie if your home is actually a temple to white Scandi minimalism.

∗∗∗∗No I don’t believe that, either.

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Prym Ergonomics Review

Sometimes an opportunity comes along at just the right moment.

Having posted the other day about visiting the Knitting and Crochet Guild archive, I was thinking a lot about the historical changes – or rather, lack of changes – in the tools that we use to work our yarn. And right when I was pondering the matter, the German company Prym contacted me to say, “S’cuse me Twisted, we’ve just revolutionized the design of the knitting needle. Would you care to take a nosey?”

Obviously, I said yes.

Let’s start with the facts. Prym has just this week brought out a new range of needles called Ergonomics. The clue is in the name: they went right back to the drawing board to try and figure out the perfect needle for your stitches. Many furrowed (knitted?) brows and many, many caffeine-fuelled hours later, they decided that they’d found the answer. Here’s the contents of the package that landed on my doorstep the other day:-

Shall we see what’s inside?

First and foremost, the folks at Prym came to the conclusion that the ideal knitting needle would have a little drop shape at its tip, to better catch stitches:-

Also, the central part of the shaft would be triangular in profile, and slightly narrower than the round portion near the ends. That’s tricky to show in a photograph:-

And they’d be made from ‘high performance synthetic material’ (erm, plastic?) which is flexible without breaking, and is also warm to the touch. Also, the straights could be clipped together, in order to prevent your stitches from wandering off-piste when your WIP is squished in the bottom of your handbag. Look!

Of course I put these needles to the test – the straights, and the DPNs – so that in true Twisted tradition, I can present you with the world’s most nerdy, nit-picketty review. And as I’ve oft said before, needle choice has a lot to do with personal preference, so there’s no point in anyone saying THESE NEEDLES ARE PERFECT, or THESE NEEDLES ARE TERRIBLE! I’ll try and give you an idea of what they’re like, so that you can decide whether or not they’d be right for you. OK?

So let’s cast on, and work a few rounds.

These are the 4mm (US size 6) double-pointeds in action. They’re light, and they’re warm, and I freakin’ love the bobbly nobble on the end – it’s ideal for grabbing hold of your yarn. That’s a genuinely splendid innovation.

One thing to note is that these needles are very grippy. Some of you will love this, some of you will hate it. I was quite slow knitting the Rowan Felted Tweed (pure wool) in these pictures, so I thought I’d change to some more slippery yarn to see whether that helped. Here’s some nice smooth green Rico Design cotton:-

Yup, that helped. Suddenly, I was knitting much faster.

There was another issue with tension, though, that I’m going to struggle to explain without sounding like a total needle nerd. If you look at the photo of the needle tips earlier in this post, you’ll see that the tapered section is quite long – longer than on any other needles I own. (And I own a lot of needles: the Stoic Spouse says you couldn’t find a haystack amongst my needles.) Now, it’s the widest portion of the needle that determines your loop size, and thus your gauge. This isn’t a problem if your needle reaches its greatest width fairly soon. But with these, I found that if I worked my stitches as normal, I was working them on the narrowed part of the needle, and so they were rather small, and very tight when I pushed them further along. Maybe I need to adjust my knitting style to match the needles. Maybe I need to get out more.

They’re handsome beasts, though:-

The design (including size) is printed on and not etched, and so like every other needle with printing along its length, this snazzy pattern is not going to stay put forever. Even after a few thousand stitches (albeit rather tight stitches!) the paintwork was starting to suffer:-

Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to use a needle gauge to check their size, despite the triangular profile, because the end sections are round like a conventional needle.

That reminds me: the triangular profile. This was easy to grip, especially in larger needles. And yes, these needles are very flexible. (I’m sorry, I couldn’t bring myself to try breaking one on your behalf. I just couldn’t.) But they certainly bend quite a bit without complaint. The 4mm DPNs almost felt too flexible, but maybe I’m just a violent knitter. I do wonder what the 3mm needles from the range would feel like, but I haven’t tried those.

Going bigger in size, the flexibility felt less worrying in the 6mm straights that I tried.

And have I mentioned that all of these needles are quiet? Seriously, they’re the quietest needles I’ve ever used. Maybe this doesn’t matter to you, but I’m writing as someone who’s sat through the twinnage’s music class trying desperately not to click-click-click as I knitted on metal or wood. They’re light, too.

So do I like them? Well, I’ll let my knitting tell you the answer, right here:-

Does that answer the question? They are slow, though, so I’ll save them for my slipperiest yarns. And the smaller-gauge DPNs did feel a wee bit too floppily-flexible for my personal preference.

Anyway, let’s talk about the range. As of this week, you can buy these pretties as straights and DPNs. In the summer, a range of circulars will be added. I like the sound of the circulars: the cord will be plastic-covered steel (exactly like some of the early 20th century needles at the Knitting and Crochet Guild: nothing is completely new!) and hopefully less annoyingly curly than some cords that I’ve encountered. Here are the sizes that you can buy right now:-

Straights:                           3-10mm (US sizes 2.5-15) in 35cm (14”).

3-12mm (US sizes 2.5-17) in 40cm (16”).

Double-pointed:               3-8mm (US sizes 2.5-11) in 20cm (8”).

These are relatively long needles. I’m not sure the DPNs need to be quite so long but again, maybe that’s just me.

They’re available throughout Europe. (Check the Prym website for your nearest stockist.) Those of you further afield will need to buy them from a European supplier, for now.

So should you throw your hard-earned cash in their direction? The droplet-shaped end really is rather fabulous. It’s hard to describe how wonderfully it engages with the yarn. If you like very grippy needles and if your gauge tends towards the loose, you’ll like ‘em. I think they’d particularly suit a beginner. Their warmth and flexibility is easy on the hands, too.

Go on, you know you want to.

Meanwhile, the folks at Prym have produced a video to show you more. It’s here:-

This post was sponsored by Viral Lab, but all opinions are my own. (Don’t look at me like that! How do you think I afford to buy all this yarn!)

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‘Head Over Heels’ Sock Yarn Review

See these?

head over heels stylecraft sock yarn review

These are happy feet.

If it weren’t for the fact that they’re pointing skywards, then they’d probably be dancing. Badly. So be glad that they’re safely away from the ground.

The reason for their joy is no doubt obvious. It involves some splendidly colourful new sock yarn. You may have heard already, but a few months ago, Stylecraft launched a range of 4-ply sock yarn called Head Over Heels. It’s 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon, and it comes in six different marvellously mountain-monikered colourways (Eiger, Everest, Fuji, Kilimanjaro, Matterhorn, and Olympus, in case you were wondering). In the photo above, the completed sock is Eiger (my personal favourite), and the sock-in-progress is Fuji.

picmonkey-collage

I was fortunate to be sent samples of both these shades earlier this year, but I held off posting about it because I wanted to thoroughly road-test the stuff before writing about it. The outcome? I like it. And so do my feet. I enjoyed the slow, leisurely shifts in colour.

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I knitted these socks (four of them, two in each colourway) everywhere, walking to collect the twinnage from school, and on trains and buses, and in the village pub. Socks-in-progress using yarn that does its own colour-changing thing make perfect out-and-about projects, because they’re much more discreet and portable than – say – an afghan. I still looked like an oddball knitting as I wandered the village, but at least I was a semi-discreet oddball.

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I brought the fourth-and-final sock to knit on the bus journey to collect my new car today (bye bye Stinkwagon!) This turned out to be a good thing, because the bus driver must have missed the bit of the training where they tell them to confine their driving mostly to the road, and instead he seemed to have just a little difficulty distinguishing between road and kerb/pavement/verge. The other project I’d brought with me was some complicated fair isle, which proved near-impossible on the top deck of a wildly-swaying double-decker bus. Top tip, people: don’t attempt complex knitting upstairs on a bus, especially when the driver is a bit reckless.

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A basic sock is just fine, however. In fact, the sock was such a good distraction during the more unnerving parts of the journey that I accidentally overshot with the foot section and have thus created a sock that would be absolutely perfect for a rather elegant giant who is possessed of extremely long but slender feet. Know anyone who’s like that? Me neither. Time to rip back a few rounds, I guess.

knitting on the tube

And I will knit them on a train, and I will knit them in the rain, and I will knit them on a bus, and I will knit without much fuss, and I will channel Dr Suess, and hope my knitting ain’t too loose.

That’s not the fault of the yarn, of course, so let’s get back to the review.

So as you can see, the stuff knits up nicely, and I didn’t come across a single knot. Yay! This is a personal thing, but I wish, wish, wish, that more lusciously variegated yarns would be made WITHOUT PINK! Why, why, why, does everything have to include blimmin’ pink?! Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. And yeah, I’m probably in the minority.

running and knitting in public

And I will knit whilst on a run, and I will knit out in the sun…

It’s reasonably soft, and being superwash, it’s pretty tolerant of your washing machine’s general grudge against all fabrics. As you can see from the images below, the length of the repeat varies between colourways, so you can find the yarn that best suits your project, whether you’re knitting socks or crocheting a shawl.

stylecraft head over heels sock yarn review

Images in this collage courtesy of Stylecraft.

  • Head Over Heels is available from major shops and online sellers, and comes in 100g balls. In the UK, it’s typically priced around £6.50-£7.00, so cheaper than many sock yarns.
  • Needle recommendation: 2.25mm-3.25mm.
  • 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon.
  • 100g = 400m.
  • Gauge: 28 stitches / 36 rows.
  • No, it’s not hand-dyed by eunuchs under the light of a full moon, BUT it’s way more affordable than eunuch-yarn could ever hope to be. And it’s soft.

So what are you waiting for?

log fire wine knitting hygge

 

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The Mindfulness In Knitting, A Book Review

It’s fairly rare for my day job (clinical psychologist) to collide with the knitting thing, but today a new book is published that spans both of these worlds, and I’ve been given the chance to review a copy. “Well if you absolutely insist,” I said. Actually, that last bit is a lie: I jumped at the chance. Allow me to introduce you to The Mindfulness In Knitting by Rachael Matthews, published TODAY by Leaping Hare Press.

The Mindfulness In Knitting Rachael Matthews review

It’s rather a beauty, don’t you think? Not that I’m superficial enough to judge a book by its cover…

Mindfulness – just in case you haven’t made its acquaintance – is a set of techniques derived from traditional Buddhist meditation. The purpose is to free oneself from angst about the future, the past, and the unknowable, by learning to tune in acutely to all of your senses in the present moment. (Melded with cognitive therapy, it’s created an approach that’s achieved a pretty impressive evidence base in treating recurrent depression amongst many other problems.) Mindfulness is mostly the brainchild of Jon Kabat-Zinn, a man who looks so uncannily like George W. Bush that it’s tricky to concentrate on anything he says because one is so busy marvelling at the resemblance. I once attended a ten-day conference-workshop with him, so I speak from experience.

But I digress.

This is no dry textbook, and I had to switch off my impatient day-job brain. It’s a series of reflections on the meaning of knitting, the purpose of knitting, the role of knitting, and the benefits of knitting. Reading each chapter (whilst knitting, of course) felt like a meditation on an aspect of our craft. The author hails primarily from a knitting and knit-activism background, rather than from a mindfulness/therapy background, but I can’t help respecting a woman who’s been thrown out of the bar of the Savoy for knitting.

The Mindfulness In Knitting Rachael Matthews review

The whole book feels like a peaceful space into which you can step at will to reflect on the significance of the stitches on your needles. Matthews recognizes that the process of knitting is particularly compatible with mindfulness. In her own words, “The utterly absorbing process of creating textiles provides us with an informal meditation space while connecting us with a heritage we cherish and ultimately a universe we understand.” And both knitting and mindfulness are increasingly recognized for their health benefits.

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The six chapters each address an aspect of the craft, considered mindfully. There are accompanying exercises designed to help you bring mindfulness deeper into your knitting, for example one contains a list of questions about the place that knitting occupies in your life right now. For me, these exercises were the least interesting part of the book, and I was far more absorbed when reading Matthew’s anecdotes and wisdom.

My favourite chapter is Knitting Circles And Craftivism, perhaps because Matthews’ background is rich with interesting experiences in this area. This section is a meditation on the implications, the politics, and the power of knitting in public, and knitting in groups – especially groups set up with the purpose of using knitting as a form of activism. Like the Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl McPhee) before her, Matthews writes about the unifying nature of making textiles, irrespective of the makers’ origins. It’s true, though: I’ve met knitters of many ages and backgrounds, but whilst we’re knitting together, we’re sisters (or brothers) in yarn.

The Mindfulness In Knitting Rachael Matthews review

I enjoyed this book most when Matthews wove in anecdotes, material from history, and other information. Early on, she considers her relationship with our knitting forebears, and – further back in time – with the practitioners of naalbinding, a frustratingly slow precursor to knitting that tested even Matthews’ yarn-related patience when she gave it a try. As she says, “the knitting experience is as much about the occupation of mind as it is the working of fingers”. Too true, as anyone faced with the instruction to knit acres of monotonous garter stitch can attest.

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There were reflections, too, that caught my attention, for example about how “someone, somewhere was probably knitting with us in mind in the months leading up to our birth”. I wonder what that person was hoping, expecting, and dreaming. My mother is a knitter, my grandmother was a knitter, but I’m not sure what if anything they created in the weeks before I arrived. I was also drawn to the section on the complexities of knitting for others, how a gift can in fact be a weapon when it arrives, hideously inappropriate but with the firm expectation that it shall be worn and appreciated. Knitting for others is a minefield, and we’ve all probably got some horror stories from times when we’ve been the giver or the receiver. Matthews is wise in her unpicking of what exactly is going on when we give or receive a hand-knitted gift.

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I like this book. It’s not what I expected, but once I sat back, put my feet up, cast on, and lost myself in each of its six meditations, I enjoyed it very much. And since I finished reading, I think I’ve approached my works-in-progress in a more mindful way, thinking beyond the immediate demands of knit or purl.

The Mindfulness In Knitting, Meditations On Craft And Calm by Rachael Matthews, is published today by the Leaping Hare Press, hardback UK price £8.99, and is also published in Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia. Enjoy.

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(Usual disclaimer: I did not pay for this book, but all opinions are my own.)

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Getting Cosy

Our letterbox is a mean and fearsome beast. Unusually narrow but psychopathic of nature, I swear that I’ve heard it growl on occasion. Postal staff approach with dread, and if you saw the state of the few letters that make it as far as the doormat, you’d be forgiven for assuming that we owned a very large and ill-tempered dog.

letterbox

Beware Of The Letterbox

So when I was contacted about a company that claims to deliver vacuum-packed, letterbox-friendly yarn, I said, “Yeah, right. Charming idea, but you haven’t met our letterbox.” At the very least, some innocent postal worker would lose a finger or two in the attempt.

“Don’t worry, it’ll be fine,” they said. “We’ll send you some yarn.” But the physics just didn’t add up: large, fluffy balls of wool versus bity, mean-mouthed, letterbox. I was pretty sure I knew who’d emerge triumphant and un-shredded from that battle.

I was curious, though, so I investigated a little more. The company is called Cosywool, and they supply yarn, patterns, and knitting/crochet equipment worldwide via mail order. Their website is here. Yarnwise, they’ve got a nice broad range from eighteen of the major producers (including Stylecraft, Rowan, Rico, Debbie Bliss, King Cole, Noro, Red Heart). The number of shades stocked for many of the yarns isn’t (yet) quite as humungous as for some of the other major online yarn shops, but their prices are about as low as you can get, e.g. a ball of Stylecraft Special DK is only £1.65 (up to 34p cheaper than from other major online suppliers), and Rowan Felted Tweed DK is £6.35 (up to 94p cheaper than elsewhere). These prices are good. Very, very good.

The needles, hooks, and accessories are all by KnitPro* and Pony, with the emphasis on the Symfonie range from KnitPro, and knitting accessories from Pony. There is only one range of crochet hooks available at present. From the history described on the Cosywool website, it sounds as though this firm is expanding fast, so perhaps more crochet tools will follow soon.

But their big, shiny, distinctive, ‘thing’ is that they vacuum-pack their yarns just before despatch, so that the package will fit comfortably through your letterbox whilst you’re out, rather than sitting on the doorstep being liberally watered by a passing cloud. “Hmm, OK,” I said, eventually. “Send me some yarn. But you’ll regret it, and so will Colin the Postman.”

The next day, I came home from work expecting to see the shredded remains of a package – and possibly of a postman, too – on the ground outside my house. But there was nothing. So I was very surprised to open the door and see this:-

cosywool vacuum packed yarn wool

After a brief tussle (pictures too violent for family viewing so not included here), I managed to prise the package from the jaws of the rabid letterbox. Look! Now that is thin.

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I’d say no more than a centimetre thickness, max. Even our letterbox is wider than that. It was genuinely difficult to imagine that this pack included real yarn. But it did!

I've eaten pancakes that are thicker than this.

I’ve eaten pancakes that are thicker than this.

Time to fetch the scissors and set the yarn free. As soon as you begin to cut, the balls of yarn magically** begin to swell.

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Yarn! Real yarn… that within seconds returned to the normal proportions you’d expect from two balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky, especially when you give it a little squoosh:-

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Also, in the package they send you a mint. At least it looked like a mint. I ate it, just to be sure. Yup, mint. Fresh breath and yarn: what’s not to like?

The website is attractive and user-friendly, which only increases the danger of people like me buying all the yarn. They aim for same-day despatch, too.

To be serious for a rare moment, I was genuinely surprised by how well the vacuum thingy and the returning-to-normal-fluffiness thingy worked for this yarn. The balls of wool are sitting beside me as I write this post, and the only visible sign of harsh treatment is that the ball bands look a bit folded. But hey, you don’t knit with the ball bands, do you? Opening up your vac-packed yarn doesn’t feel quite as nice as when you burrow into an oversized box to find pristine, organza-wrapped skeins of perfection, BUT that’s a trade-off I’m happy to make if it means my order doesn’t have to do time on the doorstep in the company of the local cat population.

If you want a unique, hand-spun skein of something for your glass-cased stash, then you might want to go elsewhere, but if you want speedy low-cost deliveries of major brand yarn to knit/hook (and a mint!) then I seriously recommend looking at this supplier.

Enjoy.

 

∗ That’s Knitter’s Pride to you in North America.

∗∗ Disclaimer: no actual magic is used in this process, as far as I’m aware.

Please note that this is a sponsored post, but all views are very much my own. What? Why are you looking at me like that? A lass has to top up her yarn budget now and again. Yarn doesn’t grow on trees, y’know. Well, except rayon maybe – sort of…

Also, I’m not exaggerating about our letterbox.

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Giveaway Review: Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium

And another review with a giveaway! Wa-hey! (This is part of a blog tour organized by Pavilion Books – more on that at the bottom of this post.)

So I’m guessing you’ve noticed that there are lots of knitting and crochet books around these days. Like, loads. If you’re as untidy as I am, you probably trip over a pile of them every single time you stand up to water the cat. (See those bruises on my shins? They’re knit-book-related injuries. Life is tough.) Some of these publications are more genuinely ground-breaking than others, it has to be said. But this week, a new crochet book has come out that really is clever in its originality. Meet Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium, by Kerry Lord, published by Pavilion Books in the UK.

edward's crochet imaginarium book review toft

It’s a book about crocheting toys – monsters, specifically – but you get to design the toy. Do you remember those picture books from childhood where all the pages were split horizontally into three so you could interchange the head of a police officer with the torso of a scientist and the legs of a farmer? Well here’s a pattern book that works on the same principle. Genius, huh?

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You’re given the generic pattern for a delightfully pot-bellied torso and a head, and then you flip through dozens of options to choose the style of the legs and feet, the arms and hands, and the embellishments for the head. The pattern for each element is provided opposite its picture, and the spiral binding ensures that the book actually stays open where you left it, at least until your children discover it…

A pretty cool idea, huh? Dang, why didn’t I think of that?

The is the third book by author Kerry Lord, who also runs TOFT yarns in Warwickshire in the UK. So I grabbed some pure wool DK-weight TOFT yarn, and started hooking.

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My monster options were chosen by the twinnage, who are five. I have to say, the book really caught their imaginations and I witnessed some entertaining intra-twinnage debates about the relative merits of webbed feet versus claws. I loved the way that they were thinking this through together, and my hard/cynical ol’ heart melted just a tiny bit…

edward's crochet imaginarium kerry lord toft review

…Which leads me to the thing that I like most about this book. Lord is aiming to be inspirational rather than prescriptive. She wants you to let your imagination off the leash so it can scamper freely all over the place and cause joyful mayhem. In addition to all the potential configurations of body parts, she offers suggestions for making use of colour in your monster, and adding a tail, or hair, and how to make your monster in different sizes. Why, for example, should your monster have only four limbs? And have you considered making it spotty? And there’s a charming gallery of suggestions to inspire you.

edward's crochet imaginarium kerry lord toft review

But this is The Twisted Yarn, and if you’ve loitered in these ‘ere parts afore, you’ll know that I’m prone to getting nit-picketty in my reviews, because nothing is perfect and I want you to know all the pluses and all the minuses before you decide to part with your hard-earned cash. The book is billed as being suitable for anyone, whether they’re a beginner or an expert. I think a beginner would struggle a little though, particularly because the book could’ve used a tad more copy-editing. There are errors and omissions in the patterns that really aren’t a problem if you’re used to working from crochet patterns, but if I was a complete beginner who was still trying to work out which was the business end of the crochet hook, I would have struggled. For example, the generic body pattern doesn’t tell you how to begin, but instead starts with an instruction to work into loops that are already there. Do you see what I mean? No biggy if you’re experienced enough to know what to do anyway, but very confusing if this is your first ever pattern. The wording of the instructions takes a little bit of getting used to, but once you get yourself on a wavelength with the author, you’ll be fine. And there are little minor errors. (I’m not surprised – the amount of work that must have been gone into producing this book just boggles the mind.) An example: foot pattern number twenty talks about hands and fingers, because it’s clearly been copied and pasted from the hand pattern of the same design.

Who cares, though, when you’ve got such an inspirational resource? Just maybe put this book on hold if you really are a total beginner, OK?

edward's crochet imaginarium kerry lord toft review

Now for the giveaway. I’m really sorry but unlike normal, this one is for UK readers only. (If it’s any consolation, you’ve still got plenty of time to enter the KnitPro/Knitter’s Pride needles competition here, regardless of which portion of the planet you call home.) But UK folk, if you would like to win a copy of Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium, leave a comment below. And if you’d like an additional entry, hop over to Facebook, ‘like’ The Twisted Yarn’s page, and leave a comment with some way of contacting you if you win (eg Ravelry username). OK? The contest is open RIGHT NOW until noon GMT on Sunday 25th September 2016. When the giant gong sounds to announce the end of the giveaway, I shall consult the oracle that is random.org to determine the number of the winning entry. I’ll then contact that person to request an address which I will pass on to the publisher so that they can send out the prize. OK?

THIS REVIEW IS PART OF A BLOG TOUR ORGANIZED BY PAVILION BOOKS.

edward's crochet imaginarium kerry lord

I DIDN’T PAY FOR THE BOOK, OR THE YARN. PLEASE ACCEPT MY USUAL DISCLAIMER ABOUT MY FLIGHTY, FICKLE LITTLE HEAD HAVING BEEN TURNED AT THE MERE HINT OF A FREEBIE.

So tomorrow, mosey on over to The Little Room Of Rachell to see her review. And if you fancy travelling back in time, go take a look at yesterday’s review at Crochetime. Enjoy, my fine fibrous friends. 🙂

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Want To Win A Set Of Gorgeous Knitting Needles?

Time for a review and another giveaway, I think*. Let’s talk about knitting needles.

KnitPro (that’s Knitter’s Pride in North America) are busy expanding their range even further. They sent me samples of two of the new products to review: small (2.25mm) short-length fixed circular Symfonies for socks or sleeves, and this splendid set of Royale interchangeable circulars:-

knitpro knitter's pride royales review

But let’s begin with the Symfonies. Many of you will have knitted (or crocheted) with Symfonie needles or hooks at some point, or at least have seen them with their subtly multi-coloured wood. They’re attractive, affordable, and versatile (lots of sizes, medium-grippy). Fixed circulars are nowt new for them, but they’ve just introduced some shorter length (25cm/10″) small needles for knitting socks and sleeves. Sizes go right down to 2mm (US size 0). Here’s the 2.25mm (US size 1) beauty, fresh out of its packaging:-

knitpro knitter's pride fixed circular 2.25mm review

I have to say, though, that I was nervous. I’ve owned 3mm Symfonies before, and most of them have sadly gone to the great needle caddy in the sky because they snap rather easily. Or perhaps I’m just an exceptionally violent knitter. May they rest in peace. (For the small stuff, I use Karbonz these days.) So when these even smaller needles dropped through the letter box, I approached them with a certain terror trepidation. BUT you don’t get to be a knit blogger without fearlessly wrestling the tigers that others wouldn’t dare approach, so in the name of science, I steeled myself, took a deep breath, and picked up the needles (very carefully). And I knitted some socks. And the needles survived. They survived the knitting, they survived the marauding twinnage, and they survived being carried around in my handbag. Being tiny, they were perfect for knitting on the Underground when I popped down to London:-

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Knitting underground. See that sock yarn? I have some VERY exciting news about it coming within the next couple of posts.

And they DIDN’T SNAP. They’re shorter than regular Symfonies, and y’know I think this is an advantage in the not-snapping department.

They were a joy to knit with. You’ll know the feeling if you’ve used Symfonies before. Made from hardened laminated birch, they’re a lot smoother than – say – those cheap bamboo needles at the back of your cupboard, but not as slippy or as cold/hard as metal needles. Their medium-grippiness makes them fine for pretty much any yarn. They’re nice and sharp, too, which helps in fast and accurate stitchery. The joins from needle to cable are smooth, so even though you might feel the tiniest jagging and snagging as your yarn crosses the boundary between the cable and the metal base of the needle, it’s not enough to be a problem.

knitpro knitter's pride fixed circular 2.25mm review

It’s always difficult to review needles and hooks because personal preference is such a huge part of the equation. But unless you have a total aversion to circulars, I’m willing to bet half a skein of merino that you’d like knitting with these. Mini circulars for socks are an increasing ‘thing’ these days, much to the joy of anyone who dislikes the knitting ninja of DPNs, so these are bound to do well, and with good reason. Just be careful not to sit on them, OK?

*whispers* See this sock yarn? 'Tis new! Here are two shades of the fresh-released Stylecraft Head Over Heels range (75% wool, 25% nylon), REVIEW COMING VERY SOON!

*whispers* See this sock yarn? ‘Tis new! Here are two shades of the fresh-released Stylecraft Head Over Heels range (75% wool, 25% nylon), REVIEW COMING VERY SOON!

So let’s talk about the Royales. They’re rather beautiful, don’t you think?

knitpro knitter's pride royales review

Like Symfonies, they’re made from hardened laminated birch so feel warm to the touch and medium-grippy, but unlike Symfonies, the tips are metal. This set of interchangeables comprises four pairs of needles (3mm, 3.5mm, 4mm, and 4.5mm), with three different cables – each length a different zingy colour – and packs of cable connectors and cable stoppers. Look!

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Even the case is pretty:-

knitpro knitter's pride royales review

Royales – whether straights or circulars – are colour-coded by size for easy identification (and prettiness!) I do like the combination of sharp metal point and warm wood needle. The metal points are the same sharpness as those on the Karbonz needles, great for fast-and-furious accurate knitting.

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Oh, and you know that annoying experience when the size marking wears off your needles after you’ve used them a couple of times? Well KnitPro has wisely addressed that by etching the size into the metal as well as printing it on the wood:-

knitpro knitter's pride royales review

…AND as you can see from this photo, the join between metal and wood is pretty smooth.

The only downside is that unlike the Karbonz, these needles have a teeny tiny little hole on one side of the metal tip. (See the first photo in this blog post, near the bottom of the pink needle.) And even though it’s little more than nought-point-nothing mm across, I somehow managed to jar the tip of the other needle on it almost every flippin’ stitch. This is a very minor gripe, because it’s just a momentary sensation and the hole isn’t large enough to cause a significant problem, but it did interrupt the smoothness of the stitch motion very slightly. (Jeez, I’m nit-picky today. At this rate I’ll be criticizing these beasts at a molecular level.)

You’ll like these needles if you like the warmth and colour and grippiness of wood, but want the speed and precision of sharp metal tips. The colours are pretty and muted. Royales are available as straights, circulars, and DPNs so there should be something in the range to suit your knitting.

Shall we have a giveaway? Yes?!

OK, who’d like to win a set of Royale interchangeable needles worth £40, just like the one pictured in this post? You would? Well here’s your chance.

To win a set just like THIS:-

knitpro knitter's pride royales review

…all you have to do is leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

For an additional entry, ‘like’ TheTwistedYarn’s Facebook page RIGHT HERE and comment under the post there for this blog post with some way of reaching you (e.g. Ravelry username).

Giveaway is open… ready… steady… NOW!!!! …and the final whistle will sound at 12.00 midday (GMT) on Sunday 18th September 2016.

Competition is open worldwide!

When the contest closes, I will use random.org to generate the number of the winning entry, and will contact the winner for their address so that KnitPro can send out the prize.

GOOD LUCK!

 

*Usual disclaimer: I didn’t pay for these needles, so my fickle little head has clearly been turned by a freebie. But just for the record, pretty much every knitting needle I own is KnitPro, so I’m happy to say that I love their products even when I’m paying for them.

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Stylecraft Batik Yarn Review

It’s about time I published a review of Batik, Stylecraft’s brand new yarn. (Disclaimer: I didn’t pay for the yarn, so clearly my fickle head has been turned by this freebie and not a single word of the following is to be trusted.)

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I wanted to thoroughly road-test the yarn before I wrote this, so I got the knitting needles out and started designing something that incorporated all sixteen shades:-

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You know what you need in the heat of August? A nice warm, fluffy cowl, that’s what. So I designed one, just in case the sun disappeared behind a cloud and it started to SNOW. Stranger things have happened. The cowl pattern will be available very soon, in case you want one too.

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We were away for ten days, you see, first staying in a cottage in the wilds of the North York Moors, and then – after a seven-hour drive – staying with dear friends in their beautiful old south west Wales cottage. The perfect opportunity to knit without guilt. The perfect opportunity to let my imagination off the lead, so that it could scamper about in the undergrowth and come up with lots of nature-inspired patterns.

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I knitted everywhere.

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And then I re-knitted, over and over again, because I kept changing my mind about the pattern. But that was part of the fun.

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Anyway, let’s talk about the yarn.

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Batik is a DK-weight (i.e. light worsted) blend of 80% acrylic and 20% wool. Just to cover the basics, it’s available in 50-gram balls, with a recommended hook/needle size of 4mm (US size 6), gauge 22 sts per 10cm/4 inches. But that’s not what you came here to read, is it?

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There are 16 shades in the range, and they do work rather well together.

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The yarn has a painted effect, each shade mottling with white. I think this makes it ideal for fairisle/stranded colourwork – much better than solid colours – but the mottling effect is not subtle, so I needed to make sure that for each section of the pattern, I picked two shades that really really contrasted, to avoid the pattern looking like a blurry muddle.

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There’s a high degree of twist to this yarn, which was a deliberate decision by the folk at Stylecraft HQ to create a product that’s ideal for crochet as well as for knitting.

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And I have to say that it’s a pleasure to work with, although I do hope they expand the colour range further. If you want a very affordable (£1.99 in the UK) acrylic-based yarn, I absolutely recommend Batik. It looks good, the colours are rich and intense, and Stylecraft are super-hot on the consistency and quality of their products (I saw their testing lab) so you can trust what you’re getting.

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Right, I’d better go and write up that cowl pattern, hadn’t I? Is it snowing yet?

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Giveaway? Giveaway!

Shall we have a giveaway? Wa-hey, let’s have a giveaway! Start sharpening those typing fingers in order to enter, because details are coming later in this post.

This is the third and final part of my triptych* of posts about the exciting Yorkshire/Stylecraft/Blogstars shenanigans. (Previous parts: the mill tour, and the first evening.) But it’s very hard to produce an even mildly amusing post when absolutely nothing about the experience was catastrophically disastrous or weird. The closest I came to problems was when they interviewed each of us on camera (yikes! …with a side order of yikes!!) and I stupidly sprinted down and then up several flights of stairs at the mill immediately beforehand (mills are tall), thus ensuring that 103% of my attention (I have a lot of attention) was on trying to look as though I wasn’t hyperventilating, leaving a mere -3% of my attention for the questions that were being asked. Please forgive the number of sub-clauses in that sentence. And don’t expect to see me anchoring the six o’clock news any day soon after that bumbling on-screen performance.

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Anyway. Yes. Right. T’was was the morning after the night before, and those of us from the previous day plus a few more assembled again at the mill, although the weather was no longer as shiny as in this picture:-

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In addition to the nine of us I showed in my last post, I should tell you about the other three Blogstars who seem to think that things like living-on-the-opposite-side-of-the-planet-whilst-just-this-very-second-having-given-birth constitute an adequate excuse for non-attendance. 😉 Allow me to introduce Angela of Get Knotted Yarn Craft, as well as Emma Varnam, and Jane Crowfoot. They were there in spirit, at least. Here again are the rest of us (excluding me, because, well, camera).

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Fine fibrous folk, L-R: Julia (Hand Knitted Things), Lucy (Attic24), Kathryn (Crafernoon Treats), Sarah (Annaboo’s House), Sandra (Cherry Heart), Juliet (Stylecraft via Blue Bear), Sue Pinner, Heather (The Patchwork Heart), Helen (The Knitting Exploits Of Josie Kitten).

So, those of us there in person got to attend the most delightfully colourful meeting ever (and I say that as someone who’s attended a lot of meetings in the past two decades). Imagine a meeting where you walk into the room and there are bowls of yarn laid out for you to squidge and squoosh, and you’re positively encouraged to knit/hook throughout. Oh well, if you insist:-

Needles: lovely Karbonz. Yarn: Batik.

Needles: lovely Karbonz. Yarn: Batik.

Annabelle and Juliet told us all about forthcoming developments in yarnery** in general and at Stylecraft in particular. (Sock yarn! I want to tell you about the sock yarn!)

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Annabelle (sales director at Spectrum Yarns), Juliet (Blue Bear, working with Spectrum and Knit Pro, amongst other brands).

See those shelves full of yarn in the background? That’s Yarn Stories, the gorgeous 100% merino and merino-alpaca blend range that I’ve written about before. It’s made here at the mill. Shall we take a closer look?

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Anyway, back to the meeting. Concentrate, Twisted, concentrate. Colour trends are identified a year or more in advance. Want to know what we’ll all be knitting soon? Well autumn/winter 16/17 in yarn is all about the “World Marauder”. Here’s a mood board:-

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See those luscious, rich colours? Get your needles and hooks ready to maraud, folks.

And coming soon after, a cluster of colours and loose, unstructured shapes termed “The Humble Labourer”:-

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I lurves these soft, natural shades.

There are professionals whose sole reason for crawling out from under the duvet of a Monday morning is to go and forecast the colours, shapes, and styles that folk will be buying 18 months or more down the line. Their expertise can be bought by companies designing clothes, homewares, and in this case yarn. I guess these forecasts become self-fulfilling prophecies, but they’re still interesting.

So how does this translate into the bundles of fluff that’ll be available in your local yarn shop? Well, in keeping with World Marauder, Stylecraft has just this moment launched Batik, a DK-weight range of 16 intense shades of 80% acrylic, 20% wool, recommended needle/hook size 4mm. They wanted to develop a yarn that was suitable for crochet as well as knitting, so Batik has quite a high degree of twist, meaning it hooks up rather nicely. Look!

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They gave us a ball of each shade. Mine seem to be settling in quite happily at home:-

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I’m thinking a fairisle scarf, after which I’ll write a proper review. The list price is £2.15 for 50g, in case you’re wondering. Available now.

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And coming next month is A RANGE OF SOCK YARN! Hurrah! 75% wool, 25% polyamide, named ‘Head Over Heels’ as it’s good for shawls as well as socks. I won’t lie – I’m properly excited. Stylecraft make high-quality acrylics but it’s good to see them also going in a more woolly direction, especially with yarn produced in this ol’ Yorkshire mill.

We adjourned to the very top of the building for lunch.

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The day was greyer than its predecessor:-

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View through a rain-spattered window.

And then far, far too soon, it was all over, although the blow was softened somewhat by the generosity of the goody-bag they gave us, with many treats including the whole Batik range and an interchangeable set of my very favourite needles (Knitpro Karbonz). Here’s some – but by no means all – of it:-

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And at the end of all this fun, after the goodbyes? Well before beginning the long drive south towards home, I met up with my friend who lives but a few miles from Slaithwaite. We sat in a wine bar by the river, sipping green tea, knitting, and talking feminism and politics. It was very good to see her. She’s dyed her hair bright red and it looks AWESOME.

So, do you want to know about this little giveaway?

Well, one of the treats in the goody bag was a fat bundle of vouchers for money off Stylecraft yarn, intended for you, dear readers. So let’s get on with giving out the first four. (There’ll be more to come, later.) Each voucher is worth £5 off any Stylecraft product(s) AT BRICKS-AND-MORTAR SHOPS ONLY, NOT ONLINE, and two lucky people will win two each (i.e. £10-worth each). Now – and this is where you need to pay attention – these vouchers are only spendable in the UK and I’m aware that more than half of you live elsewhere and I really don’t want to leave you out, so two lucky readers from outside the UK will each win two Stylecraft bags like the one in the photo above (perfect for projects or for shopping) and one pink Stylecraft keyring.

With me so far? Good.

To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post, stating whether you’re entering the UK competition or the non-UK competition. For an additional entry, ‘like’ the ‘Yarn’s Facebook page and leave a comment (UK or non-UK, AND some way of contacting you if you win, eg Ravelry name) on the Facebook post about this competition.

The competition is open from… ready, steady…. wait for it… NOW, until noon GMT on Sunday 14th August. After this, two UK winners (£10 in vouchers each) and two non-UK winners (two bags and a keyring each) will be randomly selected, and prizes despatched. Good luck, and may the gauge consistency be with you.

 

I know, the panels of a triptych should be attached by hinges. This one is a little more… unhinged.

** I shall not rest until I make the word ‘yarnery’ happen. My friend works on new words at the Oxford English Dictionary – on my to-do list is asking her whether she’s accepting bribes…

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Ooh Look, A Shiny New Knitting Magazine!

And now for a review.

I don’t know whether there’s any truth in the old adage that there’s somebody out there for everyone. Could be tricky if your particular someone is working the oil rigs off the Norwegian coast whilst you’re herding llamas in Chile. However I do think that these days, there’s probably a knitting/crochet magazine out there for every knitter/hooker: it’s just a matter of trying a few until you hit the right one.

Hence this post. The folks at De Agostini sent their carrier pigeon my way with a message. (De Agostini publish part-works about all sorts of creative things: you want to build a life-size replica WW2 submarine out of matchsticks over the course of 20 weeks? They’re your chaps.*) Anyway, they’re just starting a new magazine, and they very kindly sent me a copy of the first issue for review. (That was tough on the poor carrier pigeon, I tell you.)

*OK, I made that example up.

Simply Stylish Knitting

With me so far? Jolly good. Let’s get the practicalities out of the way first. It’s available directly in a few countries, by which I mean that De Agostini have made themselves at home in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Malta. It’s published weekly and in the UK, the first issue is available for 99p, issue 2 will cost £1.99, and subsequent issues will be £3.99. I believe that Issue 2 is just out now.

So if you’ve ever bought part-works before, you’ll recognize the format here. Yes this is a magazine, but its pages are pre-punched and detachable so that you can file them in a binder, assuming that you’re of an organized persuasion. Every issue comes with a couple of balls of yarn which enable you to make squares which will eventually be joined together to make a colourful throw. (There are other patterns and techniques, too, but I’ll get to those in a minute.) The idea is that each square teaches you a different stitch. As you can probably tell, this publication is pitched more towards the beginner end of the knitting spectrum.

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Now maybe my fickle head has been swayed by a free magazine (unlikely), but I happen to think that this is a rather splendid way of learning to knit, if you’re newish to the craft and want to expand your repertoire of skills. When I came back to knitting as an adult, I started out by working lots and lots of different squares in all sorts of stitches, just to get my confidence back. I keep meaning to dig these squares out and use them as dishcloths. And working from this magazine, at least if you miss an issue, it’s not going to ruin your whole project. The throw that you end up making may be larger or it may be smaller, but it’ll still be a throw.

Want to have a look at the kit that comes with it?

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The yarn is 50% wool and 50% acrylic DK, and although it doesn’t feel like it was handspun under moonlight by your favourite local indie yarn magician, it is better quality than the yarn that comes with many magazines, and it’s adequate for learning and practising. The needles that came with mine were of slightly wonky bamboo, but they’re good enough to use, and I think the publishers have got this the right way round by prioritizing quality of yarn over quality of needles. Oh, and there’s a darning needle, too. A lass can never own too many darning needles.

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Now I said earlier that this mag is pitched firmly at beginners. Absolutely no previous knowledge is assumed, and  they’ve devoted more space than other magazines to the real basics of things like casting on, working garter stitch, etc. There’s backup via online videos too, so you should be able to master this stuff from scratch even if you haven’t got your Great Aunt Ethel ‘The Entrelac’ Evans looking over your shoulder to guide you.

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In addition to squares for your throw, each issue covers a few other skills and patterns, in this case techniques such as winding yarn into a ball, and making pompoms, and patterns such as a simple mug cosy and an iPad cover. (There’s a smart fox on the front of the iPad cover, but it’s worked as Swiss darning rather than actual knitted colourwork.)

The layout is bright, clear, and uncluttered, and I think that there has been a real attempt to think through what a beginner needs to know. Oh, and there’s no advertising whatsoever, except for subscriptions to the magazine itself. All of the content is around patterns and techniques: there is no industry gossip, news, or reviews. I tell you this so that you can make your own mind up: you may love it or you may loathe it.

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Hmm, I do worry that this post is sounding a little overly sane by Twisted Yarn standards, so at this point we get to the slightly more unhinged bit. Here, for your general edification and magazine budget decision-making, is a quiz in order to determine whether Simply Stylish Knitting is your lifelong partner in the knitting mag world, or whether you’d scarcely get beyond the first date. Ready? Go…

 

Why do you read knitting magazines?

A: To learn as much as I can and to get ideas.

B: To get the low-down on what’s new.

C: I don’t. I’ve got Ferret-Fancier’s Weekly hidden inside the cover of this knitting magazine, but I didn’t want anyone to see that when I got on the bus.

 

How experienced a knitter are you?

A: Which way round do you hold the needles again?

B: Hmm, I’m doing OK. I can churn out scarves, but I’m a little scared of fairisle.

C: Have you not read all six of my publications on advanced intarsia?

 

How chatty do you like your knitting magazines to be?

A: Not at all. I just want to knit, thanks very much. I’ll save the gossip for Stitch-n-Bitch night at the pub.

B: A little. I’d like to read about major knitting shows and new yarn brands.

C: Sister, give me all the gossip. First of all, I want to know whether there’s any truth in the rumour that the editor of Knitting World magazine was seen holding a crochet hook!

 

Do you like gifts included with your magazine?

A: Yes please. Some yarn wouldn’t go amiss, especially if it comes with ideas for using it.

B: Maybe, although I’ve already got WoolWarehouse on speed-dial, and my stash is causing local subsidence.

C: No thanks. I’m quite capable of finding my own way to the yarn shop. (Hardly surprising, given how much time I spend there.)

 

What style of writing do you like to read?

A: Clear, practical, calm text (which does slightly beg the question, WHY ARE YOU READING THE TWISTED YARN??), and with lots of how-to explanations.

B: Informal, chatty, and with personal anecdotes.

C: Yo, wassup? I like my mags totes down wiv da kidz, innit. I’m cravin’ da word on da knittin’ street! What gives, bro?

 

What type of magazine buyer are you?

A: Loyal. I like to build up a collection and it drives me mad if I miss an issue. I keep all my back copies in a binder.

B: I do have a favourite that I tend to buy the most.

C: Changeable. Last month I bought Knitter’s World because of the free gifts, but this month I might get World Knitting, or Mum might just lend me her latest Knitting The World.

 

What’s your attitude to adverts?

A: Don’t like ’em. They make the magazine look cheap and cluttered.

B: I don’t mind a few ads for yarn suppliers.

C: You kidding me? I only buy magazines to get retail discount codes.

 

And finally, what’s your aesthetic?

A: Light and white with brights. Modern. Tending towards minimalist. Zingy citrusy shades. I like pink.

B: Um, not fussy really. Pink is OK.

C: Victorian gothic. Dark and complex. I hate pink.

 

Right, the moment of earth-shattering truth revelation has arrived. Have a look at your answers to see whether they’re:-

Mostly A: I think that we may have just found your perfect knitting magazine. Enjoy!

Mostly B: OK so the publishers didn’t have a life-size cardboard cut-out of you at their planning meetings as inspiration, but there’s probably some stuff in Simply Stylish Knitting that you’d enjoy.

Mostly C: Look my friend, I’m all for trying new things, but I really don’t think that this publication was written with you in mind. Oh, and it’s not true that the editor of Knitting World was seen with a crochet hook: that was a malicious rumour started by her rival at World Knitting, OK?

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