Knit How.

Pom Pom’s newest book is aimed at new knitters – let’s take a peek inside Knit How!

It’s exciting to see a fresh learn-to-knit book, one that’s as enticing and beautifully designed as books and magazines for more experienced knitters.

Knit How begins with the fundamentals of knitting: casting on, knitting, purling, and binding off. The instructions are friendly and the photos and illustrations are clear, and helpful tips are sprinkled throughout.

From there, the book guides knitters through 10 patterns, each of which introduces a new technique, like increasing and decreasing, working in the round, cables, and lace.

Look for Knit How here at the shop!

Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible.

In the last blog post, I shared some of the newest books here at the shop. Here’s one more, so lovely that I could have photographed every page, so popular that our first shipment sold out before it ever made it to the blog.

Hitomi Shida’s Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible is an exquisite stitch dictionary featuring charted cable, texture, and lace patterns, along with yokes and edgings.

Stitch dictionaries like these remind me of the limitless possibilities of this craft. You can use them to learn new techniques, design patterns of your own, or just as a source of inspiration.

Look for Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible among our resources and reference books, not far from Barbara Walker’s treasuries and other inspiring tomes.

Back in stock: Knitting Comfortably.

Today a big box of books arrived at the shop, a second batch of Carson Demers’ instant classic, Knitting Comfortably. Our first order sold out soon after it arrived, back in November, claimed by knitters eager to preserve and protect the health of their hands, wrists, shoulders, etc. When we placed a second order, we learned that Demers had already sold the entire first edition of his book, so sought after was the information within. We’re happy to have more copies on our shelves now that the second edition has been printed, and in celebration, I’m rerunning my original blog post on the subject, originally published on November 8th, 2017. 

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Another new book has arrived at the shop, a little different from our usual fare. This book is composed neither of patterns nor personal essays nor pretty knitting pictures. Rather, Knitting Comfortably is a book about the health of our hands and bodies, written by a physical therapist who happens to be an expert knitter.

We’d heard Carson Demers’ book mentioned a few times since its publication, but Clara Parkes’ rave review put us over the top – we had to have this book at the shop, and we’re so glad we do! It’s all about the ergonomics of handknitting, a guide for taking care of our most crucial knitting tool: ourselves.

Whether we knit English or Continental or any other method, we expose ourselves to the possibility of injury when we knit, especially when we knit for long stretches on a regular basis. It’s imperative, then, for us to understand what we’re doing with our muscles as we work, and how our posture affects our movement. In order to knit as much as we want to, we have to take care, and that is the goal of this book.

It’s clear that Demers has spent years working diligently to make this book as thorough and useful as possible. It’s dense with text, but quite accessible, peppered with clarifying photos and diagrams. He also includes plenty of “swatchortunities,” little knitting exercises that help to illustrate his suggestions and ideas.

I’ve only just begun to read through this book, but already it’s changed the way I think about my knitting practice. It may be tricky to break some of the bad habits I’ve accumulated over years of knitting daily, but I am motivated to interrogate my own behavior and adjust it to assure many more years of this craft I love so dearly.

Look for Knitting Comfortably on the teacart here at the shop!

Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook.

Here is a book you have probably seen already, one that you may even own already, for we’ve sold out and reordered it many times since its initial publication last October. It was selling quickly enough that I waited to buy my own copy until our supply steadied, so though I’ve admired it for months, I’ve only recently sat down and spent time with this beautiful book. Here’s Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook, a compendium of cable stitch patterns, garments, and wisdom.

In this book, designer Norah Gaughan introduces over 150 cable stitch patterns with both written and charted instructions, all of which are lovingly photographed by the talented Jared Flood. The book itself is a thing of beauty, but beautiful as it is, the contents of this tome are the star, no matter the packaging.

Gaughan has devised a Stockinette Stitch Equivalent for each of these motifs, a way of saying how many stockinette stitches it would take to make the same width as the cable in question. This allows you to substitute one cable for another with ease, and also to add cables to a plain garment without letting the naturally-smaller gauge of cable patterns mess with the overall size of the piece. Gaughan clearly describes this system and how to use it towards the beginning of the book, where she also lays out hints for chart-reading, yarn choice, symbols and terminology. Don’t miss the troubleshooting section either, from which Karen Templer of Fringe Association pulled a real gem.

There are patterns for cabled garments, too, if design isn’t your thing. From pullovers and cardigans to ponchos and skirts, Gaughan has put her cable patterns to good and interesting use. In short, if you are at all interested in cable knitting or design, you should take a look at Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook. Find it on the teacart here at the shop!

Two tried and true knitting resources.

A heavy box came this week, filled with books. Not exciting new pattern collections, not hot off the presses – each of these titles was first published 15 years ago. These are the tried and true knitting resources we use and recommend again and again, some of our humblest bestsellers.

365 Knitting Stitches A Year is a perpetual calendar. It lists only dates, with no days of the week, so you can use it for years on end. Ours has been sitting on the desk at the shop since we opened our doors, and one of my opening-time rituals is flipping the page and seeing what the day’s featured stitch pattern is. Today, it was good old reverse stockinette stitch, a simple one, though it is often the cause of a certain lightbulb moment for new knitters – knits look like purls on the back, and vice versa!

We often turn to our perpetual calendar when we’re swatching new yarns or creating shop samples. It provided the stitch pattern for “Sherri’s Cowl,” and also for our sample scarf in Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering.

The other book in this order is Nancie Wiseman’s Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques, a practical resource for seaming, blocking, picking up stitches, buttonholes, weaving in ends, and more.

Each time I prepare to sew a seam, and especially as I prepare to guide another knitter through their first seam, I pull out this book to refresh my memory. The diagrams are clear, the text is thorough, and I feel I’m in good hands with Wiseman’s instructions.

Look for these and plenty of other resources here at the shop, where we love our books almost as much as our yarn. See you there!

Cable Left, Cable Right, and other books.

Not long ago, we placed a big book order from our new distributor, restocking many of our favorite reference books and bringing in a brand new title, too: Judith Durant’s Cable Left, Cable Right. 

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Cable Left, Cable Right is a compendium of cables, with detailed instructions on how to execute them. It’s a technique book as well as a stitch dictionary, a solid introduction to cables that shows how many doors are opened once you become comfortable with chart reading.

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Durant also includes a primer on cable charts for those that are not yet comfortable with them. (If you’re looking for more in-depth chart-reading assistance, check out JC Briar’s Charts Made Simple!)

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Durant’s other recent reference book, Increase, Decrease, was also on our reorder list, and I’m happy to report that we now have a stack of them, along with Leslie Ann Bestor’s essential Cast On, Bind Off.

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Vicki Square’s Knitter’s Companion is another excellent resource, one that defines knitting terms and shows a variety of techniques, both in writing and in video tutorials on the accompanying DVD. For more information on finishing, take a peek at Nancie Wiseman’s Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques, the one I pull out every time I prepare to sew a seam.

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You’ll find all of these helpful books and many more here at the shop. See you there!

Increase Decrease.

Here is a book for every knitter: Judith Durant’s Increase Decrease.

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Increase Decrease is a compendium of ways to add and subtract stitches in knitting, a technique that is essential in shaping sleeve caps, thumb and heel gussets, the crowns of hats, and so much more.

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Though increasing and decreasing are probably the first thing one learns after mastering knitting and purling, you’ll be surprised at how very many ways there are to do it. In Increase Decrease, Judith Durant shows you how and tells you why.

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Increase Decrease comes from Storey Publishing, the wonderful people who brought us Leslie Ann Bestor’s popular Cast On Bind Off. These are both excellent reference books, essential for a thoughtful knitter’s resource library. They are also both notably spiral-bound, allowing the book to lie flat in your lap as you grapple with a new technique, needles in hand.

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Come by the shop to stock your own knitter’s resource library, and come during July to do it at a 15% discount! See you there.

 

Just a reminder–all sales are final on discounted items; there can be no exchanges, returns, or special orders. Thanks!

The Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook.

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Meet Felicity Ford’s Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook. This special book is not a collection of patterns, but rather a manifesto on design.

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Within it, Felicity Ford shares her particular system of translating inspiring images into colorwork knitting, from selecting colors and designing charts to swatching, evaluating your swatches, and applying your designs to knitted garments.

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This is a beautiful book, and one about which you may already have heard rave reviews. When it first came out, Kate Davies did a lovely write-up on her blog, as did Clara Parkes and Ysolda Teague. All three are in agreement: Ford’s Sourcebook is an inspiring one because it is so particular to its author.  It’s an interesting and galvanizing read, one that had me itching to pull out my colored pencils and Knitter’s Graph Paper Journal, and dive headfirst into a basket of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift.

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The Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook began as a Kickstarter project, with designer Felicity Ford seeking crowd-funding to self-publish the book. Though the subject and her approach are somewhat esoteric, Ford found many supporters, making the book a resounding success. We’re proud to stock it here at the shop, and in fact, are on our third reorder.

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Look for The Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook on the teacart, amongst the latest books and magazines, and look to our class listings for more opportunities to learn about stranded colorwork. See you at the shop!

Barbara Walker’s treasuries.

Speaking of classic knitterly tomes published by Schoolhouse Press: we recently reordered Barbara Walker’s stitch dictionaries, something we do every now and then to be sure that all four volumes are on our shelves at all times, if possible.

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Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns is a treasure, indeed, a collection of stitch patterns ready to be plugged into whatever you can dream up: scarves, sweaters, blankets, socks–any and all of the things you can knit. Walker gives written instructions (and in some cases, charts) for ribbings, texture patterns, cables, lace, slip- and twisted-stitch patterns, and two-color mosaic patterns, to name a few.

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A small black and white photo accompanies each stitch pattern, and Walker lists how many stitches it is to be worked over (e.g. “Multiple of 4 sts,” “Multiple of 17 sts plus 1,” or “Any number of sts”). Most also come with a short description that says how best to use said pattern, and what qualities the resulting fabric will have.

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Early on in my knitting career, I recognized that these books would take me a long way, and made sure to add them all to my own little library of knitting resources. Although I was not yet skilled enough to work every pattern from these volumes, I figured that I might be, one day, and that trying a few of them here and there would be challenging and exciting, and teach me new techniques.

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I pull out my Barbara Walker treasuries often, thumbing through the pages, marking those that look promising for decorating the leg of a sock, the body of a sweater, a cowl or pair of mitts. They are truly inspiring books, and I’m always happy to have them on my shelf, reminding me of the limitless possibilities of this craft. Come by the shop to add them to your own library; you’ll find them on the top shelf among the reference books.

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See you at the shop!

Back in stock: books.

Our Inventory Sale put a dent in our supply of books, especially some of the most exciting recent publications. By the end of the month, we had a lengthy list of titles to reorder, old and new. Yesterday a 48 pound box of books arrived at the shop, and now the teacart is newly decorated with fresh stacks of the latest knitting and crochet books.

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All of them have been introduced here on the blog, so click on their titles below to get a closer look at them:

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We also paid special attention to our stash of books by Ann Budd, knowing how handy they have proven themselves over the years. Budd’s “Knitter’s Handy Book” series offers basic patterns in a range of gauges, allowing one to construct any number of knitted garments in whatever yarn one happens to fall in love with, no matter the stitches per inch. We filled in the gaps we found on our shelves, including one longstanding gap where Getting Started Knitting Socks should be.

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Ann Budd’s Getting Started Knitting Socks is a great introduction to the addictive world of sock-knitting, showing how to construct a basic sock and giving patterns for a range of gauges. It also offers guidance on sizing, fit, stitch patterns, and yardage requirements–a topic on which we always defer to Ann Budd and her Handy Guides.

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If you’re seeking knitting or crochet inspiration, come by the shop to peruse our books. From the practical to the beautiful, and often both at once, there are all kinds of patterns and projects within. See you at the shop!