Birthday gifts

Last week was my birthday.  I turned 32, although I’ve been telling myself that since hitting 30 I can actually go backwards in age and so this year I am 28!  Having said that, an article in today’s Daily Mail says that women feel at their most beautiful at age 32.  Not sure if that’s true for me – I found a very long grey hair yesterday that I quickly pulled out 😀

Anyway, the most exciting present I had was a Nintendo Wii.  Much fun has been had over the past few days with family and friends.  I did get some knitting related gifts though too, which I wanted to share:

A crafter’s version of Monopoly, called Stitchopoly.  Yet to play it, but it looks like a nice alternative to the traditional game.

stitchopoly

Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard which contains quite a few patterns that I’d like to try.  I already have yarn in my stash that I know would be ideal for two of the jumpers.

 

Things I learned from knitting and Yarn Harlot by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  Stephanie is well known in online knitting communities as has been writing a knitting blog for many years now.  She’s penned several knitting books and I’d had these two on my wishlist for a little while.

  

What does a knitter get for her birthday?

‘Twas my birthday yesterday and apart from a gorgeous Radley handbag, Mum and Dad gave me a couple of knitting books:

Nursery Knits by Zoe Mellor

And Easy Knits by Debbie Bliss

The best of the knitting gifts though was a sign from one of my non-knitting friends.

I knit to forget but I never forget to knit

I don’t know where he saw it but it’s perfect!

Divas Don’t Knit: a book review

We had a package from Amazon last week, which included a copy of Divas Don’t Knit. I’d not read any knitting novels before, but I’ve got so obsessed with knitting I thought that it might be fun to read one.

Recently widowed Jo McKenzie moves back to her home town in Kent with her two children to start a new life, leaving the rat race of London behind them, and taking over the running of her Gran’s yarn shop. The store is pretty much as it was when it first opened decades earlier so Jo is keen to put her stamp on it and bring it up to date with gorgeous new yarns, interesting window displays and the setting up of a Stitch ‘n’ Bitch group where she forms new friendships with other women in the town as she teaches them to knit. If only she can persuade dear old Elsie, the shop assistant, to move with the times too!

It’s a humourous novel with some charming observations on life, love and friendship. I laughed out loud at some of the antics of the character two young children and delighted in the love the friends show to one another as they look out for each other’s best interests.

There’s a sequel in the pipeline and I will definitely want to pick up a copy of that because the book ended with lots of potential for storylines to develop further.

All in all – definitely recommended for a spot of light reading.

The Knitter’s Bible: a short book review

I thought that I’d write a short book review of The Knitter’s Bible: The Complete Handbook for Creative Knitters by Claire Crompton, which my Mum gave me for my birthday last month (I’ve been 30 for a month already – where is time going – ugh!)

The book is proving to be an excellent tool as I learn to knit. The first section takes beginners through the basics of casting on/off, knit and purl, increasing and decreasing and demonstrates both the Continental and English techniques. It also explains the differences between different yarns which I thought was helpful for beginners and there is a long list of knitting pattern abbreviations and what they mean. The instructions are easy to follow and there are clear diagrams to explain where to put the needle and yarn.

For knitters who are beyond the basics, the book gently guides you through other more advanced techniques, such as Cables, Intarsia, Fair Isle, Circular Knitting, Twisting stitches, Entrelac and more.

A stitch library is also included as well as helpful instructions on how to fix your knitting when it all goes wrong!

The book also features patterns for a variety of projects, which allow to you have a go at the various techniques.

Highly recommended!

More blanket squares

If I do a square a week, it’s going to take 90 weeks to finish it – and that’s a lot of issues of the Art Of Knitting magazine to buy. So Mum bought me a book on Monday with some other ideas for squares. I just need to get some yarn in similar colours and I can do some extra ones from the book.

It’s a good book by the looks of it, with some very cute designs for children’s blankets as well as geometric shapes and interesting patterns. Should be fun to do a few of those.