Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sapphires-N-Purls Podcast: Episode 9: Now and Then

Finally, I've had time to get all of my notes together, and get this done!  Below are links and a brief of everything I talk about in this episode.  And, for some reason I thought this was Episode 10.... that may be because this was done at 2:30 in the morning.  Episode 9!!! I apologize for the less than stellar performance; like I said, it was 2:30 am....

A review of Vogue Knitting Fall 2003 issue, by me and a review of the Fall 2010 issue by my sister  (She has her own crafty blog called Stitches N Purls).  A link to Vogue Knitting can be found at the top of the blog - you can subscribe as well as purchase back issues.  Be sure to sign up for the news letter too!

There is a super neat new app for the iPod Touch and iPhone called Knit-n-Count.  I decided to splurge and pay the $1.99 to download this app.  It counts rows as well as pattern repeats, and you can even set an alarm to go off to remind you to do a certain stitch at a particular point in the pattern.  If you need to frog a few rows, no problem; the app will help you keep track of that also.  You can enter up to 10 different projects at a time, along with the name of the project and any notes you might want to jot down.  Great for designing your own patterns, IMHO.  Here is an article about the app.

A little while back, I bought a new bra, from Playtex.  It came in a neat little plastic bag with a snap flap and hole at the top - which I immediately thought was absolutely perfect for toting around a small project in!  There was also a tag on the bag with their website, where more ideas for reusing the bag could be found.  I decided to wander on over one evening, and lo and behold, one of their ideas for reusing the bag was as a YARN DISPENSER!  Check it out!

Book Review: 
New England Knits by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre.  There is very little I don't like in this book, almost every single pattern appeals to me!  I had to get this as soon as I saw it at the store.  I had a hard time only choosing 3 patterns to talk about!  The book is broken up into 3 sections - here are the patterns I like the most from each section.

Around the Town:
The Hampton Cardigan designed by Cecily is a gorgeous lacy pattern with simple garter stitch cuffs and lapels.  This is worked in one piece from the back, then over the sleeves to the front.  The yarn used for the book sample is Bijou Basin Ranch, which is a blend of 50% yak and 50% cormo. 

Fall on the Farm:
The Providence Hoodie designed by Melissa might just be my favorite piece in the whole book!  The braided cable bottom edge and hood is really fabulous, and I love the allover moss stitch too.  The sample in the book was knit with Vermont Organic Fiber Company O-Wool Classic, which is a 100% merino.

Along the Coast:
The Cranston Coat by Cecily is beautiful, and very close to being my favorite!  I really like the simple stockinette panels paired with bobbles and lace.  The sample in the book was knit with Valley Yarns Amherst, which is 100% merino and Classic Elite Marly, which is 100% cashmere.  

Yarn Review:
I love this yarn!!  It is gorgeous!!  My only complaint with this yarn is that there are little fuzzy pill-like 'things' throughout the skein.  I don't know what these are but I am willing to overlook them, because this yarn is so fabulous otherwise.  There are oodles of colors to choose - I am using Pumpkin to knit the Handsome Shawl from  Victorian Lace Today.  This is my first major lace project.  Until now, I have only dabbled in swatching simple lace.  I don't really have the patience for large projects, especially something like lace, where I need to be very careful to keep track of stitches and double checking the chart to make sure I am still on track.  But when I saw this shawl, I knew I had to knit it.  And the Sea Silk is the yarn I chose to knit it in.  So far I am very pleased with my progress - I've only made a few minor mistakes, which I caught right away and fixed.  

And finally, in celebration of EZ's 100th birthday:
A Commemorative Edition of the Knitter's Almanac is out.  I practically knocked the shelf down when I saw this at the store a couple of weeks ago.  I was so surprised to see it - they never have any EZ in stock - I immediately grabbed it just in case there was anyone else around who might have had an idea that they were going to get it before me.  (Actually, I was alone in the aisle... but you never know who might be lurking around the corner).   Every knitter should have at least one EZ book in their collection - this is a good one to choose if you aren't sure.  This edition has an intro by Stephanie Pearl McPhee (aka The Yarn Harlot), along with all new color photographs of the designs, and more.  I love it and highly recommend it.

Well, fellow knitters, that's going to wrap things up for now.  Until next time, Happy Knitting!

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