Thursday, November 8, 2012

Knitting fans.

I am such a sucker for a beautifully styled 'how to' book. I don't care if it's a knitting, gardening, sewing, cooking or crochet book, if it has gorgeous photos and instructions, I am in.

I found this gorgeous book a few months ago in Melbourne. It was love at first sight. Gorgeous hard back, stunning photos, and perfect projects and patterns sized to fit two of my girlies. I pored over its pages for ages. Front to back, back to front. I tried to work out how many of the patterns I was likely to actually knit and for who and with what yarn.

And then I popped it back on the shelf between the other knitting books and walked away.

I really didn't need anther knitting book. I have hundreds of items in my ravelry queue and hundreds more in my head and in books I already own. And most importantly, I am not a fan of the seamed knit and that is what this book is full of.

But over the next few days I couldn't get that book and those patterns and that style out of my head. I longed for it.

And as luck would have it on the way home to Daylesford a few days later, we stopped in at a book shop/cafe for lunch and there it was, sitting on the shelf, patiently waiting for me. It was meant to be. And I promised myself I would knit from it often to justify my purchase, seams and all.

So the second I cast off what I was working on, I chose a pattern, some wool and cast on.

A much wanted and needed cardi for Miss Jazzy. Wool and pattern chosen herself.

And to be honest, the pattern was incredibly difficult for me to follow. There were not enough instructions and I found myself guessing and unravelling and re knitting a lot of the time. There may have been some swearing too.

But I persevered. I had a bee in my bonnet about that book. And that pattern. And the way my Jazzy would look wearing it.

And then finally one day after knitting the four bits and sewing them together. After crocheting all around the entire garment. And after blocking it lightly with a steam iron. Miss Jazzy tried it on...

And she couldn't move.

Even though I had knitted a size older than she usually measured, it was so tight across the back and under the arms that she struggled to even get it off.

All I can say is lucky Miss Pepper was more than happy to try it on.


I think I'll stick to knitting in the round so we can actually try the garments on as I go in the future. And I think I'll knit Jazzy's next cardi from a pattern from a designer I know and have knitted before.

Fan Stitch cardi ravelled here.

Are you a sucker for a styled book?
Which type of book can you never resist?
Are you having a lovely day?
Are you being creative?
I hope so.

Later lovelies. x


  1. Yes I am and sometimes it's hard to resist! I'm also a sucker for that beautiful blue..Pepper looks super gorgeous in it. Hope to see you soon..lets have a birthday coffee next week xoxoxoxoxo

  2. Oh what a shame! It is indeed a lovely looking book and I know that feeling oh so well (she says with the bookshelf groaning behind her). I can't imagine knitting a seamed piece these days - in the round is so relaxing. Perhaps with other pieces in the book you like, you could adjust them to being in the round? And it does look lovely on the wee one!

    1. I did buy a book a while back that had lessons on how to adapt patterns like that.
      Maybe I should pull that one out and have a look.
      Thanks. x

  3. Well Miss Pepper looks gorgeous in it! I hope Jazzy wasn't too disappointed.
    I'm also a sucker for a good book. I have been doing some research lately because I want to stock a few really lovely ones in my shop. Then I'll get to read them all while working!! There's something about opening a book for the first time with beautiful photos and layout.

    Better luck for the next project!
    Rach x

  4. Love this little wrap cardi! Never mind that it didn't fit the intended - it's lovey on the recipient. Can you scale it up for Ms Jazzy?

    1. Thank you.
      And NO!!!! I am so over this pattern.
      Never again.

  5. Pepper looks lovely in your creation Kate. As a non-knitter I think you are very clever.

    I am a sucker for a hard cover book with plenty of photos, especially the sort with rambling gardens, home grown food and creative houses...I am sure you know the sort I mean!

  6. I have the other problem, I knit a Camilla Babe for Emerson for next Winter, but it fits Cohen now! (So not the size 18 months I was thinking, more like a size 4!)

    Lucky Miss Pepper! She looks adorable in it. Love that fan stitch. :)

  7. Kate I bought the very same book a few months ago now and tried out the cabled sweater. I knit the size for my god-daughter and after I was halfway up there was no way it was going to fit her as it would have been too small. I was so disappointed that I put the book back on the shelf and havent knit from it since. I think Miss Pepper looks adorable in it and how lucky is she. Maybe in a few months we can get our confidence back and hopefully knit a size that will fit the intended recipients.

  8. Could I be super cheeky and borrow the book? I love the fan pattern and don't mind seams. I promise to post it
    back when I'm done. I LOVE that cardy.

  9. hey kate, i dont really speak the language of yarn, but you know what I'd LOVE to hear about is great how to, beautifully designed garden books. Do you or your readers have any you love? There's so much cool inspiration for all things home and food and craft, but my garden lust is harder to satisfy. you know, funky ideas, real people, non-nannas.


  10. Just a cool cover is enough for me! However i am exceedingly tight and live in the vicinity of a library thats very willing to buy on request so i get most of my new books that way and photocopy away. How gutting to get a duff one though. Having laboured hard to get the hang of the knit basics i'll be livid if my first proper project fails!

  11. Oh, it is so disappointing when you pour over a pattern and spend many hours working on something...and I have done that quite a few times myself....and I must agree with you, always with a pieced garment. In-the-round for me anytime.
    But, it does look gorgeous on you little girl...kudos for persevering...

  12. Your little girl is such a cutie with the new """stolen""" cardigan!!!! ;oD
    Best wishes for the next pattern, xxx Alessandra

  13. I just knit a cardigan from the same book for my 18 month old using a bigger yarn and needles in (supposedly) 3/4 yr size and it ONLY JUST FITS! I still love the patterns though and will knit from the book again but adjust the sizing as I go.

  14. Aw but it looks so gorgeous!! what a shame, after all that hard work. Thank goodness for younger siblings.

  15. Lucky save having Miss Pepper next down the size line! I'm a sucker for how-to and reference books also, thinking I might need them one day, then whenever I need that kind of information, I forget to check my books and go straight to google and youtube!

  16. Oh my word I'm a sucker for a styled book. I have far too many of the exact same purchases....look so, so gorgeous in the shop but never translate into anything overly usable. Knitting here too...but summer pima lovely to work with. Who would be your favourite pattern designer (other than the gorgeous tiKKi!) I'd love to know? Wishing you a beautiful rest of your week filled with cups of tea, bare feet on springy grass and looking for cloud animals with your babes ;)
    Steph :) x (I've moved from mon petit poppet)

  17. I have not got a huge collection of books, just a few special ones, moving as often as we do I tend to keep things to a minimum.
    I however have a massive que on Rav and am attempting to work my way threw it:)
    It looks lovely on Miss Pepper. Shame it doesn't fit Jazzy. Was she upset?
    I look forward to seeing what colour cardi she does fit into.

  18. Wow! So many knitters seem to have problems with the sizings in this book - have you contacted the publishers? Sure, they might not want to know, but I think the designer would probably be mortified and would benefit from the opportunity to get it right next time round. Constructive feedback can feed the creative spirit, even if it might take time for it to sink in!
    Good luck with the next project, Kate. I love reading about your knitting adventures!

  19. I love finding knitting books, but am always looking in secondhand book shops, as you can often find them at a fraction of the original price. Your photo of the finished cardy looks good enough for a book.

  20. Oh! well luckily you had someone else special who could fit it :) Looks gorgeous by the way. I don't have nearly as much patience with knitting as I do sewing!

  21. I'm a sucker for top down knitting books....but I have to admit that since ravelry I'm not a big buyer of books. (empahsis on the big)
    As I work in a library and our state is implementing a 'one card' system (means you will be able to access every library in the state) I tend to borrow them - pore through them and if I find one with a few patterns I want to knit, and it's beautiful, then I will buy it. Because, books make a home look beautiful (in my opinion) and are a practical decorating item to boot!!
    Love that cardi - Pepper is one lucky girl

  22. At least you had somebody who was glad to wear it. How devastating would it have been otherwise? I really love any type of craft book. I have shelves and shelves of them. When i see one that I like, I keep thinking about reasons why I should buy it, until I've completely convinced myself to buy it. My Hubbie will go mad if I don't stop soon though!

  23. Hilarious, the "sucker for a styled book" bit...that's me...but I am also leaning towards Ravelry designers with tried and tested patterns.
    Love the post and the cardi looks delightful despite the troubles...

  24. It is so beautiful. What a pity it didn't fit Ms Jazzy. I hope she wasn't too disappointed.

  25. oh boy this has happened to me!That cardi does look good on pepper though :)

    here is my recent blogpost, featuring a yummy apple and blackberry pie:


  26. It is a beautifully styled book. So glad I only attempted a very simple pattern out of it. Nevertheless, it does look stunning on Pepper, the colour and pattern suit her. Thank goodness for younger siblings when it comes to knitting :)

  27. wah, very pretty sekli sch, I like really clean dch

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