Week 2: Book Review: Knitting At Home

Thank you to everyone who participated in last week's book giveaway
I picked out one comment at random and the winner is Carolina! Congratulations!

For this week I'll be reviewing the book Knitting At Home by Leanne Prouse
the designer behind the Ella Rae brand.

When I first received this book in the mail from Sixth and Spring Books, I kind of just glanced through it but quickly dismissed it as a "home decor" knitting book. And those sort of books rarely appeal to me because I hardly ever knit anything for the home.

I was very wrong. After looking at this book in more depth, I have to tell you that I absolutely love this book.

It is not just a book of home decor patterns. This book has a wide variety of patterns including garments, cushions, accessories, bags, throws, and children's wear. Yet most patterns follow the same theme... All of these knits are cozy and comfy pieces you would use around your home.

While flipping through the pages, I found that the designs evoke feelings of comfort and relaxation.
All of the wearable items seem very comfortable and practical.
These are things I could see myself actually using.

Nothing high fashion, form fitting, or fussy. 
Instead all are loose fitting, cozy, knock-around-the-house types.

This book has patterns to accentuate every corner of your home with sweet knitted items. 
Is there any better way to showcase your love for knitting than to surround yourself with it?

I also especially enjoyed the section for little ones.
I love these knitted dolls..

And I found the children's blanket patterns to be quite charming.

This book contains so many cute blanket patterns. I haven't made an afghan in forever, but this book makes me want to.

Altogether, Knitting At Home offers 60 designs. 60! That is a whole lot for one knitting book!
I was very impressed by the beautiful layout and style and I would love to knit many of the patterns included.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

I think this is a great book for many different knitting levels. Many of the patterns could be easily knit as a first knitting project, but there are some challenging projects included for more experienced knitters as well.
There is a lot of variety.

The only thing that didn't offer much variety were the yarn choices offered. All of the patterns are knit from one yarn, Ella Rae Classic. It is understandable. Leanne Prouse is after all the creator of the Ella Rae yarn brand. And it is actually kind of impressive really.. It shows exactly how versatile this yarn really is. 

If your local shop doesn't carry Ella Rae Classic, it seems to be as easy enough yarn to substitute. Its a worsted weight wool, so you have many options available.

Although I very badly would like to keep this book for my own personal knitting library, I am going to be very nice and give it away to one of you!

To enter to win this brand new copy of Knitting At Home provided by Sixth and Spring Books, please leave a comment under this blog post. Don't forget to include your contact information!

I will be announcing the winner next week with another book review!


Week 1: Book Review: Knitted Flowers

Since it is now officially spring, I thought it would be quite fitting to choose the book Knitted Flowers by Nicky Epstein for my first review and giveaway.

I know that not everyone reading this is a knitted flower type of person. 
I happen to like them though. When I first started knitting in 2002 I really really liked them.
Back then I knit and crocheted tons of flowers and attached them to hats, scarves, baby booties, purses.. Everything.

I haven't knit a flower in awhile, and I probably am not as excited by them as I used to be.. but I still definitely think they have a wonderful application.

I happen to have a 5 year old girl in my home who loves all things pink, frilly and princess-like, so I will most likely be knitting up more flowers for her knitted accessories as the years go on.

So if you are a knitted flower type of person, you will really enjoy this book by Nicky Epstein. 

I have to say, I have always thought that Nicky Epstein was a remarkable designer. She is very inventive and comes up with very unusual and interesting ideas. I own several of her books and I use them regularly.

In this book, Knitted Flowers, she offers a variety of flower designs using different techniques. I find myself especially drawn to her felted flowers. I think they are quite beautiful.

I've also always been attracted to her "Wallflower" pattern. 
The mohair yarn and the tiny pearl in the center is so delicate and feminine.

Aside from the multitude of flower pattern instructions, there are also patterns included for larger garments and accessories on which to attach the flowers to. Such as a pillow, wrap, bag and poncho. 

Nicky also offers many ideas of how to use and attach the flowers to various non knitted accessories such as a belt or shoes, or even as a pin on a jacket.

To sum up everything, I think that this is an interesting book full of lots of fun ideas surrounding the subject of knitted flowers. It's a beautifully presented 133 page publication full of lovely large photographs and easy to read instructions. Additionally, the back of the book contains pages of helpful information such as technique and abbreviation explanation, templates, and schematics.

I like and would use many of the flowers pictured, but since this book was originally printed in 2006, some of the yarns used in the samples are somewhat outdated at this point.

For instance..... This.

Many flowers are shown in novelty yarns which we don't see as much of in 2011 as we did back in 2006.
That doesn't mean that these "novelty" flowers wouldn't look totally different knit up in a different yarn though.

But for myself, as a strictly non-novelty-yarn-knitter, coming face to face with a picture like this can be a little unsettling.

But furry, sparkly, ribbon-y, multicolored, shiny yarn might just be your thing, and if it is.. there are many flowers in here that you will love. :)

So guess what? I am giving away this book to one of you! 

If you would like to enter to win this brand new copy of Knitted Flowers provided by Sixth and Spring Publishing, please leave a comment under this post. 

Please remember to include your contact information in your comment.

I will be announcing the winner next week with another book review!


How much yarn will I buy?



I will be visiting 2 awesome southern California yarn shops this weekend!

On Friday (tomorrow) I will be at Unwind yarn shop in Burbank from 5:30-9:00 for a special "Mini Stitches Extravaganza". There will be refreshments and special sales and it sounds like a whole lot of fun. 
If you would like to attend, please click HERE to sign up!

On Saturday, I have the priviledge of doing a "designer meet and greet" at this amazing yarn shop, Wildfiber in Santa Monica! 

Look at the size of this store! 

I have a feeling that I am going to do some serious damage here! I will be at Wildfiber from 10am-2pm and will be there  incessantly shopping  knitting and meeting people. So come on by and say hello!

At both stores, I will have my all of my printed patterns available for purchase and a whole bunch of knitted samples on display. So please, if you are local to the southern California area, stop by either Unwind or Wildfiber and say hello. I LOVE to meet my blog readers and podcast listeners in person!

I hope to see you there!


Upcoming Book Giveaways and Reviews

Over the past several months, I've received a bounty of beautiful new books from Sixth and Spring Publishing. Since I am currently on a podcast break, I thought it would be fun to organize something new for the blog.

For the next seven weeks, I will be providing a review of each book. One book per week.
This is a great opportunity for you to look inside the publications and figure out if these would be a good addition to your knitting library.

And of course.. there will be a giveaway for each book too! Everyone will have a chance to enter to win one book each week. This will be fun and fast paced and I hope you will enjoy it.

Speaking of giveaways though.. 

Many of you winners have not claimed prizes from previous giveaways. Please check out the previous posts and contact me right away if you are a winner at nevernotknitting@gmail.com.

Thanks! Ill be back next week with a book review!


Spring Sale

Get ready for Spring with a special sale!

Get 50% off of my childrens sized Spring Garden Tee and the adult version of the Spring Garden Tee pattern through Sunday March 20th.

This is a very fun and feminine springtime top that is worked entirely in one piece. 
The children's pattern is sized all the way from baby to girls size 14!

To receive your discount, please follow the link to my pattern store here
Select the patterns you would like and click "Checkout" at the bottom.

In the checkout process enter the special code "SpringSale"

This code can also be used for pattern purchases on ravelry.com.

Enjoy your springtime knitting!


The Birds and The Bees

A few months ago, I started designing some knitted headbands for my daughter. 
You undoubtedly already saw the Roses Are Red headband that I designed for the latest issue of Knitcircus magazine, but now I have 2 new headband designs to add to my personal pattern collection 
just in time for Spring!

Introducing..  The Birds

and..The Bees

(Modeled by my five year old daughter and her little friend. These girls are so sweet together.)


I had so much fun designing these!
This pattern comes in sizes to fit a baby, toddler, or child. 
The band is knit in garter stitch which makes for a nice stretchy fabric that stays in place.
They are super fast to knit up and a GREAT solution for leftover sock yarn.

I chose Louet Gems Fingering weight yarn for these headbands, but really any sock weight yarn would do.

Here is the pattern information for those of you interested in knitting up these headbands for the little one in your life:

Baby (Toddler, Child)

Headband: 12 (14, 16)” long, 1.25” wide.
Stretches to fit 15.5 (17.5, 19.5)” head circumference.

MC Louet Gems fingering weight 100% Merino Wool; 185 yd/169m per 50g skein 1 skein of each color or approx 35 (40, 45) yds of a fingering weight wool or wool blend.

For the Bird Pattern
CC1 color: Aqua #48 or Mustard #1352; 1 skein or 10 yds.
CC2 color: Pewter #43; 1 skein or 10 yds.
CC3 color: Fern Green #39; 1 skein or 5 yds.

For the Bee Pattern
CC1 color: Pewter #43; 1 skein or 10 yds.
CC2 color: Mustard #1352; 1 skein or 10 yds.
CC3 color: Cream #30; 1 skein or 10 yds.

Alternate Yarns: Malabrigo Sock, Spud and Chloe Fine

2 US1 / 2.25mm double pointed needles
Tapestry needle
Small amounts of black embroidery floss for bumblebee’s eyes, bird's eye and legs, and orange for bird's beak
Sewing needle for embroidery
Straight pins

But wait.. there is more! These are not your everyday knitting patterns. No.. not at all. 
These are super special.

As a mother of a little girl, I am always looking for ways to include her in the knitting process. So with this pattern I wanted to do something extra special for kids. Thanks to my awesome graphic designer, Jill, these patterns are beautifully and colorfully illustrated with a hidden picture game just for kids. While you are knitting these up, your little one will have fun trying to find all of the birds and bees in the pattern pages! There is also a fun little riddle for them to figure out. The game instructions are on the cover of each pattern and the answers are found inside. It's super fun! My daughter loved it!

Both "The Birds" and "The Bees" headband patterns are available as individual pdf downloads below.. but I highly suggest that you get the beautiful print version through your local yarn shop!
The printed version is a flip and turn pattern! With one pattern on each side. 2 patterns in 1.

Below you can see 2 copies of the same pattern.  (One is just flipped over.)

Here are some of the fun illustrations that you will find. I love how the inside middle of the printed pattern is a whimsical multi-directional tree, with birds on one side and bees on the other.
Its so fun. I know that the little ones in your life will love it!

I hope you and your family will enjoy this pattern as much as my daughter and I have together. 
It really is a special treat. So much more than just a simple set of instructions.

If you would like to see this pattern in print, please have your local yarn shop owner contact me at nevernotknitting@gmail.com for wholesale information.



Yarn Loveliness

I know that as knitters, we have all seen pretty yarn before... 
But seriously now, have you ever seen a skein as pretty as this?

I don't know if it's the depth of color, the blended tones or the fact that this is my favorite color green, but I am completely in love with this skein of Pigeonroof Studios Cassiopeia DK in Juniper.

I acquired this skein (among others) from Krista at the Pigeonroof Studios booth at Stitches West.
I have been staring at it ever since. 

I know that I've said this before.. about other yarns.. but this might be my new favorite.

This texture. This colorway. The fact that it is an insanely indulgent blend of merino, cashmere and silk... 
I just love it.

I've wound it up and it's going on my needles right now. 
I need to find the perfect project to showcase it. 
I'll let you know what I come up with when I've figured that out.

More beautiful Pigeonroof Studios yarn available HERE.