Friday 24 June 2011

Knit One, Knit All Review

Here we go with the Knit One, Knit All review. I'm so excited to do this review, a new EZ book is a real event for me.
This review is meant as a positive look at the work of EZ, Meg & Cully Swansen.
All pictures are taken from the book. The quality may not be great, I took them with a camera on a rainy Friday night.

First off, let me say this book is great. Filled with pearls of EZ wisdom, wonderful, practical garments and intuitive design features. As with all EZ patterns, there is lots of choice for you to make the garments unique to you, and most of all to make them FIT. There's a lovely intro and throughout the book there are watercolour pictures painted by EZ.

But let's get to the meat of the knitty sandwich. There's a TON of patterns in here. The book is divided into sections, the first of which is Head, Hands & Feet.

The first is the Chambered Nautilus Tam which is also the cover picture:

A short row spiral hat. Love it. I think it's very chic.

The next hat is a bit quirkier, Brimmed Hat - Panache:

To quote EZ: "Here's a ridiculous hat - but worn with panache by a self-confident young woman; this would look gorgeous." Well said, EZ. Reminds me of Robin Hood.

Next we have Single Border Cap:

I can see Alice wanting one of these for school. She loves hats with strings.

Next is the Brimmed Hat - Horizontal:

I love all the different ways this can be worn, a few simple folds and it transforms into a totally different style of hat!

Brimmed Hat - Vertical:

I think this would be a cute sunhat in a cotton yarn. Reminds me of a floppy sunhat Alice had when she was a baby.

Another one that reminds me of a baby bonnet is the Diamond Back Bonnet:

Not so sure I'd wear this one to be honest, but if it gets as cold as it did last winter I'm sure that will change! It reminds me a bit of the headscarf worn by Kelly McGillis as an Amish woman in Witness.

The Katmandu Cap or Bonnet is next:

There's something a bit catlike about this one. Maybe it's the pointed "ears"? Quite cute.

On to the Pillbox Hat:

Love this one. There's another version in the book that's striped & looks like a circus tent. Brilliant. Short rows rock.

On to hands now, first is Ambidextrous Mittens:

LOVE these as they can worn on either hand. No more mistakes for me in putting the thumb on the wrong side!

On to Mittens from the Top:

More lovely mittens. I love mittens. These are worked from the top down. I like the flared cuff.

Sideways Gloves are next:

These are really clever. Doing fingers in the round is a total pain. These are done sideways using provisional cast on. Can't wait to try these. There's also a variation given for Fingerless Gloves:

For the Fagin in all of us.

On to the feet. The name of these is Add-a-Booties. Great name!

Basically, there are multiple layers of soles for padded comfort and they never wear out. Yummy toasty feet. I think I might make these for myself.

The next pattern is a quirky one, Knitted Clogs:

Not so sure I'd wear these, but I can be pretty sure Alice would. Plus I bet they'd be fun to knit. On little kids feet they'd probably be adorable.

Next is Garter Sole Slippers:

These are fab! They look so snuggly! I bet they are mega comfy. Mmm.

Socks now, and Sideways Socks. I love trying new sock construction ideas.

Mosaic Socks:

Striped Socks:

And Clock Socks:

They're socks. I'm gonna knit them all.

On to a new Section, Babies, and the cuteness factor escalates dramatically.
First up, my previous blog post of Star Booties:

You all know how I feel about these already. LOVE!

Next is my next baby knit hopefully, Tie Booties:

AWWWW! Look! Widdle cutie booties! Divine.

Baby Surplice Jacket:

This is one I was looking forward to, having seen sneak peek pics of it before publication. Isn't it lovely? So easily customized for little boys or girls, or different closures. I love it.

2-Piece baby Jacket:

Super cute. versions for babies & small children are given, with a v or round neck.

Flared Baby Jacket:

No-one does baby jackets like EZ. So many different versions and so easily customized using stripes, edgings etc. Love.

I-Cord Sampler/Potholder/Baby Blanket:

I think I remember Meg doing something similar on the Knitting Around DVD. A great way to learn I-Cord edging and have an FO at the end. As EZ says, "A pot holder? A Baby Blanket? The difference is only in size."

The next section is for the grown-ups, Vests.

First is Cully's Vest:

I like Cully's designs. He's come up with some interesting ones over the years. He did a really cool brick jumper in a previous Wool Gathering, and some quirky hats too. This vest is lovely, it looks really comfy and practical, plus has some nice pattern detail on the bodice that you can't really see in the picture. Not something I'd wear, but I know my Dad would.

This one is nice too. V-Vest:

This looks really interesting, you cast on at the neck and knit on the bias. Can't wait to try this one!

When I saw this I immediately thought of Wyvernfriend (a knitty friend who likes waiscoats). Waistcoat Vest:

Cute! The back looks cool too, but you'll have to trust me, I didn't take a pic. ;)

Yoked Top:

I love this one. Nice and plain and simple. The different directions of the knitting do all the talking. I'm thinking like EZ and immediately wanting to alter it to suit me, a mantra she always had. I'm going to add sleeves.

The next section is Sweaters, and the first is New Zealand Sweater:

Apparently the yoke shape matches the silhouette of the NZ volcano, Rangitoto. I love how EZ got inspired by maths & nature. This can be easily altered by adding a pattern to the body:

Looks like a totally different sweater, doesn't it? I think hubby might be getting the plain version for his Christmas jumper; although knit in a lightweight yarn, it could end up on me instead...

This one is great. Striped Blouse:

Maybe it's the navy & white, but I think it's such a classic look. Really smart. Not one I think I'd be able to wear, sadly. I think the stripes would make me look ridiculously larger. Not sure. I think it would look fantastic on Alice though, maybe in black & white with a pair of jeans.

Bias-Sleeve Sweater:

This is knit lengthways. Lots of stitches! But, the end result is fab. A great vehicle for making the most of hand dyed yarns I think.

This one has me excited. Mitered Cardigan:

ooooh. Look! Isn't it just gorgeous? This is DEFO on my list. I have the perfect Autumnal coloured Cushendale wool. Mmm. This is going to be by Autumn cardigan this year. Absolutely.

Icelandic Overblouse:

This is great because it makes the most of the colours of the yarn and the stitches. The shoulder is really unusual too, another one that would be really interesting to knit.

Striped Jumper:

Another vertical sweater, with short rows. The stripes are a great way to break the monotony of the knitting.

Suspender Sweater:

This is a great contemporary design. The neckline is really cleverly done, and the "suspenders" look great. The choices for the type of suspender you could add are endless, you could make a fab unique cardi.

Next section is Jackets and the first is Long Collared Jacket:

Jackets are brilliant, but a real investment of time and love. I'm not sure I'd ever get round to making one, but I would like to think I would. The collar on this one is great, you'd be lovely and snug against cold breezes. Knit plain, this would be lovely.

Next is Adult Bavarian Jacket:

Isn't this a great photo? A traditional German garment given a make-over. This garment uses the bent-elbow technique, a great idea for thicker yarns to allow your arms to move.

Of course, there's a child's version too, Childs Bavarian Jacket:

How cute is that.

I love the name of this one, Ribbed Dirndl Top:

Dirndl is a great word, I think. Evokes images of the tv show Heidi I used to love as a kid. I think this is really pretty, and would look great over a blouse with a floaty skirt. The shaping at the back is really interesting, creating a fab texture.

On to the Zig-Zag Jacket:

Isn't this great? Look at the way the arrows flow around the corners at the bottom. This looks super comfy. I think I might break the no-jacket rule and make this one for me...

Hand-toHand Cardigan:

This comes in adult and child sized versions. The cable on the sleeves is lovely. Again there is interesting uses of direction to create texture in the garter stitches, and the curved bottom edges are lovely. The kids version is really nice too, using different coloured yarn to emphasise the sections.

So there you have it! Isn't it brilliant? I want to knit everything really, all I need is the time. Thanks so much Schoolhouse Press for all the hard work in deconstructing EZ's notes and giving us lots of lovely new knits!

Good knitting!

Star Booties

I started this post all ready to do a review of Knit One, Knit All, but ran out of steam. Next time, I promise. I'm just a bit too whacked on a Friday evening.

I will tease you a bit though, with an FO from the book:

Pattern: Star Booties by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yarn: Jamieson & Smith 2 ply Jumperweight, scraps of three colours

Needles: 3.5mm Addi circulars

A super quick knit, they only took a couple of hours each.

Doesn't look like much, huh? Ah, but with a little EZ magic, all becomes clear:

Aren't they fab? I was concerned that the foot looked a little long, but I'm sure once they're on chubby baby feet they will look great.

I love them, I think they're like Tetris blocks!

So, apologies for the lack of review, but I'm sure you'll forgivce me and that the booties will whet your appetite!

Good knitting!

Sunday 19 June 2011

Early Birthdays are Great

Yesterday was my early birthday. It's a bit of a tradition here, if your birthday is in the middle of the week, then it's celebrated at the weekend to make the most of it. It all started with Alice, so we wouldn't have her sugared up during the week.
My birthday is technically not till Wednesday, but yesterday was the day we partied. It was BRILL. It's not a "big" birthday, but OMG the amount of pressies I got! I'm so spoiled.

Hubby & Alice made me this card:

Outer space sheep! Love it. It was so funny hearing them whispering in the kitchen when making it. It sounded like there were some "creative differences" going on.

On to the pressies! First is a cuddly sheep for my desk. Notice a theme?

Hubby is great at getting little nonsense pressies all through the year and hiding them away. Actually, he's a bit TOO good at it, if you know what I mean. I reckon he could have another woman stashed away and I'd never know, he's so good. Anyway, I got a few silly things, this being the best of the bunch. Swimming sheep for the bath!:

On to the cake. Another thing he bought ages ago & hid away. Sheep cake tins!:

And the resulting cake, with cream cheese frosting. OMG, this was no NOM! Although it felt really weird chopping of it's head. Alice ate it with no problem though!

Now on to the meat of the present sandwich. Books. Lots of knitty books. First, A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swansen:

Knitting Plus by Lisa Shroyer:

Brave New Knits by Julie Thurjoman:

And this one. This one should have a choir of angels sound effect. I have been so excited to get this since I first heard about it. I present, NEW EZ:

I am positively giddy with excitement. I was to knit ALL the things, now. I foresee a summer of garter stitch ahead of me! I promise to do a review of it very soon.

What a haul of books & pressies, no? Any girl would be over the moon. I am. But it doesn't end there. My mobile phone literally fell apart the other day. I mean literally. Springs and bits of plastic just fell out, and it won't turn on. I've lost all my contacts. :( I was surprised how bereft I was without my phone, especially considering it was as old as I am (no, I'm not telling you) and did nothing except call & text. I didn't think I used it that much. So, hubby got me this:

SQUEE! An iPhone4! I can't believe it. I can haz interwebz everywhere! Twitter in work! Oh yeah. :D

So, last night, I popped onto the internet to see what kind of case I could get for it. I happened upon CaféPress and found a TON of knitty cases. I settled on this one delivered to my door for a mere $31!

Isn't it great? I love it. Until it arrives, I have started on making a temporary snuggly home for it, to protect from scratches & my general all round clumsiness:

Just a basic tube with garter & stocking stitch using Wendy Happy Bamboo.

And the final pressie? This birthday just keeps on giving, doesn't it? This one is ACE:

Whee! I'm going to see my fave, Paul Simon tomorrow night in a really small intimate theatre here in Dublin. I have no idea why he's playing such a small venue, he filled our largest theatre the last time he played. I know, I was there. I ADORE Paul Simon, and try to never miss him when he comes. Tickets for this tiny gig sold out in 4 minutes. Yes. 4. And hubby made sure to get two tickets for me. Awwww.

Thanks hubby! What an amazing birthday! It's Fathers Day today, I must make sure to spoil him as much.

Good Knitting!