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New Books for Me!

rodezzy | Posted in Knitting and Crochet on

My son asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said “Couture Crochet Workshop by Lily M. Chin.”  He brought it over last night, he had to order it. 

I learned new techniques just reading the first few pages that solved some crocheting problems I’ve always wished I had an answer for.  Wicked!!!  I understand reading charts better now too. 

I’m not that crazy about the designs in the book, but It has lots of detailed information on how to get a great fit with crocheted items.  It’s a boat load of info.  Love it.

My craft buddy gave me “Crochet Squared” by Marsha Polk for Christmas.  I love that book.  I made that vest from the processes learned in that book.  I love the creativity and how quickly you can make something.  My time is limited and crocheting some thing to wear in just a few nights after work gives me ultimate satisfaction. 

I also have a knitting book that uses squares and triangles to get stuff done and on your body in the least amount of time.  Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It’s not as fast as crochet, but faster than traditional knitting when using large needles and bulkier yarns. 



Rodezzy, Fiber Artist


  1. katina | | #1

    Thanks for this info, Rodezzy. I love working with small knit and crochet units to make knitwear.


  2. Gloriasews | | #2

    Good Christmas presents!  I read the Lily Chin book just before Christmas.  I agree with you about the styles in the book (didn't care for them, but did like the one with the V-shaped front piece) - but the general crocheting info was great - especially about inserting darts if you are large-busted.  I'll have to get it out of the library again, just to read again. 


    1. rodezzy | | #3

      Just went out at lunch and purchased "Hooks-Only Crochet" from start to finish edited by Carol Alexander from the House of White Birches (like I needed another book-giggle).  I wanted it, so there!!!

      There are several fashion pieces I want to make for me and a few novelty items like the Techno Door Curtain made of CD's that grabbed my attention.  I also liked the Halloween Checkers Game, the playing pieces are little ghost for one player and candy corns for the other.  the board is lime green and purple.  Great novelty gift.  I get so excited over books.  Love it!!!!!!!! Don't know when I'll make stuff, but I'll make something out of it.  There's so much to do.

      1. Gloriasews | | #4

        Yes - so much to do & so little time to do it in!

        Oh - Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday, Rodezzy, happy birthday to you!  And many more . . .  (I'm a Capricorn, too - we're determined old goats, eh)?

        I'll have to look for the Hooks - Only Crochet book.  Our library has more knitting books than crocheting, but I keep trying.  I did get the knitting book No-Pattern Knits, by Pat Ashcroft & Steve Plummer from the library last Saturday - very interesting!  Yesterday, I received a late birthday gift - Fast Fit, by Sandra Betzina & Strips 'n Curves quilting book, by Louisa L. Smith, both of which I requested for my birthday.  I, too, love books & have run out of room to place them, so I'll have to start weeding them out & donating them to the library.


        1. damascusannie | | #5

          >> I did get the knitting book No-Pattern Knits, by Pat Ashcroft & Steve Plummer from the library last Saturday - very interesting! ~~That sounds intriguing--what's the premise? I design almost all of my own sweater patterns, usually just jotting down notes as I go and then losing them as soon as the project's done so I can never make another. It's probably a sub-conscious action so that I won't ever have the boredom of making the same thing twice! My all-time favorite books are: Hats On! by Charlene Schurch--the best hat book ever, IMHO. Worth the purchase price for the Danish Earflapper hat alone; I bet I've made 50 of them in all sizes from adult male to newborn. Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle. Just a nice, nice selection of shawl patterns. Her "Kimono" pattern that I made from handspun alpaca is just beautiful. Knitting Without Tears, Elizabeth Zimmerman. If you've ever read, you already know why!Annie

          1. Gloriasews | | #12

            The No-Pattern Knitting book gives directions for different shapes (triangles, parallelograms, hexagons, etc.) - from which you make a garment, pillow, etc. to whatever size or shape you wish (no patterns for garments).  You can make a paper pattern for the item & just keep knitting bits & pieces, sewing them together to fit the shape of the pattern you've made.  There is an absolutely gorgeous sweater in the book done this way.  Of course, you have to guess how much yarn you'll need for your project, as there aren't directions for projects - you have to rely on your own creativity (right up Rodezzy's alley, eh?).

            I'll look for that Knitting Without Tears next time I order my library books.


          2. rodezzy | | #15

            I saw that no-pattern knit book yesterday at Joann fabrics.  I admit, I just looked quickly inside, I didn't try to get an understanding. 

            I had better stick start a little simpler knitting process as I have yet to knit a garment other than a scarf.  I know it may be easy, but it looked complex to me. 

            After I get one garment under my belt, and get on a role understanding more comfortable with the knitting process as a whole, maybe I'll check it out.  I am still fearful of knitting.  Picking up dropped stitches is a nightmare, and following multiple row stitch patterns is no walk in the park. 

            When I watched her do a mock cable wheatear (something like that) stitch, my mouth dropped open to the floor.  It's very complicated, and they keep saying "it's easy".  HA, I should have had these dvd's when I was twenty something.  I would be a champ now.  I will have to make the whole thing row by row with the dvd.

            I'm a punk when it comes to complicated patterns with multiple rows needed to complete it.  I don't like that. 

          3. Gloriasews | | #17

            I've made only 5 sweaters in my life (but they turned out perfectly), but, because I consider myself unexperienced, I always choose easy patterns.  I seem to get lost in the complicated patterns - they just don't make any sense to me - but I keep trying.   Yah, if you are following a graphed pattern & marking off each row, it is a pain (that's why I find crocheting so much faster) - but you can't beat the nice look & feel of a knit, so we keep striving for perfection!


          4. damascusannie | | #19

            I think it's interesting that you find multiple row knitting patterns complicated when I don't think that it's any worse than the pattern rounds in a crocheted doily. Either way, goof up one stitch and the whole pattern goes to pieces. There are patterns that are harder than others, of course, but even a fairly complex cable pattern is still just units of knitting and purling with an occasional unit of "crossing" stitches tossed in to make the twist in the cable. I personally find that written instructions are easier than charted because I can break them down into sections. I think that some of the difficulty in making the switch back and forth has to do with the whole new language of abbreviations that you have to learn. Annie

          5. rodezzy | | #20

            Guess what, I don't do doilies.  Never have and never will.  I don't do multiple row patterns in crochet either. 

            I made seven (7) sweater coats the winter of 2006 into 2007 and used only single crochet and some double crochet, and practically no increasing or decreasing.  Only if I wanted to cinch in the sleeve openings at the hand end.  I crocheted two vests and a cropped sweater in one week.  All with single and/or double crochet and size "N" and "P" hooks. 

            So, I don't discriminate in my aversion to complexity.  And not one coat resembled the other.  Variations in collars, sleeves, blocks of color, texture of yarns, buttons, tassels, fringe or no fringe.  Every crocheted article I've made has only used single, double or treble crochet stitches.  No shells, bells, clusters, or none of that stuff.  I think it's beautiful, I just can't sit through it.  For better or for worst.  If I have to have a patterned piece, I'll buy it.  I have some beautiful purchased crocheted pieces to wear, but I'll never make them (giggle).  It's just who I am. 

            Years ago when I was making hats, scarves and shawls to sell, I ventured into some patterns, but I was 20 something then and they were all basically flat pieces (except the hats).  I crocheted one sweater from a book with a three row pattern repeat.  And I practiced the pineapple stitch.  That's as far as it went.  I don't even like crocheting very much in the round because I have to count and keep up with the increases and decreases.  I'm not ashamed, its who I am and I love me.  I sat down during my vacation and crocheted hats to match the coats I wear regularly because I had the yarns.  There's no shame in my game.  I've learned to except my likes and dislikes no matter what anyone else says.  You do what you do and I'll do what I do and everybody's happy. (smile)

            So, no.....I'm too impatient....I don't want to have to think a lot about it in that respect.  I have more fun changing and experimenting with the yarns and designing the finished product - which I do as I go.  Right or wrong.  That's the way I am. 

            Last night I crocheted two scarves for my cousin instead of knitting the headband because I wanted to give them to her today.  All single crocheted.

          6. damascusannie | | #22

            Ah, so you'd be a garter stitch knitter then. One of my favorite scarves is a garter stitch in two colors, worked in alternate rows. Pretty and easy. I knitted it on slightly too-small needles so it's stayed nice and firm and hasn't stretched out of shape. Have you done any crocheted felting? I'm planning on trying knitted felting with some of the 100% wool yarn I got yesterday. Annie

          7. rodezzy | | #23

            yes, dear....garter and stockinette.  I like ribbing also.  In my maggiknits irish collection books, she uses mainly st. st., garter, ribbing and moss stitch for almost all of her designs.  But, she uses processes such as tubing, gathered st st and other design elements such as intentional holes, unusual patch work knitting,  that I have practiced knitting right after I bought the books in, I think, Oct. to accomplish her knitting style.  I don't like everything in her books, but the processes are interesting and some garments would be wearable for me.  If I can ever follow a full pattern. smile

            No I haven't felted yet.  (so much to try and so little time).  I have a full time job, and I get home around 6 pm. sometimes later.  So, my time goes fast.  I've done a lot though.  (giggle) I tried to felt a purse I knitted last year from some wool yarn that was given me, it must have been super wash (no label) so it never felted. 

            So it looks beautiful and I'll be waiting anxiously to see your pieces.  I'll get to it at least once this season I swear! smile

          8. Gloriasews | | #24

            I like the written instructions better, too - I find the charts hard on the eyes & I have to count stitches & cross them out with a pencil, which slows me down even more.  I didn't mind the charts when I used to do petit point 50 years ago (yikes - that long ago?), but now, for knitting, I do find them a pain.  As for doilies, I never did do those, as I'm just not a doily person (maybe that's a Capricorn thing :).  Like you, I find the new symbols for crocheting really difficult to get the hang of - I have to keep referring back to the instructions - & that just makes me grumpy & I lose interest in what I'm making, as I can't just keep going smoothly along like I can with written instructions.  Yah, complain, complain, complain :)


            Edited 1/18/2008 6:49 pm by Gloriasews

          9. damascusannie | | #25

            See, it's just easier to wing it in the long run, isn't it? I've pretty much found that with a couple of good stitch pattern books and the basic know-how about how to put a sweater together, I muddle along pretty well without patterns. If you want to try learning shaped knitting, get some 16" circulars, a set of double-points in the same size and find a simple watch cap pattern. Circulars are easier to use than straight needles and there's no seaming at the end. You'll have the chance to practice with the DPNs when you get to the crown of the hat, but it goes fast, so you won't have too much time to get panicky about it. If you scrap the instructions for knitting the ribbed brim, the hat will end up with a nifty rolled brim so you don't even have to make any purls! You can make one to match a scarf. Annie

          10. Gloriasews | | #26

            Good ideas - thanks!  As I only have 1 circular needle (inherited in a bunch of needles, mostly double-points, but those are only about 8" long), I'll have to buy new ones.  I think I'll continue to wing it for awhile, but I do want to try socks.


          11. damascusannie | | #27

            You don't have to use a circular, but it's faster than DPNs. The end result's the same regardless. Annie

          12. Gloriasews | | #28

            OK - guess I'll try it out with my DPNs & see how it goes.  Thanks for the advice, Annie!


        2. rodezzy | | #6

          Happy birthday to ya, happy birthday to ya, happy birthday (Steve Wonder's rendition).  Giggle. 

          And many many more for ya!  (my rendition)

          Hey Fellow Capricorn, yes, we are some determined old goats, girlfriend.  I purchased a knitting DVD (see thread) I watched it when I came home from my dinner with my son, which was grilled lamb chops with grilled veggies (awesome goodness in the mouth-umh). 

          The tape was good and has 12 stitch along stitch lessons.  Terrific.  I practiced the bobble stitch last night.  I went through books and drooled over my knitting books until I fell asleep after midnight.

          I have:  Book 2: The Purl Stitch (Sally Melville), knitovation-creative knitwear made from 3 simple shapes (squares, rectangles and triangles), Irish Fashion Knits-Maggiknts Irish MKCollection Book 16, The Nautical Look, Maggiknits irish MK Collection Book 14, and Hand-knitting w/Meg Swansen-Shawl-collared vest-Schoolhnouse Press video.

          I have others, but these are the ones I'm dying to knit from, and are the newest of my collection.  I have knitted half the Shawl collared vest in redheart and took ripped it out.  That yarn is ugly.  I'm waiting for the money to buy a good yarn for that project, but at least I feel confident to work it and knitting in the round is great.  I don't know how I'll do for the rest of it, but I know I can do the half below before I got to the arm hole steeks.  I did it over the Thanksgiving holiday, that friday while my cousin was at work. 


          1. damascusannie | | #7

            I wish I could get more benefit from knitting DVDs but being left-handed makes it very difficult to watch what's done and then flip-flop it my mind so that it works for me. I do better with books because I can just follow the written instructions or scan the pictures and reverse them on the computer if necessary. Annie

          2. rodezzy | | #8

            O.K., but you're good any handed I'm sure.  I knit continental, because I learned to crochet first, and therefore held the yarn in my left hand, so when I was taught to knit initially at 9 yrs. old, she let me do it the same way.  Then in my early twenties I decided to brush up with a book from Wiebolts in downtown Chicago "I taught myself to knit", I didn't get too far with that.  So I just knitted scarves with a combo of knit and purl stitches.  That's all I could do.  Then Knitty Gritty came on TV and I got fired up.  I'm about ready to make an article of clothing this year, my goal being by next month.

            Edited 1/17/2008 2:46 pm ET by rodezzy

          3. damascusannie | | #9

            See, I'm left-handed but crochet right handed, probably because I learned to knit first and I throw the yarn with my left fore-finger. Makes sense and probably explains why Continental feels so awkward to me. It just doesn't feel comfortable to hold the yarn in my right hand.Annie

          4. rodezzy | | #10

            So, you crochet four single or double crochets in one knit stitch?

            Sorry I got confused with whom I was conversing.  I had asked Katrina how to she crocheted a bobble in the middle of a knit row. 

            Edited 1/17/2008 4:52 pm ET by rodezzy

          5. damascusannie | | #11

            Just had to share with others who will understand: A knitting friend is reducing her stash and before she put everything on ebay, she let me come over and have first pick. I just bought about $300 worth of REALLY nice yarn for $100! I'm totally thrilled! Most of it is Brown Sheep "Lamb's Pride" (32 skeins!) which will be made into heavy socks and felted stuff, but there were also a lot of odd skeins of other brands. I'm soooo thrilled. Now I have to finish the socks I have started so I can begin the shrug my daughter wants--she's already claimed the yarn for that. 8^) I might put her off until I've knitted myself a nice pair of mittens, though. Annie

          6. Gloriasews | | #14

            Lucky you!  That should keep you busy for the rest of the year, eh?  :)


          7. rodezzy | | #21

            That's a wonderful feeling to get some good yarn like that for a song.  Great!!!!

          8. Gloriasews | | #13

            Thank you very much!  Your birthday dinner sounded delicious (I am a new convert to lamb chops) - a nice night out for you.  We had lasagna & salad for my birthday dinner, with rum cake with whipped cream for dessert - very good.

            I, too, have a Sally Melville book - can't remember the name, but the knitting looks like weaving.  I haven't tried anything yet from that book.  I'm more interested in trying the Debbie New idea of unintentional knitting - I may yet become just as creative as you when I grow up!

            It's funny - I don't mind the Red Heart yarn at all, but I do want to try Vanna White's yarn. 


          9. rodezzy | | #16

            Oh, I knitted a scarf in Vanna's yarn and it was good.  It's soft and holds it shape.  I just bought two more skiens yesterday to crochet a boa scarf.

            I love lasagna.  Talk at you guys tomorrow......peace out!

          10. Gloriasews | | #18

            I have yet to knit a scarf (or crochet one, for that matter), but I'm slowly building up my stock of fancy, fluffy yarns to add in, as you did.  Right now, I'm crocheting more slippers (everyone's has worn out & their feet are cold, poor babies).  At least that will use up odds & ends of yarn.


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