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Interview: Doreen Blask (Laffrenzen)

One of the things I love most about the Indie GAL (Gift-A-Long) is the chance to discover and/or promote other designers’ work. Over the course of the GAL I’ll be publishing gift-knitting related interviews with designers whose work I admire.

db-balloonDoreen Blask (Laffrenzen) publishes fabulous garment and accessory patterns. Check out her Ravelry page here.

Steph: What’s your favorite part of the GAL?
Doreen: Discovering all the new designers and adding to my to-do-list is the best part, I think. It’s also a great opportunity to get in touch with other designers.

Have you participated before this year?
No, this is the first year I’m in.

Welcome! Are you participating as a knitter? if yes, what are you planning on knitting? if no, what would you, had you the time?
I am making some toys (Cheezombie’s Seahorse Pattern and others) and if I can find the time I’ll make one or two shawls (Sand Ripples shawl and maybe the Heart on Fire by Lili Go).

Aww, thanks re: Sand Ripples! That one does take a bit of time thought. Which of your patterns do you think make the best gifts?
I think my toy patterns make great gifts for kids, especially the Cuddle Me Caterpillar , the Follow Me Mittens are great for adults 🙂

Thank you so much Doreen!

Photos © Mrsmumpitz

Don’t forget to check out the Indie Design Gift-A-Long group on Ravelry to join in the fun!

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Interview: Natalie Servant

One of the things I love most about the Indie GAL (Gift-A-Long) is the chance to discover and/or promote other designers’ work. Over the course of the GAL I’ll be publishing gift-knitting related interviews with designers whose work I admire.

natserv-suburban-stationNatalie Servant publishes beautiful, art deco inspired patterns. Check out her Ravelry page here.

Steph: Hi Natalie! Thanks for being part of this interview series.  What’s your favorite part of the GAL?

Natalie: I love seeing the finished objects threads as people use this event as additional motivation to make things.

Have you participated before this year?

Yes, I’ve participated in the last couple of GALs.

Fantastic! Are you participating as a knitter? if yes, what are you planning on knitting? if no, what would you, had you the time?

Oh goodness, I’m knitting to a deadline at the moment. I’m really hoping to be done before the holidays, so in that case I’d likely pick something small to tackle: a hat, or perhaps decorations.

Which of your patterns do you think make the best gifts?

Hmm, the pattern or the finished object? Any pattern makes an excellent gift, IMO, but it depends on the knitter.

For finished objects, I think the safest thing is something that doesn’t have to fit exactly: scarves & shawls are great. Although there is at least one child in my household hoping for their own Lyle Owl Pillow.

I love that pillow, it’s so cute.  (I think, given the graphic punch of the design, it works for adults too.)  Thank you Natalie!

Don’t forget to check out the Indie Design Gift-A-Long group on Ravelry to join in the fun!

Photos © Natalie Servant
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Quick Review: The Knitter’s Book of Knowledge

The Knitter’s Book of Knowledge by Debbie Bliss, Lark, 2015, $29.95, 320pp.

So many online knitting references exist: YouTube videos, blog tutorials, and so on, for just about any technique you can think of.  My first tendency if I have to double check a technique is to simply Google it.

However, one of the problems with doing an online search is that you have to know for what you’re searching: how to phrase your search to get the results you want. That’s not the easiest thing to do, especially when knitting terminology can vary.  (This is also a factor, say, if you’re trying to find something in exhaustive books such as Principle of Knitting via searching through the index).

The Knitter’s Book of Knowledge touches upon a plethora of topics, each concisely described and clearly illustrated, ranging from beginner topics (how to work a knit stitch either Continental or English) to more advanced topics (shifting colors to the right or left while working intarsia).

The layout is very easy (and enjoyable — this is a lovely book) to read and flip through.

If you’re a beginner knitter, I think this book will suit you quite well. Once you’re ready to explore more advanced techniques, this book gives you a good introduction, and the knowledge to use as a basis for learning more.  If you’re already more advanced and are a technique junkie (raising my hand), you may want more details than this book gives you; but, it serves very well as a quick reference, and often, if you’re double checking on something, that’s all you need.  Given the scope of the book (from casting on to finishing techniques and a bit of everything else in between), I think it does a fantastic job.

I received my copy from the publisher.

 

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Review: Unexpected Cables by Heather Zoppetti

heather cablesUnexpected Cables: Feminine Knitted Garments Featuring Modern Cable Knitting, Interweave/F+W; $24.99, by Heather Zoppetti

Unexpected Cables is divided into three sections: Refined, Lace, and Abstract.  She notes in her intro that you won’t find boxy heavy garments; rather, she opts for a lighter feel, whether by using smaller gauge yarns and smaller cables, incorporating lace cables, or unique shaping and construction.

Refined includes several patterns (Warwick hat, Cocalico pullover) with stitch patterns reminiscent of Bavarian twisted stitches — thin traceries of 1/1 crosses against simple background.

Lace includes both Aran Lace types of stitch patterns and standard cable stitch patterns mixed with lace stitch patterns. Ronks, worked in brushed Suri alpaca, is a lovely mix of lace and cables.  Talmage, a bottom up raglan, features a cabled lace pattern.

Abstract focuses on unique construction and stitch pattern manipulation.  I love the meandering cables of the Penryn pullover and the Drumore socks.

See all the patterns on Ravelry here.

I received my copy from the publisher

 

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