Time to dust off the cobwebs

It's been a long time since I've visited this blog!  I've decided it's time to bring it back to life.  The past couple of years have been busy with life and teenagers.  Still busy, still have teenagers, but making (taking) some more time to take care of business.  If anyone is still watching, expect to see more of me here!

Book Review: Lullaby Knits by Vibe Ulrik Sondergaard

Title:  Lullaby Knits: Over 20 knitting patterns for 0-2 year olds
Author:  Vibe Ulrik Sondergaard
Publication Date:  Sept 3, 2013

Price at time of review:

Kindle edition:  $15.04
Paperback:  $15.83
Book description from Amazon:
This beautiful new book of functional, stylish designs for babies contains over 20 unique knitting patterns for sweaters, cardigans, vests, dresses, blankets, bootees as well as a cosy wrap for mum.

Combining true comfort with contemporary design, in a world where time is precious and clothes are often mass-produced, Danish knitwear designer Vibe Ulrik Sondergaard has produced a delightful range of garments that are worth investing time into. Many of the designs focus on texture and shape in solid colours, and all aim to be comfortable for babies.

Beautiful stitches, quirky details, classic shapes and lush yarns are combined to inspire others to create their own unique garments and accessories.

My Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

3 out of 5 stars

My Review:
The designs in this book are really lovely.  Most feature an all-over pattern with nice styling and simple necklines perfect for babies and toddlers.  There are 22 projects included:  7 sweaters, 6 jacket/cardigans, 3 vests, and 6 misc (hat, booties, blankets).  The yarn used in most patterns is from Rowan or Debbie Bliss, so easy to find yarns.  All of the patterns are knit flat.  Here is a quick list of my pros and cons:

*Beautiful pictures and usually more than one per project.  Projects are shown on babies/toddlers and sometimes flat as well.
*The designs are simple enough for most knitters, but are still very stylish.
* Most of the designs are unisex, although some are just for girls.

*There are no charts for any of the patterns.  Not a huge problem, but some of the patterns would be easier to follow by chart.
*There are no schematics for the sweaters.  Again, not a huge problem, especially since these are all baby clothing, but I like schematics.
*While most patterns have instructions for 3-5 sizes in the 0-2 year old range, 1 of the sweaters has only 1 size (0-3month).

As I stated earlier, I really liked the designs in this book.  Some of them would be great adult patterns.  I think knitters of all levels will find something they want to make from this book.  I know I will be using this for the next baby gift I need to make!

*ARC courtesy of Anova Books, provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!*

30 day knitting challenge: Day 8

Day 8:  What’s your most challenging project?

Lots of ways to answer this one also, but I'll go with my Faroe Vine sweater, not because it was difficult to knit, but because I had to steek it--very scary!

steeked zipper

Faroe Vine sweater

30 Day knitting challenge: Day 7

Day 7:  What is your least favorite piece that you’ve knit?

There are plenty of times I will start a project and then rip it out because I decide I don't like it before I get to completion.  And there are lots of completed projects that I don't like for myself because of the fit, but I am able to hand off to one of my daughters.  If I have to pick a least favorite, I guess it would be my Sea Lace Necklace:
Angela's Sea Lace necklace

I have finished knitting it (thank goodness), but I still haven't made it into a necklace.  I really think it's pretty, but knitting it was a nightmare:  TINY metal needles and beads--not easy.  When I originally started this, I had hoped to make a few of these as gifts.  I have all of the materials, but I just don't think I have the energy!

Book Review: Lace One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant

Title:  Lace One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects Celebrating the Possibilities of Lace
Author:  Judith Durant
Publication Date:  September 10, 2013

Price at time of review:

Paperback:  $11.37

Book description from Amazon:

Judith Durant has done it again! This all-new collection of 101 original lace knitting projects, each using just a single skein of yarn, will thrill knitters of all levels. From clothes and accessories to pillows, curtains, and tablecloths, these beautiful projects were contributed by designers and knitters around the world. Try your hand at an heirloom-quality lace shawl, a lacy pair of gloves, or a dainty child’s dress with a perfect lace insert – the possibilities are endless!

My Rating:

3.5 out of 5 stars

My Review:
Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  There are some things that are done very well and a couple of things I wish had been done dfferently.  Let's start with the good:
-there are a lot of projects in this book--98 knitting and 3 crochet
-there is a huge variety in the lace projects, everything from the expected shawls and scarves, to projects for the home, baby projects, socks...really something for everyone
-the projects are worked in different weight yarns, not just lace/fingering weight
-projects contain both charts and written instructions were applicable
-projects have helpful "pattern notes".

Things I thought could be improved:
-baby items mostly come in just one size
-most of the baby clothes shown on a hanger, not on a baby
-pictures throughout the book aren't clear enough to fully see projects and often only have one picture per project
-no schematic of projects.

I would say that this book is suitable for the brave advanced beginner.  It would be a good introduction to any knitter ready to learn lace.  And with so many projects, there really is something for everyone.

*ARC courtesy of Storey Publishing, provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!*

30 day knitting challenge: Day 6

Day 6:  What is your favorite piece that you’ve knit?

I have lots of favorites--not sure I can pick just one.  First, I love my knit socks:
AD socks

My favorite sweater is probably my Nordic sweater:

Angela's Nordic sweater

And my favorite wrap/stole/scarf is my Hanami:

Angela's Hanami

30 day knitting challenge: Day 5

Day 5:  Do you have any other WIPs (works in progress)?

Okay, so these are the projects that are waiting to get finished, that I have not yet decided to recycle.  I will get to them eventually!

1.  My cashmere sweater.  This WILL be completed this fall!
Cashmere sweater

2.  Always working on my Beekeeper's quilt:

Beekeeper's quilt

3.  Eric's scarf:  Great yarn, boring project.  I will finish this scarf some day...

Eric's scarf

4.  Serendipity Stole:  Not sure why I haven't worked on this (in years).  Love the pattern and the yarn, just haven't spent the time.  Maybe next summer?

Serendipity stole