BY HAND

Look for babies items in crochet and witty knitting in new books

Posted Nov. 19, 2012, at 10:21 a.m.

“Baby Crochet” by Sandy Powers and “Wearable Knit Wits” by Katie Boyette recently were released by Sellers Publishing, located in South Portland.

Both books are lavishly illustrated, filled with detailed project instructions and photographs of specific techniques used in some of the designs. The cost of each book is $18.95.

For those who like to make whimsical caps for infants, “Baby Crochet” offers many, including a newsboy cap with visor, a simple cap decorated with shamrocks, a beanie adorned with a sheep applique and a petal cap.

Other designs in the book include the Three Peas in a Pod cocoon with a matching cap. The Flower Bird Nest Cocoon wraps baby in shades of plum embellished with rosettes and leaves. The Snowflake Bird Nest Cocoon in white is trimmed with an edging of Fun Fur yarn to give it an air of “snowiness.” All three designs include matching diaper covers.

The book provides instructions for afghan, sweater, leggings, socks and bib projects, which call for Red Heart, Dale of Norway, Bernat, Cascade, Patons, Berroco, Plymouth or Premier yarns.

The projects in “Wearable Knit Wits” are designed for those with a sense of humor who like to mix wry fun into their knitting. The Badger Scarf, knit to resemble — you guessed it — a badger, complete with subtle (and not so subtle) striping is a humorous example.

My favorite designs in the book are the Lobster Mittens, which will make a child’s hands look like something that crawled out of the sea, and the Yeti Scarf that uses cable stitches to create the bodies of a row of abominable snowmen with black beads for eyes. And to go with the Yeti Scarf there’s the Bigfoot Slippers, fit for a clown or anyone who wants to leave behind evidence of his existence.

Other designs in the book might more rightly be described as whimsical, such as the Hooter Hat with a knit-in owl motif, the Barnyard Buddies sweater complete with tiny knit farm animals, an elegant toddler-size Baby Bird dress with a band of large and small birds decorating the hem and legwarmers adorned with five different insect motifs.

A truly unique design in the book is the Accordion Handwarmer that resembles an old fashioned squeezebox which easily could inspire the wearer to dance a jig.

But you don’t have to be a “knit wit” to enjoy this book. Omit the owls, the bugs, the grump figure, the ninja and the cyclops and you still have basic designs to knit. But if you are attracted to the witty in knitting, this is the book for you.

Designs in the book call for Cascade yarns.

Access Boyette’s blog at http://caffaknitted.typepad.com/

For more information, go to sellerspublishing.com.

Author Carol Sulcoski states right up front in “Sock Yarn Studio” that readers won’t find designs or instructions for socks in her book. This book is strictly about the yarn and how to knit other things with it. Nor does it include instructions for learning to knit. It assumes readers already know how.

In her book, Colcoski answers the question: What is sock yarn? She discusses how to categorize sock yarn, how to avoid the dreaded phenomenon known as “pooling” when knitting with patterned yarns, the importance of swatching and how to tell if your sock yarn is the right weight for a project.

The book is divided into one-skein, two-skein and three skein (or more) project sections. Projects include, caps, shawls, cowls, gloves, a child’s sweater, mittens, leggings and several items for babies. Outstanding designs include Kitten Mittens in blue and brown, the Habitude Lace Scarf, The Cushington Square Pillow and the Alexander Street Hat.

The cost of the book is $19.95. For information, visit larkcrafts.com.

Snippets

Go to skiffvintageknittingpatterns.co.uk to access free patterns from the 1930s to the 1960s.

And speaking of knitting, an anonymous donor has provided a supply of acrylic yarn that needs to be put to a good purpose. Knitters and crocheters are invited to stop by the Bangor Daily News reception office, Buck Street entrance, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to pick up one free skein of the yarn. The yarn donor requests that it be used to make mittens, hats or scarves for a charity of your choice. The offer is on a first come, first served basis since the supply of yarn is limited. After your project is finished, email a photo of it, if you wish, to ahamlin@bangordailynews.com.

Call Ardeana Hamlin at 990-8153 or email ahamlin@bangordailynews.com. Don’t forget to visit her blog at byhand.bangordailynews.com.

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