Those wanting to send warm wishes to a special baby will find lots of designs to choose from in “60 Quick Baby Blankets,” a book that requires either 220 Superwash or 128 Superwash, a bulkier yarn, from Cascade Yarns. Knitters can opt for designs that feature cables, lace, colorwork, strips, stripes, blocks, Fair Isle, one trimmed with a row of crocheted granny squares and another that uses eyelet stitch to create the outlines of trains. A bonus project at the end of the book is a knit toy lamb.
Most of the blankets are rectangular in shape, though some are square.
Designs that caught my eye include The Birds and the Bees designed by Jeannie Chin, Good Vibrations designed by Irina Poludnenko, Hip to Be Square designed by Stacey Gerbman and Lavender Lace designed by Karen Kendrick-Hands.
If you want to get started now on gift-giving projects, look no further than “Crochet One-Skein Wonders” edited by Judith Durant and Edie Eckman. The book offers “101 projects from around the world.”
The book arranges projects according to weight — thread, lace, super-fine, fine, light, medium and bulky. Under those headers, crocheters will find designs that include jewelry, coasters, many scarves, mitts, bags, a doll’s wardrobe, togs for tots, toys, napkin rings, mittens, caps and even a tea cozy. Some of my favorites include the Louis the Lobster toy, the Bristleberry Scarf, flower studded napkin rings, butterfly necklace, hair scrunchies, a bag trimmed with wooden beads and a child’s bolero jacket.
Most of the designs come in print and chart form. Yarn brands used for the projects include Bartlettyarn, Coats and Clark, Red Heart, DMC, Knit Picks, Berroco, Plymouth, Swans Island, Cascade, Patons, Classic Elite, Debbie Bliss, Bernat, Rowan, Lion Brand and many other brands in wool, cotton, cashmere, silk and blends.
Most of the projects have easy to follow instructions. This is the sort of book you will return to again and again, so don’t be surprised if you end up crocheting all the projects it contains.
For information on both of the above, visit storey.com.
Knitters will find plenty to intrigue them in “Classic Elite Shawls, Wraps and Scarves: 20 Ideas, 3 Ways.” Each designer presents one idea and interprets it three ways — which adds up to 60 designs to knit — from the brightly practical to the simply elegant. Projects include designs in simple stripes and blocks, lace and color work, while all using Classic Elite brand yarns.
Most of the designs in the book will appeal to those with well-established knitting skills. Those of lesser skill will find the designs exciting and as a way to challenge themselves by trying a technique new to them.
Knitters will be attracted to the lacy swirl-stitch project for a shawl and scarves both narrow and wide; a silk and cotton yarn duet that results in an eyelet stitch cowl, a leaf and eyelet stitch scarf and a leaf and eyelet stitch poncho; or a trio of fern stitch scarves in worsted, lace or chunky weight yarns.
For information, visit sixthandspringbooks.com.
If knitting hats is your specialty, Vogue Knitting’s “The Ultimate Hat Book” will keep you happily entertained with 50 hat designs in basic shapes such as beret and hood, or done in cables, lace, blocks of color or embellished with ribbon or flower applique. Knit one — all of these beauties — and winter will never be dull again.
The book includes a short but intriguing History of Hats, which apparently have been adding warmth, style and beauty to heads since ancient times; an Anatomy of Hat — crown, brim, band, cuff, visor and earflaps; and Types of Hats, from beanie to toque. Each hat is from a different designer.
The hats are knit of yarn that includes alpaca and wool, and blends with silk, linen, cotton or mohair, manufactured by companies knitters will recognize, including Brown Sheep, Classic Elite, Debbie Bliss, Rowan, Plymouth, Noro and Lopi.
This book is a treasure trove for knitters who only knit hats or for those who want to knit something fabulous for a special person.
Recently, when I was shopping for groceries, I discovered the premier issue of Stitch-it … today, a new magazine that has taken my fancy. It features easy-to-do projects in surface embroidery, hand sewing, applique and cross stitch. The magazine sells at a price point several dollars below similar magazines. Projects in the publication that I want to try are the embroidered Blue Redwork Towel, the appliqued Floral Bluebird Pillow and the Leaf-Ivy Stamp that instructs readers on how to use stamps as templates for embroidery. This is definitely a magazine I will add to the old magazine stash in my trusty steamer trunk.