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In Search Of The World’s Finest Wool. Review and Giveaway.

In Search Of World's Finest Wools

A few weeks ago I got an email from Firefly Books with the offer to review one of their newest books –  In Search Of The World’s Finest Wools. After reading book’s description I said “yes” immediately, because I knew right away – every crafter would love to have it on the coffee table! And I was definitely not disappointed – I can honestly say this is one of the most inspiring books about fiber I have ever come across!

Dominic Dormeuil is the fifth-generation president of the Dormeuil Cloth Company that creates high-quality fabrics from natural fibers. He travels the world to select the best wools and learn more about techniques and traditions. For this book Dominic joined forces with photographer and writer Jean-Baptiste Rabouan, who specializes in ethnographic reports. Together they created “A Tribute to the growers and artisans of wool”  with stunning photography and touching stories behind each fiber.

In Search Of World's Finest Wools

In Search Of The World’s Finest Wools takes you on a virtual journey to Greenland, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Ladakh, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Peru to discover the stories behind growth and production of qiviut wool, cashmere, Taewit wool, pashmina goat wool, Shetland wool, merino, mohair and vicuña.

In Search Of World's Finest WoolsWhile reading the book I was looking through my own stash and seeing it in a completely new light! All these fibers have sooo much history before turning into the skeins that bring me so much joy!

In Search Of World's Finest Wools

I love how the book talks not only about the fiber itself, but also about the political and geographical conditions of the region; the role of the fiber in the life of the community and, of course, people who are so passionate about their work. The photography is absolutely breathtaking!! It was a true aesthetic joy to look through every page.

In Search Of World's Finest Wools

I must admit I tried to read it as slow as possible, savoring each chapter, studying each photo and imaging this life, so close to animals and fiber… Thank you so much, Firefly Books, for such a great gift!

In Search Of World's Finest Wools

I am also happy to say that Firefly Books are giving you a chance to win one copy of In Search Of The World’s Finest Wools! Please, check my Instagram later today for all the details of the giveaway – @giftofknitting. The giveaway will be open worldwide and I will announce a winner this Thursday!

Have a great day!


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By | 2018-03-11T07:33:18+00:00 April 18th, 2017|Books, Knitting|8 Comments

Shades of Green

On a book shelve, on the needles…

cable cardigan pattern

Reading. I am making slow, but steady progress on “Norwegian Wood”. I don’t have a lot of time for fiction reading right now, but I still try to sneak in a couple of minutes before sleep. Such a beautiful novel!

Knitting. Reindeer From the Woods is growing pretty fast, I divided for armholes and it is not much left before I finish the cable panel. Knitting this texture with 100% cotton is absolutely different experience! Merino/silk was much softer, but cotton puts every stitch on display!

cable cardigan pattern

One more project is going to be on my needles soon. Lovely and talented Julie from Knitted Bliss was so sweet to send me her brand new pattern – Xanadu Snowflake Cowl. I absolutely love this design – the snowflakes look magical and so airy. This will be my first fair isle project!! I can’t believe it took me so long to get to it! As it’s a cowl, I don’t have to worry about the sizing, so I think this project is absolutely perfect to practice the first fair isle knitting.

I happen to have the perfect yarn for it in my stash. It’s slightly heavier than the one recommended – 4 ply of fingering instead of 3 ply used for the sample project, but I don’t think it will make a big difference.

knitting cowl

The yarn is from Palette line by Knit Picks. I used the same yarn for my Exploration Station and I loved how soft and light it is. The light shade is Sea Grass and the dark green is Tidepool Heather. Sea Grass is really hard to show on the photos. The soft afternoon light changes it almost to yellow and it turns light green in the shade. Tidepool Heather is absolutely stunning – such a rich and deep shade! I would love to make myself a sweater in this color someday.

knitting cowl

I am so excited to learn the new technique!! Watching right now YouTube videos on fair isle secrets – really fascinating! I hope to finish it in January, I think it will be a great start for the new year! Looks like my wardrobe will be enhanced with so different shades of green. Can’t wait to see my Green Snowflakes taking shape!

knitting cowl

I hope you are having a great week!

Joining Ginny.


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By | 2016-04-10T08:35:20+00:00 December 23rd, 2015|Books, Knitting, Work in Progress|28 Comments

Knitting Library. Treasures And Disappointments

Knitting and Reading Yarn Along

knitting books

Today I want to share with you some books from my knitting library. Some of them became my constant reference books and some of them unfortunately were a disappointment…

Knitting library

“Sweater Design in Plain English” by Maggie Righetti.

knitting books

For me it is a good old technical knitting book that breaks down and explains the main aspects of a sweater construction. It’s definitely not an inspirational book that sits on your coffee table that you pick up from time to time to look at beautiful pictures of knitwear and dream of future projects. Black-and-white blurry photography and lots of schematics of different sweater shapes with a great amount of technical text and lots of basic mathematical formulas are what to be found inside of it. And you know – I absolutely love it! All the information is concise and clear with a great amount of technical tips. I referred to “Sweater Design” in my modification project – St. Brigid cardigan – a lot. And it served me well.

“Designing Knitwear” by Deborah Newton.

knitting books

When my friend told me that she wanted to thank me in some way for the dress that I made for her as a gift to one of her best friends (Pure dress), I immediately knew what I wanted – “Get me Deborah Newton, please!!!”. “Designing Knitwear” can be called a technical book as well, but it is so much more! I had a feeling that I got into a studio of a knitwear designer and she walks you through her creative process starting with inspiration and ending with a finished product. The book gets some criticism that there is a lot of “I” in there – “This is how I do it”, “My process looks like this…”, “I use…”, “I choose…”. But in my opinion there is no other way to show the designing process! Each designer has a unique style and Deborah mentions it in the book – over the time you will develop your own style, but you can start with the process that I show you here (not the exact quote, but this is the phrase that really stuck in my head). There is no book that can show you the universal method! As for the knitting projects, honestly, I wouldn’t knit any of them, but again so many years have passed since the publication and of course, some styles are outdated! I am sure that some popular patterns of our days will look old-fashioned in the future. You can’t help it.

“The New Knitter’s Template” by Laura Militzer Bryant and Barry Klein

knitting books

You know how I love modifications and when I saw this book I thought – this is exactly what I need! But when it came in mail, to be honest, I felt slightly disappointed… The book is just 80 pages and many of these pages are just pictures of yarn. I don’t mind looking at yarn pictures at all, I love them! But I expected more information. Basically this book didn’t have anything new for me. Templates for different gauges and sizes are pretty helpful, but if you are looking specifically for this kind of information, I would recommend “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns”. I got it back in August and had it for three weeks before the hurricane came and torn it apart 🙂 But I am definitely going to rebuy it – it was very helpful!

Last but not least, “Knitwear Design Workshop” by Shirley Paden

knitting books

This is my favorite reference book! 300+ pages of valuable information, beautiful layout and gorgeous intricate patterns as a bonus! This book really made me more aware of the knitwear construction and the logic behind it! Though I was always fond of modifying and customizing the patterns, I was doing it mostly intuitively without fully realizing what I was doing. It is not the only book that you will ever need in your knitting library, of course. Not all construction methods are touched upon, but the amount of provided information is absolutely worth the money! I used it a lot while figuring out the construction of my Soho Dress.

Knitting

This is where you can find me these afternoons catching the last glimpses of sunshine.

crochet blanket

I carry my crochet blanket everywhere now 🙂 Slowly progress on the Flax sweater for my husband and my favorite book of all time. 3 years ago I fell in love with “A Moveable Feast” and it still doesn’t let me go…

What’s on your needles and your book shelves? Join the fun Yarn Along at Small Things!


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By | 2015-09-09T08:09:10+00:00 September 9th, 2015|Books, Knitting|14 Comments

Exploration Autumn Progress and Knitting Magazines

Knitting and Reading Yarn Along

Knitting Shawl

Reading. Gifts of knitting for gifts of knitting – my friend who asked me to make a dress for her friend’s birthday brought me my favorite treat from her trip – knitting magazines! By the way, she told me that Pure fitted her friend perfectly and it was an amazing birthday gift for her! Oh, how happy I was! Pure is in good hands 🙂 Back to magazines. There is no access to knitting magazines in my town, so this addition to my knitting library is highly appreciated. It’s weird but with all my love for knitting magazines I rarely use their patterns. For me the knits there are more of a source of inspiration, rather than a collection of knitting instructions. I just love knitwear photography – always sparkles my imagination!

Knitting. The shawl – a gift for my Granny – is so addictive! The color changes and short rows make the simple garter stitch really engaging.

Knitting Shawl

So far everything is working out great, no bumps in the road whatsoever. The pattern is providing all the necessary information and Stephen is guiding you through the first rows with a very helpful YouTube video. The yarn is lovely – springy and inspiring.

Knitting Shawl

There is something about the feel of wooden needles and wool in my hands that makes the whole process even more enjoyable. I love my Addi needles, but I am always happy when the pattern gives the opportunity to pick up my no-name wooden pair.

Knitting Shawl

As the pattern is established, Exploration Autumn becomes a very portable on-the-go project. I’m sure I’ll take it for the long hiking tours, car trips and in bed evening knitting time. Just perfect.

I am going to work right now, but I know that a cup of tea, a spoon of honey, my cat and knitting magazines will be waiting for me on a couch. Sounds like a happy evening!

Off to work!

Have a great week!


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By | 2016-04-10T08:51:22+00:00 May 20th, 2015|Books, Knitting, Work in Progress|12 Comments

Deep End, Art Week and Mango Season

Yarn Along.

Knitting, Reading, Clean Eating.

Knitting yarn along

Knitting. This weekend I cast on for a Deep End shawl for my Mom. What I had in mind is to keep it in a project bag always ready to be picked up when going for a drive, to a friend to chat or for a walk up the hills to have blissful 15-20 minutes outside knitting time. Well… I was knitting it in the car. Once, for half an hour or so. But most of the progress was made while sitting on a couch and ignoring my other WIPs. The pattern is very clearly written and easy to follow. I just can’t put it down!

Knitting yarn along

I almost broke my favorite pair of 2.5 mm ADDI needles. It survived!

Knitting yarn along

Reading. We are having Art Week at school next week. Picked up Picasso book from a friend to refresh my unfortunately very limited art knowledge.

Clean Eating. It’s a mango season! I picked mine from a lovely Mexican lady and hang them to ripe on a sun. The smell is so mouth-watering!

Knitting yarn alongI hope you are having a wonderful week! Happy knitting and stay healthy!


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By | 2016-04-10T08:55:22+00:00 April 8th, 2015|Books, Knitting, Work in Progress|24 Comments

Hyperballad Cowl, Non-Violent Communication and Healthy Snacks

Knitting and Reading Yarn Along.

Knitting. My first test knit is off the needles! Hyperballad cowl by Julie was a fun and fast knit! This cowl is all about texture! I think local Otoño cotton shows it beautifully, loved working with it. I want a sweater in this shade (oxido) now!

Knitting Cowl

Ravelry project Hyperballad Cowl

Hyperballad will be a small gift for my friend. Also it is my first FO for Andi’s Stash Down KAL/CAL. The cowl “ate” around 315 m/345 yd of my stash, which is approximately one and a half skein! Not a bad start for 100+ skeins stash 🙂 I loved the whole process of test knitting, it is an amazing feeling to play a little part in the final design. Thank you, Julie, for this opportunity, I really enjoyed making it!

Knitting Cowl

Reading. “Living Nonviolent Communication” by Marshall B. Rosenberg. Unfortunately I don’t have enough time right now to devote to reading, so fiction books have to wait. It’s the second book I read from Nonviolent Communication series be Marshall B. Rosenberg. It’s enough to open it for 20-30 minutes every day to remind yourself of simple truths. This book is about compassionate and conscious communication that brings people together. As a teacher, wife, daughter, granddaughter, friend and a human being I find it very valuable.

Knitting Reading

Clean Eating. My favorite combination – apples with pecans.

Knitting Cowl

I love snacking on them while watching something, reading or knitting/crocheting. We have a rule in our small family to keep only healthy snacks in the house. Though sometimes we still “cheat” when going out, in the house we  keep only “clean” unprocessed food. It makes a huge difference! The cravings go away really fast, in a matter of a couple of weeks. So, if you are consistent, it won’t be hard anymore. It’s really all about the habit.

Happy knitting and stay healthy!


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By | 2015-06-01T15:45:29+00:00 March 25th, 2015|Books, Finished Objects, Knitting|16 Comments
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