Monday, July 20, 2015

A New Knitting Book: KNITTED Wraps & Cover-ups by Annie Modesitt

I got this once in a lifetime opportunity to review a brand new knitting book and I grabbed it. The main reason is because I love the designer/author Annie Modesitt. Why? Well, if you ever get a chance to take a workshop with this person, sign up immediately and you'll understand why I love this person.She is so much fun to learn from. Annie has a wonderful sense of humor and is wonderfully creative. She has published amazing patterns in almost every major knitting magazine. She has written quite a few books of which I own.Her first book, Confessions of a Knitting Heretic has a place of honor in our powder room. I know what you are thinking but this is where serious reading goes on. My husband has his baseball statistics book, recent copies of Consumer Reports, and two National Audubon Society guidebooks for trees of the northeast and weather. Annie's book is entertaining and informative. It deserves a spot in the "office".

I was so excited when Annie's book arrived. The cover is graced with her daughter wearing a white cabled poncho set with matching hat and gauntlets. The set is knitted with bulky weight yarn. It is amazing looking. The directions include charts, a schematic of the poncho with measurements and tips. Don't let the word chart scare you away from making this set or any other pattern that has a chart. In the beginning of the book, Annie invites the reader/knitter "in" with her introduction and the thoughts that went into writing this book. The 24 designs include boleros, capes, shrugs, crop tops, ruanas, ponchos and scarves. There is such a variety of projects that you will definitely find one to knit for yourself or for someone else who is deserving of your knitting talents. The designs in this book show the sophistication of small knitting projects to provide a satisfying knit and beautiful results. The patterns include a variety of sizes which for this knitter is a good thing. (I once saw a knitting book that only had designs from small to large. Forget it if you were extra-large!)

There is such a variety of patterns in Knitted Wraps & Cover-Ups. From the different yarns to the different projects, it's like a buffet for knitters. Some of my favorites that are added to my "to knit" list are the Log Cabin Cardigan which is so unique and cozy looking, the Mitered Ruana with its beautiful fit over the shoulders, and the Cross Body Wrap & Scarf which can be worn in a variety of ways. I see gifts for members of my family. I believe my nieces would love either the Lace Knit Shrug or the Funnel Neck Twisted Float Armery which was previewed on Facebook and my first reaction was that it looked so warm and cozy to wear.

Kitted Wraps & Cover Ups is a wonderful resource not only for Annie Modesitt's designs but for techniques and chart reading. This is a very user friendly book. It allows the knitter to knit the way she wants to as long as she gets the results needed for the pattern. There is also a visual index for a quick reference to the patterns but you will want to peruse this book at a leisurely pace to really enjoy the work of Annie Modesitt. This hipknitta recommends this book...I give it 2 needles!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

I'm An Artist!

I don't consider myself an artist. I guess I can be called a fiber artist because I do create with fiber but I think of an artist as someone who paints, sculpts, or makes big-ass things. Today I was called an an artist. It's amazing how that label made me feel. I stood up straighter and all of a sudden felt part of a larger group of creative people. I ran into a woman, Donna, who I know from various teams my sons and her son have been on together. Donna is an artist. She has studio space outside of her home. She paints. She, in my world, is legit. She is funny and I am secretly in awe of her talents. But today, Donna called me an artist. We talked about selling stuff and getting holiday things ready now so we can sell them effortlessly at holiday time. But she called me an artist. She talked to me about a new website to sell my stuff. She asked about my knitting because that's what I did during those games we sat through. So I guess one doesn't have to paint, sculpt, or make big-ass things to be an artist. I sort of knew this but I never said it out loud. Donna did.

Walking away from our very pleasant time together, I felt very energized as if my creative energy was buzzing to get out. I felt lighter and empowered. Could these few words make such a difference? That's something for me to watch for.

I have been knitting like my life depends upon it. My hands missed holding those needles when I was studying for my last exam. I finished a small scarf called Helsinki and started a pair of socks for Ben's senior year. I feel so great when I am knitting. I've also been doing a lot more reading of blogs and websites about knitting. The internet is so perfect for that. It keeps me fresh and excited for my next project. I'm trying very hard NOT to get startitis. I'm keeping to a maximum of 2 knitting projects at one time.

I've also been reading like a fiend as well. Nothing too heavy but to hold a book that isn't about phlebotomy or EKG is a pleasure.

It's good to be back.

I'm an artist. Donna said so.