WIPs and Books: Startitis

KNITTING: Teapot Cosy Wrap by Debbie Bliss in Cashmerino Aran
 &  another Saffron by Elena Nodel in Wendy Sorrento
READINGShadows at Stonewylde (Stonewylde 4) by Kit Berry
Crochet Workshop by Erika Knight

I had Startitis earlier in the week. On Sunday I spotted Debbie Bliss' cute  one-ball Teapot Cosy Wrap and had to cast on. Once I'd written the pattern out again to include the errata (too confusing with errors and no chart), I made lots of progress. The following day, when Little Miss was wearing an ugly fleece to her ballet class, I decided her needs were greater than the teapot's so I frogged the unfinishable ballet wrap and cast on another Saffron. It's different to the last one - this is the cardi version with longer sleeves and a ribbon tie waist. Just a couple of rows to go and it's ready for the frill. I almost lost the will to live on the last frill, but this time I have the incentive of needing it before her next class. 
Last week I mentioned that I was loving the third in the Stonewylde series and yet again, as soon as it was finished, the next was downloaded straight to my Kindle. In this continuation of the story, thirteen years have passed (don't worry, no spoilers) and it's great to see the character development during that time, especially as all of the previous books took place within the year the key characters were on the cusp of adulthood. The fifth and final instalment is due out later this month and I have a feeling that I'll have to keep going until I'm done. The author has promised that everything will be resolved then, and it's nice to have discovered the series in time to read it all at once - I hate waiting for sequels.

Crochet Workshop arrived at the weekend and I had great intentions of keeping it to review as part of the new "Festive Gift Guide" feature (Thursdays, until the end of November) but quite frankly, I can't put it down. The book offers a sound and well written intro to crochet, including all the basics, different stitches and standard motifs - so for all those knitters who regularly comment that they wish they could crochet, this one would be perfect for you! If you can already crochet, please don't be fooled, it's not just for beginners. The twenty patterns range from beginner to advanced, working from basic stitches, to intricate lace and freeform construction. There are also "Masterclass" sections with useful tips and techniques including beading, crocheting motifs together, how to arrange colours so that they work together, making yarn from fabric strips....
Clear diagrams, stitch library, basic motifs and charts to illustrate the patterns
I can already crochet, read patterns and follow charts, but I'm not terribly experienced and haven't made any particularly difficult things so far. For me, this book is absolutely spot on. Apart from the clutch bag, which isn't my style, I would happily make any or all of the patterns - and there are some real beauties.   The long mitts, fine necklace, colourful granny blanket and delicate shawl are quite high on my list of things I'd like to make, and there is also a most awesome (and quirky) oversized cardigan that I'd love to try. The only downside of the stunningly simple photography and styling is that I now want to go out and spend a fortune on beautiful neutral Rowan yarns, rather than using up my existing stash.

My mum, a knitter for over 40 years, spotted this in the Cwtch at the weekend and said the patterns are enough to make her learn to crochet. As it was just published a few months ago, not many of the designs are on Ravelry yet and you may not have seen it, but you can peek inside the book on Amazon. I think it's definitely worth a look and if I didn't already have it, it would be high on my Christmas list.

That's it from me. There are more WIPs and books here and here. Enjoy!


  1. shame about the last ballet card, it was lovely but i look forward to the next. Loving the teapot cosy too but looks so complicated to a novice like me.

  2. Sarah, all of your projects look just amazing. I do hope you post photos of the teapot cozy when you are finished, I just know it is going to be beautiful.

  3. That's funny, I was just writing a comment on your blog, when I saw yours in my inbox.
    About your knitting: I think the cables are so beautiful and also is the soft pink yarn.
    Your review of the book is well written and I'm wondering whether you soon have crochet a project from the book and publish the photos on your blog. I'm looking forward to it:)

  4. The teapot cozy is so pretty! I'm sorry the first ballet sweater didn't work out. I bet the new one will be perfect.

  5. Love the saffron wrap! The ruffle detail around the edge is sweet! The tea cozy looks like a fun pattern, if only I used tea pots....I'm a coffee drinker :)

  6. love the pattern in your tea pot cozy and the cardi is cute!!

  7. I am not much of a crocheter either, but that book looks very tempting!

  8. Oh that crochet book looks wonderful. I will have check it out.

  9. What a charming cosy pattern - makes me want one and I don't even drink tea :)
    Saffron looks cute too. The Crochet Book might be just the perfect thing for my friend who crochets, but struggles at time because she lives in quite an isolated rural setting without anyone she can run to for advice.

  10. The teapot cosy is great, lovely colour. Essential to keep our tea warm in these cold months. I'll be adding 'Crochet Workshop' to my Christmas list, it looks like a must have. Thanks for reviewing it.
    Ali x

  11. Oh boy am I feelin' guilty as my little one expresses now and then that she needs a ballet sweater for class. I hope this Saffron works out better for you than the other pattern.

  12. Wow!! I want to look at this book, and I'm a crocheter first!! It is always fun to expand crafting knowledge-- especially when the books are so beautifully done.

  13. Lovely projects on your needles.
    Enjoy your hooky journey, that looks like the perfect resource.


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