Wednesday, 10 April 2013

WIPs & Books: On missing eyelets and beautiful texture

Occasionally a project will be so enjoyable and easy to knit that it seems to happen automatically, almost without any thought at all. Sadly this has now happened TWICE with my rainbow Whippoorwill. The first time, I checked the stitch count only to discover I was ahead of my row counter (oops!) and after ripping out the few thousand extra stitches and getting back to knitting to the pattern - or so I thought - it happened again. This time I have missed out the first eyelet row. I had to resort to self-medication with chocolate. 
WIPs & books
The thought of undoing even a few rows (again) is making me want to throw the whole thing in the cupboard and cast on something else entirely. The eyelets are my least favourite part of this pattern so I now find myself wondering how ridiculous it would look without them - a 'blind' version, if you will. Knitting isn't always relaxing, is it?! 

As a welcome diversion from any decisive action I spent last night reading The Knitted Home by Ruth Cross. It was kindly sent to me for review and, although I'd seen it mentioned in various publications, I don't honestly know if I'd have picked it up in the bookshop, and I certainly didn't expect to like it quite so much. It's rare that I read a knitting 'pattern' book from cover to cover but the combination of Ruth Cross's words and the beautiful matte pages, styled and photographed by Ben Anders has kept me hooked and I've almost finished reading it. Ruth's ethos totally resonates with me: 
"In a world of shiny surfaces, flat pack furniture, clean lines and wanting everything done yesterday, the craft of hand knitting holds a very special place.... Everyone has their own reasons for knitting, but the most unexpected is also one of the most attractive - it takes time. The quietly meditative process of building something with your own hands is a reason in itself to learn, let alone the beautiful things you can create and be truly proud of."
Interestingly she first learned to knit on a pair of chopsticks and her technique is somewhat unconventional - for example her knit stitches are actually "knit through the back loop" stitches (something I also find more natural and had to train myself NOT to do) and there are some variations to other instructions too. Her background is in designing organic freeform work and so the patterns in The Knitted Home are intended as inspiration rather than something to faithfully reproduce, although you can if you want to. This is a book about texture and experimentation.
From a review of The Knitted Home by Ruth Cross
You are encouraged to do what feels good and have some fun with your knitting and to try things out. Ruth goes as far as to say that any "bendy strip" is a yarn and can be knit with, so to give it a go. I really love this approach - my own simple designs are most often presented as recipes, so it sits really well with me. This is my favourite knitting book to date. Even if you're not into improv, the patterns in the book are beautiful and there are many designs I would love to see in my own home.
From a review of The Knitted Home by Ruth Cross
I am pleased to say that the publisher is offering a discount for CftC readers and you can order The Knitted Home (ISBN 9781906417727) for £16.00 including p&p* by telephone 01903 828503 (quote offer code JS186) or post. Send a cheque made payable to: Littlehampton Book Services Mail Order Department, Littlehampton Book Services, PO Box 4264, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3TG. Please quote the offer code JS186 and include your name and address details. 
*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

If you have / get a copy, I'd love to know what you think of it.


  1. Oh no! How irritating! I personally quite like the eyelets so would probably come back to it at a later date but I think it would look perfectly fine without them. I guess it's working out how much it bothers you really.

  2. Ugggghhh to having to rip it back again for eyelets ! More chocolate first I think.

  3. Ripping back any project can be very annoying, but it is up to you whether you do the eyelets or you are the creator :)

    The book looks quite interesting, even though I am a hooker :)

  4. I think there isn't any emotion you do not go through when knitting. One after another of course. The range goes from pure joy to dark desperation. ;-) I) wish you luck with your projects, strong nerves and a lot of patience.

  5. It certainly doesn't have a catchy cover page - but I rather like the sound of what's inside. I've got a thing for lace curtains... although I have none...
    You poor thing with your knitting!!! I know that chuck it in the cupboard feeling... ARGHHHHH!!!!!
    By the way I've tagged you: - play along if you like :)

  6. Sounds like a great book, hope you get the rows back on track!

  7. Fun to yarn bomb one's own house. Sorry that shawl is making you have fits.


    I don't use pattern books either but this one looks interesting...... as for the knitting I would undo to where you need whilst the kettle boils then have tea and chocolate before you revisit the situation!


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