Monday, August 31, 2009

In Stores Now..the New Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine!

The Fall Knitting Magazines have arrived!

There is nothing I like better than sitting down with a new magazine and a cuppa tea!

The Fall/Winter 2009 Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine

I love knitting magazines! I lucked out and picked up the new Fall/Winter 2009 Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine the moment it hit the shelf at my local Barnes & Noble!

Here's a sneak peak at the new Debbie Bliss magazine! 
I think this issue could be her best one yet!

The Need for Tweed!

Tweed is all the rage for fall and I am ready to jump on the tweed bandwagon! Sweater season is very short in California so I plan on knitting some tweed accessories to get "my need for tweed"! I really like the cable knit tweed tote in Debbie's new Donegal Chunky Tweed yarn. Wouldn't it make a perfect fall weekend "getaway" bag?

Putting on the Ritz!

Who doesn't love getting all "dolled up" and Puttin' on the Ritz?! This magazine feature has four dressy sweater jackets all appropriate for taking tea at The Ritz London or your next formal affair!

Fall for Fair Isle!

I've always adored Fair Isle knits! According to this article, I can master Fair Isle colorwork in two hues (colors) with just a little practice. I am ready to try Fair Isle! I think I will start with a Fair Isle beret!

Britannia Rules!

It's no secret...I'm a big British fan!

I love my British ancestry, Union Jacks, British traditions, tea and scones, British puddings, British china (Spode, Wedgwood, Burleigh & Emma Bridgewater), British Style (Laura Ashley, Cath Kidston, & Trisha Guild) and ,of course, British knitwear designers Louisa Harding, Kim Hargreaves and Debbie Bliss!

Fabulous Brit Knits!

I love this "Britannia Rules" magazine feature with all the great Brit Knits! I think the Union Jack pillow, Tartan Tea Cozy and Fair Isle Hot Water Bottle Cover are all fab!

I am really inspired now to knit for fall and winter. I just wish our sweater season was longer here in California than just a few months!

Have you picked up the new Debbie Bliss Magazine yet? 
As always...
I'd love to hear what your favorites are in the new issue!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Clapotis Journey!

The Almost Finished Clapotis

This week marked a milestone in my knitting. I finally finished my Clapotis!

I love my Clapotis but it was a bittersweet project that took forever to finish. I started it on February 23, 2008 and finished it on August 21, 2009. (Yes, you read that right!)

You could say that it was love at first sight for me and the Clapotis. Since I love everything French, I fell for the Clapotis the moment I saw it's adorable French cafe photo on

Kate Gilbert is the talented designer that designed the Clapotis. She had lived in Paris and discovered the French women's flair for wearing scarves. She designed the Clapotis as a diagonal drop stitch scarf. It can cleverly be worn as a scarf or as a shoulder shawl. It was published online on 2004 Issue.

I was late to jump on the Clapotis bandwagon. (Over 12,000 have been made and posted on Ravlery.) I did not discover the Clapotis until February 2008. That is when I started knitting lessons at my LYS Knitique and signed up for the Clapotis class. My Clapotis was modified to be a larger shawl version. It is knit in two skeins of Blue Heron's Rayon Metallic, color Deep Water.

By now you are probably wondering why it took me a year and half to complete my Clapotis. Well along the way I became what I call a "flitter knitter". I do a lot of flitting about knitting and don't always knit! I also became a blogger about knitting. And, I also knit a lot of other things during my Clapotis journey.

I recently reunited with my Clapotis and remained a faithful knitter to it. I couldn't wait to finish it. Then the worst of things happened...I ran out of yarn! I only needed a small amount to finish it. It hardly warranted buying an entire skein (at $44.00) to complete it. So Knitique and I put a knitter's "call for help" out for more Deep Water yarn.

Lucky for me, the call for help was answered. Nancy a knitter at Knitique had a small ball left of Deep Water she saved from another project. She graciously brought it in to me at Knitique so I could finish my Clapotis. My Clapotis is now finally finished thanks to Nancy.

My Clapotis Finished!

Lessons I have learned from my Clapotis:

I am a flitter knitter.

I get bored easily with large projects.

Hand dyed yarn dye lots don't always match.

I do persevere and finally finish what I start.

I can knit a large project!

Knitters are the nicest people!

Save your yarn leftovers!
(You never know who may need it!)

Like many others...I will knit another Clapotis....
only next time the original size!

Have you knit a Clapotis?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Need for Tweed!

Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine Fall/Winter 2009

It's time to start thinking about fall knitting.

Tweed appears to be the big knitting trend for fall. I adore tweeds. They are so very British! My knitting teacher Danielle at Knitique says "we are going to see a lot of tweeds this year".

According to Debbie Bliss online her new fall/winter magazine will include updated British country classics in a feature called "The Need for Tweed"! Debbie is also introducing a new tweed yarn called Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky.

Speaking of tweed, I think it's time I pulled my Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed (discontinued) bag of yarn out of my stash and knit up a cute tweed capelet for fall. I plan on knitting the New Vintage Capelet pattern available on Ravelry.

So the countdown is on. Only two weeks to go until the Fall/Winter 2009 Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine hits US stores on September 3rd! I can hardly wait! I have really enjoyed the first two issues. How about you?

By the way...has anyone made the Debbie Bliss scone recipe from Issue One? They looked really good!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Yarn Forward Summer '09 Issue

Yarn Forward Summer '09 Issue #15

I love knitting magazines! I find them very inspiring. Blame it on the California triple digit heat, I just don't seem to be knitting as much this summer. Since I am not knitting as much, knitting magazines are my fix for beautiful knits.

I recently picked up my first copy of the British knitting magazine called Yarn Forward. I saw a summer shawl on Ysolda Teague's blog that is in the summer issue of Yarn Forward. I fell in love with her shawl and knew I had to find the magazine!

Lucky for me I found it. Here's a little peak inside:

Sophia by Anniken Allis

I love lace knitting patterns in Rowan's Kidsilk Haze. I have a lot of Kidsilk Haze in my stash that I seem to be nervous about knitting. Okay I admit it, I am a bit timid when it comes to lace knitting in Kidsilk Haze. Aren't you?

I do think I am ready though to conquer my fear of lace knitting. I would love to try this Sophia shawl but I just read it is for the advanced knitter. I ready or will this have to go in my Ravely que along with all my other Kidsilk Haze patterns?

Scroll Lace by Ysolda Teague

Well, here's the reason I bought the magzine! I love Scottish designer Ysolda Teague's designs. (I love her Liesl!) I have been trying to find her book Whimsical Little Knits to no avail. When I saw her lovely Scroll Lace Shawl on her blog I knew I had to find the Yarn Forward magazine for the pattern.

Yarn Forward classifies this pattern as advanced difficulty as well. Perhaps I need to sign up for some lace knitting classes? I really do want to knit this shawl. I also love the fact that the magazine lists alternative yarns for the pattern. Louisa Harding's Kashmir Aran can be a substitute yarn. We all know how much I love Louisa's yarns so I will probably knit mine up in a Louisa Harding yarn!

Zelda by Joan-McGowan-Michael

Yarn Forward is not just filled with British knitwear designs. Check out this flirty and feminine 1940's inspired sweater by US designer Joan McGowan-Michael called Zelda. Zelda is knit in Cascade Cotton Rich DK. The magazine list the pattern as intermediate and since Joan is a US designer, it is knit in the round!

Designers Joan McGowan-Michael & Lorna Miser

Speaking of designer Joan McGowan-Michael, I had the pleasure of meeting her in person last week. Joan also resides in the Sacramento region and made a guest appearance at my knitting guild's meeting last week.

Joan and her label White Lies Designs is known for her pretty romantic knits. It was a real pleasure to meet Joan in person and tell her how much I adore her Zelda sweater! Congratulations Joan on Zelda being the "cover girl" on Yarn Forward's summer issue!

If you're a lucky knitter, you might still be able to find this summer issue at your local Barnes & Noble. Currently it seems that they are the only US retailer. You can also check out the magazine's blog for more inspiration.

As always, I would love to hear thoughts and comments about the magazine from my fellow knitters!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Knitter Magazine Issue 7

The Knitter Issue 7

I was a lucky knitter and found Issue 7 of The Knitter magazine last week. It's cover told me in an instant that this issue was all about pretty knits! Summer florals are this issue's theme.

Let's have a look inside!

Damask Flower by Kaffe Fassett

One of the prettiest hand knit sweaters I have ever seen is Kaffe Fassett's Damask Flower sweater. I've always admired colorful intarsia and fair isle knits. I think it must be tied into my love of textiles and damask fabric patterns from my career as an interior designer.

Damask Flower
Now ( The Knitter)/Then (Glorious Knits)

Lucky for us, Issue 7 of The Knitter features Kaffe Fassett's updated 1980's Damask Flower peplum jacket pattern from his first book, 1985's Glorious Knits.

Kaffe's inspiration for his Damask pattern came from a fragment of a beautiful 18th Century Spanish silk damask. His damask flower motif was worked over a striped background of 10 to 14 colors with no more than four rows of each color. The original pattern called for DK and chenille yarns. His new updated version uses Rowan's Pure Wool DK and Kidsilk Aura and 11 colors.

Glorious Knits by Kaffe Fassett

A few years back when I was a new knitter, I lucked out and found a second hand, first edition copy of Kaffe's Glorious Knits. I never dreamed that I would be able to knit anything in this beautiful book. I simply bought it because it was so beautiful to look at. I now understand why Kaffe is known as the master of color! The photographs and knits are as stunning today as they were back in 1985!

I'll be keeping this issue of The Knitter for my knitting library...right along side Kaffe's Glorious Knits!

Rose Shetland Shawl

Judy Furlong's Rose Shetland Shawl is a contemporary take on the traditional shawls of Shetland. It is knit in Jamieson & Smith's 1ply Cobweb yarn. The yarn comes in six shades.

The pattern says that no special techniques are used for the pattern. The knitter will rely on picking up stitches and grafting to avoid seams. Hmm...perhaps this will be my first Shetland shawl to knit?

Rosa Alba

Another beauty is Martin Storey's Rosa Alba. This is another fine example of the beauty of intarsia knitting. This vintage-inspired cardigan is knit in Rowan's Fine Milk Cotton yarn. The pretty rose corsage is knit separately and sewn along the neck border.

There are many reasons to pick up this issue of The Knitter, if you can. The lovely lavender cover jumper (sweater) named Wisteria is an exclusive design by Amanda Crawford. Good luck finding your own personal copy...this British knitting magazine sells out fast!