Tag Archives: reviews

And the winner is…..

NancyD you’ve won the Basic Black book!  Congratulations.

Please email me your mailing address and I’ll get it in the post to you.


Basic Black – Book Review and Giveaway

With the weather being so overcast and dull, it’s been nigh on impossible to get photos of finished knits and sewing, so I’m taking this opportunity to share another of the books that Tuttle Publishing recently sent me.

This time its a sewing book, Basic Black: 26 Edgy Essentials for the Modern Wardrobe by Sato Watanabe.

This is a beautiful book.  I do love the Japanese aesthetic, but often find that it leans a little too much towards simplicity, or, even, too young.  But this one is full of clean, stylish, wearable garments that would be equally at home in the wardrobes of 20-somethings as well as those more *cough* mature, like myself.

The patterns include blouses, dressed, jackets, skirts and coats.  Pretty much a whole wardrobe’s worth of designs.

My personal favourites include:

J. Jumper Dress with Square Neckline

 

K. High Neck Shirt with Three-quarter Length Sleeves

S. Dress with Stitched Skirt

U. Asymmetric Jumper Dress

Y. Flannel Short Coat

Z. Raglan Coat with Pin Spots

See, I told you they were gorgeous!

I particularly like that Flannel Short Coat!  Just the most perfect Autumn jacket.

The instructions are quite basic, in a style reminiscent of Burda magazines, and just list a series of sewing steps.  However, where you’ll need a bit extra help, there are diagrams to assist you.

The sizes are quite generous…these are finished measurements:

Although it’s still not a book for fuller figures, unless you’re happy to do some grading.

Which I’m not.  I just don’t have the headspace for that at the moment.  I’m concentrating on clearing the stash and filling the wardrobe as quickly as humanly possible.

So, I thought that maybe one of you guys would like to have this copy of the book?

Yes?

If so, please leave a comment below, before noon on Friday 3rd November, and I’ll pick a winner after that.

I’m happy to ship internationally.

Good luck!

Disclaimer

The lovely Ann over at @TuttlePublishing supplied me with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own and in no way influenced by @TuttlePublishing.


Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible – Book Review

Hello my lovelies!

Whilst I’m very much behind with my book reviews….(I have a stack to share with you…all of them wonderful)…I’ve been holding out with reviewing this one until the publication date (it’s the 10th November, just so you know) got a little nearer for fear of you never speaking to me again for tormenting you with gorgeousness that you can’t get your hot little hands on.

I think I’ve waited long enough!

If you’ve followed this blog for any time you’ll know that I love a good cable knit.  In fact, in about 40 years of knitting, I think I’ve only found one cable pattern that I don’t like.  And it isn’t in Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible: 260 Exquisite Designs by Hitomi Shida.

Happily in English, the book entices you to “discover the beautiful world of Japanese Knitting” with “260 Exquisite Patterns”.  I’ve seen many books on various topics that lure you in which such promises, but fall short once you’re inside the covers.

This book is not one of them.

It is, quite simply, breathtakingly wonderful.

Obviously, the first thing you want to do is look at the glorious photos of the stitch patterns.  These are just beautiful.  They are knitted in yarns that give crisp, clear stitch definition and colours that showcase the pattern rather than obscure it, or, as some older books do, sear your retinas!

As you happily flick through the pages, you’ll notice that the book is actually separated into sections:

  • Lacy patterns
  • Overall patterns and crossing stitches
  • Pattern panels
  • Pattern arrangements 
  • Round yokes
  • Edgings

So whether you want to knit a scarf, a sweater, some mitts or a yoke on a cardigan, the groundwork has been done for you.

The front of the book has a comprehensive “How to Knit It” and “Guide to the Symbols” section, which clearly explains all the technical knowhow you need to knit the patterns.  And the introduction to Japanese knitting patterns makes sure you understand how to read the charts.

The charts themselves are beautifully clear.  I would enlarge them for actual knitting purposes, but that is absolutely personal preference and rubbish eyesight, not a detraction from the book at all.

Because, I’ll be honest, I cannot say anything negative about this collection of  stitch patterns.  There are even four lovely designs for you to make.

Those mitts have my name on them.  I have some red yarn in the stash that’s been waiting for the perfect pattern, and this is it!

Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible: 260 Exquisite Designs by Hitomi Shida is, quite simply, exquisite, and I would recommend it to any knitter who loves cables.

 

Disclaimers

The lovely Ann over at@TuttlePublishing supplied me with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own and in no way influenced by @TuttlePublishing.

Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  If you click through and make a  purchase, and I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you!  I only recommend goods or services that I am happy to use myself.


Handmade Bags in Natural Fabrics – book review

Hello there!

The lovely guys at Tuttle Publishing have kindly sent me a selection of their new titles, and, as I’ve been very tardy with reviewing them, I thought I’d get to it, without further ado,  and start with Handmade Bags in Natural Fabrics by Emiko Takahasi.

  

This is such a deceptive little book.  There are the usual suspects in terms of some simple totes and wee bags that would make lovely knitting project bags.

But!!!!

There are a clutch (see what I did there!) of really splendid designs that make the book well worth the modest cover price of £6.99 ($9.99).

The checkout basket bag is one.  Such an innovative and cool design that I haven’t seen anywhere else.  Which is pretty unusual when it comes to bag designs, lets be honest.

This Tote Bag with Gusset, which, whilst not as innovative, is a really good shape in different sizes that, in the right fabric, including leather, would look very hip and expensive.

I also love the picnic tote, which is my favourite shape in a tote bag, and which are invariably ridiculously overpriced in the trendy middle-class-mum stores.  This would look amazing in a striped ticking with leather handles.

Finally, the vase shaped bag. Whilst a bit twee for adults, this would be a perfect gift for tweenage girls, particularly with a few lip balms or mini stationery thrown in for good measure.  They’re a great way of busting through fabric scraps.  Or for whizzing up when you get roped into making stuff for the school or church fête!

Would I recommend this book.  Yes indeedy!  It’s got useful patterns that will not only be good for you to make up for yourself, but will also get you out of a bind, without too much stress and faff, should you need a gift or two.  The instructions are simple and clear, and you can easily add more detail, linings, inner pockets, etc., without testing the “leetle grey cells” too much.

Disclaimer:  Tuttle Publishing kindly supplied this book free of charge.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are my own and unbiased.  I would happily spend my own money to buy this book.