Saturday, February 02, 2008

Review x 2: Classic/Glamour Knits at Home

   

These two new books by designer Erika Knight are ... fine. I give them a resounding ... meh.

On the plus side, each contains very pretty photos of 15 projects: pillows, throws, pillows, slippers, pillows, and a few other things. On the minus side, however, these pretty photos don't always show enough, and schematics are provided for only a couple of projects. For example, CKaH includes a pattern for a lace throw made from 10 balls of Kidsilk Haze; it measures five feet square and is worked in four pieces, plus an edging; yet there are neither charts nor a photo of the whole throw, so the project requires quite a leap of faith by the knitter.

For me, each book contains just one excellent must-have design: the Jacquard Cushion shown on the cover of GKaH and the Houndstooth Cushion in CKaH (both with charts). Overall, though, neither is a must-have book for me. That's why I'm going to give them away. They're nice, and other bloggers like them, but they're just not for me. Would you like them both? Just leave a comment telling me what you're knitting right now, or why you feel the need for a dozen pillow patterns, or who you want to win Project Runway -- whatever you like, as long as it's more than just "send me the books!" I'll draw a name sometime next week. See you then!

55 comments:

Sally Comes Unraveled said...

My current knitting is top secret, but I will say it's for Valentine's Day. :)

whistlepeaknits said...

I'm knitting socks that I'm going to submit to Knitty and Road to Golden.

knitstuff said...

Currently knitting a set of wrist warmers in Manos Silk Wool, and I want Chris K. to win Project Runway!

Amanda said...

I don't want either of the books, I've seen them in the store and I agree with your review...I would much rather buy one or two patterns instead of the whole book.

Meg said...

I'm currently finishing up a Celtic Tote and a pair of socks of my own design...though I may be starting something new very very soon.

Nina said...

I'm finishing a cardigan for my Mum out of a beautiful red wool/alpaca. This is a welcome relief from the task of decorating my sitting room on weekends. I'd love to knit something from one of these books to celebrate my new room.

Bonney said...

Right now I'm knitting a baby sweater because I have tickets to be in the audience of the Martha Stewart show on Feb 20. The show is all about.....knitting!! The pillows look like fun; I'd like to try some.

ingrid said...

I am knitting a ribbed hat for my hubby and I'm swatching for the ever-popular Bird In Hand mittens with some good ol' Briggs and Little Tuffy.

NJStacie said...

I am knitting a casual pullover sweater from my own handspun yarn - it's my first LARGE handspun project, and the yarn is working out wonderfully. I've got some socks hanging out in the wings. As for Project Runway, I've been *dying* to watch the Canadian one - this season down here is fairly Meh.

Margarita said...

I'm knitting the Gathered Pullover from the winter Interweave in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport--I love this yarn so much! It's so beautifully soft and squishy, and the color is just a little bit variegated.

torKNITtoh said...

I'm knitting sock, socks, and more socks. I joined the Spuky Eclectic sock club in December. So, I've got one pair going in the 80's Party Dress colourway and another pair using the Snow Squal colourway. Oh, and another pair using the Kaffe Fasset yarn I got for my birthday. A bad case of startitis. Oui.

torKNITtoh said...

Egad. A typo. Please kill me now. Spunky Eclectic. Ack.

jo said...

Lurker and recovering media studies gal here...I'd like anyone but Christian to win PR. Every one of his designs provokes a traumatizing 80s flashback.

myboringblog said...

This month I'm embracing pink. Right now I have some socks going in STR lightweight Rhodonite. It's so girlie! :-)

Miss Lissa said...

Right now I'm knitting three pairs of socks, because I am a masochist! Currently the pair that's caught my attention is a simple rib in the stripey Kaffe Fassett Regia yarn in "Fire" or whatever. I like it, and it's knitting up fast.

(Also: I'm not too concerned with who wins Project Runway, I just need my weekly Tim Gunn fix, heh.)

katrynka said...

I am leaning towards Christian (the young guy) winning, as he is kick a$$ at construction! His designs are sometimey to me.. but no one else is really sticking out to me...I do not think this season is at all as strong as last season. But I LOVE, LOVE the show!!

And I would be happy to have a book/the books. I only do small non-sweater things as I need to loose weight, so a pillow etc might be a nice change!

Maria said...

I'm a Damask freak, and that pillow is really talkin' to me!!!

Robin said...

Well, I have a few little projects on the go right now (socks, shawl), but it would be fun to knit a pillow or two for our new home. I am planning on repainting this summer and a few coordinated knit pillows or an afghan would look wonderful!

Anonymous said...

No blogger account, sorry. My name is Erin. I am currently knitting the mittens that So much yarn, so little time just finished up. They are the cluster mittens. Just finished the first one. They are for my mom.

Anonymous said...

No Blogger here, either.
I just finished 2 Baby Bobbi Bears for a friend's child's first birthday - one for little Sarah, one to donate to The Women's Newcomers Association. OTN are socks for my Dad's birthday and Veronik's Shawl-collared sweater for DH.

I wish we had your thrift stores here - you always make such good scores!
Best, Leslie - knitting therapist

Balkan Style Bloggers said...

I don't know if you remember me, but I went to the Hawksley Workman concert the same night as you did at the Aeolian Hall, and I asked if you would mind teaching my friends and I how to knit socks, and you said sure, but then you had to move to Quebec so the opportunity never arose, but I am finally knitting socks, and I thought you might think I deserve a book or two! :) The socks I am currently knitting are the Charade socks by Sandra Park (?). I can see now why everybody loves the knitted sock. They're gold!

Dana said...

I've been reading for awhile, but I've not been one to comment on any of the many blogs I read. Commenting is a new year's resolution of sorts.

I just moved and a new house means I get to redecorate... Bring on the pillows! (But only after my mitten obsession passes)

angelbelle said...

Hi Another none blogger. What's Project Runway? Just kidding, but I don't have cable so I need projects to keep me going while there is still a writer's strike.
Thanks,
Lisa

Jodi said...

Oooh, I do like the look of the hexagon blanket/quilt thing on the cover.

Shari said...

Currently kniting socks, shawls, and a baby cardigan. Last time I checked I had 14 wips. I most likely wouldn't buy the books but I wouldn't mind winning them. The pillows look interesting.

Whitney said...

I am currently working on a blanket for my 2 month old son, some EZ hunting socks, Shedir, a penguin toy, and Koolhaas. You know, just a few things ..... :)

xx A said...

Thanks for the Mook update last week! I was sick all week and his sweet face gave me a smile on Wed.

I'm knitting a pair of lace socks in Koigu that are perfectly fabulous. And because it seems I can't be monogamous to just one project, I've also cast on the first of a pair of cabled mittens -- my great-grandmother's original pattern, written out in my grandmother's handwriting. Though it's a new pattern to me, it feels very nostalgic somehow to knit something that the matriarchs of my family have knit hundreds of over the decades.

Elke said...

Hi, I am working on a phildar top in felted tweed. I got the yarn for Christmas and I absolutely love it.

Nelly Knits said...

Hi,
I'm currently working on the boyfriend socks pattern for my hunny. I'm almost finished with one and plan to cast on for the other one tonight. I also kinda feel the need for pillow patterns because my hunny just bought a new house (yea!) and I'm excited about it.

Jenny said...

I'm knitting a Lopi yoked sweater and a plain pair of knee high socks. I'm always looking to broaden my knitting horizons and I've never knit anything for my home. I've also never knit anything from a pattern without having a good idea how it is going to come out but I don't think I want to start with a kidsilk pattern. What were they thinking?

Allison said...

Ooh, a drawing! I'm knitting a few scarves right now for friends, but those jacquard pillows would look amazing with my bedspread, and just the word "glamour" gets me sort of tingly...

curlypurly said...

i don't normally post comments for drawings, but in this case, i'm actually interested in some meh-quality pillow patterns. i'm on my *second* year of knitting from stash and i have a billion 2 ounce balls of yarn. i am looking for both pillow and throw/blanket patterns that i can knit in a mish-mash of colors to make something interesting.

in the meantime, i've got some socks, a hat, and a sweater for myself on the needles. and i want chris to win project runway because he already got cut once and is still hanging in there, seems like a nice guy, and is clearly a talented designer. i'd like to see him have the opportunity to continue making the transformation from costume to couture.

kris said...

oh no, really? they're just meh? but i love the erika! and i have both books in my to-buy queue. a houndstooth cushion sounds fabulous, so i'll join your little contest if i may, please.

just started a herringbone scarf in chunky thick/thin single ply yarn on 20mm needles. what a nightmare. too bad it's looking quite good ;-)

Jesse said...

Currently knitting an Anna Sui cardigan from a Vogue magazine pattern... purple sock by the pc for when I'm reading blogs... lace pattern handbag... and that's just what I can see from where I'm sitting. There are a few more 'things' in bags lying around.

Mauri said...

I am currently knitting Reid from Knitty for my cousin's daughter and the feather and fan shawl from "A Gathering of Lace." The end of the holidays has certainly cut down on my WIPs!

serenknitity said...

Hi there, I'm knitting endpaper mitts and having a Norse saga of a time with them. I'd quite like the books, but live in England so fear for your postal bill.

brooklynmelissa said...

How disappointing. Still, the afghan on the cover of CKaH looks lovely, and unique, and like it would be fun to knit. All of which interests me, because I was recently charged with knitting an afghan that can accompany my littlest sister to college in the fall. That afghan on the cover looks nice enough to become a family heirloom but cute enough to be wrapped around my sister as she curls up to watch a movie and eat popcorn in the student lounge.

Pyewacket said...

I'm knitting a cardigan for my daughter which she will never wear and a pillow.

Suzanne said...

Hello.

I'm knitting.... ummmm... dishcloths.

I am so stuck on ballband dishcloths it's pathetic. I even did a tally of all the dishcloths I've knitted and it exceeds 72 at this moment in time. How lame is that? Guess how many I own? Seven. One for each day of the week. I keep giving them away as gifts.

I even got to test knit some kitchen knitting items for the new Mason Dixon book... I felt so thrilled and excited and special and honored.

So I keep knitting for kitchens.

As a reward for knitting my mother in excess of 20 dishcloths at this point in time, plus numerous and nameless matching kitchen items, she let me order 9 (yes, nine!) 1 pound cones of kitchen cotton. In all kinds of wild colors not available in the stores. I'm going to be knitting dishcloths, etc., for a very long time.

I have knitted very fancy and complicated things and I prefer wool. I've done tons of Zimmermann patterns and designed my own fair isle, I've steeked, I've felted, I've top-downed, after-thought-thumbed-and-pocketed, gansied, araned, you name it.

I've crocheted, sewn, and quilted. I've made traditional karate gis, lined my own business suits and stabilized the collars and lapels with hair canvas. I've pad-stitched waistbands, flat-felled seams, and meticulously sewn welt pockets.

Yet here I remain in the soothing rhythm that is dishcloth cotton and that blasted ballband dishcloth.

Not a short post.

Sorry. Guess I needed to rant.

Suzanne in Ohio

Stacey said...

I have to admit, I've never knit anything for "the home" - with 3 dogs, it will get covered in dog hair and be laid on while chewing on a bone daily.....i did see a picture of a hounds tooth pillow somewhere and the pattern looked cool - for socks maybe!

Brandy said...

I'm currently knitting Anemoi Mittens and a garter stitch square baby blanket... as I have the sock leftovers.
As far as project runway goes... I'm in the minority and wanted Victorya to win despite her bad attitude. I guess if I had to choose from who's there now. I think it would be really nice if Chris won, just because he seems so sweet.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the books and I'm now big about "knitting for my home", but from what I see I love the brocade patterns on the cover of one of the books. I would probably either knit the pillows (I'm addicted to brocade right now) or use the pattern for a sweater! :D

Greets from Belgium (from someone who accidentaly came by and can't resist trying to win something!)

Rebecca from www.eknittycorner.blogspot.com (blogger isn't letting me reply)

melcauble said...

I'd really like the Glamour Knits book (but of course, I'd be willing to take either :-))!

Squeezleknits said...

I'm knitting the anatomical heart from last Feb's Knit.1 for the BF, except I'm using fingering weight so it's palm-sized - I think he'll love it! I've also got Tree Jacket on the needles, and a pair of Jaywalkers. I'm not sure who I'm rooting for on PR yet - but I've had about enough of crying ricky. Unfortunately he's been putting out some great stuff (that denim dress - fantastico!)

Katie said...

I'm working on the Bird-in-Hand mittens and will continue my series of colorwork patterns with something from those books! And then I would pass them on to another knitter.

Seanna Lea said...

I agree with both you and amanda. I'm pretty sure that the patterns you are most interested in could be nearly as easily made with a bit of effort in charting. The pattern is mostly to take some of that guesswork out of it all.

So, don't want the books, because I'm already working on at least 4 projects including a pair of socks, a tank top, and a sweater. Whew!

Diane x hooky needle fingers said...

Whats on my needles?
Right now I am knitting a scarf out of Noro. As well as booties in between the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I would love those books as i am searching for patterns for pillows and more blankets to knit as gifts.

Oh yeah, I want Christian to win PR.

gibsongirl said...

Hi there--delurking to throw my hat in the ring for those pretty books; so nice of you to give them away! Oh, and I'm rooting for Christian on Project Runway. :)

bunnyslippers said...

I am currently knitting the Dale of Norway 2000 Winter Olympics Sweater Design for my hugely tall husband. I need these books cause knitting a throw will seem like a quick project compared to this one :)

Jenny said...

Because I have four practically pillowless couches? And couches need pillows?

magnolia said...

I'm currently knitting an afghan of my own design. Love Mooky btw :-)

Steph F. said...

I'm knitting Ivy, my first sweater, and though I love it it's killing me.

Project Runway-wise, I want Chris March to win! I adore him.

Connie said...

I'm knitting the v-neck ribbed sweater from the Glampyre book and sewing a vintage baby quilt from an etsy kit (inspired by you!). I don't have cable, but last I checked I was voting for Christian.

Karen said...

How does "Canada Intends to Knit" sound? I've started a little campaign to have the CBC Radio program, Sounds Like Canada, host "Canada Intends of Knit" this summer. Perhaps you remember, one summer in the not too distant past when Jian Gomeshi hosted the summer SLC and had time devoted to Canada Intends to Read? Why not "Canada Intends to Knit?"

Send messages to soundslikecanada@cbc.ca

maryse said...

thanks for the review. i've been dieing to see these books in person and have been frustrated because i haven't bee able to find either at the book stores or seen pictures of some of the other projects so thanks for your review.

i'm knitting a pair of socks for my niece in college. i'm going to send them to her for valentine's day with snacks.

and i don't know that they'll win, but right now i think gillian's designs are pretty and very wearable. and i like that sweetpea is my age and is still young in spirit.