Hard Pressed July 23, 2010Posted by Laura in Books & Magazines, Design.
…as in seriously hard-pressed to find my writing mojo. Between Ravely, Facebook, Plurk & Twitter, I’m all worded out. The social media thing seems to be the in thing and phasing out the blog thing. But sometimes there’s news of such a stupendous level that plurking & tweeting just doesn’t seem to be enough, and today I have just such an occasion. Well, 3 to be exact. All of them have one common theme: Press
First, the release of Annie Modesitt’s new book: 1000 Fabulous Knit Hats. Even though none of my hats were amongst the winning ones, I have 4 of them in there. I know! I contributed a whole .04% of that book. I only wish I knew which of my hats are featured. I think I submitted pictures of at least 6 of them. I guess I’ll have to buy the book to find out. Just think, I can now include the sentence “As Featured in 1000 Fabulous Knit Hats” to the pattern of those selected!
And as if that isn’t enough, one of my patterns has been selected to be featured in the 2011 Knitting Pattern-A-Day calendar. My Clamber cap is Miss February 21, 2011! She is all a-twitter…see?
And last, but certainly not least, I’m getting published in a honest-t0-goodness magazine: I will have a pattern in a upcoming issue of Yarn Forward. I’m not quite sure yet which issue the pattern will be in, so if anyone subscribes to Yarn Forward and sees an Eton Cap pattern by Laura Wilson-Martos, please let me know!
Also, if anyone has any extra pattern-writing mojo, can they send it my way? I’ve got 2 patterns I need to transfer from my head and scrawled notes into charts and written instructions, and also test knit 2 more sock patterns before publishing them. But, it seems like all I want to do is knit on the February Baby Sweater for my newest little niece, Meilena.
Let’s Talk About… December 15, 2008Posted by Laura in Books & Magazines.
Tags: Knitty Review
…Winter Knitty, 2009, shall we? How about the Woo! The Meh! and The Bleh!?
Oh but first I just gotta say…LOVE the cover-art. OMG, is that model breathtaking or what? She and Ysolda have got to be 2 of the most stunning women in knitdom. I betcha they’re both really sweet, too. I love how Knitty’s becoming quite international, and that can only mean new and exciting things.
Without further ado, I give you…
There were only 2 patterns I queue up right away (as opposed to last issue, where I think I queued 5 or 6):
Plaited Points These socks have all the elements I love: toe-up, cabled in a knot work pattern that has a definite beginning point that speaks not only to my sense of symmetry, but my sense of closure. It’s like when you’re playing with your cat with a laser pointer, and he’s chasing it across the floors and up the walls like crazy. Now, you can’t just turn it off, otherwise, he’ll be looking for that point of light the rest of the night, right? You have to “tuck it away” so you trail it under the couch, or behind a bookcase before you shut it off, to reduce confusion and give your kitty closure. You know what I’m talking about right? RIGHT???
Well, it’s the same thing with cables and knotwork. I love it the best when there’s are definite termination points…when they ends have been neatly tucked away.And on the back of the leg, there’s a small flirty little complimentary knot which is an added bit of win!
And then there are these, which almost killed me with their cuteness. I have to make pairs for every single baby in the world. They must all have a pair. They must!!!!
Then there are the designs that I liked and may knit still.
Amused may still make it into my queue. Right now I have to focus on my yarn and my designs, so it’s difficult for me to consider taking on a full sweater right now. I do like the lines of this sweater, and I think it’d actually look flattering on me with a couple of simple modifications.
Surface, the sweater itself has nice clean lines, and the texture at the collar and the ends of the sleeve is very reminiscent of days gone by, which I’m really into right now. I’m not sure what I think about the wrap, though. I definitely like the look of the sweater without it.
I wish that there were more shawls in this issue. The one that they do have, Maja is quite interesting and compelling. It looks like a perfect marriage of yarn and design, done in a technique I’m not very familiar with, nor have I seen very often. Quite inventive!
There were a still others that, though I don’t plan on knitting them, still deserve to be placed in the WOO! category:
Everbody Knows might be row upon row of endless, mindless garter stitch, but it’s the tailored look that caught my eye. What a fabulous way to introduce a less-experienced knitter to shape!
The name alone got me tee-heeing the designer’s cleverness, the gorgeous colorwork, and center-out square construction got me to stay. I may not make this for my non-cushion sitting dogs, but I may make smaller versions and use them as accent pillows and such.
The colorwork in the Latvian Vest is quite amazing, thought I’m not sure I’m liking the shape. I wish I knew someone who I could knit it for…but I don’t.
To be honest with you, on first glance, Fishy just left me cold. But now I’m blaming a craptastic mood due to lingering illness and a lack of vision. Now that I’m feeling much better, I find these almost as much fun as the boxing nun mittens I linked earlier, and a great bit of whimsey. And just think, you can go around singing, Fish Heads and drive all your nephews crazy.
And I’m sure that there are plenty of you out there who will disagree with me, some of the designs in this issue, for whatever reason, didn’t arouse any strong feelings one way or the other. Here are just a couple…
Fern Glade, and probably because I’m really not a beret kinda gal. Many of the elements I like are there…pretty lace, and symmetrical shaping, in 2 colors I love, but still, I wasn’t particularly moved. I’m blaming my lack of beret love on this one.
Yet another issue with a billionty and three sock patterns. And Blackrose was another that didn’t really ring my bell, but I can’t quite put my finger on why. Maybe because I’m not a spinner, maybe because I’m not a huge fan of lace going down the foot. It’s a perfectly pretty sock, and I’m sure it’s a great excercise in using YOUR-SPUN yarn. It just didn’t move me like Pointed Plaits did.
Lastly, Therapi would not be flattering on me at all. On someone more slender and shapely, yes. But, I really don’t think I need to put a box around my marshmallow-shaped body, do you?
Now, I know it’s been quite a while since a good old-fashioned blog drama and smackdown have occurred in Blogistan. Sorry to disappoint, but hopefully, you’re not gonna get it here. You will have to content yourselves with no direct links, but with allusions and hints. Suffice it to say that appeal is subjective, and there were a couple of designs this issue that did not appeal to me at all.
The first one reminded me of a National Geographic special…
And now I know what the “F” in the cobbled name of the second one REALLY stands for…and we’ll leave it at that.
Romantic Review August 29, 2007Posted by Laura in Books & Magazines.
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I’m sure it’s been well established that I’m a big Annie Modesitt fan. So when I was asked to review her newest book, Romantic Hand Knits I jumped at the chance. But I then realized, once I received the book, that I’d have to put my Geek Girl aside and go through it with a more neutral eye.
My first impression is that the book is extremely visually appealing; beautiful models in breathtaking settings modeling a wide variety of garments and accessories knit, for the most part, in lovely yarns. Its lay-out makes sense and is very easy to follow. The patterns themselves are well written, the charts are nice and clear, and include schematics! In addition, Annie has included useful information encompassing a wide variety of additional techniques like embroidery, crochet and lace knitting applications.
The variety of patterns, yarns and application of knitting techniques will appeal to a broad spectrum of knitters ranging from the traditionalists to the trendy. Basically, the book’s got a little something for every knitter, of every skill level.
Now upon closer inspection, the patterns, for the most part, did not elicit a strong response from me one way or the other. Some were too embellished, fussy or frilly. Others were knit up in unappealing yarn, while still others lacked the proper shape to draw my eye. There were, however, several wonderful exceptions …
Casablanca – I love everything about this pattern, the the lace, the yarn, the color, the lines. Well, everything except for the neckline. I’m not so thrilled about the whole “sweater falling off my body” look, you know?
Dark Victory – In my opinion, Annie hit the ball out of the park with this one. I now have to go out and buy that exact yarn in that exact color to make that exact sweater, except that I will lengthen the body, and slit it at the hem. And I have to do it…Right. Now.
A Streetcar Named Desire – Oh, so romantic! My SIL who lives in Florida drooled on the book when she saw it and practically BEGGED me for one. I guess we know what she’ll be getting for her next hand-knit, don’t we?
An Affair To Remember – (on the cover) This is a beautifully curve-hugging skirt with a bit of flair at the hem. Yet another example of the wonderful shaping Annie is famous for. Remember her Corset Tank Pullover and her Red Carpet Convertible? Yup, it’s that good…just not on me.
Cleopatra – Though I would probably never knit this, it’s just so beautifully done! Love most everything about it, except for the prospect of knitting THAT long of a garment. And again, WAY too young and form-hugging for my 40-something-year-old curves.
In the Accessories section I love the patterns for Silk Stockings, and Some Like It Hot (lace opera gloves,which I might convert to just-above-the-wrist fingerless gloves for my MIL). She even has a couple of lace hats with a section on basic millinery techniques included.
Even in the patterns that didn’t appeal to me, I found bits and pieces of lace knitting and other techniques I could apply elsewhere, so those are not a total loss. Included in each design pattern is not only the yarn used, but the yardage needed of similar gauge yarn in case you want to substitute, which I almost always do. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being outstanding, I give it a 7.