Now do it again

Tink sweater #1 is finished. (But unblocked)


Dudes, I am so happy. I admit that it still needs buttons. (I’m looking for little pewter ones like this, except I’d like to find them locally, just for the sake of speed. You know me. Instant gratification takes too long.) There’s gotta be one or two of you observant enough to notice that in the pictures of this sweater from the other day there was lime green, even though there’s none to be seen on the finished sweater. It’s a knitters trick. I was enchanted by the lime and really wanted to use it, but thought it was such a bold colour that the Tinks mum might not feel the same way. (What? Doesn’t everybody want lime green stripes on their traditional norwegian baby sweater?) I couldn’t give it up though, so check out the inside.


I love that the sweater has a little surprise inside. The lime green is the facings that cover the raw edges of the cut steeks. This entertains me to absolutely no end. (Admittedly, I am easily entertained.)

I’d feel even more pleased with myself, except for the other twins sweater looks like this…


and the twins look like this. I need to knit faster. Much faster.

Book Review the first

This is Fiona’s new book


Inspired Cable Knits: 20 creative designs for making sweaters and accessories. (You guys know that I always link to Amazon because it’s easy and fast, but I’d encourage you to support your local independent bookseller or yarn shop, if you have one.)

I feel like I should post a bit of a disclaimer before I wax poetic about the brilliance of this book. Some of you will know that Fiona Ellis lives here in Toronto, and some of you will also know that she’s also a friend of mine. I know that makes all of the wonderful things I’m about to say about her book sort of suspect, I mean… if a friend of mine had written a bad book, I’d be in a fine mess. I thought a lot about what exactly I would say if her book sucked. (I didn’t really think that it would, what with Fiona having such a good track record with knitwear design, but you never know. She could have landed a psychotic editor or a nasty photographer. All things are possible. ) I lived in fear of this book arriving and me being in the position of having to say something about it and needing to be honest, because I wouldn’t want a knitter to waste sacred yarn money on a bad book, but at the same time, not wanting to hurt Fiona’s feelings. I imagined myself avoiding her calls and telling her that I forgot to review it when she finally pinned me down. You can only imagine my relief when the book appeared and was not only brilliant, but beautiful.

Check this.


Nice eh? It’s a beautiful sweater called “Gathering Intentions” and it’s pretty close to the top of my What I’ll Knit Next list. The book is full of sweaters designed with inspiration drawn from the ideas of Change, Nature, Energy and Time. There’s knitting resembling bark, sound waves, sand dunes, yoga poses….this sweater is based on the idea of an intention. The idea that you have that will eventually become an action. (Fiona writes about this more beautifully than I do.) Thus the sweater and the cables spring up from the intention…


This beautiful i-cord accent that leads the cables out into three dimensions. Beautiful. (I admit that when I knit this I’m likely going to leave off the i-cord at the wrists. I’m completely the dork who’s going to have those dunked in a cup of coffee, dragged through the sink or slammed in a car door 10 minutes after I put it on. I’m like that. Perhaps you are more graceful.)

Fiona’s a smart cookie too…(though that’s likely been proven just by designing that…) the sweater comes in sizes that range from a 91.5cm/ 36 inch bust all the way to a 132cm / 52 inch bust. Something for everybody, which is grand, because this book is full of the classic, durable sweater shapes that look marvelous on most body types.

If sweaters aren’t your bag, or you’re new to cables and are feeling like cabling your way through a sleeve cap might not be the place to start, there’s wonderful, simple pieces to begin with. A hat and scarf set, a wrap (the wrap is a thing of wonder), a yoga bag, pillows…even a wee baby sweater to cut your teeth on. There’s sweaters for men too, often woefully neglected in knit-design.

My only complaint was also mentioned by Susan C. yesterday in the comments. It’s that the patterns call for specific amounts of specific yarns (easy to get, very accessible yarns) but don’t list the specific amount of yardage required for each sweater. (So it says 5 skeins of yarn X, vs 750 yards.) Now if you’re like me, the odds that you’re going to knit all of these sweaters in the yarn that Fiona suggests (even though her suggestions are very good) is about zip. I’m going to go stash diving, or pick something on sale, or substitute a yarn that comes in colours more to my taste, whatever my taste is that moment. This means that I have to do a little homework to find out the yardage. Google the yarn she suggests, find the yardage per ball…multiply. (That sounds like math. I hate math.) Still, it’s a problem easily solved in about 2 minutes, so I don’t see it as a barrier. Especially when the charts are like this.


Nice eh? Clear, big, easy to read. Perfect. (If you are anti-chart, I don’t understand you at all, but Fiona does. Each chart is accompanied by written out row by row instruction so you can pick your preference.) Also in the book is really nice instructions on how to work cables, short rows, place markers, make increases. One stop shopping.

This sweater (I believe I may eventually knit everything from this book) calls my name while I sleep.


I imagine myself very elegant in this, and in my dreams, it makes me look very tall and thin while lending my frizzy bedraggled curls a celtic flair. The sweater is just that good.

I really think that this book is a classic work, and deserves to be on pretty much every knitters bookshelf if they like cables, are thinking about liking cables or sometimes think about cables a little bit. It’s downright inspiring. (That might have something to do with the title.)

I ran out of time to do Ann and Kay’s book today, but I’ll get there, don’t worry.

142 thoughts on “Now do it again

  1. Love the lime green accents! I love interesting linings and touches that make something handmade *handmade*. And shame on you (and thank you!)for making me covet ANOTHER knitting book!

  2. I got your book from my wonderful UPS man yesterday. I LOVE IT!!!!! I sat up late last night reading it and laughing. I kept waking my husband up so he wanted to know what exactly was so funny. He’s not a Knitter or even a knitter so I told him never mind. He just wouldn’t get it.
    Thank you for such a wonderful book! I’m a stay at home mom and haven’t done any housework at all today. I cn’at pull myself away from the bookbookbook!
    When’s the next one coming out?? ;o)

  3. Thanks for the sneak peak at Fiona’s new book. I’m a cable lover from way back. I’m working on a lace and cable pullover right now from Classic Elites new book Boathouse. Looks like I’ll have to get Fiona’s too. Rumor has it that she will be coming to one of our Guild meeting very soon.
    Maybe I can get an autograph too! Thanks for all the inspiration.

  4. Thanks for this review – I would have glanced at this on Amazon and thought it too intimidating for a beginner. The assurance that there are good starting projects makes me want to run out and snatch it up on the way home. (I want to cable well almost as much as I want to sock well.)
    And I feel smart because the first thing I thought when I saw the sweater (well, first after “oooohh….”) was “Where’s the green?”
    Reading a few comments back…maybe your book will be there when I get home today too….

  5. Beauty! All of it is just beautiful. I have an idea about knitting and intent stewing at the back of my head, and need to figure out how to translate it to paper. In the meantime, this book goes on my wishlist at amazon for lo, it is gorgeous and there are many things I would make from this.

  6. Thank you for the review and some “highlights” of Fiona’s book. It looks wonderful and I’ve been meaning to make a new cabled sweater for my dad.

  7. I immediately, and with saddness, noticed the absence of lime green. And voila, here it is! Very nice, love that touch of unexpected.
    Will the other tink sweater have a surprise of its own?
    I should be getting your book any day now and I love what you present from Inspired Cable Knits. There is no end to this knitting maddness. vj

  8. Thanks for the book review. I’ve had that on my wish list since it was first announced on Amazon. You are a woman after my own heart, though: I saw those I cord ties on the sleeves & thought, “Yep, car door”, too.
    Oh, & the sweater is divine! Could you explain a little about the facings? Mechanics, et al. Yeah, I’ll Google it, but your input would be nice, too.

  9. I vote for the wee Finse ones, just to tie a little bow on the theme of the sweaters. And, oh, yes, bookbookbook the third is now mine, all mine! I’m torn between wanting to read it all in one sitting, and rationing it . . .Oh, who am I kidding! I’m going to go make some coffee, gather up what chocolate I can find (husband won’t miss that Lindt bar, really), and settle in for some fun. Brava!

  10. Love the lime green surprise (sounds like something I’d fix for dinner)on the Tinks sweater. Thanks for the book review. I have been very curious about this book. I don’t have a LYS or local bookstore so your reviews are really helpful. I think I’m hearing the call of that blue hooded sweater, too.

  11. Wondering when your book is going to be in Chapters???? No sign of it yet and that is all we have locally.
    Very much thinking that Fiona Ellis book needs to be an Easter treat to me!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Have a great weekend all!!!!

  12. The first of the two sweaters came out beautifully-the lime green is fab. And thanks for the book review-mine should be arriving soon, but until then I might have to camp out by the mailbox. The mailman should love that.

  13. Tink sweater #1 is beautiful! (so aren’t the tinks for that matter). Can’t wait to see them completely done!
    As far as that hooded sweater goes…I am completely enthralled with it as well. I gaze at it adoringly every damn day, and I just know that I will end up starting it. Probably very soon…I have no control. At all. The entire book is WONDERFUL!

  14. Lovely review of Fiona’s book. I was lucky enough to spend time with her (as with you) driving her around one day. She’s as nice a person as she seems to be. (You’re not so bad, yourself.) I agree about the wrist ties – either a coffee stain, or a broken arm as I try to walk away after catching them in a door – I’ve not been described as graceful…
    How soon do you need the pewter buttons – my LYS in Aurora has them – they would be perfect on those sweaters – love the hidden green!

  15. I love the lime! And I bought that book last night. Those are the two sweaters that are standing out to me the most at the moment, as well. Also the pink short sleeved one. (I think it’s pink and short sleeved. It is in my head.)

  16. Thank you for showing the finished sweater (sans buttons). It is beautiful and I love the lime green surprises. I’m so looking forward to fondling them.

  17. What size tinks sweaters are you making? I am making the 24 month size for my (currently) 3 month old daughter. Cause, you know – less stress (maybe).

  18. The finished Tink is adorable, if personally mind-boggling to construct. I love the lime-green surprise. It’s one of my favorite colors, so I’m a fan of it showing up anywhere and everywhere…
    As for the amazing book, and review, I need that hooded sweater. NEED. Screw the fact that down here in the US South it’s too warm on our coldest day for me to wear that, I NEED IT.

  19. I saw Fiona’s book at the store and my boyfriend had me stop flipping the pages at the Gathering Intentions pattern. He kept pushing me to buy the book and knit the sweater. Hey, I told him… I knit socks, not sweaters but he believes in me and I love him for it. Let’s hope I received the book for my birthday! LOL! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Funny how Amazon is, I clicked on the link for Fiona’s book and they were selling it with your book at the Buy both and save spot. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. Re Fiona’s amazing-looking book. The yarn vs yardage thing could have been a publisher thing – unless you have inside info, or course!

  21. i love the tinks sweaters!
    also love the book pictures.
    i dont know if i have enough money to go and buy the inspired cables book but maybe i will see if the library has a copy yet.
    i absolutely love the 2nd sweater and am putting that on my to do list
    right after finding a full time job ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Oh Blast it all, I was looking at Fiona’s book at chapters on the wednesday. And by “looking at”, I mean gazing lustfully at it, while keeping a safe distance so i wouldn’t buy yet ANOTHER knitting book. I can feel my resolve weakening.
    Beautiful tinks sweaters.

  23. Lovely tink-sweater. It’s actually a variation on the traditional Vossakofte – sweater from Voss in Norway. May the pattern already told you that.
    Is there somwhere to preview more of the designs in “inspired cable designs”? I always like to get a sneak preview before I invest ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Is it possible to fall in love with a book? Because I think I just have. I’m moving it to the top of my wish-list! Thank you for the lovely review, and the tinks that is completed is perfect!

  25. Beautiful sweaters. Even the one that’s almost done. Cute surprise. Make them wonder why you can’t see it on the other side.
    Oh I do love cables. And the fact that the ones on that sweater eventually break free and come out is very cool.

  26. (grin) While drooling over the “Gathering Intentions” pattern last week, I immediately thought, “Spaghetti sauce…or whatever else I had for dinner would end up on those ties.” I’d have to leave them off, too. Hadn’t thought of the car door, though. We may not be graceful, but how often does gracegul give you such great stories to tell?

  27. I had Fiona’s book reserved at the library before it even came out and got my hands on it FIRST!!! Although the woman at the check out tried to tell me I only had 5 minutes with it and then needed to return it to her…
    Those two sweaters are two of the 3 I have marked as wanna-knits. The other is the cover sweater. I think I’ll do without the knotted do-hickies around the collar and cuffs though. And I’d do the hooded one all in one color.
    Nice book overall…

  28. love the book reviews………I’ve been knitting about 10 years without ever having a book of instructions or patterns. Now I’ll know what to
    start collecting for my knitter’s bookshelf right after I get your new one, thanks!

  29. The Tink sweater is beautiful, the babies are beautiful, and ohboy, that gathering intentions sweater is so wonderful…I love visiting your site-there’s always so much to inspire me!

  30. That nifty little surprise is part of why we knit, isn’t it?
    The sweater is just beautiful. I think I would choose the buttons called ‘Hardanger’ just so the Tinks will hear the stories about Miss Stephanie who knit a sweater just for each of them. And got a whole world to challenge its abilities.

  31. Man… I just spent all my book money on sock books… but I’ll be definitely thinking about this one for next month… any book that gives sweaters in large dimensions is already near to my, uhm, generously proportioned heart. (One week ’til delivery–I haven’t been late yet, Oh Goddess don’t let me start now…) And thank you so much for the picture of the tinks…they are totally beautiful and remind me that there’s more to being pregnant than chasing your toddler through a crowded yarn store with the finesse of a boat buoy through a curio shop…

  32. PS I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks Kelli should set you up to appear in NYC…but I’ll go to Rutherford if I have to(don’t tell her that, though!)

  33. Beautiful sweaters, of course – I wouldn’t pick lime green for a surprise – but the big news is I HAVE THAT CHAIR! 7 of them in fact, 6 around our IKEA glass-topped table and 1 at the desk. The chair is $30 at the IKEA near you and not onerously unassembled. The cats like to bask in the reflected sunshine and they don’t leave clumps of themselves to be vacuumed later (so as anyone would notice).

  34. The Tinks are spectacular! And, you just saved me from having to shell out $275 of MDSW money on Alice Starmore’s book….I’m still hooked on cables after Knitting Olympics! This will do very nicely.

  35. You complaint is the same as mine. I want to know yardage. I have finished BOTH of the sweaterhs you have pictured and they are wonderful. Loved knitting them, loved the patterns.
    Happy days, Gale

  36. I did notice the green actually, said nothing because I LOVE LIME GREEN! Almost any shade of green actually. The sweaters are simply subLIME! Forgive me it’s Friday and I can’t wait to get home and knit. The book looks awesome!!!!

  37. In Cloverdale Mall there is a Sewing Shop and I noticed Pewter Clasps last week, so they would probably have buttons too, but I didn’t really notice.

  38. the lime great is a wonderful, heart satisfying trick. and, the kids will love it. how can the mother not love it as well.
    Yes, I also loved Fiona’s book–I’ve never met her so Im not sure we are on first name terms. However, when I was young, more than 30 years ago, I loved to knit cabled items. therefore, I absolutely love her book–it’s back to my basics.

  39. I was given a gift certificate for Barnes and Noble, and was all set to go use it but read your blog first yesterday. Oh! Book reviews coming! So I put it aside, and now I know what part of it is going to to go–so, thank you! Can’t wait for tomorrow’s installment.

  40. ps– I absolutely adore that Tink sweater. I so much want to make one, but, um, sized up just a bit, though, you know…

  41. I am cheap. I do not like to spend money. I worry about spending money. I do not buy books very often. I am very careful about knitting purchases.
    But I will buy this book. Eventually. Very very pretty.

  42. Tinks are looking GRAND! Hope they still fit those growing babies, if not – send them to me. My 1 year old looks smaller than those cherubs! And thanks for the book review, I’m now dying for a copy! ๐Ÿ˜€ Been wanting to do a cabled sweater and have just been looking for the right inspiration.

  43. Love the sweaters, I’ve not gotten any of mine to the stage where they have to be steeked. I’m betting on several glasses of wine when I get there.
    Amazon delivered my copy of Inspired Cable Knits yesterday, and I agree that it has some really beautiful patterns and is really well written. I definitely want the blue one above. I went to Elann this morning to drool over yarns. What I enjoyed was that it’s actually not written for complete beginners. While we can all agree that we definitely need to encourage/teach/enable/addict new knitters, (if only to ensure that LYS will continue exist to feed our, umm, habit) it is really great to find a book to challenge/inspire the more experienced knitter. That doesn’t happen too often these days.
    Amazon notified me this morning that Knitting Rules! will be arriving tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it’s arrival as I giggled my way through the first two. My LYS would like to know about getting on your tour route.

  44. That sweater that speaks to you in your sleep could be the cousin to your Rhinebeck sweater, no?

  45. The tink sweater is fabulous, and I love the lime accents.
    Well written review on the Inspired Cables book…it is beautiful and full of great designs. Congratulate Fiona for me, and tell her I scored an autographed copy at camp a couple weeks ago.

  46. The tinks sweater looks wonderful … and those buttons!!! Those beautiful buttons!!! Did you see the wee little pewter bear?!? Adorable.

  47. WOW! Love th lime in Tink #1’s sweater. I see that you are adding it to Tink #2’s sweater as well. Tee hee! I get a kick out of the small things too!
    Must contemplate buying that book. Love the “intention” sweater. Hummmm, if I start NOW it just MIGHT be done for next winter (maybe).

  48. Every year my daughter and her schoolmates perform on their instruments at the local Barnes & Noble to help drum up interest in their school, and raise money. Vouchers are handed out with the programmes and every book, cd and dvd purchased with the voucher that day (April 9th this year) nets the school a percentage of the purchase price.
    Your book was already on my list of books, cds, and dvds to purchase after dd’s performance. Now Fiona’s is too. I’ll make sure they’re both in stock the day of! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

  49. Stephanie – I’ve only read half your post today but… suggestions for your buttons. I have purchased Pewter buttons from Mary’s Yarns in Unionville. Mary Cullen may be able to help (905) 479-7833. Better than that – Tove Gilje (who I believe is Finnish [?]) of Needles & Knits in Aurora makes loads of sweaters with steeks and I’m sure has the proper hardware! You can try her at (905) 713-2066. Good luck – Kim

  50. I think you gave a fine review of a lovely book. We got it in at work the other day and it made me do some serious drooling.
    Speaking of drooling, I wish I was a tink! The sweaters are amazing!

  51. I love that sweater. I love all the sweaters you posted today, and I love all things cable, especially those with a celtic-knot flair. I very rarely spend precious yarn money on a book, since there are so many free patterns that I can ignore to make up my own anyway, but I’m gonna get that one.
    Oh yeah, and Morgan is CLEARLY tired of waiting for her sweater, and she wants it NOW. Liam is a little more relaxed about the whole thing.

  52. I just got this book as a birthday gift. And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!
    I just learned how to do cables and I can’t wait to try out some of the designs.

  53. Hmmm.
    Fiona’s book is on my list !!
    Tell me – for the Tink’s Sweaters: isn’t pewter a bad idea for kids’ sweaters ? I thought pewter wasn’t something recommended near kids especially when they put everything in their mouths… Anyone ???

  54. Great review. I had seen the book on other blogs and didn’t think it was for me, but now I think I may desperately need it. And thank goodness for larger sizes!!

  55. I’m going to ask my Dear Old Dad for the cable book for my April birthday! GORGEOUS! Thanks so much for the sneak peek. Can’t wait to meet you in St. Louis next month!

  56. I did notice the lime green, but I figured it was some Harlot Magic Ritual unknown to those of us uninitiated into the mysteries of steekage. Turns out I was right, sort of.
    I have this allergy to knitting other people’s patterns, but in Fiona’s case… hmm…

  57. In re: pewter and children. Pewter used to have lead in it, so would be contraindicated for mouths. No longer has it — though one could always write to the nice folks at Danforth to double-check.

  58. Congrats on that most beautiful tinks Stephanie . Its truly amazing what wonders people create with two sticks and some lovely yarn. What a wonderful gift for those SWEET babies. I’ve been waiting for some time for your book to come in at our local Chapters store and even went over the border to the U.S.A. today to get it and no such luck. LORD give me patience NOW!!! I’ll put Fionas book on the list for Christmas maybe they’ll have it in the store by then. I’ve never done cables but maybe this book will give me the encouragement I need to try them.

  59. I just finished this book and loved it so much I kept it a few days longer than the library would prefer. I just didn’t want to take the book back….I’ll be buying it this week, and I don’t even know how to knit cables. I have a Rowan Magpie stash, heh, heh, heh.

  60. I want that bookbookbook… both your new one and Fiona’s. Thank you for the wonderful knitting stories.
    I have started knitting again and discovered my 20 year old stash from England thanks to you. I am getting ready to try my first pair of socks ever! Christmas here I come. Stash story is on my blog.

  61. Your book arrived in my local independent bookstore (in San Francisco) on Wednesday. I went in at lunch and they said they had 12 copies on order. So I said I would take one when they arrived. Two hours later I got the call and picked it up after work. Almost missed my subway stop while reading and laughing out loud. A fellow choir member was pleased to hear that it had arrived and probably went to pick one up on Thursday. Funny and practical at the same time. An unusual combination. Thanks for the sock formula. I knew it, but it never hurts to have it repeated.

  62. Modern pewter should be ok. I think that most producers stopped putting lead in their pewter in the 1950 or 60s, at least in the pieces that are used for tablewear.
    Thanks for the book review! I’ve been dreaming cables as well, and having plus sized patterns is well – a plus *G*.

  63. “Instant gratification takes too long”
    I love this — I’m stealing it — Thanks! — and I’d like to steal the fabulous sweaters — will we get to see a photo of the darling recipients wearing them???

  64. One solution (or at any rate it might make your life a little less insane) for Joe’s Gansey would be to do a small swatch from each skein. I know swatching is for those less adventerous folks, but it doesn’t have to be a big swatch, just a few inches wide and tall. That way you will know how much your spinning has changed over the while that you’ve been spinning it!
    The sweaters are gorgeous by the way, I hope they fit!

  65. Hi Stephanie. I know this is off subject, but I hope you see it. I sent an e-mail to you on Tues. 3/21 and have not heard back and have not had it bounce back to me so I am wondering if you got it. I am working on the Snowdrop shawl and don’t understand the directions when you start knitting the center stitches. Hope you can help

  66. Love the Tinks’ sweaters, and the lime surprise is perfect. How could anyone not love that? As for the books…sigh…see, the problem is there’s just so much cash available at any given time, so it becomes very important to allocate it properly. Your book is a given (you know, like coffee and chocolate) but anything else has to be weighed in the balance. Is this an amazing book that will fascinate me for hours on end? Can I/will I ever make enough of the patterns to justify the cost? Or should I just wait until one of my friends buys it and bum it off them, meanwhile spending the cash on some spectacular wool? I really think your review of this one may be the thing that tips the balance. I’m currently doing my very first cable project and I am utterly enthralled with those cute little twists…the idea of a book full of them is mighty appealing. You, my dear Harlot, are a bad financial influence. And I don’t care. Thanks for setting me on the road to being a Knitter, rather than a – well – knitter.

  67. OMG!!!! I am SO jonsing that book now!!!! I glanced casually at it, but I’ve been looking for some really spectacular Celtic “thing” to do, and I think I MUST have that hooded sweater – if it has pockets, I’m done it!!!!

  68. One Tinks down, one to go. Just chocolate-drawer dive and you’ll be fine. BTW — thank you for the button link! The Oseberg buttons are perfect for an Elsebeth Lavold cardigan I’ve bought yarn for.
    Fiona’s book. *sighs* I ventured out the day after our 16-inch snowstorm (I know, 16 inches isn’t much, except here in Philly, where they cancel school as soon as someone says the word snow). There it was, just unpacked on the shelf at Borders. Bought it to cheer me up.
    I’m a Medieval-Renfaire fan, and I am so making that sweater with the cords (albeit about 10 inches longer). It will be my sweater for the Autumn PA Renfaire.

  69. There’s an amazing button shop on Queen just west of Spadina which of course I cannot now remember the name of for the life of me, but they might have something you like.

  70. I absolutely must make that sweater with the ties! I have been waiting for the right project to come along that I would make for myself. That’s it! I’m with you, the ties on the sleeve would get me in lots of trouble, but I love the little tie on the front hem. Beautiful! Thanks for the review!

  71. Wow, I might have to buy that book, the cable designs look amazing and I love the intention concept. Speaking of books…I bought your new one today and read it on all my breaks at work. I have to make sure I pace myself so I don’t finish too soon though. I read very quickly through your other books and when I realized how close I was to the ends I tried really hard to stretch the reading out and make it last cause I didn’t want them to end! Thanks for sharing your wonderful talents with us!

  72. I was waiting to see your review because I bought Fiona’s book a couple of days ago and just returned it today.
    While it is a lovely book, it’s difficult to get a good idea of how well the sweaters fit on real people.
    Did you see the orange sweater? Why have the model sit on an orange chair, in front of an orange wall! Did you also notice that several of the patterns only have partial views of the item.
    Why would she put together such a lovely book but not insist on clear photos? Maybe she’ll do a beter job next time.

  73. The baby sweater is too cute. I love the little surprise. And I agree about the I-cord at the wrist — I would also dunk it in coffee; get in stuck in the elevator door, etc; too much potential for an “I Love Lucy” moment.

  74. I ordered YOUR book and Ann and Kay’s book from Amazon today (yours is shipping today! Yippee!!), mostly because nobody has yours yet, and I am very impatient when it comes to waiting for books that I want. And I wasn’t going to buy Fiona’s (well, at least not right away…..), but those pictures got me. Now I NEED Fiona’s book.
    Are the men’s sweaters generously sized? I am married to a big guy, a 52 inch chest and not much tummy, and finding nice looking sweaters patterns for him in the size I need is a genuine chore. Oh how I wish someone would do a men’s sweater pattern book for REAL sized men…….

  75. Bless Fiona for making sweater sizes for normal sized women!
    I’m *so damned tired* of trying to figure out how to make a sweater that barely fits a Barbie doll, into a 52″ bust sweater for me – without my breaking down into uncontrollable sobs & boils appearing on my flesh as the quadratic equations with double inverted fractions from the two semesters of harrowing college algebra appearing to me like some nasty acid flashback. I’d much prefer melting walls. (Yes, I failed both times.)

  76. Wow! I will have to find something to knit and use one of those wonderful clasps. The new book looks great-Now what can I knit that I can wear in San Antonio, Texas without getting heat stroke when wearing it? 2/365 “freezing” days does not justify knitting a sweater that I may be able to wear. (By freezing, I do mean just that, we might get close to 32 degrees Fahrenheit!)

  77. Want, need, must have that book. The pictures are lovely that you’ve shown and I want it now. Darn it all, but it’s too late to go to the bookstore tonight.

  78. Hi Stephanie .. This is my first post to your site, and I want to say how much I love it. Then today I got my special order of your new book at my bookstore. Hot Damn.
    There goes my knitting budget.. what budget .. who’s fooling who!

  79. Hi Stephanie — Those twins are adorable. Are the sweaters for next fall/winter? I can’t imagine all that work foiled by an early spring, or some such thing.
    As for cables, I’m soooo pleased – went to the Yarn Connection in NYC today and walked away with 5 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool – on sale! I’m going to knit one of her vest patterns, which should be good practice for ICK (not ick, mind you). {Hums happily}

  80. The sweater looks superb! I love it!
    I’d lose the I-cords, too. I can already see the dog chewing on them (he likes sleeves). I’m still thinking about buying her book. I do love it, but I have so many wips and projects to be, I don’t want to tempt myself. Ooo, but I want to!

  81. What a wonderful book review. I am a new cable convert and you made me want to run and change out of my PJs so I could by it Right Now! Are there socks too? I loooove cabled socks~ another new addiction ๐Ÿ™‚

  82. Tree –
    Saw (and touched, of course) Silky Wool for the first time yesterday……oh my GOSH!!! Yummy!! It’s one of those “strip naked and roll around in it yarns”! I was on a sock yarn buying spree yesterday, so I passed, but I guarantee you, I remember where it is!

  83. It would also be quite simple to link to NeedleArts Bookshop, I suspect… independent, Canadian, and online. (no personal connection but they do give good service)

  84. Absolutely LOVE the lime green; what a great idea! Hmm…maybe I can add some “non-manly” color(s) to my son’s socks…I clicked the link to your friend’s cable-pattern book and it is now at at the top of my 1-of-3 pages Wish List at Amazon (I had it down to 2 pages, but keep coming across more and more books I simply MUST have). I’m in love with the hooded creation (2nd photo you provided); I must, must have this!
    thanks for your email the other day. I am working on your (I hope) visit to Knoxville.
    Good and Happy Knitting to you.

  85. I saw Fiona’s sweaters in real life and they are magnificent- the last sweater is in two colors of blue- it doesn’t show up in the picture very well.
    As for your tinks- I would have done the lime as the main color and the blue as the surprise- I’m really into lime these days.

  86. In case some publisher reads this and is contemplating yarn vs. vardage: the other problem with publishing X skeins of yarn Y is that it limits the future usefulness of a book– if it’s a really good book, it’s likely that the manufacturer will stop producing the yarn (or will change the packaging) long before the pattern goes out of style. So what is a two-minute problem now becomes a much bigger problem two years from now.

  87. Lovely cardis for the twins…and efficient work, too! I๏ฟฝve had the pattern since my kids were babies, but I never managed to knit it, and now my eldest, 10 yr. old boy, is over 5 ft. tall…and stranded yarns are a sure recipe for disaster. Which brings us to aran knitting… I’ve got F.E.’s book and it’s on top of my pile. My only complaint is the same as yours, I wish better information on the yarns used. I can’t buy all the recommended yarns here in Europe, so info on meters/50 g would be very useful. Also, measuring gauge on complicated cables is impossible (for me, anyway), and I’m always grateful if gauge on st st is mentioned.

  88. i love it when friends know each other even before i introduce them.. it validates that kindred connection that some people pooh pooh… imagine my happiness when i read amy’s editorial in the new spin off…of course it makes sense and of course amy and our-dear-harlot assuredly know each other better than this stalker of all things fiber does, but it is a pippa’s song kinda feeling just the same……i DID have myself talked out of the retreat this year…..mmmm

  89. Hi Stef, not sure if you actually get to READ all these comments (but congrats on having such a popular site!)…
    On my blog, I link to (no affiliation) for knitting books. It’s also fast and easy, and it supports an independent bookseller. They carry a huge selection of knitting, crochet, and needle arts books, they ship quickly, and package everything beautifully. I highly recommend them if you don’t have a nearby LYS to get your knitting books.

  90. #$#% w7 D @#,.
    Oh, wait…I think my keyboard shorted out from all the drooling I did when I looked at those gorgeous cables. Oh, my.

  91. I’ve been away for awhile and just caught up on the blogging….everything is still wonderful, you still make me laugh and itch for my needles. But the BOOOOOK!!!!!!! I can NOT wait to have it in my hands, both my daughter and I read them over and over. Do you have destinations for your tour as yet? Any place in the U.S. planned, any place SOUTH in the USA ?
    Look forward to a multiple signed copies.

  92. Oh—–What beautiful sweaters. I’ve been following their progress for a while, but didn’t realize they were twins. I like that touch of lime, and they’re beautiful in blue and white.
    I have to have Fiona’s book! I’m going shopping now!

  93. I had to get that book, it is on its way to me. I can’t wait to see it in person. Thanks for the sneak peaks!

  94. I’m not worthy!!!! The sweater is absolutely beautiful. I am awed by your courage to steek. I consider myself accomplished when I finish a project. I love the lime green though I have always been a huge fan of the color.
    What a beautiful job you did describing your friend’s book. I am so inspired (and grateful for the extended sizes) that I am seriously considering its purchase to begin another knitting adventure.

  95. The Tinks sweaters look beautiful!
    And I have the Fiona’s cable book on hold at my friend’s bookstore. It looks incredible. You may remember that I encouraged you to come and speak at BookHampton in Southampton (East End of Long Island). I told you that it was managed by my friend, Jane, a knitting fiend. What I didn’t tell you was her blog address – – you should check it out. It’s beautiful. (You may, of course, have already found it.)
    We hope you’ll come!

  96. I love the lime green! The sweaters are lovely. I’ve been eyeing that book for a bit now, but wasn’t sure if I’d actually buy it. Now I have to have it… one more book on my list.

  97. ive been cruising thru your back entries and i found one in which you’re wishing for five minutes peace. Did you ever read the book of the same name? i forget the author but it was all about this mommy elephant with five children and all she wants is to take a bath but her children wont leave her alone. you should check it out. most libraries have it. called “five minutes peace”

  98. Daring, wonderful husband took me to a bookstore this afternoon and bought bookbookbook! I have leafed through it and I swear it smells like really good wool! I will be reading it in small bites hoping to make it last. I looked at Fiona’s book, but this morning I was re-“reading” Elesbeth Lavold’s book of Viking knits and think those sweaters etc fit my body somewhat better. (BTW loved your description of why most knitters wear oversized sweaters. How True!). On another topic, my Rabbi will be moving to Poland in the summer (he will be the only full-time Reform Rabbi in the whole country). Anything he should know? Thanks.

  99. I should have mentioned, the Rabbi question goes out to all of your readers. I know you are the font of wisdom, but I do not expect you to know all the ins and outs of all countries:-)

  100. I love the lime green. If I were making something like that for me, I’d keep the green.
    The projects in that book look gorgeous. Enough to make me wish I knew how to knit cables. I just learned DPNs and socks, so maybe now I can move on to cables. I’m trying to learn as much as I can before I go off to college…. I can see me sending unfinished projects in envelopes to my mum and the women at the shop with a post-it note: “Please fix this. Love, Erin.”

  101. Okay.. I’m just about to finish my second hat knit on circulars (no, not addy), and which I successfully transferred to dpns as I get closer to the crown (I’m giddy at that success). Now. You had to review that wonderful book and tempt me with its pictures and charts. Big charts. With rows numbered. And you also say that it has instructions for the cables! Never mind I’ve never knit cables. Or sweaters. And now I have to run out and get it. And dive into knitting something like “intentions”. Never mind it’s like having taken one half-hour class of snowboarding and then entering the x-games that are held the next day. The crash-and-burn should be spectacular…

  102. I have now finished reading all your archives and i’m getting withdrawal symptoms – i’m going to be forced to buy one (if not all) of your books – I have plundered my stash and you have inspired me to get knitting again – one pure white cotton jumper in moss and cable duly finished – one jade/turquoise lacy cardigan started (after some creative pattern interpretation to get the short yardage yarn to run to a full garment) and the next challenge is to learn how to do socks fromt he toe up so I don’t run out of wool half way down a foot – keep on inspiring us!

  103. Love the little green accent. My mother doesn’t knit, but she sews and she would always do little things like that (like sew the heart that says I love you in it onto my Raggedy Ann Halloween costume – even though no one else ever saw it) – now I am trying to keep up with that tradition in my creative endeavors – it makes the wearer feel special when they know there’s something secret that only they can see.

  104. Oh damn. I knew when I saw the cover that I was going to like it, and the glimpse inside and your review confirms it. More gorgeous sweaters to add to the list (and the first one is moving rapidly to the top). Thank you for the wonderful review and the first tink’s sweater is marvelous.

  105. The latest bookbookbook is #124 on the best-selling list at Amazon! Must be all of the blog-readers.
    My order is shipping “soon”. Not soon enough! I’ve cast on for a cable sweater from Tahki – I might wait and see if Fiona’s book has something more enticing – or do both! Love the one with the hood, especially in that blue.

  106. Ok, you made me do it! I just ordered this book!!! I can’t wait for it to arrive, I just love cables. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  107. I saw this book at the bookstore last week, while looking for baby pattern books (it appears I’m going to be an aunt) – it’s beautiful! That sweater with the ties was one that caught my eye, as well. Love it! Definitely something to look forward to next fall for. The patterns are lovely, classic designs so will never go “out of style.” This book is a definite “to buy.”

  108. I peeked through this book this past weekend and had a few thoughts myself. Overall, I liked it – though there were only two designs for guys – which is like, incredibly a lot… I really liked the raglan that joins across the front neck, but if I remember correctly, the book was like 40 bucks – which seemed a bit high to me for a knitting book. But overall, I did like her general style of inspiration, organization, and so on. Good review!

  109. I was in my LYS the other day and didn’t have enough time to really look through that book properly. The patterns really appeal to me & I like the way they’ve drawn the cables! Nice big charts are a must. Don’t you hate it when you have a pattern that doesn’t have a chart? So do I! That’s why I wrote Knit Visualizer software to help me create charts. Sorry – shameless plug here:

  110. I have been reading this since the Olympics and I still haven’t figured out what steeks are… I could google it but that would be too easy. I figure I’ll pick it up eventually. The sweater is adorable.
    I agree that Fiona’s book is exactly what it claims — inspiring to the hilt. The ‘gathering’ one is beautiful but there are two or three others that made we want to start swatching too.
    I do have one eensy complaint, though, which is that none of the sweaters, as far as I can tell, are shaped to nip in a bit at the waist. Like most patterns, the front and backs are basically big rectangles. I’m pretty small, and big blocky sweaters just drown me, no matter how gorgeous they are. I have just learned cables, and I’m not sure I’m up to figuring out the shaping on my own. Someday…

  111. I’m so glad you gave a review for this book! I just saw it the advertised online the other day and was tempted to buy it but hesitated because I hadn’t heard anything about it, but I’ve recently developed a taste for cables and I think I’m going to have to add it to my collection very soon!

  112. I must have that book…I have never knit cables before but have been reading cable patterns with longing.
    This comes at the worst time…I am opening my own online yarn store and have put all of my pennies into Cherry tree hill stock!!
    Looks like I have to go roll the change in the couch!

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