Book Review: The New Knitter's Template

A long overdue book review! :)

So, recently I received a review copy of The New Knitter's Template by Laura Militzer Bryant and Barry Klein. I was immediately intrigued by this book because of the subtitle "Your Guide to Custom Fit and Style."
The book starts out with several pages explaining how to use the book. It goes over yarn and gauge, body length, and styles of necklines and sleeves. Also in this section, there are several pages dedicated to "What Size Am I?" I have to say, I really appreciated this section being found in this book. I think anyone that has knit sweaters for themselves know that it is very easy to pick the wrong size to knit. I know I have done it several times. :)

Following the introductory section, there are a few pages of worksheets to help you get all your body measurements down. I like that there was even a little diagram to show you EXACTLY where to measure. That's another problem I have while knitting garments for myself. I think sometimes I never really measure myself in the right spot. After the measurement worksheet, there is a blank pattern worksheet, which gives you a bunch of different style options (like for the neckline, etc).

I also like that there are little "FAQ" Sections that cover different topics that you might want to know about while designing your own sweater. There are things like how do I get a non droopy button band or how do I add a collar?

The book also contains a section on selecting the yarn for your sweater, adding a stitch pattern to a basic sweater, and then a template section of knitting sweaters at different gauges. I really like that last section. Takes a lot of the hard math out of the equation!

So, I guess the question is would I recommend this book?

Well, if you are the kind of knitter that is always changing up sweater designs for better fit or you are the kind of knitter that designs your own sweaters, then yes. I think you would like this book very much. On the other hand, if you are the kind of knitter that likes to knit your sweater pattern as written without making changes, then this might not be the best book for you. It really is a book geared for those people wanting to do the work to get a real custom fit in their sweater.

The New Knitter's Template is available on Amazon. It is currently listed for $16.49.

So, read any good knitting books lately?

Note: I received this book for review. For more info, please see my disclosure policy here.


My Favorite Socks

This morning I was getting ready to leave the house and was looking for a pair of handknit socks to wear (which isn't hard to do in this house, I have a lot of them).

Oh joy! My favorite pair had just come out of the dryer (yeah, you heard me.... I usually machine wash AND dry my handknit socks. You can call me a rebel if you like). :)

So, which pair is my favorite? Why it's my Mingus socks!I knit these pretties a couple of years ago, and they are still in fantastic shape. I don't really know why I love these socks over all other socks I have. Maybe it's the color, or the pattern, or how soft they are. Maybe it's the perfect combination of all three.

I am not even joking, I swear when I have these specific socks on I am in a better mood. They are magical socks.

So, which of your handknit socks are your absolute fav?


More Geneva Socks!

Last week I made my "Sockalicious Announcement" about having a design coming out with Kollage Yarns!Well, my test knitters have finished up their socks too, and I thought you all might enjoy a little sneak peak. Here are Jenni's socks:

And Melissa also test knit a pair (she test knit the large size!):

Thanks ladies for your speedy knitting! :) I can't wait for the pattern to be available.

Happy knitting!


Some Housekeeping

So, as some of you know, I have had the website knittinglikecrazy.com for a few years now. Until now, it has held a very crappy website that I put together myself with my wee tiny knowledge of web design (which was from a one credit class in college nearly ten years ago, but I digress).

I have decided after much consideration (and consulting with my webmaster, Alex) that I want that site to point to my blog.

While http://knittinglikecrazy.blogspot.com still exists, it will now redirect you to http://www.knittinglikecrazy.com.

So, update your feeds if you like. :)

Also, I wanted to say that I have decide to make a change to the comment posting. While I like word verification because it helps keeps spammers out, I also hate doing it when leaving comments on other people's blogs. It doesn't make for easy commenting when you only have a couple minutes in between testing water samples while at work. :) So, for now I have turned off the word verification on my blog. Hopefully, it will help me get more comments (and who doesn't love comments!?). Hopefully these comments won't be from people who want to sell me pills to enlarge things. :)

It was just over four years ago that I started this blog and I love where it's gone so far. Hopefully, the next four years will be even better! Thanks for continuing to read my blog. I hope you like my new changes!



Over the weekend, Alex and I took a trip up to Fargo, ND to visit my brother. Fargo sure is a long drive from the NW suburbs of Chicago! Alex and I did share the driving, but it still gave me hours (and hours and hours) of knitting time.

I decided to bring with me a UFO, in an attempt to force myself to finish it. And, it worked. I now finally have a completed Saroyan:I like the way this turned out. I added an extra increase and decrease section to try to make it wider. When I make it again, I think I would do even more increase and decrease sections.
It turned out to be a very very pretty scarf. I think next time I want to go for something more shawl-like.
At any rate, I think the recipient will totally love it, and I think a scarf more suits her anyway.

The pattern is a pretty easy one. Those leaves keep it just interesting enough. Once I really got going on it on the car ride home from Fargo I just couldn't put it down. It's a free pattern from Liz Abinante, who also is known for the Traveling Woman shawl (another great pattern, you can see mine knit up here).

I knit those out of one skein of STR Lightweight in the Quilla colorway. I had lots left over, so you really could make a larger one with just one skein of the STR.

So, that's now a second bridesmaids gift for my wedding done. Only five more to go! :)

Happy knitting.


A Sock-a-licous Announcement

So, lately on the blog, I haven't been posting too much actual knitting. That's because I had been working on something that I didn't want to blog about until I knew it was happening for real. And now that it is, I am happy to share it with all of you. I have a new sock design that will be available through Kollage yarns for their Spring line!!

Here's what I have been working on. I started with a swatch (a swatch I actually blocked!):I took the swatch did some math and turned it into a sock:
Once I heard back from Kollage that they liked it, I turned that single sock into a pair:

I am so pleased how they came out. I think these are my favorite thing that I designed yet. I can't wait for the pattern to be available for everyone to enjoy. I will definitely keep everyone posted as to when that is going to happen.

The pattern calls for one skein of Kollage Sock-a-licious for the medium sock (I also sized it up for a larger sock, which would likely need a second skein. The color seen here in my pics is the Blue Mist colorway.

Hooray for new socks!


A new knitter

So, a few days ago, Alex and I were sitting around and he informed me that he was bored. I, of course, was knitting, so I suggested that he finally learn to knit. AND. HE. AGREED.The casting on went ok, but the knit stitch he had in no time. He sat and knit for a little bit, which was super fun for me!

I don't know that Alex is really going to start knitting all the time anything, but it makes me super happy that he at least took the time to learn to do it.

He's a good egg. I think I'll keep him. :)


My New Shoes

So a couple weeks ago, I saw these shoes on the Turtlegirl blog. She said they were good for most handknit socks. Intrigued, I ventured over to the Kohl's website and scored some of my own. I really wanted to get them in both colors, but they only had size 11 available in the black.
I wore these shoes all day Sunday and I have to say, they were quite comfy. Finally I own cute shoes!

Want some of your own? They are available on the Kohl's website here. It seems like the size 11s are all gone now, but for those of you with smaller feet, you can get some! :) (Don't forget to google a 30% off coupon code if you are ordering them online!)

Wat are your fav shoes to wear with handknit socks?



One year from today, Alex and I will be married. Here's a pic of us last weekend at the spot where we will be married.I can't wait to be his wife. The first few months of our engagement have flown by, I'm sure the next 365 days will go by in a flash.

Now to really get cranking on the wedding knitting! I have a one item done, but I have seven more things to knit! Thanks goodness we are headed to Fargo for the weekend to visit my brother. That's a total car time of 20 hours. Lots of knitting will get done, I'm sure! :)


Dish Rag Tag Time!

This year I decided to sign up for Yarn Miracle's Dish Rag Tag. I had done it a couple of years ago and thought it would be fun to sign up again this year. On Monday, I received the box from Kim in MO.I took that ball of dishcloth cotton and cranked out my dishcloth to send to the next person in about an hour.
I added my goodies and was off to the post office to send it to Teresa in WI.

I love a good relay race, especially one that involves knitting. I think will definitely be signing up for the Dish Rag Tag again next year!

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