Monthly Archives: July 2017

Review: Alterknit Stitch Dictionary

Review: Alterknit Stitch Dictionary post image

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First, the facts:

Title: Alterknit Stitch Dictionary: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs

Author: Andrea Rangel

Published by: Interweave Press, 2017

Pages: 164

Type: Stitch Dictionary


KS: Alterknit Stitch Dictionary

The In-Depth Look:

Like most knitters, I enjoy stitch dictionaries. For me, at least, it’s because they’re full of potential–so many possibilities for things to make! In this one, author Andrea Rangel (and her husband Sean) devoted the last year to colorwork patterns.

She writes in the introduction, “Instead of sticking to tradition, we wondered what would happen if we didn’t bother with the rules or with tradition. Could we introduce stitch motifs that knitters haven’t ever seen before? Could we inspire other knitters and designers to think about colorwork in a more expansive way? A big part of what made this work is that while Sean can knit, he doesn’t do it much, so he doesn’t think like a knitter. The motifs he created (all 200 of them!) aren’t all what you’ll usually find in a stitch dictionary or on a sweater because they come from his artistic background and imagination.”

Isn’t that an intriguing start? Two hundred stranded colorwork motifs that have never been seen before!

After some preliminary instruction (how to hold the yarn, what to do about floats, how to steek, some general colorwork tips), you get to the swatches. Colorwork charts and knitted swatches of every design. They are all unique, though some do resemble stitch patterns I’ve seen elsewhere (not exactly surprising considering how many stitch patterns exist in the knitting world. I don’t know that I’ll ever actually knit the sheep-filled “Counting Sheep” motif, but it’s adorable.

Along with the swatches, there are five complete patterns at the end to give a little more inspiration by showing some of the stitch patterns in action. A beanie hat, a cowl, a pair of mittens, a yoke pullover, and a cardigan (which I think is my favorite).

This last week, I’ve found myself opening this book to a new page and just leaving it open on my desk, rather than just randomly flipping through the different stitch motifs. Like I said, some are similar to things we’ve seen before (how much can one really do with a series of diagonal lines), but a lot of them are quite unique. And even the “familiar” ones have a new angle, something a little different to catch the eye or amuse the fingers.

I’ve been hearing buzz about this book for a while now, and am really happy to see it living up to the hype.

Also, courtesy of Interweave Press, you’ll be thrilled to know that you can WIN YOUR OWN COPY. Just leave a comment on this post to be eligible (U.S. addresses only, please).

You can get your own copy at your local bookshop or by clicking here and getting it from Amazon.

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by Interweave Press. Thank you!

My Gush: Yes, it’s a Stitch Dictionary, but that doesn’t mean it’s not new.

Other posts for this author:

Acquire Health and Fitness With Fitness Equipment

An effective muscle working with appropriate eating routine and exercise advances wellbeing and wellness. Individuals, who experience the ill effects of weight issues, receive distinctive sorts of activities in their every day routine with wellness hardware. It helps in mental concentration and teach. Yet, in the event that you don’t have legitimate sustenance eat less carbs then your body won’t respond to any kind of activity. Your body won’t go in muscle building state if your body needs in proteins, starches, water and fat.

A decent eating routine and customary exercise could prompt solid skin, sound body, solid personality and a solid life. As its is said that aversion is better at that point cure. So its constantly better to have a solid eating regimen and exercise at that point manage all the wellbeing related issues. These are the four components that are fundamental for appropriate wellbeing and wellness.


It is the most imperative component of sustenance for working out. Your body needs to expend around 0.5-1 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. For instance: meat, egg, chicken or pork and so forth.


Sugars (carbs) help to keep up vitality level in your body. Absence of starches, devours the muscle tissue to keep up vitality levels. With regards to the perpetual utilization of it, individuals with low muscle to fat quotients take the favorable position. They can take all and pick up once in a while. Keeping in mind the end goal to fabricate muscles, you may require 4 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. Individuals with higher muscle to fat ratio ratios will liable to require just 1 or 2 grams of carbs per pound of body weight to pick up muscle.


Your body should be hydrated unfailingly. In case you’re got dried out then there is no motivation to concentrate on legitimate sustenance. Your muscles and stomach related framework require water to take care of business.

Muscle to fat ratio ratios:

On the off chance that the level of muscle to fat quotients is low, it implies that your body is not getting enough additional calories to deliver fat. Calorie utilization in body serves to building body muscles.

Research a long time before you choose anything identified with your wellbeing. Regardless of whether you are a novice or have just begun with your activity schedule, you can counsel a guaranteed fitness coach or a wellness master for more data. The most recent buzz is the Fitness gear that is helping a great deal in each age.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction…

This week, share a photo of something that brings you satisfaction.


I thought about this for awhile and although there are quite a few things that bring me satisfaction on a regular basis I decided to post on something I did that brought me extreme satisfaction because I only did it once… and probably won’t do it again.  It wasn’t anything exciting or daring, like skydiving, no, it was simply baking a cake for my daughter’s birthday a few years ago FROM SCRATCH.  I’m not a baker even in the loosest sense of the word so this was to me a big accomplishment.   Just so I had proof that I did it I took pictures along the way and turned them into a blog post.



I Can Bake ! …

November 7, 2014

It took me 51 years but I finally made a cake from scratch.  Why did it take this long?  I’m not sure… laziness, thought it was too hard or time consuming… I could think of a lot of excuses.. and did.

For my daughter Deb’s recent birthday and I wanted to surprise her with something she would not expect… and a homemade cake would definitely be that.

So, I gathered my stuff together and began my new experience.

This ‘new picture’ Betty Crocker Cook Book by the way isn’t all that new.  It was given to me by my dad 51 years ago.  You can tell by the loose binding that it has been used, even by me from time to time.



I decided to make a pound cake in a bundt pan.

I mixed all ingredients, well, except for one which I couldn’t find in the pantry and figured it wasn’t all that important … how much of a difference could a tsp of baking powder make anyway.   Whirr, whirr, scrape, pour… it was actually looking pretty good… I felt encouraged.

 I even melted some chocolate to add to the pound cake…  thought it would give it some oomph and who doesn’t like at least of dash of chocolate in a cake.

Got the cake in the pan and polished off what was left of my coffee…by then I was exhausted.

My creation

I only peeked at the cake once during the hour it was in the oven.  It was rising and browning so I was encouraged.    Tah dah… it was done… now to see if it would come out of the cake pan in one piece !  Tah dah again… yay… it did.   Applause, applause.

Look at that, isn’t it beautiful…. see how happy and pleased I am with myself.

My creation

It was another hour or so until Debbie came home… it was hard for me to control my anxiety.  I knew she’d be surprised but would she like it ?  Time would tell.

She did look surprised.   A beautiful cake yet to be tasted but certainly making a good impression.  Looks like a birthday cake now that it had candles on it.   And finally, the taste test !  The consensus was that it was good… maybe could have been a little taller but I like to think of it as a petite pound cake.

My creationIt was a success and, don’t tell anyone, but I might even do it again.  I said might 🙂




Knitting for the Great American Eclipse

Are you excited about the Great American Eclipse? Are you lucky enough to live in the path of totality, or will you be traveling to see it?

Dave and I booked a super cute vintage bungalow in Bend, Oregon, through Airbnb (affiliate link! we love Airbnb) more than a year ago. His parents, Rosemary and Curtis, will be RV’ing from California to Madras, Oregon (Dave made them book their campsite as soon as the campground was taking reservations for eclipse dates). We’ll be meeting them at the campground Monday afternoon, and staying with them til Tuesday afternoon some time.

Regarding eclipse knitting: I did a quick search on Ravelry. There aren’t too many eclipse-themed patterns. Frankly, the search I did showed up a ton of patterns that had absolutely nothing to do with eclipses! Some were Twilight/Bella related: mostly striped hats, and a pair of socks that were inspired by the book cover.

Tania Richter’s Dragon Eclipse Blanket features a gorgeous dragon (and moon).

Eclipse by Shellie Anderson, in Shibui, is my favorite of the eclipse-themed patterns. The use of two highly contrasting colors (and yarns) in the sample really evoke the idea of an eclipse without being obvious or gimmicky.

I’m surprised no one’s come up with an idea incorporating this sort of image (stranded cowl, anyone?).

If you broaden your search to include sun or moon themes, you can find a ton more patterns, including my Under the Sun and Beneath the Moon shawls (shown above).

Other neat sun and moon themed patterns include:

Are you going to see the eclipse? Let me know!

If  you’re interested in learning more about the eclipse, check out these links:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual…

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New York City

MeMadeMay 2017


Alas, as I am late making this post, I'm mostly just offering a list for posterity. I'm including Ravelry links for projects that are detailed there, even if they have been documented on the blog or worn in last year's MMM line-up. And I don't know what happened on the final three days because I forgot to record what I wore. Will try harder when May 2018 rolls around!

  1. Dress No. 1
  2. Black AC skirt made of my vintage  Threadless Ts
  3. Pink linen drawstring pants
  4. Rockefeller shawl and wrapped-bead bracelet
  5. Tempest cardi
  6. Citron shawl
  7. Triple Koigu Shawl
  8. AC Verd T
  9. AC green fitted top; Jackaroo cardi (not together!)
  10. Alabama Sweater Top, straight parchment AC skirt, Charlotte's Web shawl
  11. Alabama Sweater Top
  12. Antarktis shawl
  13. Verd T
  14. Citron shawl
  15. AC Maggie Tunic & skirt (See above!)
  16. AC Maggie Tunic & skirt
  17. Dress No. 1
  18. AC pink dotted tank and burgundy wrap skirt
  19. Endless Summer Tunic
  20. Orange AC skirt
  21. Birds AC A-line Top, also from new Threadless Ts (See below!)
  22. AC long black skirt
  23. Tiny pocketless talk
  24. Green AC Tank Top NEW
  25. Verd T
  26. Orange AC skirt
  27. AC green fitted top
  28. AC bolero
  29. ?
  30. ?
  31. ?



The New World of the Health and Fitness Blog

Subscribing to a wellbeing and wellness blog can be extraordinary compared to other things you can do to help you in realizing what is happening in the wellness world. There are many out there for you to look over. Web wellness is presently more than just individuals instructing you to purchase their projects. There is currently how to recordings, instructional discussions, free work out regimes and significantly more out there for you to scrutinize on your journey for information.

Extraordinary compared to other approaches to get this Internet wellness data is to agree to accept a rss channel from a wellbeing and wellness blog. A considerable lot of the better destinations will enable you to join through your preferred rss peruser and see whats new on the site. You can check it when you please and the best part is you don’t need to go clicking around to discover it. You essentially discover two or three locales that you like and have them send their rss channels to you. You get their wellbeing and wellness blog at whatever point and wherever you need.

Another incredible approach to get the data sent straightforwardly to you is to agree to accept a wellbeing and wellness bulletin. Agreeing to accept a locales pamphlet is normally an exceptionally basic thing, all they require is your name and email address. At that point each week or two they will send you an email with what they believe is some applicable data that you will appreciate.

In the previous one of the greatest thumps on pamphlets was many individuals were pitching their rundown to spammers. You however you had agreed to accept a pamphlet on wellness and all the sudden you get a pack of email on the most proficient method to broaden your masculinity, or an email disclosing to you won 5 million euros. There have been some real changes in Internet law and a lot of this has halted. I for one have a place with around 8 or 9 bulletins and my spam envelope doesn’t get any messages. This is a major change from two or three years back.

The Internet is a fabulous instrument. Nowadays there are some fabulous approaches to get data straightforwardly sent to you through a wellbeing and wellness blog or bulletin. There is another day in age coming up in the wellness world, one that I call the Internet wellness rejuvenation. The new data that is turning out is both applicable and right, a great deal not quite the same as the poor data that was scattered all finished only a couple of short years back.


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All other things (like weight, cost, and so on) being equal, what’s your favorite format for a book? Hardcover? Paperback? Old? New? First edition? Digital? Audio?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Book Review: Make Money Teaching Crochet by Marie Segares

Are you interested in teaching crafts? Pick up a copy of Marie SegaresMake Money Teaching Crochet Workbook Edition ($24.95, 118 pages).

The information applies to teaching crafts in general, not just crochet, though specific examples (such as some of the resources) apply to crochet.

The book is organized into 5 sections: Getting Started, The Business Side of Things, Marketing, Prepping for Class, and Resources.

In Getting Started, Marie offers practical advice, with an emphasis on guiding the reader to explore why they want to teach, what sorts of students they expect and want to teach, and so on.

The chapter on business aspects includes consideration on pricing and other policies, as well as a few notes on business organization and taxes.

The Marketing chapter looks at a plethora of options, from on line to contacting reporters.

Prepping for Class addresses both in person and on line classes.

Resources offers links to everything from small business sites to professional crochet links.

If you’re just getting started, this book is a good place to begin (and the resources section points you to sites to further explore or research topics in more depth). If you’ve been teaching for a short period of time, or intermittently, this book can help you fine tune different aspects of your business.

About Marie: Marie Segares is a crochet and knitting teacher, designer, blogger, and podcaster. She hosts the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show, the podcast where you can find great ideas for launching, managing, and evolving your yarn-related business, and shares her patterns, tips, and projects on the Underground Crafter blog. Since she began teaching crochet part time in 2008, she has taught hundreds of beginners to crochet and helped even more improve their skills. Marie is a professional member of, and volunteer blogger for, the Crochet Guild of America, a designer/teacher member of The Knitting Guild Association, and an affiliate member of The National NeedleArts Association. Marie is a graduate of Barnard College and earned master’s degrees from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and New York University Stern School of Business. She lives in New York City.


I received my copy of the book from the author. All opinions are my own.

Revisiting Civility

Let’s revisit one of my favorite old posts, shall we? One that explores what is still my favorite analogy for Civility.

We’re All Traveling Together

I have a book called Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy by Stephen L. Carter. It talks about the collapse of basic manners, how they have “become a casualty of our postmodern culture.” You already know that this is one of my favorite themes, and, in fact, I recommend this book quite a bit.

j0289171.jpgHe opens the book with an analogy which has become a favorite of mine. About how, in the 19th century, people travelled in groups because only the very rich could afford to travel alone. He says,

“Well, of course: to travel so far together, packed shoulder to shoulder like chess pieces in their little box, everybody had to behave or the ride would become intolerable. Everyone followed the rules for the sake of their fellow passengers, and they did so, as one historian has noted, out of a spirit of self-denial and the self-sacrifice of one’s own comfort for another’s.”

There was, you understand, a sense of “we’re all in this together.” Everybody was crowded, everybody had to endure the same discomforts of travel, but everybody collectively gritted their teeth because that was the only way it was bearable, by working together to keep it as civilized as possible. He goes on to say,

“But nowadays we have automobiles, and we travel both long and short distances surrounded by metal and glass and the illusion that we are travelling alone. The illusion has seeped into every crevice of our public and private lives, persuading us that sacrifices are no longer necessary. If railroad passengers a century ago knew the journey would be impossible unless they considered the comfort of others more important than their own, our spreading illusion has taken us in the other direction. We care less and less about our fellow citizens, because we no longer see them as our fellow passengers. We see them as obstacles or competitors, or we may not see them at all.”

This is such a brilliant observation, don’t you think? How often have you walked down the street and seen other people listening to iPods, talking on cellphones, completely caught up in their own, private worlds? I often count myself lucky if they’re paying enough attention not to walk into me as they wander along. People go shopping in their pajamas; they think nothing of cutting in line. They meander across parking lots, never glancing over their shoulders to see if there’s a car coming. Because, of course, the world revolves around them. Not only are they not travelling with the rest of us, they’re riding a float in their own little parade, condescendingly waving to the crowd.

Not everyone does this, naturally. (I’m sure you don’t.) Most of the people I know have, at some time or another, shaken their heads when witnessing behaviors such as these, just because they’re not normal behaviors. In fact, many people do check for cars before stepping into a roadway, or thoughtfully hold doors for other people. It’s just the fact that these annoying, selfish behaviors seem to become more common all the time that’s so worrying.

Because, really, we ARE all travelling through this life together. Don’t we owe it to our fellow passengers to make the ride as easy as possible? ride as easy as possible?