Year of Projects, Year 2: Charity washcloths and other updates

YOP2 This post is part of

It’s been ages since I posted a Year of Projects update, but I have been working towards several of my goals for this year.

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Scrappy mitred square washcloths.
Scrappy mitered square washcloths.

My latest series of quick projects has been to make mitered square washcloths for the April Crochetlist charity challenge, which will benefit Mothers and Infants Striving for Success.

You may remember that mitered squares (also known as domino knitting) were on my original list of new (to me) knitting things, and I learned the basics for making them from Modular Mix: 12 Knitted Mitered Squares to Mix & Match by Edie Eckman late last year.  Since then, I’ve been exploring Domino Knitting by Vivian Hoxbro and have picked up the formula.

Making these washcloths has been a fun way to use up stash.  I’m currently working on a jumbo square, where I cast on 109 stitches to start.

MISS washcloth 2 in progress

I’ve also made some progress on another new (to me) knitting skill, which is entrelac.  Once again, a book has been my guide.  This time, it’s Entrelac: The Essential Guide to Interlace Knitting by Rosemary Drysdale.

Entrelac 3 rowsThis swatch will probably eventually turn into a block for charity, too, and then I will make a new one in cotton for this washcloth challenge.

And I also finished hosting my second crochet-a-long of the year in the Underground Crafter Ravelry group.  (We’re now voting on the pattern for the next CAL, which will start in May.)  I made a striped version of my Pineapples for Everyone Shawl.

Pineapples for Everyone stripes on couch

I’m not sure yet if I can claim that this will be a project for me.  I like it a lot, but it seems to be telling me it might end up as a gift.  Or maybe it’s just because I haven’t taken a picture wearing it, so it doesn’t quite seem mine yet…

For more Year of Projects updates, visit Come Blog-a-long on Ravelry.

Giveaway and Book Review: Modular Mix by Edie Eckman

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I recently received a review copy of Modular Mix: 12 Knitted Mitered Squares to Mix & Match by Edie Eckman from Annie’s.  If you’re interested in learning more about mitered squares or modular (or domino) knitting, or if you like to knit sampler projects, this may be the booklet for you.

The booklet opens with a three-page section called Mixed Miters which walks readers through the basics of creating mitered square projects including materials, gauge, and techniques for casting on, decreasing, and joining squares.  Fans of Edie know that she likes to include the knitting math, and in this section you will also learn how to design your own mitered squares and determine the appropriate number of stitches to cast on.  Edie also explains why you might want to use different cast on methods, which is helpful for other projects, too.

The next several pages are devoted to the Modular Mix Afghan, made up of 20 blocks (some of which are formed by 4 to 16 smaller blocks).  Because modular projects are joined as you work, this overview is helpful before diving into the square patterns if you plan to recreate the sampler featured on the cover.

The 12 module patterns are presented in the next section.  Each pattern includes a brief introduction, information on the stitch multiples in case the knitter wants to adjust the size, the color sequence, and the pattern.  The patterns are simple, but Edie doesn’t do as much handholding as some modern knitters may expect.  These patterns are written like recipes, not as line by line instructions.  I found them easy to understand, but a beginner (or beginning pattern reader) might be confused when reaching the last set of decreases, for example.  Each square is also clearly photographed, so it is easy to see the differences in the patterns.  Each square is available in 3 sizes (3 inch, 6 inch, and 12 inch).  The projects all use medium (worsted) weight yarn and size 9 (5.5 mm) knitting needles, but of course could be adapted to other size yarn and needles for a different effect.

The book closes with a list of knitting abbreviations used in the booklet, charts showing recommended needle sizes for different yarn weights and conversions from inches to metric measurements, and an illustrated Knitting Basics section.  There is also a photo index in the back that makes it easy to find patterns in the book.  Like other Annie’s booklets, this lays flat and is easy to read while knitting.

Overall, this is a fun pattern booklet for anyone interested in exploring mitered squares.  While the booklet is brief (only 28 pages), Edie does pack in a lot of information, so it is suitable for knitters with a range of abilities.  An adventurous beginner would have fun learning new stitch patterns, decreases, and increases, and a more advanced knitter could follow Edie’s tips to design their own mitered squares.  I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Full disclosure: A free electronic review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. Although I accept free books for review, I do not accept additional compensation from the publisher, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. This also post contains affiliate links. You can read my affiliate and review disclosures here.

Giveaway

I’m giving away my review copy of Modular Mix: 12 Knitted Mitered Squares to Mix & Match by Edie Eckman, courtesy of Annie’s.  This giveaway is open to all readers.  Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, January 5, 2013.  

2012 Year in Review: Book Reviews

One of my favorite bloggy things to do is review craft books.  With so many books out there, it can be tough to pick out new ones for your collection.  Today I’m sharing a roundup of my 2012 crafty book reviews, just in case you are expecting to go book shopping with any extra holiday money :).

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Crochet Books

100 Snowflakes to Crochet, reviewed on the CGOA blog here with author interview here.

101 Crochet Stitch Patterns & Edgings, reviewed here.

Bead Crochet Jewelry, reviewed here.

Crochet 101, reviewed here.

Crochet Boutique, reviewed here.

Crochet Scarves, reviewed here.

Crocheted Granny Squares, reviewed here.

Custom Crocheted Sweaters, reviewed here.

Granny Square Crochet, reviewed on the CGOA blog here with author interview here.

Happy Cute, reviewed here.

Heart’s Delight Baby Layettes, reviewed on the Stitch and Unwind blog here.

Long-Legged Friends, reviewed here.

Simple Crocheting, reviewed here.

Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet, reviewed on the CGOA blog here.

Voodoo Maggie’s Adorable Amigurumi, reviewed here.

Knitting Books

30 Min-Knits, reviewed here.

All You Knit is Love, reviewed here.

Cast On, Bind Off, reviewed here.

Fearless Fair Isle Knitting, reviewed here.

Gothic Knits, reviewed here.

Knitting: Colour, Structure and Design, reviewed here.

Knitting Brioche-Stitch Socks, reviewed here.

Knitting Never Felt Better, reviewed here.

Knitting with The Color Guys, reviewed here.

Knits for Nerds, reviewed here.

Modular Mix: 12 Knitted Mitered Squares to Mix & Match, reviewed here.

Quick-Knit Flower Frenzy, reviewed here.

Scarves, reviewed here.

Sweet Shawlettes, reviewed here.

Teach Yourself VISUALLY Color Knitting, reviewed here.

Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume One: Knit & Purl, reviewed here.

Other Needlecrafts Books

Accessories: Autumne 2012, reviewed here.

The Complete Photo Guide to Needlework, reviewed here.

Meet Me At Mike’s Crafty Journal, reviewed here.