Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Two thumbs way, way up!

Karabella marble for Ingenue
When I heard that Wendy Bernard had a book, Custom Knits, coming out, I knew that it would be a winner. I've made many of her patterns: Sizzle, Drive-Thru and have contemplated starting a Somewhat Cowl on many occasions but then common sense got the better if me and I knew that, through no fault of the designer, I would look like a giant tuberous vegetable in that one. But what a pattern! And how many of you have also wanted to do Something Red as well?

Anypotato, I am here to tell you that the book is a major winner in every way. Right off the bat there are at least 4 patterns that are so right on the money for me. The book offers several versions of many patterns thereby permitting you to play around with different options--and isn't that what it's all about, people?

First on deck for me is Ingenue, a look that at age 42 I can probably work for like 15 more minutes, so I am trying to do this one in a hurry. Amazingly enough (or maybe not. Have you seen my stash recently?) I had enough of the exact yarn for this one on hand, and it's a good thing, because Karabella Marble is discontinued. How bitter are you now about not nabbing it during one of my many feeble attempts to get rid of it on Destash? I know, it hurts.
Ingenue
Most of the patterns in Custom Knits feature a top-down, raglan construction, which I happen to love. I have made great progress working on this during the past couple of days and anticipate finishing soon. Did I just write that?

Something I'm not holding against the book is that much of the clothing in the book is by Jeffery Sibelia, winner of season 3 of Project Runway. You might just know him by the name my brother and I referred to him as, "Neck Tattoo"? Yes Wendy, he is très L.A., but was his inclusion totally necessary? I mean, he made Angela's plus size mom CRY, and so I must show chub solidarity with her.

I am sure that you are like me and have your favorite knitting designers, you know, the patterns you automatically buy whether you really intend to make them or not. All you have to know is that 'Madame X' wrote the pattern, and well, that's all you really need to know. You know you'll want it, even sight unseen. At least that's the view from where I stand. I am curious:

Who are your go-to designers, the patterns do YOU buy sight unseen, and what are you basing your love on?

26 comments:

kim said...

Admit it, that is not ALL of your stash, is it? I thought not! Ingenue is very Laura Petrie - me likey. Oh, and Jeffrey - HATED HIM! Laura was so robbed.

WonderMike said...

Hrrrm. Being a guy, the choices can be a bit limited methiks. You gotta be more basic like an EZ or MS or Ann Budd's "Handy Book of Patterns". But, I'm very excited by Alice Starmore, Adrian Bizilia, Jared Flood, and most recently Lisa Lloyd in "A Fine Fleece".

sophanne said...

While some are on the too not easy enough for me- I like the way Kate Gilbert plays with yarn. Bird in Hand... yum

Beverly said...

My copy of the book arrived today, and I stopped everything to read it cover to cover. I love Ingenue, too, and as soon as I catch up on other knitting, I'm casting on.

I feel that way about Kate Gilbert. I love her style and the patterns are well written.

BTW, I'm chomping for the adult version of Drive Thru that Wendy's been promising!

Yarnhog said...

I choked on a Cheezit when I saw that you have 190 yarns stashed. Not really so much that you have that much yarn, but that you've admitted to it in a public forum.

I love Wendy's new book! And I'm working on her Opulent Raglan pattern from Knitscene right now. Which may make her the first designer I've ever stalked.

rockbridge said...

wow - i am awed and jealous of that stash!! and for me, its norah gaughan. and EZ, of course..

Veronique said...

Oh, I cannot wait to check out Knit & Tonic's book!
Fave designers? So glad you asked! Kate Gilbert, Norah Gaughan, Teva Durham... Mona Schmidt and Nancy Bush for their sock patterns, and Evelyn Clark for lace. Oh, and I love Veronik Avery too!

tiennie said...

Gorgeous yarn! I'm with you - not much of a Jeffrey fan either.

peaknits said...

I'm even more curious about the book now with the Project Run way link - though he was not my absolute favorite designer. He is funky! I love your Ingenue - it is on the top of my list - I am awaiting my Amazon box for my own copy:)

knithound brooklyn said...

190????? Wow, that is so impressive. Have you ever calculated the total yardage? How about MILES??

My go to designers are Norah Gaughan and Jared Flood. I haven't done anything Wendy yet, but the reviews on her new book are all positive on these Internets.

Can't wait to see this finished Ingenue. (you have way more than 15 minutes to work it. TRUST me.)

DesertRat said...

Definitely Veronik Avery. I love her classic, stylish designs.

nicole said...

I don't think I would buy any pattern sight unseen (I'm too picky for that), but I'll join the chorus and say I can usually depend on Jared Flood, Véronik Avery and Norah Gaughan.

I don't dare count how much stuff is in my stash. I grew up Catholic, so I already have enough guilt in my life.

Jennifer said...

Tuberous vegetable...heh heh. I can *so* relate to that. Lurve your Ingenue :)

Jodi said...

Ingenue is very cute! Isn't it a great feeling to use up stash?

The gals at Zephyr Style and Ysolda Teague are my favorites. And EZ, of course.

Cobbalicious said...

Connie Chang Chinchao (dude, is that spelling even remotely close?) is a new designer who freakin' rocks. I also love Norah Gaughan and Michelle Rose Orne.

mooncalf said...

I think it has to be Kim Hargreaves. There's barely a pattern in her last three books that I wouldn't want to make. My devotion extends so far that despite all the difficulties I'm having with her Joy pattern at the moment I'm blaming my own mental processes rather than cursing her name. She's my Desert Island Designer.

Sophie said...

For the life of me I couldn't mention one single favorite designer... Not their fault, though, it's just that I am completely unable.to.follow.the.directions. I like to refer to a reference book (like Priscilla Ginson-Roberts or Barbara Walker), draw my own foggy directions, follow them just as whimsically and end up with a Horror Show of my very own mistakes. All the talent of those brilliant designers out there is completely wasted on me. What a shame !!
But I admit Custom Knits looks pretty seductive. Perhaps something to consider for a rehab' journey ?
xx

SJ said...

I'm not sure I have a go-to designer per se; I'm not sure I've knit enough of any one to make that kind of judgment, although I can say that EZ has never steered me wrong.

I'm glad to hear the good review of "Custom Knits." I've enjoyed the Wendy Bernard patterns I've knit in the past, but I don't always love her patterns (some of them just wouldn't be flattering on me).

Kim said...

I agree. I love this book too and I like that she provides tips for modifying the patterns. Some have too much of a flashdance neckline going on or are too short and my flabby gut would hang out.
I'm a sucker for the top down raglan. I also have a big soft spot for Stefanie Japel, another queen of the top down raglan.

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

My go to designer is Stephanie Japel... LOVE her stuff. I'm a fan of top down and she is good for that. I am also a HUGE fan of Amy Swenson (Greenjeans, need I say more) mostly because in addition to loving her patterns, I love her... she is one of the nicest people I know.

Karen said...

Sounds like I'm definately going to need to add that book to my knitting library. I *heart* top-down raglan construction too.

Okay, mark me down as another vote for Kate Gilbert - I always love anything she designs. Oh, but if it's something lacy, it has to be Anne Hanson. She must have made a pact with the devil or something - how else does she come up with so many pattern so quickly - and every one a winner?? ;)

a friend to knit with said...

i just cant get over your stash. i you sure we shouldn't just come to YOUR store! :)

Denise said...

Love reading your blog. I have added Wendy's book to my amazon wish list (it's my birthday next month, and one can hope) ;-)
I love all things Debbie Bliss, and just picked up her premier magazine yesterday - love it!

lilibethsgarden said...

Man, I'm still waiting for my Custom Knits book to be shipped. It's publishing date here in Canada was September 1st. I'm sure it'll be well worn by the time I'm done with it!

weezalana said...

The more I hear about that book, the more I want it! But I promised myself no more new books 'til I read through the ones I have. Dammit.

You know, I don't think I have any go-to designers! They all have certain patterns I like and others I don't. Must be my fickle nature.

aquaknits said...

Thanks for the heads up on the book! I'll definitely be on the hunt for it, I love the ease of top-down raglan construction.

There continues to be amazing patterns released all the time, but I guess my favs would tend to be from the Zephyr gals and Chic Knits, for those basic beauties.