Reviews

This section of the site is reserved for reviews of books I’m using, or have come across in the library. I will try and give an informative review of the book, and hope that it helps you if you are looking for new books for your own collection. I am always interested in increasing my book collection, so if you have any suggestions from your own collection, I’d love to hear about them.

Are you interested in having your product reviewed?

At kneedlesinahaystack, I’m more than happy to review patterns, yarn, spinning fiber, and books related to the fiber world, primarily knitting and crochet. Generally, I request a minimum of two weeks for review. See below for more details:

For patterns, please allow a minimum of two weeks for review. That depends on the size of the project and is more of a ballpark figure. A hat usually takes less time to complete than a shawl.

For books, please allow a minimum of two to three weeks for review. I really like to include a project with the review so I can analyze the patterns’ instructions. This gives me time to pick and at least start a project, if not finish it.

For yarn or fiber to spin, please allow a minimum of two weeks. If you have a particular pattern you would like me to try with the yarn, please let me know. I’m more than happy to do so!

You can contact me anytime at anjuliclayden@gmail.com

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Book 1: The Knitting Book by Frederica Patmore & Vikki Haffenden

“Pick up your needles and get knitting”

The Knitting Book

I was brought this book for Christmas 2012 by my mum. I had just started knitting and I think she was getting sick of my calling her every other night with a knit related query. This book sits next to me now, every time I pull out the needles.

The first thing you notice when you open this massive hardcover book is the beautiful photographs. It begins with discussing the essentials the beginner knitter might need (needles, stitch markers, a tape measure etc). Big images of everything is there for you to ooohhh and aaahhh over. It goes on to discuss the different types of wool and what they are normally used for.

the knit book page

My favourite part of the book is the gorgeous illustrations of the various stitches available to the knitter. Each image is linked to a page in the book that walks you through step-by-step the ins and outs of that particular stitch. I love this part of the book for when I deciding on a new item to make. I can use the cable images to decide on a new headband, or an interesting stitch for a scarf or snood. It has examples of cables, bead work, easy – advance stitching, as well as guides for using circular, double pin and straight needles.

The book covers everything from the basics of how to cast on and do the basic knit and purl stitches,to creating textured knits. Increases and decreases, colourwork, knitting in the round, buttonholes, adding beads and edgings,short rows, gathers, and even metred squares and spirals are all covered in good detail.

There is also a section at the back of projects that use some of the techniques you will have learnt at the beginning, but beware there are some mistakes in the fingerless gloves and cable hat that I am still trying to work out!

This book is perfect for a beginner, and for the more advanced of you out there, there are some new and exciting stitch works that you may not have come across.

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Book 2: Knitty Gritty: Knitting for Absolute Beginners by Aneeta Patel

“There’s a new generation of knitters out there, turning the traditional image of granny-knitters on its head”

knittyThis was the first book I brought when on a whim I decided I was going to learn to knit. After work I went down to my local knit store The Fluff-a-Torium (great place!) and brought myself a few balls of wool, some 4mm needles and this starter book.

It does what it says on the tin. This is a book for those of you out there that want to knit, but haven’t the foggest how to start. Its all in UK English, so no need to keep converting and the instructions are clear and so so easy to follow. The projects are set out well and follow the various stitch techniques as you move through the book. Contents include: Knitting Basics: Getting Started; Knitter’s First Project: The Scarf; Workshops: Decreasing; Creating a Rib; Changing Colour; Increasing; Finishing; Knitting a Flower; Cable: Making a Cable; Making a Cable Bag; Eyelets and so on…

Its a really lovely book to gift a knitting newbie, but if you understand the basics you’ll have no need for it. I’m considering passing mine along to my dear friend Kasia when she comes to visit. I will be attempting to teach her to knit, and I think this book will help her a lot when she goes home.

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