Bookish Knits

I go on these little adventures on Ravelry looking for patterns in whatever theme inspires me on a particular day. Today, I’m inspired by the Pinterest pinner, Librarian for Life and Style. I’ve been following the boards which combine cute, classic looks with a little nerdy charm. She also has a blog, also called Librarian for Life and Style.

So, inspired by bookish-ness and all-thing-librarian, I found these lovely patterns. I particularly love the Ranganathan’s mitts.

Do you seek out themed knits to match your mood?

What’s on (and off) the Pins: March Edition


Thanks to the imaginary internet points distributed as part of the HPKCHC, I have been finishing a lot more knitting in the past year than in the past.I’ve also been set on using up some stash. So lots of projects got paired with yarn in my stash and wham! bam! knit it up, ma’am!

I made Bob a pair of toasty Waffle mittens out of some Berrocco Vintage I had laying around and he was pleased to have them for the last few days we had of snowy, cold weather. Boy, does he have big hands!

I used up some black and white fingering to make myself a new French-y beret using the Purl Beret pattern as a base. The flower brooch was made for a Louisa Harding vest. The vest never fit quite right but the flower pins get used on lots of my knitwear. I should probably try to reknit the vest at some point because I love it in concept.

Last week, I finished the February Lady Sweater with the Mission Falls 1824 yarn that I’ve tried unsuccessfully to use on two other sweater patterns. I knit this sweater in about a week. It is a super quick knit. The suggested yardage for the February Lady Sweater is definitely less than what is actually required. I ended up using all but about 2 gms of the yarn I had for a total of 892 yds which is more than the 850 yds recommended for the size I knit AND my sleeves ended up much shorter than the sample images. SO, if you decide to knit this cardigan (and I highly recommend it because its a quick fun knit) be sure to over estimate your yardage. Also, I find the sleeves a bit too wide and I even added decreases as a yarn conservation technique and they are still quite wide.


I also finished my Suzon shawl last week and I love it. I was a little hesitant whether I would like or wear a rainbow shawl but what didn’t occur to me was that it goes with everything! I didn’t use a full ball of the Crystal Palace Mini Mochi and just 300 yds of the undyed Knit Picks. I was thinking that I’d need more than a ball of Mini Mochi to complete it. So with a combined total of 462 yds, the finished shawl measures about 5 feet from point to point and about 20″ deep from the center back to the point. So its not huge but I can loop it around my neck twice.

Now, to the WIPs:


I’ve been working on a DK weight scarf for Bob out of some of the WEBS 40th Anniversary yarn dyed by Madeline Tosh. I call the scarf 221b because of the similarity to the blue scarf Sherlock wears but I’m actually using one of the reversible texture patterns from Ruggles pattern. For me, I’m making the Laverne scarf from Louisa Harding’s Knits for an English Rose, using up some of the Grace Hand Dyed I bought in California a couple years ago. I like how both are knitting up but they take some concentration when knitting so I haven’t made as much progress on them as I hoped.

I just cast-on my first Andi Satterlund pattern, the Myrna cardigan which is using up more stash yarn (yippee!!) but there’s not much progress to show yet. The pattern starts at the top of the back of the sweater and knits to the arm pit before picking up for the fronts, knitting down and then joining it together. I’ll post photos of it soon when there’s more then a dishcloth’s worth of progress to show. I hope to have it finished by the end of the month. I only have 665 yards of yarn for it so it shouldn’t take too long to finish it. The first cardigan for my summer of dresses and cardigans!


So-Not-Vintage: i(love)ZOMBIE

In my past, I was a comic book clerk. After working in a comic book store for four years, I’ve never been able to shake my love of comics, pop culture, and sci-fi. So, I’m so surprised it took me so long to discover iZombie. Part of my hesitation is that, of all the supernatural creatures, I’ve never been interested in zombies. I went through the vampire phase, witch phase, even some werewolves and other were-creatures but zombies never seemed all that interesting. Until now.

Until iZOMBIE.


iZOMBIE started its life as a comic book series is illustrated by Michael Allfred, one of my favorite comic book illustrators so I can’t believe it took me so long to give the series a look. The writer of the series is Chris Roberson, who I’ve only read in some older issues of the Fables series off-shoots Cinderella and Jack of Fables. He’s worked on other things but I was not as familiar with his work. Well, I am now! I’ve read the first trade paperback so far and I love it. Its so nice to soak up Mike Allred’s artwork again — its been a long time and the story is unique, interesting and full of potential.


iZOMBIE poster

iZOMBIE became a TV series on the CW. The very first episode is out and the main character and back story are changed a bit from the comic but still keeps the essence of the original comic series. Mike Allred is even doing some of the intro art for the series. And Rob Thomas, beloved creator of Veronica Mars, is writing, directing and producing the TV version of iZOMBIE so… I AM SO IN! The first episode is available from the CW website or on HULU.

And so that this post is not entirely non-vintage AND non-knitting… I’m inspired to knit some zombie-related projects while watching the future episodes of iZOMBIE.


I’ve already made a pair of Zombie socks from the Nerd Girl Yarns “Pacific Playland” colorway so I’ll be donning my Zombie socks to watch Episode Two which airs in the US on March 24. I might have to cast-on the Zombie viXen mitts or, if I’m feeling really ambitious the Zombie Mittens, next week in preparation for the zombie apocalypse.

I heart iZOMBIE and I think you will too.

What to Read: Maisie Dobbs


One of my favorite mystery book series is the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. The story follows our heroine, Maisie who is working as an investigator between the wars. The story often winds back to the past to discover how she came to this point in life as well. They are quiet, thoughtful stories rather than violent Ripper tales but the setting and characters are so well-rounded that I have read every book in the series. The eleventh book in the series, A Dangerous Place, has just been released and I’m going to order a copy to add to my Maisie library. Its one of the few series that I own all in hardback.

I hope you enjoy the series too.


Book: Complete Guide To Modern Knitting and Crochet by Alice Carroll

Complete Guide To Modern Knitting & Crochet

I found The Complete Guide to Modern Knitting and Crocheting by Alice Carroll on a whim through Abe Books after seeing a photo of the cover on another blogger’s post. The typography on the cover made it worthwhile for me to track it down. Even if the book was terrible, it’s too beautiful with its burnt orange, book cloth cover stamped with silver ink not to have.

Complete Guide To Modern Knitting & Crochet

The publication date is 1942 and the book is filled with basic stitch guides as well as an assortment of patterns from the period. Overall there’s a textbook quality to the book which I really like.

In the front of the book is a super handy chart of needle sizes in millimeters and the vintage numbering for them. Thanks to the book I learned that steel DPNs had a different numbering system from straight needles. That was worth the $5 plus shipping right there.

Complete Guide To Modern Knitting & Crochet

I actually think the stitch pattern guides will be useful as I don’t own many stitch guides and these would be considered commonly used in patterns of this time period.

Complete Guide To Modern Knitting & Crochet

I originally wanted to see the patterns in the book, especially the ladies garments which are of the period and even include a small range of sizes.  There is also a section to help design a garment with various necklines, sleeves, collars and pockets.

The book includes pattern sizes mostly in vintage sizing like 14, 16 or 18 but in some patterns, the sizing are listed as the bust size, most commonly at 34. I found a list of the common measurements for the numbered sizing on Chronically Vintage.

Size 14: 35.5 bust, 27 waist, 38 hips
Size 16: 37 bust, 28.5 waist, 40 hips
Size 18: 39 bust, 30.5 waist, 42 hips

There are patterns for accessories, home decor and garments for men and children as well. There’s even a his-and-hers cardigan set and a men’s fairisle reindeer sweater. I think my husband would never speak to me again if I made him a reindeer sweater. However, there are classic military-style pullovers that he would love.

Complete Guide To Modern Knitting & Crochet

I was actually surprised that the illustrations in the book were photography. Not that photography wasn’t common in the 40s I just assumed it would have been more cost effective to use illustrations for a large book so I was actually quite delighted.

Complete Guide To Modern Knitting & Crochet

Finally, in the back of the book was a folded pattern torn out of a McCall’s Treasury of Needlecraft book from the same time period for a hat and mitten set. This was the true treasure for me — I love seeing the items people tuck into books to save and this little pattern is no exception.

If you have an opportunity to pick up this book, I recommend it if only for true vintage details in the photos, patterns and garments.

Dress + Cardigan


Oh, the spring weather is here (or at least its teasing us) and I’ve got cotton dresses and cardigans on the mind. I pulled out some of my light cotton dresses from my off-season closet this morning and had nothing but plain store-bought cardis to pair them with. So sad! Then I stumbled across Ellen Mason’s Pinterest board, Dress + Cardigan and I was off! Handknit cardigans are the perfect accompaniment to summery cotton dresses to get you through the cooler days of spring and fight the chill of overly-enthusiastic air conditioning.


It all started with Andi Satterlund and all her wonderful handknit sweater patterns that she models with cute vintage-inspired dresses. I’ve already picked out some yarn from my stash to knit up the Myrna cardigan. Then Ellen Mason’s Mary Rebecca cardigan came to my attention. The Mary Rebecca pattern comes with a matching hand warmer pattern since it has short bracelet sleeves as well so what a lovely bonus! So that’s two sweaters in my Ravelry queue that I want to cast-on today!

Then there’s those gems I added to my queue a couple days ago: the Easy shrug by Xandy Peters, the Summer Carnival cardigan by Georgie Hallam, and Andi Satterlund’s new Mary Mead pattern. By the end of summer I should have a rainbow of cardigans!

Am I the only person who queues more patterns than she can possibly knit in a lifetime?

On The Pins: The Suzon Shawl AKA The Potato Chip Knit

On Monday evening, I cast on the Suzon (Fabulous Carnival) Shawl, inspired by my Circus-inspired knitting projects and its the most “one more row” knit I’ve ever worked on. Instead of worsted weight yarn, I’m using fingering weight and US size 4 needles. With the long color change of the Crystal Palace Mini Mochi Juniper Fireworks yarn and the squishy, clean ivory solid from Knit Picks in a simple, easy fisherman lace, I am loving this knit.

I once heard someone refer to a knitting project as a “potato chip knit” a project you want just one more bite, one more row and this is my first genuine experience with this idea. Each section of repeats is just ten rows so once I finish the color striping, I just want to whip through the fisherman lace and then the next ten color rows.

The photo above is the result of just two days of work (in between full work days and finishing two other projects). Yep, that chippy!

I look forward to knit night tonight to work through a few more repeats!

Let’s Join The Circus!


I’ve been under the weather the last few days but spring weather has sprung here so all I can think of is spring-weather sweaters and colorful shawls. The patterns I found were inspired by carnivals, fairs and magical days. If I am stuck on the couch, I should knit and wear colorful things.


From top, left to right: Suzon Shawl, Emelie, Summer Carnival and Circus Showgirl’s Plumes.

I like that I found a photo of my new friend Ceylangul in her Emelie in such a vivid green. What a doll!

I already cast-on the Suzon Shawl using a couple skeins of Crystal Palace Mini Mochi in Juniper Fireworks and an undyed skein of Knit Picks fingering to get great popping stripes. I’m using a lighter weight of yarn than the pattern calls for so I will probably end up with a lot more stripes and lace panels but its knitting up fast. I love watching the colors change and the fisherman lace is simple but fun. Addictive knit!


I, of course, couldn’t resist finding some vintage circus inspiration. Plumes of feathers, and vivid pinks, reds and yellows. What a wonderful, wild life these ladies must have lead!


I also found Evelina Roos and her Join Circus Eddy collection which are full of fun, circus-inspired stripes and vivid colored shawls. I think these patterns would be such a fun way to use up a bunch of too-pretty-to-be-hidden-in-shoes fingering yarns and I have quite a few skeins in my stash!

Shall we all imagine we’ve run off with the circus this week in scarves, shawls and cotton dresses with our favorite new cardigans?

Allied Voices: Sweater Girls & Ration Fashion

Penguin Knitting Book



  • I was really inspired by Tasha’s recent post,  Blue eyes, Black hair (celebrating yourself). I think Tasha is radiant with her dark hair and it makes her eyes look light, bright and vivid. (via By Gum, By Golly)
  • In the same wave, retro sewing goddess Gertie recently dyed her hair to a russet brown for a photoshoot. I love her vivid candy-colored hair but she’s just as radiant with a more “natural color”. (via Gertie’s Blog For Better Sewing)
  • I’ve been adding navy to my wardrobe in the past year so the recent How to Wear Navy article is an excellent resource. (via Chronically Vintage)
  • Fashion on the Ration is an exhibition about how ladies stayed fashionable during the war. Lots of great photos, a book and more info. (via Yesterday Girl)

What to Watch:

So-Not-Vintage: “I like to Party” Sweatshirt

It like to Party sweatshirt

Thanks to some fun hunting on the internet, I stumbled across the Look Human website and the “I Like To Party And By Party I Mean Stay Home And Knit” sweatshirt. As an introvert, I was thoroughly amused but wasn’t sure if I’d ever wear it.

Well, my pal Laura over at The Corner of Knit & Tea posted it on her blog and that was the final straw. I ordered one today and plan to spend next weekend on the couch knitting in my not-the-least-bit-vintage sweatshirt and be damned happy about it.