Archive | July 2006

Review: Knottie’s Pattern Database

Since there are thousands if not millions of patterns available online, it’s often hard to find what you want to knit. Enter Knottie’s Pattern Database. While still in it’s infancy, Knottie’s Pattern Database is poised to simplify your search for the perfect pattern. Online patterns are added into the database and categorized by yarn amount, pattern type, difficulty, yarn weight, etc. All you need to do a search and a list of registered patterns appear.

Patterns are still being added and can be added by visitors as well. I highly recommend that you check this one out.


Review: Knitting for Beginners

What do you get when you combine a knitting comic, animated knitting stitches, free patterns, dissertation on organic yarn, and a future home of knitting supplies. Why, Knitting for Beginners (or I’m not sure which is the correct title) of course! I discovered this site today and spent a few minutes poking around–in all honesty, there’s not much more than a few minutes worth of content, but what is there is a good resource to be added to the pile.

I’m going to go down the navigation page by page and outline my thoughts.

First up, the free patterns. Okay, I find these patterns a bit creepy and the links to the actual patterns didn’t work. I don’t fault them for that at the moment because so many things could be the cause; however, if it lasts longer than today I find it to be a big no-no Web-wise. Anyway, most of the patterns are for doll clothes, which I just don’t understand. I think of a creepy, house-bound psycho who obviously talks to his/her dolls because he/she kills anyone who comes to the door and buries them in the basement as the type of person to make doll clothes. Then again, that opinion may just be me and my own personal issues, of which I have many. The Hand Puppet Puppies pattern looks like it could be fun; however, since the link doesn’t work, who knows. So a sort of thumbs up for the free patterns. I mean, they’re free so that’s always a bonus.

Next, the Animated stitches. I think this is cool and another great way to understand how the fundamentals of knitting work. I do think that the videos with actual dialog on knitting help are better suited to the job, but the animated stitches here do a good job demonstrating how techniques like a short row wrap works. In conjunction with other tools (books, knitting help, etc) this section of the site is great for people who are having problems understanding a knitting concept.

The organic yarn section is interesting, but more than that I don’t find it helpful. Maybe adding a list of organic yarns and the user’s review in place of the diatribe on the page would make the page more relevant. Now let me put that statement into context of my own natural bias. As a Web programmer, I often speak at work on why lot’s of text on a page is bad–people really don’t read when they just want info, etc–so seeing this page to me makes my inner web guru die of word shock. But again, that’s just me and I have issues.

Finally, (as the last section, knitting supplies, is an under construction message) the Bettyhill comic. I think the two currently there are cute; especially the street fight question. There needs to be more humor in the world.
Overall, an interesting site, but lacking a bit in execution and full content. The animated stitches are definately a nice addition to the other knitting resources out there. I do plan to add the link to both my Knitting Help/Tutorials and Free Patterns sections to keep an eye on it. We’ll see how it progresses. Hopefully the content contributors can fulfill the potential that exists within the pages.

Early Birthday Bootie!

My birthday is not for two weeks, but my in-laws gave me my present early. The Ultimate Sweater Machine! I have been wanting a knitting machine of some sort for a year. Of course I haven’t done any research on the subject so I have no idea what is out there.

I haven’t had a chance to pull the product out of the box yet so I can provide a review. But as soon as I do, I will post one.

I want a machine just to get some quick projects done and out the door, whether the projects are for sale (maybe I will sell at Albacon this year), for gift, or just for fun. Either way, it’s something new to play with and I can’t wait.

Has anyone tried the Ultimate Sweater Machine or one like it? Have any thoughts on it?

Cascade vs. Debbie Bliss Cashmerino

There is some rumbling in the knitting world right now. Supposedly, Cascasde is sending emails to their customers, notifying them that they are in discussion (my word) with KFI’s attorney over the legitimecy of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and Cashmere Luxury Aran. See one discussion on the topic. I’m not sure how legit this is but I’ve run into it twice today. If I have time later I’ll do more research.

Quite honestly? I don’t care. I like Cascade’s yarn and I like (although have yet to use but it’s in my yarn basket) Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. While I think both sides are a bit shady over this — Cascade for sending out an email slandering a company before anything has been, to my understanding, decided in court and KFI for possibly falsely labelling $8+ yarn — but I don’t think it will affect my buying habits.

The AntiCraft: Beltain 2006 Issue Review

The Beltain issue of The AntiCraft came out a few months ago, but I wandered in today and felt that D. would be amused to be pointed to the site. So this one is for her.

The AntiCraft is a goth-based crafting site. It contains some knitting and other crafty endeavors–from cooking to fun with duct tape. The site is very Goth and contains a pretentious mix of affected goth stereotypes and strong writing that often grates on my nerves. And that’s not to say it is a bad thing. Just that when I read it, it reads as forced and stereotypical. Of course, I’ve never actually met more than perky goths so my opinion may be skewed. But I do kind of like their difficulty levels (“Box of Rocks” ; “Do You Want Fries With That?” ; “Rrrrgh . . . . Brains . . . .” ; “MoonPrincess RavenDark” ; etc.).

Anyway, the crafty pieces are all very interesting and some actually are good enough to make. I popped out everything in the Beltain issue below with my thoughts. Feel free to comment with your thoughts.

A Maiden’s Glory
Okay, first this is crochet. I don’t crochet. Yet. Someday. But this pattern is so interesting to me that it makes me want to learn.

Beltane Flame
So cute! Okay, first I think most horrific Halloween decorations (like severed heads) are cute, so there’s your baseline. I love this pattern. It’s a Fair Isle hat with Ankhs and some other visuals. I’d either make this hat for my friend in Japan or make a bag using the color pattern.

Life and Death
Not knitting. Crafty coffin backpack. I’d be interested to see if anyone made this as their knitting bag.

On Asparagus
Cooking with asparagus. Yum. Some interesting asparagus info AND the recipes look good to make. Now, if only I had a kitchen to cook in…

Henry VIII’s Wedding Gift
Jewelry making at it’s finest. Very, very pretty. I bet we could come up with a way to knit this…

Green Woman
Overall? It’s fugly. Sorry, but it is. Something about how it poofs in places. But, there are some really interesting pieces to it, like the edging on the bottom. Maybe if it didn’t have the shaping of a potato sack, I’d like it more.

I Am Doll Parts
I. Love. This. So not knitting, but dead doll parts as plant decorations and pots. If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.