Book Review: Knit One, Bead Too! by Judith Durant

Knit One, Bead Too by Judith Durant
Storey Publishing, 2009
160 pages

Grade: A+

I bought this wonderful book because I’ve recently become interested in beads and wanted a reference book exclusively dedicated to how to knit with them. I am not disappointed with my purchase, that’s for sure! In fact, I want to finish some projects I have been knitting so I can start something from this book!

Durant begins her book with a chapter about beads and tools. She proceeds to explain, in each of the next five chapters, the primary methods of knitting with beads. At the end of the book comes a pattern for a bag that combines all of the techniques for knitting with beads.

I am a visual learner so this book works great for someone like me. Every beading technique is described in plain English and also illustrated with a good photograph. Every step of the way Durant gives her readers advice on choosing appropriate yarns and how to best combine them with beads.

Aside from providing easy to follow tutorials to learn the techniques for knitting with beads, the author provides original patterns at the end of each chapter. These patterns are AWESOME. I want to make all of them. One of the most interesting aspects of this book is that it does not include patterns of knitted jewelry. Instead, there are patterns for gloves, hats, bags, sweaters, scarves, and home decor items. I agree with Durant’s decision to leave jewelry out of the book and instead provide patterns that incorporate beads into the kinds of things knitters typically make without beads. She truly demonstrates her argument that using beads in knitting provides us with endless possibilities. To really nail that concept home she provides alternative yarns, beads, and colors for each pattern. The alternative combinations are brilliantly photographed.

I recommend this book to any knitter who wants to learn how to knit with beads and wants to dive into these techniques right away with innovative, instructive patterns.

Happy New Year!

I really enjoy New Year’s Eve. I didn’t throw a huge party this year, but I did celebrate. I bought champagne, made a nice dinner, and watched the fireworks from my tenth floor apartment.

Now that it’s 2015 and I’ve finished my Christmas knitting, I’m thinking about making some stuff for myself. Ok, actually, I’m thinking about making more stuff for myself. I’ve already made a pair of gloves following Ann Budd’s “Basic Gloves” pattern from her book The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns (Interweave Press). I added some decoration to them by using mosaic garter stitch on the upper part of the gloves:

I’ve also started knitting a pair of socks for my feet: Cookie A.’s “Asymmetrical Cables,” which can be found in Ann Budd’s Sock Master Class. Now that I’ve finished half the pair and started the next sock I can definitely say this: the socks look more difficult to make than they actually are. If you’ve ever knit something with lots of cables on it this pattern is a breeze. It’s mostly all stockinette with just one cable meandering down the leg and instep.

Tonight, I’m going to cast on “Arguyle,” a gansey designed by Kathleen Sperling.  I am very excited about this! I haven’t knit a sweater for myself in a couple of years!

When I finish the gansey I’m going to have to buy some more yarn, which should be really fun. Can you believe it? I’ve used up 50% of my stash in about a year. One of my plastic bins is empty!

The empty bin is irking me a bit. I’m not used to having an empty yarn bin. Those of you out there who are trying to use up a big amount of your stashes need to brace yourselves for when you actually follow through with this task. It’s seriously not cool, at least for me, to have an empty yarn bin. I’m dying to fill it back up with yarn! I think it’s a matter of adjusting to change. The yarn was just there for so long. It occupied a particular space in my home.

I am a very organized person and everything needs to be in its proper place. Also, I like to keep a supply of certain household items in stock at all times. An empty yarn bin is akin to an empty sugar bowl or salt shaker for an orderly person like me, I guess!