Kate’s Faves of 2011

by Kate Preston

With 2011 coming to a close, I wanted to share some of my favorite items I worked with (or on) throughout the year…


No. 1:  Vintage Knits for Modern Babies by Hadley Fierlinger
If I could own only one knitting pattern book, this would be it.  (Mind you, if I could own only one technical book, it would be The Knitting Answer Book by Margaret Radcliffe, but that book is more like a textbook than a gift.)  Ms. Fierlinger presents twenty-five knits inspired by vintage garments from the ’30s and ’40s.  Some of my personal favorites are: Ruby Slippers (a.k.a. Baby Janes),  Wavy Cashmere Blanket, Modern Baby Bonnet, Wee Mittens, Cabled Booties, Apron Dress, and Petite Beret.  Click the ones in red to see my interpretation of Ms. Fierlinger’s patterns.  $19.99

No. 2: More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
Written by the owner of my beloved PURL SOHO, this one runs the gamut.  Knits for adults, children, babies and the home.  The pattern writing is impeccable, as is the photography.  Some of my favorites are:  Nesting Squares Baby Blanket, Cabled Fingerless Gloves, Easy Baby Cardigan, Spiral Seat Cushion, and Big Lace Scarf.  Click the ones in red to see my interpretation of Ms. Hoverson’s patterns.  I also love that it is a hardcopy!  $27.50

No. 3: Kate’s Lattice Lace Cowl
It happens every year.  I have grand plans to knit a gift for many of the special people in my life and no where near enough time.  So designed this one to knit-up quickly – and to keep some necks toasty this winter.  At just 3 hours each, I made a few of these over the weekend to gift-away.  Yay!  I love the yarn (See No. 7 below), and the 4-row lace pattern repeat keeps me interested.  I am also proud to announce that this cowl was featured on Craftgawker.com on November 30th!  See more about it here.

No. 4: Bella Baby Shrug
I found this pattern by Stefanie Japel randomly on Raverly.com.  (She calls it the Whirligig Shrug.)
It is my favorite item I knitted this year.  See more about it here.

No. 5: Clover’s Soft Stitch Ring Markers
I love these markers because they are so thin, so they won’t add any bulk between the stitches.  About $6.

No. 6: Fancy needles!
I love my metal Addi Click Interchangable Set from Germany, but I also love to knit on regular ole straight needles.  And when I do, I want the fancy ones – like Lantern Moon Ebony and Knitter’s Pride Dreamz.   About $9-$30 per set.

No. 7: Cascade Yarns’ Magnum
When I need bulky yarn, Magnum is my go-to.  It comes in a ton of colors, looks more expensive than it is, and nothing knits up quicker.  100% peruvian wool.  About $22 for 123 yards.

No. 8: Anzula’s For Better or Worsted
(First of all, I love the play-on-words.)  For Better or Worsted is hand-dyed.  I can’t get enough of how the color saturation changes yard-by-yard.  Composed of superwash merino, cashmere and nylon, it is practical – and posh – and the hint of nylon gives it a perfect subtle sheen.  It’s officially my favorite yarn of 2011.   About $33 for 200 yards.

No. 9: Manos de Urguay’s Silk Blend DK
My go-to for DK-weight yarn, Silk Blend is perfect when you want something sweet and soft.  The blended (variegated) line contains a few great masculine colors which are sometimes tough to find.   About $15 for 150 yards.

No. 10: Shameless Self-Promotion!  (for my gift certificates)
Need a unique last-minute gift?  Give a Learn-to-Knit gift certificate, and shop locally!
Classes meet Tuesday & Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings – or by special appointment.
Starting at $25 (1 class) up to $100 (5 classes).

What’s your favorite knitting item of 2011?  Share your comment below.

Thanks, and happy holiday crafting!!
xo -k.