A Good Book For An Intrepid Knitter
I’m not the kind of person who has a favorite book or even a favorite knitting book. I like books too much to have all-time favorites. But Nicky Epstein’s Knitted Embellishments ranks high on my list:
I first bought this book, this particular book, as a gift and gave it away. A few years later the gift-ee said “I’ll never make any of this” and gave it back to me. The Outrage! The Insult! The Humanity!
S’ok. I like this book and I’m happy to have it back. I have made stuff from it. I lend it out. I carry it back and forth to my knitting classes. You can tell that I love the book because its all banged up. You only abuse the ones you love, right?
Knitted Embellishments is well written and well organized. It has a color picture of every single design and technique and then some additional hand-drawn illustrations. The printer/publisher didn’t skimp. That’s nice. But what I really like about it is the subject. Embellishments is all about taking a pattern and adding your personal touches to it. Have a bag, hat, or cardigan finished off but its looking a little ordinary? Knitted Embellishments has 43 applique flower designs that you can use to give it that extra something. Or or can replace the edging in any pattern and use a lace/beaded/cabled/scalloped edge of your choice instead. Then there is the section on embroidering your knitting. Epstein shows the reader how to use different stitches, from simple to elaborate, to embroider on stockinette fabric. I think her directions for duplicate stitch are the best out there.
I treat the book like a tool box. There are some things in there that I’ll (probably) never do, like make an applique eggplant. But her ideas for using I-cord to make frogs and closures are pure genius. I’m totally doing that someday.
A Good Brush For A Human Flunky
If you have animal loved ones in your family (and from the comment section it seems like ALL of you do), then you may find your home, person, knitting, crocheting, yarn stash is covered in pet hair. I do. I considered naming this blog Covered In Cat Hair because that pretty much sums up my existence.
But even though I’m losing the Cat Hair Battle, I stay in the fight. I brush the Overlords at least 3 times a week in the vague hope that I can knock the problem out at its source. I have a whole drawer full of cat brushes. But only one of them actually gets the hair off the cat.
The people who make this thing gave it a very stupid name. The commercials I’ve seen remind me of those silly Ginsu Knife commercials from the 1970’s. In a final, important point against the FURminator, they are outrageously expensive.
They’re expensive because they actually work.
So back for his second staring role, in yet another brush-the-cat-video, is Cowardly Boy Cat. He loves the natural bristle brush best. It feels great against his skin. Does a lousy job of getting the hair off though. So after a few strokes with “the good brush” we switch over to the FURminator. And the hair comes off in in little clouds.
I only spent the money for the FURminator after I saw my mom use it on her huge white Labrador (OMG, it looked like it was snowing). She only bought one after a neighbor showed her what it could do on his dog. I guess you have to see it in action to believe.
If you’re drowning in pet hair this spring, it might be worth it to go and buy one.