Thursday 16 December 2021

Book review: Intarsia by Sian Brown

I've got a book review for you today.

Do you fancy having a go at intarsia, but aren’t sure where to start? Intarsia by Sian Brown is here to give you all the help you need.

Who is Sian Brown?

Sian Brown is a knitwear designer who has worked for magazines, yarn companies and publishers.


What’s included in the book?

The four chapters cover:

1. The basics of intarsia.

2. Twenty charted motifs.

3. Five projects.

4. How to create your own intarsia designs.

The book covers everything you need to know about intarsia: the first chapter includes all the basics, but also dives deep into when to combine intarsia with stranded colourwork, how to add extra details with embroidery and beads, as well as tips on making your intarsia look its best by using various finishing techniques.

The motifs chapter contains twenty charts, starting with simple one-colour motifs, moving on to more detailed designs that require multiple colour changes. Sian has also included suggestions on what you could use the motifs for, and adds little details to a lot of the designs, such as using beads to add sprinkles to an ice cream cone. There’s a section at the end of the chapter with guidance on how to resize motifs, how to decide where to place motifs on knitwear, and how to work mirror images of the motifs. All the charts are clear and easy to read.

What to know what charts are included? Here you go: simple fish, striped ice lolly, detailed leaf, yellow duck, nautical anchor, simple flower, festive snowman, sailboat, beaded cupcake, striped beach hut, swiss-darned sheet, grey elephant, quilt star, swallow, happy robot, speckled toadstool, robin, tumbling bocks, wise owl, and open flower.

Chapter three gives instructions for five projects you can make with your newly acquired intarsia skills: a cot blanket, pair of fingerless gloves, a wrap, a child’s jumper and an adult’s cardigan. The patterns are complete, and include excellent schematics and making-up instructions.

The final chapter tells you where to start if you want to design your own motifs: from where to find inspiration and how to create your own charts, to how to place motifs. This chapter is full of little extra bits of information, such as how to choose the right yarn for the job. One thing I feel is missing from this chapter is knitters’ chart paper, as while it is noted that knitted stitches are not square, all that charts are drawn on regular chart paper.

Should I buy this book?

This book is a great beginners guide to intarsia, but also includes lots of extras that make it good for intarsia knitters of all skill levels. With clear photos and charts throughout, this book is easy to work from, and its compact size (17.5 x 24 cm) means it’ll fit easily in your knitting bag. Definitely one to pick up if you fancy having a go at intarsia in 2022.


Intarsia by Sian Brown is available now.**


Intarsia by Sian Brown is published by The Crowood Press, 2021.

Book supplied by the publisher for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

**As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tuesday 7 December 2021

Chocolate Fudge Socks - available now!

It’s time for a second dive into the DK Selection-Box of Socks: I’ve just added the Chocolate Fudge Socks to the collection!

The Chocolate Fudge Socks are one step up from vanilla: the socks are knitted from the top down with a familiar heel-flap and gusset construction, with the added bonus of a ribbed texture that is really easy to knit – you only work the pattern on every other row, so they’re a great relaxing knit.

I’ve added a bit of interest by making the ribbed pattern flow into the heel, making for a distinctive sock, but don’t worry about it being too complicated – the ribbed pattern is only worked on the right side rows, with purled rows on the wrong side!

These socks are named after the chocolate-coated fudge sweets in a selection box of chocolates: this variety of sweet often has a ridged pattern on the top, which is reflected in the ribbed ridges on the sock. The sweets are a family favourite, popular with both kids and grown-ups. This pattern will be too as it comes in sizes from tiny (9 cm circumference) to tremendous (27.5 cm circumference). This is a pattern for the whole family!

The Chocolate Fudge Socks pattern is available NOW! You can pick up your copy on Ravelry or PayHip.

Fancy a discount? Use the code FUDGE for 15% off (ends 11.59pm GMT, Thursday 16th December 2021).

Want even better value? Why not pick up the DK Selection-Box Of Socks ebook for just £12.99? The ebook will contain 4 patterns – the first two are there already, and the final two will arrive by the end of February.

Monday 6 December 2021

Don't unravel this December


Hello December! Hello advent calendars galore! I have three this year: a chocolate one, a marshmallow one, and a scrappy yarn swap one. And I have a self-striping skein. I am totally on board with the chocolate one: chocolate for breakfast is a joy! I’m sure I can find time each day to eat a marshmallow (on a good day, I may even find time to toast it!). But the yarn ones… December is stressful. Everyone (including me!) wants a magical Christmas, but that takes *work*. I’ll be dashing between carol concerts and nativities, organising Santa visits and decorating the tree, sorting presents and writing cards, organising food and baking goodies. On top of the usual laundry, food prep, housework and actual work. Does that leave time for extra advent projects? No. So I’m here to tell you: I find advent overwhelming. If you feel the same, you’re not alone. There will be posts everywhere sharing beautiful advent projects, knitted in order and on the day the advent door was opened, but if you stop for a second, you will know that there are many more advent calendars being opened that aren’t being knitted up *right now*! If your me-time this December is 30 minutes of working on a pre-existing project, or even just staring into space while your cup of coffee goes cold, know it’s not just you. I will love looking at everyone else’s advent projects, but don’t expect me to be wearing brand new scrappy socks on Christmas Day!


It can’t just be me. Will you be up to date with your advent calendar on Christmas Day?
Hope December doesn't leave you too overwhelmed. Until next time, happy knitting.