Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary: Win Book and Yarn!

Welcome to the Knitcircus stop on the Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary Blog Tour! I’ve long been a fan of Wendy Bernard’s patterns, blog and books, so getting to talk about her new one is a true pleasure.


The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary is a welcome follow-up to Wendy’s Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary.

I’ve been a big Wendy Bernard fan for many years; since back in the day when knitting blogs were new, Knit and Tonic has always been a leading voice in the fiber-blog community. Wendy’s California-chic designs captivated me from the start. Her Favorite Cardigan (below) has long been one of the sweaters I most want to knit.


Wendy has a knack for breaking down large ideas (design your own hat, cowl, sweater) into manageable parts and reconstructing it so that you feel confident tackling your next project. If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out her Custom Knits series, I highly recommend them. The Custom Knits 1 and Custom Knits 2  books show you how to design your own top-down sweater, with lots of tips and patterns by Wendy. The Custom Knits Accessories is my fave, since I’m mostly an accessories knitter. She gives you all the tools you need to create your own sock, hat and other accessories patterns, with clear guidelines so you can succeed.

The All -Around Stitch Dictionaries build on Wendy’s expertise in guiding knitters to technical success. Most stitch dictionaries give you a stitch pattern and written directions for working the pattern flat; the more modern ones often include a chart. Wendy noticed that changing from flat to knitting in-the-round could sometimes be tricky, so she includes charts for both. She also gives the reader insight into which kinds of stitches do well on both sides (when designing a scarf, that’s key), and indicates which patterns are fully reversible, two sided (look good, but are different on each side) or only to be used with one side showing.

The second installment, The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary, includes very clear photos and charts for every stitch, but in her usual inimitable way, Wendy includes a whole Designing From Scratch appendix, with basic recipes for Basic Top-Down Socks, Basic Toe-Up Socks, Top-Down Cap, Bottom-Up Cap and Triangular Shawls in Two Directions,  with beautiful photos for each.

IMG_6836                        Here’s a photo I snapped from my copy of the book (notice the user-friendly notebook binding?). This shows the Checkerboard Cables charts and photos. Thanks to the publisher  for letting me share this pattern! You can see they’re awfully nice, clear charts and photos showing both sides of the swatch.



Stewart, Tabori and Chang are so generous, they’re giving away not only a copy of Wendy’s new book, but 2 hanks of yarn from Blue Sky Alpacas. (USA readers only for shipping, please!)

Now, I’m sure you’re all champing at the bit to know how you can win the Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary and the yarns. Just comment and tell us:

What would you be likely to knit with the Stitch Dictionary? Sweater, Socks, Hat, Cowl, Shawl? Which way would you knit it? Top-down, bottom up, in the round or flat?

Follow the rest of the stops on the blog tour to see more stitch patterns from the book!



5/23: Craft Gossip

5/11: WEBS

5/28: Blue Sky Alpacas



Knitlandia Blog Tour: Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool


Back before every yarn available was shown in galleries of finished projects on Ravelry, Clara Parkes captivated the yarn world with her Knitters Review newsletter. She dared to try swatching, soaking and unraveling every kind of yarn available, and every week I looked forward to her scientific and fearless exploration.

As fellow knitting teachers, Amy and Clara go way back, and I was lucky enough to meet her just after her first big book, the Knitter’s Book of Yarn, came out. We’ve watched and cheered every one of her publications and have had the happiness of seeing Clara at knitting events as often as possible (and even getting lucky enough to try her homemade Claramel treats).

From a yarn expert and technician, Clara has grown and expanded her writing with her last two books, letting us experience the world through the lens of her own experiences and sparkling wit.The Yarn Whisperer lets us in on her life in knitting, and Knitlandia continues the journey with tales of her travels behind the scenes to every notable knitting destination.

We reviewed Clara’s delightful book on our Podcast.

It’s not just us anymore: even the Washington Post is starting to get Clara’s genius:  “A life entwined in yarn might mystify those who don’t knit, but anyone versed in the language of skeins and cables will sigh with envy over Clara Parkes’s new memoir, “Knitlandia.” 

Clara allowed us to share an excerpt of her book with you: the section on east-coast fall fiber mecca RHINEBECK  (all text and photos below belong to Clara Parkes)!

From Knitlandia:

AUTUMN ON THE HUDSON: Rhinebeck, New York

NESTLED ON THE EASTERN BANKS of the Hudson River, just two hours north of Manhattan by train, is the picket-fenced village of Rhinebeck. It has all the trappings of the weekend getaway: the artisanal bread shop, reliable Thai food, a pricey French bistro, a high-end liquor and wine store, and, to preserve an illusion of small-town America, a diner with vinyl-upholstered booths and brusque waitresses.

In the fall, Rhinebeck becomes a Thornton Wilder vision of bucolic small-town nostalgia. Between the foliage and the carved pumpkins on porches, you can’t help checking the local real estate ads and wondering what it would be like to live here.

Knitlandia_rhinebeck2 (1)

I think this every third weekend in October when I turn off the Taconic State Parkway and wind my way into town for the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.

Knitlandia_rhinebeck4 So legendary is this show, it has attained Madonna or Cher status in the knitting world. It is known by just one word: Rhinebeck. Say that word to almost any knitter and you’ll get a nod.


Knitters queueing up just to get into the big show!-js


Scored: apple cider and donut at the event.-js

Wherever Clara goes, we want to go with her! Amy and I both highly recommend taking a trip to Knitlandia as soon as you possibly can.


But wait, one lucky reader will get their very own copy of Knitlandia, so they can giggle, snort and generally mystify family members, friends or coffee shop patrons nearby. Please leave a comment below telling us either how much you love Clara and why OR which knitting destination (Rhinebeck, Interweave, Stitches, Vogue, TNNA, etc) you would most like to visit. We’ll pick a winner this Thursday, March 3rd.



Hear more  about this memoir during the Knitlandia blog tour!

Feb 22 –  Knit and Tonic

Feb 24 – My Sister’s Knitter

Feb 26 – Mary Jane Muckelstone

Feb 29 – Knit Circus

March 2 – Yarniacs

March 4 – Leethal

March 7 – Tin Can Knits

March 17 – Marly Bird

ETA: The winner has been chosen! The Random Number Generator picked Taine and she has been notified.  Thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments.

Knitcircus Podcast #58

It’s up!

Jaala has some HUGE news and Amy is about to go to Ireland.

Thank you to Mary R! She both gave Jaala a shawl and helped keep her from crying of exhaustion.

Listen on Libsyn or iTunes

SPOILER ALERT: TV talk starts at 21:10 and ends at 24:19

Linky Things