Weekend reading

Did you hear? The Kindle version of the new Margaret Radcliffe book is on sale this month on Amazon!

I don’t get any benefit from Amazon for sharing this information with you, I just love to pass along a good deal! Margaret Radcliffe is the author of one of my favorite knitting design books, The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques. I’ve learned so much from her, and can’t wait to delve into this one over the weekend!

Book review: Joy in Every Moment

Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercises for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life
by Tzivia Gover
Softcover, 220 pages
Storey Publishing 2015

Why I added this to my library: I recently attended a workshop on how to be more happy at work. The workshop focused heavily on gratitude as the starting point for joy, and so when I read the description of this book, I thought it would be a great framework for embarking on that journey.

Quick synopsis: Joy in Every Moment is a lovely book of suggestions of small things to do to bring more joy in your life. To me, it’s a book that helps put into practice the concept that gratitude paves the way for abundance.

Notable features: Each section contains a group of “Exercises for the Joy of It,” which are wonderful, and which I can believe actually work. For example, in the “Joy All Day” chapter, the first exercise is to start your day with some activity. A friend of mine who is a personal trainer has the words “Motion Affects Emotion” in her studio, and I think she would probably agree!

Shelve or sell? This is something I will definitely keep. Although not a traditional reference book on crafting like a stitch dictionary or pattern book, is a wonderful starting point for my creative process, as well as a great reminder to start–and enjoy–every day with gratitude. I’m thinking of ordering a few for stocking-stuffers!

Introducing the Big Zig

Psst! Don’t forget that the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival is still going on!

Just in time for holiday gift giving, here’s a new free knitting pattern for you!

Big Zig Dishcloth FREE pattern by Kendra Nitta @missknitta. Now available for free download at knitpicks.com

It’s called the Big Zig, and it’s a dishcloth/washcloth perfect for teacher gifts and stocking stuffers. It’s a great way for beginners to learn to read charts, and knits up super quickly in one of my favorite yarns, Knit Picks CotLin.

Download the Big Zig or my Petticoat Dishcloth pattern today from Knit Picks!

Bloggers’ Quilt Festival Fall 2015!


Welcome to missknitta’s studio everyone! Thank you for stopping by the the Fall 2015 Bloggers’ Quilt Festival hosted by my friend, Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side!

It’s been a little while since I entered anything in the quilt festival (and the last time I participated was too late to qualify for any prizes!), so I wanted to be sure to get on board this time!

My entry for the Fall 2015 Festival is in the small quilts category, and it’s the quilt I made for my friend Vonnie for her birthday this summer:

Concentric quilting on Vonnie's Quilt by Kendra Nitta @missknitta www.missknitta.com

I’ve always been more interested in the piecing rather than quilting, so it was a stretch for me to figure out how to bring a new dimension to this very simple lap quilt. I decided to go with a giant sun motif. Here’s the detail shot:

Vonnie's Quilt by Kendra Nitta @missknitta www.missknitta.com

And in case you’re wondering, here’s the back!

Vonnie's Quilt by Kendra Nitta @missknitta www.missknitta.com

Be sure to check out all of the quilts in the show! And many thanks to Amy for making this happen!

Book review: Knit, Purl, Pray: 52 Devotions for the Creative Soul

Knit, Purl, Pray: 52 Devotions for the Creative Soul
by Lisa Bogart
Softcover, 144 pages
Worthy Publishing 2015

Why I added this to my library: I have many books in my library that focus on the spiritual aspects of knitting, including Tara Jon Manning’s Compassionate Knitting and Mindful Knitting. This book caught my eye because of the lovely cover, and because I haven’t read a book like this in awhile.

Quick synopsis: Knit, Purl, Pray contains 52 short essays that start with a particular concept or knitting technique and tie in a relevant Bible verse and anecdote. Each “meditation” closes with a prayer.

Notable features: The brevity of each essay is useful and would make the book perfect for someone who attends a weekly knitting group to put him or her in a stitching frame of mind. The inclusion of prayers and Bible verses also make this especially suited for church knitting groups.

Shelve or sell? For me, this is not a keeper but I know several people who it might suit, most of whom attend church regularly.

Book review: Lucky Spool’s Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making

Lucky Spool’s Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making

Lucky Spool’s Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making
by The Editors of Lucky Spool
Softcover, 192 pages
Lucky Spool Media 2015

Why I added this to my library: Even though I’ve been quilting for a few years now, I’m often still at a loss when pressed to explain how modern quilting is different from traditional quilting. In other words, “What makes a quilt modern?” I also have wondered how to make my quilts “more modern,” including how to write patterns using some of the core tenets of modern quilting, like improvisation and alternate gridwork. This book caught my eye on NetGalley because it promised the opportunity to learn more about modern quilting and the modern quilting movement.

Quick synopsis: Lucky Spool’s Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making presents the principles of modern quilting in 10 workshops by some of the best-knwon names of the modern quilting movement: Denyse Schmidt, Alyssa Haight-Carlton, Jacqui Gering, Angela Walters, Penny Layman, Heather Jones, Heather Grant, and more. Each workshop provides at least one quilt pattern, with plenty of text on color, composition, and technique.

Notable features: Among my favorite features are the “Quilter to Quilter” sections because I love tips. Also, as a designer, I often feel like there are things that I would have done differently or would like to try, but for editorial reasons were not part of the sample. The Quilter to Quilter sections provide helpful insight into technique and design process, which is really useful to me.

Shelve or sell? I actually obtained this book as an advance copy through NetGalley, and so I have it on ebook only and I plan on keeping it! At this point, I intend to use it as a reference so I don’t need to buy the book for the patterns, but I would certainly recommend it to purchase, especially for people new to modern quilting.

Countdown to QuiltCon 2016

Getting the supply list email last week was a real wake-up call to get moving on my projects to enter into the quilt show!

My first priority is to finish my quilt for the Michael Miller fabric challenge, since one of the conditions of being sent the fabric was agreeing to enter something in the quilt show.

I spent a lot of time staring at my fabrics before finally coming up with a design for a small quilt. I’m now getting the blocks laid out:

2015 Michael Miller Challenge quilt by Kendra Nitta @missknitta www.missknitta.com

The lovely green is a Michael Miller Cotton Couture solid left over from the QuiltCon 2015 challenge (that I didn’t actually enter). I’m excited to see how this turns out!

Introducing (at last….) the Lace Bottle Cozy

In writing my One-Skein Wonders for Babies blog tour post the other day, I realized that I never posted about my pattern that was included in Lace One-Skein Wonders which came out in October 2013. I gave a sneak peek here and there, but forgot to celebrate when the actual pattern was published!

So here it is, better late than never… the Lace Bottle Cozy:

Lace Bottle Cozy from Lace One-Skein Wonders from @storeypub; knitting pattern by Kendra Nitta, photo copyright geneve hoffmann photography, used with permission

copyright geneve hoffmann photography, used with permission

It’s knit up in one skein of lovely Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk (the same yarn as M is for Mitts) and makes a wonderful gift. My favorite part of it is the i-cord tie, which is actually meant to loop around the neck of the bottle rather than the way it’s styled in the photograph.

It’s a great project for learning to read lace knitting from a chart, and for practicing blocking. I’m planning to release it as a single pattern in the near future, so stay tuned!

Lovely zips

Another little bit of shopping I did while in Canterbury was at The Sewing Shop, an adorable yarn and fabric shop in Sun Street just around the corner from the Cathedral. They had so many cute things, but I especially could not resist these lovely zippers:

Zippers from The Sewing Shop, Canterbury, UK @sewingshopsunst, photo by Kendra Nitta @missknitta

I’ve never seen anything like them, have you? I might just have to design something special just for them!

If you’re ever in town, it’s definitely worth setting aside some time to visit The Sewing Shop. If only they were there when I was at University!