The Knitted Home – Book Review

The Knitted Home - jacket
Every now and then I am asked if I would like to review a book, and I have to restrain myself from biting off the offering arm in my delight at the chance to see a new crafty publication!  This one, the Knitted Home by the talented Ruth Cross arrived to fit in very nicely with the subtle, monochromatic vibe I embraced to produce my  needlefelted sheep.  This book is a visual delight, and feels gorgeous too!  (Am I the only person to love the feel of the thick matt finish which seems to be used more and more for books and magazines?)
Throw and Cushion from The Knitted Home - Ruth Cross
Although some of the projects in this book are quite challenging, there are excellent clear instructions at the back of the book so even a completed beginner could get to grips with some of the easier patterns.  Ruth’s explanations of creating textures with stitches will soon inspire  the adventurous, and for many of the projects the main requirement is the patience to see a big project through to the end.
Footstol, The Knitted Home - Ruth Cross
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cable throw  -The Knitted Home - Ruth Cross
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textured knitting panels - The ~Knitted  Home - Ruth Cross
The project I’m looking forward to trying is this beautiful table mat.  I love this crushed raspberry colour, but I’m also dying to see whether it will work in Planet Penny rainbow colours.  It starts off with 24 stitches and ends with 360 stitches, so even that is a challenge in itself!
circular place mat - The Knitted Home - Ruth Cross
But there is also a neat little pattern for beginners which is also a great way to make use of experimental squares when you are getting to grips with stitches and patterns.  Turning them into lavender bags means you don’t have to accumulate a big bag of knitted bits to stitch into a blanket, just two little squares and you have the makings of a little pretty to hang in the wardrobe or drawer handle.
Stripey Lavender Bags - The Knitted Home - Ruth Cross
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Stripey Lavender Bags close up - The Knitted Home -  Ruth Cross
And now the even more exciting bit…would you like to win a copy?  I have one right here, sitting on my desk  and it could be yours!
 All you have to do is to leave a comment on this post and tell me what or who got you started with knitting.  If you haven’t started knitting yet, well you can tell me about that too!   You can comment up until Saturday 28th April, then I will put all the names into a virtual hat (Random Number Generator actually, I’ve tried getting Higgins to do it and he either eats the slips of paper, or the hat!) and announce the lucky winner on Sunday 29th April.
And if you can’t wait, you can purchase a copy of The Knitted Home at the special price of £16.00 (RRP £20.00) details below.
To order The Knitted Home (9781906417727) for £16.00 including p&p*, telephone 01903 828503 and quote offer code JS190. Or send a cheque made payable to: Littlehampton Book Services Mail Order Department, Littlehampton Book Services, PO Box 4264, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3TG. Please quote the offer code JS190 and include your name and address details. *UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.
I’m linking up again with Handmade Harbour and Handmade Monday again this week and I’m looking forward to hearing your knitting stories.  Also, I would like to thank everyone who left such encouraging comments about my sheep in the last post.  I always read your comments although I’m afraid I don’t get time to answer as many as I would like and they are always much appreciated.  Thanks so much.
I’ll be back soon to tell you about my next adventure.  I’m off to London tomorrow to find out about a campaign just for bloggers.  Intrigued?  So am I, because that’s all I know about it for now.  Who knows, maybe I’ll meet some of you there.
Back soon…
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64 thoughts on “The Knitted Home – Book Review

  1. Liz Barnard

    I have been knitting since I was 8 or 9, My Mum and Gran taught me to knit and crochet and I have been doing so ever since x Projects are too many to mention x Liz Barnard x

  2. Penelope Brown

    Hi Penny!
    My Grandpa taught me to knit, with his method that no child forgets! ”stab it, strangle it and pull its head off” not for the weak and feeble I admit but has been passed on to many. It is a fun memory of a very creative man that passed on skills of knitting , embroidery, sewing, leatherwork, and lots of household tasks and tips. He was lovely and I remember him every time I pick up a project.

  3. Natassia

    My grandmother raised me from the age of 7 and was quick to introduce me to knitting, she had 5 boys and none of them were interested! She bought me my own childrens needles and I helped her knit cardigans and hats and booties for the impending grandchildren…best thing I ever learned and I cant wait to teach my daughter when shes slightly older!

  4. Janet Friel

    Looks like a lovely book! I started knitting when I was 7. We were taught how to knit and sew in school (only the girls though!) and I made many a stylish outfit for my dolls and teddies! I stopped knitting for years but came back to it last year, inspired by all the lovely socks I kept seeing in blog land. I made a pair and was thrilled by the magical properties of the Kitchener stitch!

  5. Alison

    Taught by my Mum, who was taught by her Mum. We’re doing up the house so this would be fab inspiration. So far I’ve done a couple of cushion covers but fancy something a bit more unusual.

  6. Carol

    Thank you for the review, some lovely items.
    My Mum and my Nan both taught me to knit as a child, both were excellent knitters. I had lots of hand knitted clothes but one item I didn’t like was my knitted swimming costume which stretched when wet and I don’t think Dad was very fond of his knitted trunks either!!!
    Carol xx

  7. Chris

    Beautiful book! I am just learning to knit…after a few failed attempts in past yrs. My grandmother and mother were both amazing knitters but somehow that gene didn’t get passed down but I’m still trying!
    Thank-you for another fun drawing!

  8. Debbie

    My first teacher in primary school attempted to teach me to knit! Not long after starting school (at the age of 4) I was given a ball of blue wool, at least it started off blue. After what seemed like weeks and weeks of frustration I ended up with a horrible grey square! It was the thing I most hated about school! I avoided anything to do with wool or knitting for years but strangely after studying textiles I developed a passion for knitting and wool and later had a knitwear business for many years!

  9. Laura

    Ooo, great giveaway! I love the look of some of these projects 🙂 My Granny taught me how to knit when I was a child (maybe 7 or 8) and I made a very holey scarf! When I was in my early 20s a friend re-taught me and I haven’t looked back since!

  10. Elizabeth Newman

    My Nan taught me, before I started school, so I could make things, hat & scarf, for my teddies. We also had to do knitting and sewing in school.I’ve never stopped since 🙂

  11. Amy

    I learnt at primary school,where we made dish cloths to sell, that was all I could do: a plain garter square or rectangle so when I was bored of dishcloths I made a bigger rectangle & Mum sewed it into a pencil case for me (& added buttons too!). That was the end of my knitting adventure until last year when I learnt how to knit ‘proper’. I love it! And I’m always learning something new.

  12. Nikki Pierce

    ooh – I was reading this thinking ‘I must buy this book’ and then get to the end and see there is a chance to win it! wow! It looks like a fabulous book – thanks so much for bringing to my attention. Perhaps you could do a follow-up post knitting something from the book with the Planet Penny cotton!

    Nikki x

  13. Jenster

    Of course my Mum taught me to knit, it must have been a very early age, I can’t really remember learning, I have just always knitted, don’t know what I would do without it in my life. I helps me to de-stress, chill out and relax x

  14. knitnrun4sanity

    I really love the pattern on the blanket. I think that the mat will look really great in your lovely bright colours. I really look forward to hearing about your trip tomorrow 🙂

  15. Suky

    Taught as a child by my Grandmother, didn’t do much after my children got past the baby stage but the birth of a 3lb granddaughter spurred me on and I have knitted constantly for the last 2 years.

  16. Free Spirit Designs

    Oooh what a lovely looking book! I loooooove the footstool 🙂 I completely agree with you about the feel of a book being important and a nice mat finish is lovely.

    I would so love to be able to knit… its one of those things that i’ve not found the time to learn yet, although i know i will one day… a book like this would be a great inspiration to get me started! x

  17. CatkinJane

    I love the knitted lavender bags 🙂
    My grandmother tried to teach me to knit, she was a whizz who even knitted my mother a fantastic coat and dress in a fine Arran style. All I ever remember finishing though was a rather smart navy polo neck for my lovely old ted!

  18. Sam Braid

    I started knitting at the age of 8ish after spending a week with my Gran. I spent the week making a very long thin scarf in suitably reto 70’s colours for my Grandad! Years later, when clearing out my Grandads belongings, after his death, I found it carefully folded in a draw. It was a lot later on in life that I learned how to crochet – when my mum taught me the basics of a granny square. Now I have two boys of my own and I have taught them both the ways of the sticks and hook.

  19. Tricia

    I don’t remember who taught me to knit, but my first knitting memory was sitting on my bunk bed with yarn, needles and a pattern that I had bought with my pocket money. My mother was expecting another baby and I was determined that someone should knit something for it. I knitted mittens and was very proud that I figured out how to follow the pattern and make the ‘holes’ to thread the ribbon through to keep them in place, although I suspect my memory of perfect mittens is more wishful thinking than reality! I was nine when she was born – my fourth sister.

  20. Bev Newman

    Hi Penny what a beautiful book! Have given you a plug over on Facebook too. Mum started teaching me to knit when I was around 5, after she died when I was 7 various Aunties and both Nan’s took over and filled her formidable knitting shoes. I learned all sorts of things from them I still do now when I’m knitting 🙂

  21. Elizabeth

    Ooh how generous! I first got into knitting when I suffered hyperemesis when pregnant with my son. I was pretty much stuck at home and could barely read without being sick. The repetitive and creative nature of knitting held me together through that unpleasant time, my son’s premature birth, and my own post-natal depression. Now I am teaching other mums, some of whom are dealing with difficult things in their own lives.

    I hope you enjoy the projects, I love the table mat too!

  22. Natalie Jones

    I was looking at that book in a magazine so it’s good to hear its as good as it looks! I was taught to knit by my Mum but my Nan was also a great knitter and she got me out of many a pickle! I can remember knitting a stripey jumper for my Mum for christmas, with Nans help, when I was about 11 years old.

  23. Zoe Coggon

    My Mum bought me a beginners kit called Knitterbugs when I was 8 or 9. I learnt to knit squares and sewed them together to make juggling bags. I still keep my needles in the drawstring knitterbugs bag today, more than thirty years later!

  24. wendy

    I love that little square drawer hanger! But I’m not a knitter, my knitting projects never really got finished so I kinda gave up on the idea! The blogging thing sounds intriguing – I’m also off to London soon for a blog/Pinterest thing, just looking up trains at the mo!!

  25. Pam

    I learned the basics at school aged 7-8 but Mum taught me to knit simple jumpers. No patterns at first, just gave me a rough idea of shaping and then left me to it. This was a great way to learn, however, it does mean that I find it difficult to follow a pattern – I have to change it in some way every time!

  26. RosMadeMe

    I started knitting at five, my mother was always knitting, usually an Aran sweater with the attendant muttering when a cable shot off in the wrong direction. I was desperate to make one and made my first Aran cardie when I was 10 and still have it (I have a piece of knitting from every decade of my life). Mind you if I made a mistake and my mother or sister corrected it, I had to rip it back and redo it myself.

  27. Ginny

    Some of the projects in that book do look fab. Just shows you don’t need to mix loads of colours to knit something lovely. My mum must have taught me to knit, although I have to admit I don’t have huge memories of learning. I did knit quite a lot as a teenager, and as a student, and have a memory of desperately knitting a Guernsey jumper in about a week to wear on a geography field trip when I was a student. I got restarted recently when my mum gave me her stash of wool.

  28. Gertie

    Lucky you for getting to review such a brilliant book. I love the chair cover and the cable throw.

    I was taught to knit by my mam when I was about nine or 10. Though she did have her work cut out as she’s right handed and I’m left, so my knitting style is rather unusual….

  29. Cassiefairy

    I have only ever tried knitting once, while I was at university, but at the time it wasn’t very “trendy” so I gave it up pretty quickly! I really want to get back into knitting and have been rummaging through carboot sales for needles and odd balls of wool… Wish me luck! 😉

  30. Louise @Elsie May and Bertha

    I saw this book first in the latest issue of Mollie Makes and I thought it looked interesting but wanted to find a more indepth review. And here it is! I, too, like the idea of the circular mat. There’s always loads of circle patterns for crochet (my crocheting ability is minimal) but not for knitting. This book will be going onto my would like to buy list.

  31. Adaliza

    Mum taught me, although I don’t remember learning. I was very young – 5 maybe? Mum’s knitting was amazing – so even. I used to love her Needlewoman magazines with pictures and really challenging patterns – I still have them but gave up knitting clothes when my kids grew too big for a 4 ball jumper!

  32. Fran

    I have been noticing more and more ideas about for knitted chair covers etc and really love them…think I might just have to get a copy of this…thanks for the review

  33. Leslie Ann Cambridge

    My grandmother taught me to knit before I started school! When at school and everyone else was grappelling with Garter Stitch Scarves I was knitting a lacy layette for my life size baby doll! But I am still learning new techniques and stitches thanks to the internet! You are never too old to learn something new!

  34. Chris Gill

    My grandmother taught me when I was about 7 years old ( the resulting knitting was so tight it almost needed pliers to get it off the needles) and I’ve never really stopped for over 50 years, which makes me feel ancient. I have managed to sort out the tension issue in that time!

  35. Helen

    Oh wow what a gorgeous book! I love looking at handmade things for the home, although I lack the confidence to attempt many of them!I remember being taught to knit by my mum when I was a little girl. She used to knit alot and I wanted to copy her! I didn;t learn to crochet until I was much older tho as no-one in my family did it.Looking forward to teaching my own children now!

  36. Pennie

    I’d love to win this. I started knitting at an early age. I watched other people doing it and thought it couldn’t be that difficult so taught myself. I’m rarely without a piece of knitting over 40 years later.

  37. Gemma

    My nan taught me how to knit and make pom poms when I was very young… I still love knitting, especially as I have a little daughter who I’m currently knitting a cuddly bunny rabbit for! She knows mummy loves to knit and calls my needles my ‘knit knits’!

  38. Rosie Mickhaiel

    Hey Penny!

    My mother got me into knitting when i was an young teenager but due to 6th form stress and then university i haven’t been able to do much of it! I finish my degree in a month and vow to spend the summer knitting, crocheting, sewing, tie dying, mosaic-ing THE LOT! This book looks fab!

    Rosie xo

  39. Joanne brown

    My mum taught me when I was 6 and I knitted until my teens when I stopped as it wasn’t cool! Picked up the needles again when I became pregnant with twins 5 years and was on bed rest and haven’t stopped since. I am the one now teaching my mum new techniques.

  40. Emma

    I’ve been looking at this book since it came out and decided today to bit the bullet and get it – then I saw this so I may leave it a bit and see if I can be lucky enough to win it 🙂
    I have been able to knit a scarf since I was about 11 or so but I didn’t start knitting properly until last year (I’m now 40). It has become a bit of a life saver, keeping me calm when everything around me has been chaos, and I am utterly addicted to yarn, I think there should be a self help group for it!

  41. Naomi

    I started knitting 2 years ago. Had many relatives and friends of the family try to teach me when I was younger but I wasn’t interested (although I did crochet) then decided a couple of years ago that I wanted to learn so taught myself with the help of a ‘Stitch’n’Bitch’ book 🙂

  42. Peeriemoot

    That does look quite nice – I have this weakness for knitting books.. A lady called Annie Manson taught me to knit – we learned at school and a lot of us were fairly disinterested so it can’t have been a bundle of laughs for her, but she was very patient and it’s surprising the things she got us knitting. Thanks to her my first project was not a boring garter stitch scarf but a rather groovy green garter stitch rabbit wearing a purple dress (my colour choices of course). Two years later she had us knitting little Fair Isle pouches on dpns, which I think is pretty good going!

  43. Cybele

    It was only when I started teaching knitting and crochet that I thought about when I learnt to knit and crochet myself, and I realised I don’t remember a time not being able to knit. When I was 10, I had a skating accident and had my arm in a sling for three weeks without being able to knit. It was dreadful! On my mum’s side, all the family is creative – my grandmother died when I was 12 but in my memory she was always knitting and sewing. My mum is a keen knitter, and my two aunts sew and paint. And my 11yo is now showing an interest in sewing…

  44. Carol Buckley

    Gran and Mum taught me to knit, but I only really took it up again about 4 years ago after a lapse of around 30 years. Thank goodness I did I feel it keeps me safe form sad during the winter months, and sane all year round!

  45. greenrabbitdesigns

    What a gorgeous book? 🙂
    I was taught to knit by my aunt and I come from a generation where knitting was still taught at school but I suppose I ever really got into it until I was about 18 and I became an aunt to my first niece! I adored making little pink baby clothes. 🙂
    Vivienne x

  46. Kate Haslett

    My mum originally taught me when I was about 9, but all I managed was triangles (they were supposed to be squares!), so my cousin taught me to crochet instead…far easier, only one loop at a time! I went back to knitting 2 children later, as mum was no longer around to knit for them. I’ve since done several scarves,many squares and have almost finished my largest knitted thing, a cardie for youngest daughter, complete with raglan sleeves and pockets!! Still find crochet easier!! Kate

  47. Sara Boon

    My mum taught me to knit aged 8. I then went on aged 24 to study knitwear design at Uni for 3 years and loved every year.

    There is not a day goes by that I do not knit and my dissertation was about knitted home interiors back in 1997.

    The book looks so lovely great photography and knitting.

  48. Oonagh

    I taught myself to knit as a child from a penguin book! I can remember knitting clothes for my Sindy doll! Sadly my knitting needles were put aside when I discovered the sewing machine and my passion is sewing soft furnishings.
    Recently I have been teaching my daughter how to knit and so knitting has come back onto my radar. But this book would definitely inspire me to actually pick up the knitting needles for myself. I love the textures, especially the raspberry mat!

  49. Carrie

    I sort of learnt at junior school when I was eight, we had to knit a dishcloth from some fluffy white yarn. I started off with 36 stitches and ended with 72 and a big hole in the middle! Then I was on holiday with my Nan, who was an expert knitter, and thought I wanted to learn properly. Nan lent me a book, and I learnt from that, and have been knitting ever since! (and then did the same with learning to crochet)

  50. Mrs. Micawber

    My big sister taught me to knit … once when I was a child and again after we had grown up. Most of the crafty things I do I learned from her. 🙂

    I love that little footstool cover from the book.

  51. Simmi

    What a great looking craft book! I don’t knit (yet!) but I could be persuaded by this book, it looks gorgeous! My Mum is a great knitter and I know she would love this book, so if I won it, I would give it to her as a present (and hope that she’d make me stuff from it!) Simmi x

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  53. joy adderson

    hi penny luv your blog everyweek realy look forward to recieving it on sunday. i have been knitting ever since i can remember making dolls clothes and also jumpers for me and family etc. also socks for grandad when he was with us. i have 2 grandsons now and am hoping they want to knit. we will see. luv joy

  54. linda

    Beautiful book and great give away. I have been knitting since my 30’s from a friend made a scarf and got addicted now I knit for charity and friends and of course my little puppy.

  55. jane armstead

    An older friend of my mothers taught me how to knit, her name was Mary and she was left handed like me. I spent hours with her while I learnt to knit my first jumper. It was a lovely experience as she told me all about her early life in service. Much better than ‘upstairs downstairs’! Thank you Mary Dobson.

  56. lin

    From the review, this sounds like a great book. I have been knitting for 30 yrs and still learn something new each day. I knit for charity which gives me great pleasure. Thank you lin

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  58. Linda

    I learned to knit by way of the telephone. Many years ago (before computers and cell phones with cameras) I was at home with a new baby, born much too soon. My friend, a fabulous knitter, was at home recovering from surgery. I told her how I wished that I could knit something for the baby. She said for me to get my needles and yarn and call her back. After several attempts and long phone conversations, I was knitting!

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