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Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting - Book Review & Giveaway!

**The giveaway is now over, so comments are closed! -E**

If you read my post yesterday about my contribution to Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting, you'll already know that this is one book I've been eagerly anticipating for years! My mom too...she's been asking me when it will be coming out since I first told her about it in 2007. After a year or two of asking, I think she started to think I was making it up. Well guess what? The wait is over...it's finally out!


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look mom! it's totally real! (you can tell because it has a shadow)*


A little review of the book:

The book is broken down into three sections, all of which are pretty darned awesome. (If you want a peek at the Table of Contents you can find it over here.)

The first bit (and when I say "bit" I really mean "whopping 114 page chunk") covers a variety of more advanced knitting techniques. It starts simply with stripes and before you know it you've passed through slipped stitches, tubular knitting, and double knitting. There are whole chapters devoted to intarsia, stranded knitting, cables, lace, embellishments, and even a catch-all chapter with lots of other useful stuff. Like 16 pages of cast ons/cast offs. Debbie does not mess around...when there are multiple ways to do something she gives you a whacking great selection to choose from so you can find what works best for you. I approve.


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Pullovers! Tulip Top, by Laura Grutzeck - love! l adore the texture and applied i-cord bow. the colors rock too. Nip/Tuck sweater, by Lien Ngo - adorbs! fantastic pin-tuck-esque bib detail and fluttery sleeves.*


The second part of the book (46 pages or so) is all about designing sweaters. In this section Debbie walks us through four different types of sweater construction and makes the whole thing seem ridiculously straight-forward. And I'm saying this as someone who has dipped her toe into the waters of sweater design and run straight back to the mitten pool. The page addressing how to evenly space X increases (or decreases) over Y rows is worth the price of admission alone.


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Cardis! Crush shrug, by Alyssa Carlberg - a great little bolero. perfect for pairing with a high-waisted skirt. Coco cardi, by Ruthie Nussbaum - check out those sequins! so fabulous.*


The last part is the pattern section. I'll be honest...knowing that the book was delayed for a few years...I had mentally prepared myself for the pattern section to feel a little dated. So I was totally surprised by the sheer quantity of awesome. Being the selfish knitter that I am, the patterns I picked to show off in this post are the ones I want to knit for myself. Yum.

Who knows exactly why this book has taken so many years to finally make it to press...it doesn't really matter. After seeing the final product it's pretty obvious that DS took the time she needed to do a fabulous job with it. Good for her.


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Accessories! Saxon the City stockings, by Julia Frank - knit on size 8s, these chunky beauties might even keep me warm in my freezing office this winter. Gretel Tam, by Ysolda Teague - I never got around to knitting this classic. Better late than never!*


Here's the Giveaway Part!

Want to win a copy of Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting? This book is all about taking your knitting up a notch, so leave a comment on this post telling me about the most challenging thing you've ever knit...or attempted to knit. Do you have a cabled nemesis that still lurks in the bottom of your knitting basket? Did you conquer a fantastically complex lace shawl? Maybe you've just finished your first scarf and it just about killed you. I can't wait to hear about it! Everyone is welcome to enter...no worries if you've never commented here before. Three (3!) copies are up for grabs, courtesy of Debbie Stoller and Workman Publishing!


The Normal Contesty Details:
Only one entry per person, please. International entries are encouraged...Workman Publishing said they will mail internationally (thanks)! I will close the contest at 11:59pm EST, Friday, November 5, 2010. The winning entries will be chosen using a random number generator. Good luck!


Ok, one more fun fact about this book...
My Aunt Nancy calls it "Stitch 'n Hmm" because she doesn't use bad language. So cute. Cracks me up every time I think about it.


*all photos courtesy of Debbie Stoller/Workman Publishing


**The giveaway is now over, so comments are closed! -E**

Comments

I can't wait for the new stitch n bitch book. They're actually how I taught myself to knit about 8 years ago. So, the most challenging thing I've ever knit is a cabled sweater. And lace is something that I don't do very often, but need to practice more.

Thanks for the giveaway! Can't wait to check out the new book no matter what.

hmmm, complicated knitting. i started some intarsia legwarmers as a third (or something like that) knitting project. i didn't understand floats at all...and it is unclear whether the first one of the pair will even fit over my ankle. that WIP is languishing somewhere. love what i've heard about the tutorial section of this book, and man, those are some cute patterns! i'd love to win a copy (says this poor grad student -- no budget for knitting books these days)!

Actually, I'm getting ready to start my first stranded knitting project now - so I suspect that's my biggest challenge so far. Long ago as a new knitter, my third project ever was the knit bikini top from the first stitch n bitch book. With the intarsia.

Knit bikini tops and I don't go well together. :(

Wow- very cool- please add my name to the hat!

I think my biggest knitting challenge (so far) was my Kauni cardigan. After finishing it the first time, I was really unhappy with the neckline. I waited a while, gave it a lot of thought, and figured out a way to redo the neckline, giving it a V-neck and making it more flattering on me. It was a lot of work, but I'm so happy I did it. Afterwards, I really felt like the boss of my knitting, too!

I have tried and failed miserably at intarsia. I don't really like to talk about it.

The hardest thing for me was a properly fitted sweater. But I think I get it now. That book looks awesome!

I would love to win a copy. I have knit a variety of complex projects, including lace, lots of cables, colorwork, etc, but a recent challenge for me was to knit a sweater for myself out of laceweight yarn. It took a ton of determination to get through it.

Nearly ten years ago, pregnant with Thing One, I decided to knit a Norwegian snowflake-patterned sweater in fingering weight yarn. I did all but the sleeves before my water broke, and had a friend finish them for me. I never counted it as a success because I didn't finish it, so I challenged myself to knit lace- REAL lace, a few months ago. Huzzah! Success...and a new addiction. I'm dying to get my hands on this book for the techniques alone- 16 pages of cast on/off techniques?? I. Must. Read.!!

Oh, that's easy--the Drifting Pleats scarf by Lynne Barr. I had to give up after the third attempt--between the wacky pleat construction and using dpns on a knitted item that was technically flat, I just couldn't wrap my brain around it.

I recently finished a Citron shawl on which I knit with beads for the first time (I understand there is a section on this in the book you're giving away!) It was challenging, but so much fun. I also find it challenging to alter patterns to fit my petite frame. Sounds like this book would help with that too--would LOVE to win!

My most challenging knit so far was the bordeaux shawl, it was my first lace project so getting a hold of all the ssk and k2tog was a major challenged and I had to rip back about three times, but finally I did finish!

I love your mitts - I have a pair of the squirrels hibernating as we speak! But the most challenging by far (and far from complete) are my chuck mittens. I decided to turn Eunny Jang's Chuck's Cabled Socks into mittens. They are beautiful and they hurt my fingers to knit them but I WILL finish them one day!

I'd love to try a double knitting project. I've done small swatches but the thought of tackling a large one rather scares me. Thanks for the contest.

Argyle socks. Mostly because I could not find a real pattern for them and had to kind of wing it. This was in pre-Ravelry days!

I am an accessory/baby knitter at heart, so any actual garments are difficult for me. I'm knitting a cardigan right now that might be the end of me. There's just. so. much. stockinette.

I know, I'm a wuss :)

What an awesome giveaway!

The most complicated thing I ever knit was a full-sized (85ish" wingspan) shawl I designed/cobbled together on my own. I started knitting a rose-trellis pattern from the bottom point of a triangle shawl . . . then inserted a narrow border of bird's eye and centered it with a super-simple made-up leaf pattern, then edged it all with the fancy edging from the Mediteranean Shawl in Gathering of Lace. Figuring out how to make all the patterns work well together was pretty tricky (bird's eye increases more than 2 stitches per row, the way I did it - making a smooth triangle with the other two patterns that did only increase 2 stitches per row was ... fun), especially since I took no notes and did it all basically on the fly! I seem to remember at least one instance of unraveling a stretch of ~20 or so stitches down about 15 rows and re-working an entire section that wasn't to my liking . . . can't for the life of me remember why I didn't just rip it all out.

Yeah - International entries are encouraged... I want one sent to Norway :-)

My favourite part of knitting is learning new techniques. I hope I never run out of new things to learn...
Every new project I choose has alt least one new technique, so this book really sounds like it was written for ME :D
And the photos are beautiful!

Wow, that book looks A Maze Ing! It's SO on my Christmas wish list - I just hope I can get my hands on it over here in Germany...

My biggest challenge to date... Hmmmm my first-ever bigger-than-a-swatch knitting was a 60"x10" scarf with a four-strand cabled braid. Having been unable to find exactly the scarf I wanted to knit with exactly the cable I wanted, I "designed" it myself, cable and all. It was GORGEOUS, but not terribly challenging, per-se. I currently have Print o' the Waves on the needles... It's been there for a year! The problem is, I think the pattern hates me. I mean, it's not, as far as I can tell, terribly complicated knitting, but somehow every SINGLE time I pick it up, I get in a few rows then BAM I'm doing something crazy, the lace is off-kilter and nothing is right. Perhaps it's because of the newest addition to my family... Is the new SnB a good cure for a bad case of mommy brain?

I tried to knit some colourwork socks once (I'm not sure if they were fairisle or what - perhaps the fact i haven't a clue what the difference is between fairisle and other kinds of colourwork, or even what such other kinds are called, should have alerted me to a potential skill deficit...). Unfortunately I didn't account for the fact I was supposed to leave some slack in the floats, so I couldn't get the sock on. SAD is not the word. Stupid sock.

Reading the other commments I can see that barefoot rooster has had the same problem. I now feel slightly better, hurrah for therapy-via-giveaways!

Crossing my (international) fingers, the book looks great - thank you!

I've heard about this book on a couple blogs now, and each time it sounds better and better. Can't wait to see the section about sweater design. I'm working on a sweater design right now that I would say is the most challenging knitting I've done. It's not the knitting it up- it's the translating/sizing it for others that kills me. I'm sure this book would come in handy :)

Looks like a great book, I'd love to win a copy! So, the most challenging thing I've knit is without doubt the huge two color sweater I made when I was 15. The pattern was neither symmetrical nor repetitive, so I had to pay attention to the chart all the time. I still can't believe I actually finished it.

Wow, I already see 10 patterns I really want to start. Now! I guess the most complicated item I ever started was Isagers Summer In Tokyo - multiple colours and especially short rows in colour work. It is sleeping a bit now since I got shoulder problems, but I will definitely finish it. Oh, and once I knit myself a dress - it wasn't really complicated, but man, that makes for a lot of stockinette stitch. It was all wort it, though. My next two challenges will be steaking and something for my man... Oh, and finishing 12 more presents before Christmas...

The most challenging piece I've ever tried to knit? Well, for me it's been trying to knit stranded with alpaca yarn... It was slippery and I had difficulties getting a consistent tension. Now I've tried stranded knitting with more "woolly" yarn and it was at all that difficult.

I'd love to see if I could notch up my knitting with the new SnB book.

when i was just a beginner knitter, i made an argyle vest in intarsia for a friend's toddler and even resized it from an adult pattern. i still have no idea how i pulled that off.

The book looks really great. I used Debbie Stoller's first book to re-learn the basics of knitting and still turn to it sometimes for a refresher in certain techniques.

My most challenging knit: Autumn Leaves by Martin Storey. It's the cover pattern on Rowan 40. I took me a couple of months just to assemble all the different yarns and beads and whatnot. It took me 11 months to knit (taking breaks of a few months when I got too frustrated). After I knit the back and the first side of the front, I discovered they didn't match, and ended up frogging and re-knitting one of the pieces.

But it's done, and I freaking love it.

Yay, this book looks awesome! I would love to win a copy!

I am actually in the middle of my most challenging knit yet - double knit mittens. First I screwed up the cast on a few times. Then once I got past that, I kept messing up the chart. Ripped out again, and with plentiful use of stitch markers, I now have one completed mitten and am eager to cast on for the next! (Also just learned magic loop for this project too!)

I'd love a copy of the book! The most complicated thing I've attempted is my Wanda cardigan, complicated further by the fact that I changed the cable pattern.

Oh, I guess the most challenging thing I've ever attemptet- not counting the countless stole shawls I have started and frogged because I've made them toooo wide- would be the latvian garden baby blanket by the needle lady on ravelry.(http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-blanket-latvian-garden)
Not that the pattern is particurlarly difficult, but because of the size of the thing. The first pattern repeats went swift away, but halfway through the thing things started to work up s l o w l y. Now I have dedicated my time to christmas gift knitting instead and hopefully I will be able to finish it before next summer. I am making it for my sister when she eventually gets to making that baby she wants, I'm just planning a bit ahead of, um her.

Of knits actually finished the most challenging one was the Laminaria shawl. I wear it every day. Love it!

Sissel, Norway

I finished Jarod Floods Hemlock Ring blanket not long ago and it was a daunting task. It took forever!!! I had set it aside so many times because every other row you just keep increasing until you have a million and one stitches. I didn't think it would ever end.

Finally when I did finish it, it turned out gorgeous. Then I gave it away to a co-worker and everyone at my knit group dropped their jaw to the floor because I gave away such a beautiful project, for free.

I think for me the book would be a great help as I too design (published twice so far) and have been dying to start making sweaters but didn't know where to start.

And yay for you to finally have your book!

That is an easy one for me. For some reason I still have Cherry Fizz in my knitting bag 20% done. I love it, but for some reason found it hard to memorize the pattern. The new S & B book looks fabulous. Thank you!

The most challenging thing i knit was Rowan's
Baby Bea Sweater. It was the first time i knit from a chart and the decreases almost gave me knitting rage. But in the end it is one of my favorite knits.

Great review, thanks. Challenging knit? Probably the aran sweater I made for my then-boyfriend (now husband) almost 20 years ago. I was a relatively new knitter and I had NO IDEA what I was doing. The cable and pattern parts went slowly but fine - it was the shoulder and neck shaping that did me in. But I got it done, and he's still around too!

My kids call it "Stitch and you know what..." I'm always up for a challenge so stitch patterns aren't usually an issue but I do take on projects with crazy deadlines. Last year in March I was asked to knit 4 shawls for the bridesmaids in my brother's wedding. Finished with about 2 weeks to spare but I developed an eye twitch from the stress. They turned out beautifully though, if I may say so. Thanks for the contest!

I too learned to knit from the first book! After years of starting and stopping, that book made all the difference - it was the cute little pictures of the stitches sitting the right way on the needles I think... Anyway, the hardest thing I ever knit was my first cabled sweater. I couldnt follow charts yet and wrote out every single line.

You know, it was the SnB books that first got me really into knitting, so I'm excited about this new one!

I'm actually wearing my most challenging project ever today. It's the Ivy League Vest from IK. It was my first colorwork garment and the first time I ever cut a steek -- eek!

So excited about this book! The most difficult thing I ever knit was a fairly complicated lace stole...I just dove right in never even have read a chart! I finished and love it! I've never done any colorwork so hopefully Debbie can teach me a thing or two about that!

Your aunt Nancy sounds almost as cute as that sequinned cardigan.

I think the most challenging thing I ever knit was a Phildar cardigan that had a tedious all over stitch pattern and some notions that I scoured the earth for. In the end it looked hideous on me and ended up in the garbage.

Most complicated thing I've ever attempted was an intarsia baby blanket. There were something like 25 bobbins for each row. Ended up in the frog pond fairly quickly.

I haven't met a challenge yet that wasn't much easier when actually done! The most intimidating technique I've tried is steeking, so instead of doing my first steek on an adult sized sweater, I practiced first on a baby's sweater done in acrylic. I figured if I can do that, then doing my sweater in wool should be a breeze!

The hardest thing I ever knit wouldn't be so bad now that I'm a much more experienced knitter. But my second sweater was the fabulous Rogue and I thought the cabled hood was quite tricksy. It is such a great pattern and really taught me a lot about sweater construction!!

I learned to knit with help from my sister's copy of "Stitch'n'Bitch", but have yet to get my own. However, I'm past the basics, now, and something like this book sounds perfect!!

Probably the most challenging thing I've knit so far is my first sweater: I started it about a month and a half after starting to knit, and decided that knitting in pieces was for chumps, so I adapted the Central Park Hoodie to be knit in one piece. Thanks to my sister, and an article in Vogue magazine that taught me to do seamless set in sleeves, I powered through most of the sweater.

Then I hit a brick wall, one button band from the end. Suddenly I got picky about yarn, and realized that I absolutely HATE the Briggs and Little Softspun I chose to make the sweater out of! The sweater's been shoved here and there for over a year now as I've ignored it and made so many other things. Maybe some day I'll finish it....

Like many others, the original Stitch n Bitch book taught me how to knit. I even had the chance early in my knitting career to meet Debbie Stoller and have her sign it! What an inspiration! My hardest project would have to be my reversible cable stole in mohair, which has been frogged and is patiently waiting to be cast on!

Oh, for sure it was the Baby Uhl, pink and black,intarsia KNIT TO SCALE (size one needles) of a piano keyboard. It was a labor of love for my niece but a really marathon and challenge.

Colorwork does not come easily to me, so my thoughest knitting project has been Norwegian mittens!

The most challenging knitting project that I gave up on since it wasn't working out to my liking was attempting to make my dad thrummed mittens for Christmas last year.

The most challenging knitting project that finished was EZ bottom up raglan using the percentage system for my niece. It was challenging since it was my first bottom up sweater and I end-up re-knitting the neckline about 5 times until I was satisfied with it.

The book looks amazing and your mittens look very good too.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I have a fear of felting...I've had a hat knitted and ready to felt for 2 years now. It's red-one of my fave colors and I adore hats-I just can't bring myself to toss it into the machine to shrink, then attempt to shape into a proper hat. The instructions say to find a bowl the same size as your head-which is another block for me because I can only picture myself in the kitchen "trying on" all of the bowls to see which is a perfect fit! I realize I could just measure my head and then measure the bowls, but that seems sort of like cheating. :)

Wow, those patterns look amazing! I would say that my biggest challenge, when it comes to knitting, is socks. Tiny needles! Making a linear tube turn a 90 degree angle! The horror! I am currently trying to face my fear (mostly because my feet are always cold).

I'm with your Aunt Nancy on the Stitch n' Hmm :D
The most challenging thing that I've ever knit was a pair Pomatomus socks...which wasn't that challenging. I'm ashamed to say that I stay on the safe side. Thanks for the giveaway!

I am always trying to challenge myself with my knitting projects. I think up to this point it the Que Sera sweater by Kristin Kapur. I love the pattern. It was my first trip into lace work. I will finish it one day, but for now it has been push to the back burner until I get all my Christmas knitting done.

My Modern Selbu was such a challenge! And here's how proud of it I was when I finished: I wove in all the ends and immediately blocked that baby.

Runners up: The Quincy hat from Jared Flood's Brooklyn Tweed pamphlet -- any instructions that have me blindly following directions with the hope that things will turn out OK are still a bit of a leap for me

Bohus socks from Color Style (still in process! I just need to finish the colorwork section on the second sock, and then it's peasy!)

A Wrap-Around sweater that was my third sweater project ... with seaming!

Super excited about this book -- given how my knitting skills have improved since 2007, I'm super psyched.

My biggest challenge was a stranded yoked Lopi sweater. It was my Ravelympics project, and my first stranded FO. And I finished in the alloted time for gold, yay!

Right now I'm really struggling with the Turkish cast on for a pair of baby slippers. My brain just isn't getting it, probably because I'm trying to do it with only 4 stitches.

My second knitting project (after a giant garter stitch afghan) was going to be a lace shawl out of KidSilk Haze. It took me forever to even get the thing cast on and then I made it about three rows in and already it was holey mess. It's now in tangled mess at the bottom of my knitting box.

everything i knit is difficult! i always start something, get distracted for months, come back to the project and have to totally revamp it because my knitting has "grown up." i still have at least seven projects on needles waiting to be completed and i only knit in wintertime!

I have a great number of finished knits, but I don't know if any of them are "challenging"! Maybe I just got better over the years. Of the unfinished, I have knit most of the Balthazar Cardigan by Wendy Webster in Rowan 22 - both fair isle AND intarsia eleven colours, begun in 1999. I just need to commit myself to finishing it, but I ran out of steam about 8 years ago.

The second or third legit project that I ever made was the Bowie Bag from the first Stitch 'n Bitch book. This was way in the distant past when the internet wasn't the encyclopedia of knitting that it is today, and I didn't know ANY other knitters. I had no idea that fair isle was challenging, I just knew that I liked the bag so I should make it. I spent months working away at it, only to have it come out too narrow because my floats were too tight. A year later I finally met some knitters and when I told them about the Bowie Bag they kind of lost it. "THAT was one of your first real projects?! Fair Isle?!" they yelled.

It was definitely my most challenging knit, and way too advanced for me at the time, but I'm really glad I didn't have anyone around to tell me it was hard. All I had was the voice of Debbie Stoller telling me to just try it out!

I did a plain stockinette sweater. It tool almost a year. The sheer volume of knitting was almost unbearable, but the technique wasn't hard. I'm currently working on a fair isle hat. I find the color composition challenging. I always second guess myself when I start a new chart.

I spent all summer making a patchwork baby blanket using Jan Eaton's 200 knitted blocks. It was my first experience with colorwork and lace, and despite having to pull out uncountable rows, I finally finished it the night before the baby shower!

Usually I gravitate to mindless stockinette projects. The challenge there is getting something that fits perfectly! Technique-wise, the hardest project I've knit is a fair-isle baby sweater with steeks.

my biggest challenge was the swallowtail shawl, which was my first time knitting (k)nupps,and laceweight knupps at that! I love the final result, but those rows with the knupps were some seriously slow going, and you know how epic the stitch count gets with shawls! naturally this was the project I brought on my honeymoon... nothing like ignoring the shimmering turquoise water and palm trees in favour of focusing on knupps like your life depended on it...

I'm really intrigued by this book- there are some techniques listed in the table of contents that I definitely don't feel solid on, like stranded knitting and beading. And How awesome are the red beret and stocking patterns?! I'm seeing some awesome stuff here.

I've done some fair isle that I've been pretty proud of. I've also been doing some lace scarves that I'm also proud of as well.

My biggest personal challenge is still in the planning phase after a couple of failed attempts. I want to make a round yoked cardigan with either a garter or colorwork yoke. Haven't yet found a pattern with increases that turn out the way I wish so I keep on trying!

I think stranded knitting is so beautiful and, every time I try it, I think, this time will be different. It never is! I just can't get the hang of it. Oh well. I have plenty of other types of knitting to keep me busy.

I recently completed my first steeked project - it was a huge fair isle shawl knit in the round and then cut straight up the middle. By the time the whole thing was done it was over 8 feet long! Definitely the biggest (literally) challenge to date.

I recently knit a pillow with colorwork on the front. It was mostly just good ol' fair isle, but a few rows required three colors. It's not a design choice I would have made, but it was definitely a challenge to figure out how to keep my tension consistent.

The most challenging thing I ever knit was a cardigan that never fit and was finally frogged. I have the hardest time because I never have the right yarn despite what my gauge swatches seem to say. The latest mishap was a Hallowig that is child sized, which does not fit my adult sized noggin ... and I thought it was going to be too big. *sigh*

I knit a mystery lace shawl that nearly killed me. I'm still begging complete strangers to wear it around so it can get lots of use!

The most challenging thing I've made (am making) is really just a simple garter stitch scarf, but it's on size 3 needles, made out of yarn that appears to be spiderweb weight, and I've got to cast on/cast off every 5 rows, so there's counting involved, too!

Sweaters! They elude me. I have started 2....and they are both just hanging out, waiting, ever so patiently. Mostly because I want to do bust darts and I can't/don't want to figure them out. This book looks like a good tool to add to the library!

I love SnB book. It's the book that taught me how to knit some years ago.
The most complicated thing I've knit is a lace shawl which I kool-aid dyed after.

I'm currently knitting a Liberty Throw (from the second Mason-Dixon book), which is big, heavy, stranded and steeked. the worst part is that I twisted my join, and didn't notice for a good 25 or so rows (the point where it started to interfere with the knitting). Instead of frogging the whole thing, I cut the first part of the steek so I could make it straight, and kept knitting. The cut knitting is holding up surprisingly well, which is good, since I estimate at least another year to finishing and applying the edging.

the most challenging thing i ever knit was my first pair of socks. I finished a year later only to find of course that they were too small for my daughter. We found a friend to give them too though....

I just finished knitting Blush on Ravelry! It's the first wearable piece I've finished that I've actually worn and it was my first forray into stranded knitting. I was terrified when I started but it ended up being super easy!

Intarsia, intarsia, intarsia. I tried to start small with mittens but got so tangled up I have never gone back.

I'm slowly but surely tackling Venezia by Eunny Jang. I'm doing the swatch which isn't as scary as I thouht. For the longest time I've wanted this pullover but the just looking at the process scared me. Still I forge ahead, so far so good.

The most challenging thing I've ever knit was a relative challenge -- after only knitting lace patterns on socks, I decided to try my hand at a lace shawl and chose Laminaria.

I learned how to read my knitting, how to use a lifeline, how to block lace..what an experience! I remember finally unpinning the shawl and falling immediately in love.

I've always been intimidated by color work. I always seems like I get loose or tight tension and holes.

I knitted a Meg Swansen vest, in the Philosopher's Wool stranding technique (catching the yarn behind on every stitch), steeked it, knitted half the double attached i-cord edging with the help of amazing teacher Amy Detjen, and then stopped. Halfway to the finish line. Don't you think I'd like to show off that steek? It needs a resurrection.

i tried to knit the ninebark cowl from knitscene (at least i think it was knitscene, i'm at work and the effing magazine it at home stuffed under the couch cushion where it can never hurt me again). it was to be my first colorwork project. of course, i should blame myself for realizing that this was far more than i was ready for, but lifted up by the group of knitters in my LYS who assured me i could do it, i made a valiant attempt.

to show for my valiant attempt at colorwork in the ninebark, i now how a lovely sleeveless sweater with a grey body and maroon cowl. that's right. i ripped the colorwork out THREE times before considering it a strikeout and just knitting a plain cowl. sign.

hmm! i'd say so far the biggest challenge is designing my own sweater! i hear you on the x increases over the y rows and believe me I have wanted to run screaming to the hills! I am SO excited Debbie has create a no-nonsense book to tackle that!

I think the most challenging thing I have knit is my Noyaux dress. The knitting wasn't difficult, the lace pattern of the skirt is straight forward, so why was it challenging? Decreasing within the lace pattern (while maintaining the lace pattern) was the hardest thing I've done with knitting. (It made me feel better to notice on Ravelry that others had difficulty with this task while knitting Noyaux as well!) It was all worth it, my dress is one of my very favorite knits to wear.

Congrats, it must feel great to have a pattern in a published book! As for your question, I am currently making a custom sweater for my boyfriend; he specifically asked me to put a cabled tree on the back. A tree! Made of cables! I found a charted tree but I'm having to make adjustments to size it up, and it's daunting but fun (and it's working out!).

Goodness this looks like a great book! I would certainly love to win one. And my answer to the most difficult thing I've ever knit question is super-easy. An intarsia rug from Knitter's Stash. The people who designed that rug specialize in intarsia and are the ones who taught me how to do it but my goodness those tangly balls of yarn were just too much for me! (although I did finish the rug!)

This book looks great!I've made several cabled projects, but only a few lace ones. Really simple ones. And I'm looking forward to trying colorwork next year.

Maybe this is just the book I need! My most frustrating project has been the continuing attempt at a February Lady Sweater. I CANNOT seem to get the thing to fit my body, no matter what I try!

My most challenging project...hmmm. I would say it is a tie between my very first sweater (for my Cabbage Patch Doll, Pamela) and a cabled V-neck sweater for my brand new baby boy, ALex. Pamela's sweater was a white pullover with a purple sailboat and purple/white striped ribbing on the cuffs and collar - pretty nifty for an 8 year-old, eh!? It took forever, with a few tears, but it was completed and Pamela looked smashing!
Alex' sweater was a challenge mostly because I was living in the haze of new motherhood! I would knit while he slept. I spent a lot more time frogging than knitting! It took me 6 months -luckily I made a 6-9 month size!
Yay for SnB, yay for published patterns, and yay for YOU!

My knitting nemesis is colorwork. I have a few fair isle mittens knit up to the thumb and discarded because I just can't seem to get the tension right! I just took a class at my LYS and think I might have it under control now - can't wait to try out my new skillz :)

The hardest thing I've ever knit was a shawl collar cardigan I designed for the bf. It had saddle shoulders, textured panels down the arms and fronts, and was steeked. It took me ~2 years to finish because I was so worried I'd done my math wrong and the now steeked sweater wouldn't fit.

The most challenging thing I ever attempted to knit were Brooklyn Tweed's Druid mittens. I even took a class, but I eventually gave up because knitting is supposed to be fun and that wasn't, at least for me. The rest of the class did fine. Now I'm knitting Blue Penninsula's Anita Caroline scarf, which is a challenge for me, but so far, so good.

The most challenging thing I've knit so far is a pair of socks. It took my several tries to make wearable socks and now I'm hooked! I love the original S & B book and this one looks fantastic.

The hardest thing I ever knit was the Onerva shawl. I decided to knit it as a Xmas gift for my mum, and I started it around September. Unfortunately, it was in Finnish, and before I learned shawl construction, so I spent two months completely befuddled! I tried it repeatedly, till a kind Raveler gave me tips on how to do it! :D

I really learned a lot from DS's first book, and I'd love to see what she's done with the new one. My most challenging project is a cardigan version of the famous Hourglass sweater with double-knit hems and button bands. Figuring out the shaping on the double-knit collar was too much for me, so it's in the deep freeze until a future date when I know more.

Yay! I've totally had this book on my wishlist for a long time. That is so exciting you have a pattern! I think you're squirelly swedish mittens have been in my queue awhile also.. this is just what i need to get my butt in gear!

I've knit multiple sweaters (including an aran), lots of colorwork mittens, and other tricky stuff, but I STILL can't do toe-up socks! I must have started 6 different ones and they're all still lying around here somewhere, hung up somewhere in the heel part.

Ooooh I'm so excited for this book! The most challenging thing I've knit was this lace Hanami Shawl. It is currently in permanent time out!

I just dabbled in the murky waters of creating my own pattern for a bearded hat (aka a balaclava). Four attempts at the eyepieces later, I gave up and went with something that looked a little wonky and didn't fit great, but was disguised by a bearded mustache. Now that's the way to go.

Well, the most challenging thing I've knit was most recent, the Hawthorne Shawl by Susanna IC on Twist Collective. It is so beautiful and intricate, so it took a lot of concentration (I don't do well with concentration), but fortunately I finished. And now I want to do another one!

A friend and I decided we would design and knit fancy lace gloves for two of our friends for Christmas last year. And we would each knit one hand of each glove. In theory, this was an awesome idea; in implementation, a year later, we still haven't finished these gloves. Someday!

I took a colorwork class years ago and created my own pattern for the colorwork. It would take me an hour to knit a row. That one beat me.

The most challenging thing as the Elizabeth Zimmerman Aran Sweater in the "Knitter's Almanac". I took up this challenge last year, with only 8 months of knitting under my belt. Boy, did I learn a lot about the craft through the completion of that project! :)

Last year for Ravelympics I knit one of the KnitPicks East Meets West satchels. It involved stranding, intarsia, steeking and lining. Most of the challenge was trying to get it done in a limited time span. Thanks for adding me to the giveaway!

Socks! I know it shouldn't be too difficult, but I have been trying to graft the toes of my first pair of socks for weeks now...not sure what I am doing wrong. (though a good part of that time I was on some serious pain meds from having surgery)Trying the grafting again tonight!

The most challenging thing I've ever knit are probably my Endpaper Mitts. They are the only fair isle I've ever done and I'm super proud of them, even if they are a little snug.

Your Herringbone Mittens! Except in fingering weight, so I had to expand the pattern and frog/reknit the tops several times to make them look right. My boyfriend still says they are the most beautiful thing I have ever knit.

Am Kamin - the sweater I knit twice. Difficult, then tragic, then wonderful.

The most challenging thing I have knit so far is a Fair Isle Couch (toy). Because it took so much work, I am going to keep it forever. You can see it here on this Ravelry link, http://ravel.me/oiyi/vc6k7 .

In my early days of trying to knit actual patterns-- everything was a challenge. I was one of those knitters that never checked gauge then was stunned when everything I knit was gigantic. I wasn't smart enough to figure that it was me and not the patterns for years.

what an awesome book! The hardest thing I ever knit was my first lace shawl. Actually, it doesn't even count because I got so stuck that I stopped! But then I picked a new pattern and off I went. But gosh, that thing nearly turned me off lace forever!

Print o' the waves stole was my first lace project and it was very difficult, but I love lace for its challenge and intricacy.

I think one of my biggest challenges is my lack of speed and my limited attention span. I can knit a nupp with the best of 'em, but give me miles of stockinette with an occasional increase or decrease thrown in and I'm over my head. Case in point, Patti (Rowan) is still goofing off at the bottom of my knitting basket. Beautiful yarn, beautiful pattern, slow knitter. My attention span is my own worst enemy...

I knit a Catriona by Debbie Bliss. It had some crazypants cables and was NOT easy. But it came out SO awesome, it was totally worth it. I am a total cable junkie. I even started memorizing a 26 row repeat and knit an extra repeat by accident!

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/KnitsMcGee/catriona

The most complicated thing I ever knit was probably lace. I mistakenly conquered this a little earlier in my knitting life so not knowing tricks like stitch markers for repeats and life lines made knitting the lace (and messing up) far more frustrating. Sadly, because of this experience, even though I'm a far more knowledgeable knitter now, I still kinda balk at the idea of lace.

Arggh! I know it's a cliche, but every sweater I've attempted is my biggest challenge. And I swatch! I need to work on other mods...shaping, measuring, etc.

I have about 6 inches of a fingering-weight colorwork vest done and once I got to the shaping I totally lost faith. I want to finish that one!

The book looks great! I have had your squirrely mittens queued forever, maybe this will be the push to finally make them (I even have yarn already).

The most challenging thing I ever knit was a hat with an argyle panel that I made for my boyfriend. He wanted an entire argyle sweater but settled for the hat. I used the colors of his family's tartan. It was a pain to use all the colors at once but he was very pleased in the end.

The most challenging thing I ever knit was my first lace scarf. I can't remember the title of it, but it was from interweave knits and it was for my mom. I remember that it had almost impossible instructions... something like knit 7 together. It was an estonian-esque kind of pattern. When it was done, I felt prepared to knit anything. It was quite a self-esteem boost because I was a beginner at knitting and I felt uninspired by most of the stuff I had knit. Ever since then, I've loved knitting lace.

Getting a sweater to be the right size is hard!

I am starting to do more fair isle and it's hard to get the color combo right sometimes.....

The book looks great!

My most difficult piece was a lace shawl that was originally written in a different language, then translated, and translated again before it reached English. There were lots of mistakes and this was early in the days of Ravelry...I had to eventually put it down and walk away. I finally finished it last year, with lots of help from a Ravelry lace group!!

My most challenging piece is Frost Flowers and Leaves. I got about 70% of it done and lost momentum. It has been on a timeout for 3 years.

I knit a very lacey and intricate (for me) leg warmer with tiny yarn on tiny needles. It was a huge challenge and turned out great...but I never made the second one.

I would love to have a copy of the latest stitch 'n' hmm :) book. My most challenging project was a Kaffe Fassett Turkish Carnation coat, knitted in one piece back to front, with at least two dozen different yarns to the pattern. It took me months of evenings to complete, counting stitch by stitch for the intricate pattern, but it was entirely worth it.

Mine is more of a general comment - I always get kicked in the butt with garmets: first sweater front and back didn't match, so I ripped and now too short. Second sweater held up by finishing. Top (orangina) front and back different lengths. Owl sweater too small. Now I'm working on Goodale and I forgot an entire increase section - 30 stitches too few! Urgh. I may just stick to hats and socks...

I've been looking forward to this book for so long!

The most challenging thing I've ever knit was a wedding afghan for my best friend's wedding present. It was definitely the biggest thing I've ever made - it was huge, but I absolutely loved the process and she and her husband were both thrilled with it!

I just tried colorwork for the first time. I knit my boyfriend a hat the "we call them pirates" hat on ravelry. It came out great - but was too small! So I used worsted weight instead of sport and a larger set of needles and the second version is perfect. He has barely taken it off!

so cool! i'm only a beginner knitter so this would be so awesome for technique! thanks for the giveaway!

This book looks great! I always get frustrated with my knitting and could always use more tips and tricks. My current nemesis is a long striped scarf knitted lengthwise!

I'm still trucking thru an Estonian shawl with what seems like eighty million NUPPS! One day it'll be done...

Thanks for the giveaway, love your blog!!!

-Jenn

I already have Debbie's crochet book and I'm sure this one will be just as good!
Gill

Sweater knitting is so scary to me! I've conquered lace, cables, colorwork- you name it. But the commitment of a sweater is terrifying! Thanks for the giveaway! I just love your mittens!

I remember I tried to do a lacy project, it was a cowl, and even though it was small, it took forever! And I was so excited about binding off, I didn't bother to read the proper lacy way to do it, and now I have a gorgeous lacy cowl that I can barely get over my head, bummer!

A few years ago I got involved in a shawl KAL...lace of course. Now picture me...a size 8-12 needle knitter, trying to use size 3 DP's to get the round started using the thinnest yarn I had ever used, let alone seen in my life! To add salt to the wound...it also entailed adding beads..using the smallest crochet hook I had ever seen, too! On top of this...no written out directions...just a chart! Well, to say the least, if you are not rolling on the floor laughing right now, you should be. I, to this day, have no idea where hubby put that project after the last time I threw it acroos the room and went to bed. But, dear thing that he is...he relieved me of the stress of ever copmpleteling THAT project! Talk about Stitch and !@#$%!!!!

I am drawn to complicated knitting. Lace, intarsia, shaped sweaters, fair isle-- I do it all. I have a baby sweater with a very challenging fair isle pattern sitting at the top of my knitting basket, mocking me. My baby's about to outgrow it, so I should probably finish it...

Oh, I love the stitch 'n bitch books! I have added this copy to my (long, long, loooooooooooong) wish list.
I would love to win a copy (and see if they really do ship international).

I know you're super mitten-y and all, but I attempted some colourwork mittens and they are the only thing that's still languishing in my WIP basket. The "braid" just about killed me. Probably because I was using teensy needles and worsted yarn. Yeah.

I would love to win this book. I need this and the "Son of" one to round out my collection. :D

the hardest thing i ever knit... i have forever stayed at the "easy" and "quick" project level so knitting the pinwheel baby blanket was a big project for me. the pattern is still easy, but it was a long-term project that i worked on while pregnant with my baby boy, and i thought of him with every stitch.

The most complicated thing I ever knitted was the Itty-Bitty Spider stole. It wasn't that it was hard to do; nothing in knitting really is, you just have to pay more or less attention. It was that making a mistake on this project usually meant I lost about 10 rows (length of my lifeline).

Oh yay! The first stitch & bitch book was invaluable when I picked up my knitting needles again after an extended (10 year) break. I'm currently wrestling with lace knitting. I started a wrap ages ago and gave up after far too many mistakes. I'm currently working on a big, beautiful shawl in Malabrigo lace, and I'm hoping it's going to work, since the yarn is so, so pretty!

I'm a novice knitter so anything more than a scarf or baby blanket is a challenge- I'd love to get better!

Well, it wasn't difficult, but it was a blanket that I swear took 3 years to make. I kept swapping in smaller projects :-)

You can thank your sister Rae for referring me over to your blog. I love knitting blogs and I'm happy to find another one to add to my Google Reader. :)

The hardest thing I've attempted was a lace wedding shawl for a good friend. I must have ripped and re-knit it three times before I got the hang of it, and that was before I got to the nupps! It turned out beautiful, however, and I still love to knit lace.

I would love to win this book! All of the pictures look really great! I've tried to do stranded knitting before, but ended up in a huge tangled mess.

I recently finished up a cabled sock that was almost the death of me!! Tons of tiny cables, gauge that just didn't want to cooperate, and needles that kept breaking - it was a nightmare! Thankfully the sock was a joint gift for a friend and I only had to make one (though I knit that one freaking sock a total of 3 times haha)

I've only ever knit one thing, a scarf and it was a challenge!!

My grandmother taught me one weekend and I sat there for my whole visit working away. It took me forever because I kept somehow adding stitches and had to tear out. In the end I did end up with a lovely scarf. I think it's about time I work on my knitting skills again.

Great book review! I will also come back to read the comments above because it seems very interesting to find out what other people find difficult! For me, it's always finishing. I've done, cables, lace, some colorwork but what I find difficult are joining pieces, avoiding holes, weaving in ends (with colorwork so that it still looks nice)! The books seems very very interesting! Congratulations for being part of it!

I think the first time I make something new, is a challenge. My first sock, first mittens, etc. The scariest thing was when my 3 year old son picked up an afghan I was knitting (over 250 stitches). He looked at me and said "Look mommy, WHEE!"

I became very good at picking up stitches...

I'm designing a lace sweater, my first, and I'm stalled at the sleeves. I love the body but I've gained about 10 pounds since I've started this so I'm hesitant about finishing.

Thank you for the giveaway.

I once tried a lace scarf. The nupps in the baby mohair/silk blend was nearly my undoing. I'm still trying to figure out another pattern to try with the (remaining) yarn.

The first stitch and bitch was the first knitting book I owned, given to me shortly after I learned to knit 5 years ago. I bought the second book a few months later when I absolutely HAD to knit the bunny baby hat.

I would love to have this book. Most difficult thing I have knit is a plain crewneck sweater talked though by EZ. I think some of these patterns would make a great next step.

The first SnB book taught me most of the knitting basics, so I'm happy to see DS coming out with another.

The hardest things I've ever knit were Pomatomus socks, which I made when they were beyond my skill level -- learned a lot from them; and Acorn Stash socks, a pattern by Anne Hanson. You knit 7-into-1. Ouch.

The most difficult thing I have tried so far is cabling. I'm working on the evangeline fingerless mitts and I love them! Next up: Eunny's Yangs endpaper mitts and maybe *gasp* a steeked cardigan. I have been waiting for this book for ages and can't wait to start knitting from it.

I think the most challenging thing I have knit is Cookie A's Pomatomus Socks. The biggest mistake I made was to attempt it as my very first pair of socks without realizing it's an intermediate pattern. It's also my first time to knit something lighter than chunky weight. Those small size 1.5 needles hurt my wrists. I finally gave them up after insisting for 20 rounds.

I was very discouraged and had avoid knitting socks until I saw another friend, who was also a beginning sock knitter, completed a pair of plain vanilla socks. I then understood choosing the right patterns I can work on is more important than picking something really gorgeous.

I think I've made some progress in terms of my sock knitting skills. I think I will try to challenge myself with Pomatomus again next spring after knitting a few pairs of socks.

Oh dear, I fear I'm a little boring when it comes to knitting. I think my most difficult project was felted baby shoes--at the time I didn't know how to "increase" a stitch and it took me forever to figure out! I'll never forget it now, though! :)

My most challenging knit was from Knitted Lace of Estonia. All those nupps!

Most complicated was definitely an Starmore cabled jumper many moons ago. I remember the single crosses, and I kept messing them up and having to tink back. Gah!

"Stitch n Hmm": HILARIOUS!

Most challenging thing I ever tried to knit was a gansey in Bartlett Sport (which feels to me like fingering weight, not sport). I got to the waist before I got distracted, and it still lingers on my UFO shelf, attached to its gigantic cone of gorgeous crimson yarn. Sigh.

It's so beautiful already that I want desperately to finish it... but it might take me longer than it took Debbie to finish this book!

The hardest thing I ever knit was the Fair Isle cardigan from Veronik Avery's Knitting Classic Style. It taught me how to do colorwork, steek, knit corrugated ribbing, and actually finish a huge daunting project that I never thought I could do. It's not a perfect sweater, but it kicked up my skill level really quickly, and I love remembering what it was like to knit it.
Thanks for the giveaway - some super cute patterns in there!

The most challenging sweater I ever tried to knit was The Sun by Marianne Isager. It was my first attempt at a sweater and beginner+intarsia+small needle sizes definitely don't mix well!! It's still sitting somewhere in the back of my closet....

I don't know about the most challenging knitting, but I finished the birdcage mittens last weekend while visiting my parents. They turned out lovely. Unfortunately my mother was so impressed with the pattern that she wanted to keep the mittens as a model. She is now knitting some pairs for Christmas.

My most challenging knit was a fair isle pattern hoodie for my husband... it still makes me irritable to think about it.

My challenge was socks..and dpn's.....I have finally worked my way thru and love making socks......right now I am challenging myself colorwork mittens.....I am having trouble keeping my tension...

Intarsia!--a mess.

My biggest challenge (at the time) was a pair of gloves - didn't know how they should look as I was going so they're a little short, but I'm stubbornly holding onto them until I make another pair.

I'm also knitting a doll & her accessories from a kit & pattern that I bought - very challenging, but the pieces are so little that they whip up quite quickly!

The hardest knitting I've tried has to be knitting sock yarn. The needles are so tiny! That cuff is languishing at the bottom of my knitting bag, maybe forever!

I am expecting a baby and instead of buying all the things on the <essential buys< and dcoration i ve decided to knit-croche a few toys (they are cuter) lace throws a mobile, a few clothes and storage boxes all eco yarn...my baby is due soon and is taking soo long...i havent finished half of the things I set up for :(

My biggest challenge would be to knit a bikini from cotton that stays where it is supposed to stay...on the body instead of in the big waves from the see. I think i would make it for my daughter now and not for myself because there is a limit to what you can wear when you get to a certain age. No, I don't have pictures from the incident...

Love reading your blog!
Renee (The Netherlands)

My most challenging knitting project was the lace vest I just finished. I started it on a whim after seeing a picture in a catalog, no pattern, not even ever seeing the original in person. After a few false starts it turned out exactly the way I pictured.

I have a history of jumping into surprisingly difficult projects because I didn't realize they were supposed to be difficult (Alice Starmore's St. Bridgid was the first sweater I ever finished) but I think Jenna Wilson's Eris was the most challenging thing I knit -- cables knit in short rows, changing every row? Totally awesome.

The most difficult? A cabled top-down hooded sweater (from the hood down) with cables that started on the hood edge and ran down and sideways to the armpit for a wrap effect. Lots and lots of ripping and short rows!

Socks! I have yet to finish a pair, but I am working on it!

The most challengeing for me was a cardigan i knitted my then boyfriend(we've been married 25 yrs), in 4ply yarn, skinny needles, and an allover basket-type stitch!! It was very slow to grow and deathly boring, but he wore it til it wore out.

I'd love a copy of the book ! I am very challenged by lace. I have to pat myself on the back though because even though I have only two shawls done (Forest Canopy's) I keep trying and trying. I'm determined to become a real lace knitter.

This is a great giveaway. Would love the book to expand skill set. The patterns look pretty darn sweet too!

My white whale was a beaded lace shawl from the Winter '08 Vogue. It took me almost 8 months, but I did it.

My biggest knitting challenge was a tiny intarsia wristband, black with a lime green star. That thing nearly kicked my butt.

I just recently finished my first lace shawl. It took forever and I don't know if I'll ever have that kind of patience again...

that book looks wonderful! :)

my most challenging project was mittens on 4 needles when I was about 8... since then i've only attempted simpler projects :)

Congratlations on your contribution and thanks for your review of the book. I've always been a bit leery of the Stitch 'n Bitch books but this one sounds like a winner. Consider me entered in the contest!

I have always loved a lacy challenge. However the latest cardigan I attempted did cause a bit of frustration when I changed not only the wool but the needle size and ply. Ended up having to pull it back several times to make it all fit together but in the end it turned out quite nice! :-) Here is a link if you want to take a peek!

http://karismaskids.blogspot.com/2010/10/ta-daa-finally-finished-project.html

This book sounds great! I bought the first Stitch 'n Bitch book about a month ago and use it all the time for reference and inspiration.

Right now, I'm knitting a ribbed hat for my son. It's my second knitting project, after making myself a scarf in October. I had to frog the hat on my first try when I incorrectly switched over to double point needles to decrease the crown. Frustrating! I've started the hat once more and am nearing the double points. This time I'll get it right, thanks to Stitch 'n Bitch and YouTube videos!

Super cute patterns! I've had the first SnB for years and can't wait for this one.

Let's see... I really struggle with color work, so I was thrilled when I finished not one, but two, fair isle Christmas stockings last year. They looked pretty good on the outside. The inside? We don't talk about that mess!

Hi! I love your mitten patterns :) This new SnB book is so exciting. The most challenging thing I've knit was a 5' square lace chuppah. It was patterned on every row and done and blocked just in the nick of time for a wedding.

This book is going to be so awesome

My most challenging project is one I'm still facing: learning how to knit socks. I can't handle the thin yarn and all those needles!

i think the hardest thing i ever knit was the swan lake mystery shawl. it was my first laceweight lace pattern, had black yarn and beads, and it took me 6 months. i love it to bits.

I'm not a very advance knitter. But I love knitting. Sweaters Garments in general. Bad dimensions. I once started to put a pouch pocket on the back of a sweater. How? Dunno. I'm going to Frog it. But I will try again. I have just pulled my Nemesis lace pattern out. It's actually not that bad wnow that I have some experience, but I have to count. I need to go back and reread the first back for my forays into further sweatering and Intarsia.

Challenging things - the little intarsia wizard sweater I knit for my son, that had 20 little bobbins dangling and getting tangled all at once. And my first (as yet only) lace shawl, which took around four years to finish between getting the hang of lace patterning, trying to find time to do knitting, and running out of yarn with four inches of border to go for a year.
I love the SnB books and have bought (rare for my librarian self) and loaned out all of them to date.

My nemesis- a cabled sweater for my husband. By the time I finished the back piece I realized that not only could my husband fit into the sweater, but probably my entire family. I don't know what happened, I was so exhausted at that point, I haven't gone back to that pattern yet!