A Review: Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf

Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf by Alana Dakos

Addie and I ran into the yarn store the other day in between doctor appointments to pick up a ball winder.  I had a punch card full and was able to get the ball winder for 30% off.  Addie kind of likes going to this store because they have some stuffed lamb toys that she can play with.  Instead, she spotted this book and asked me to get it down off the shelf.  I had heard about the book on the Knitmoregirls podcast, so I was interested to see what Addie thought.

Addie read the book in the store and said it was definitely worth buying.  I read the book to both girls last night as a bedtime story.  I think Addie liked it because it was a little girl spending time with her Mommy knitting.  The girls can definitely relate to a Mommy that sits on the couch and knits all night.

Addie says, “I thought it was a wonderful book and I recommend it to any kid or a kid whose mom knits.”

What I liked about the book was that it reinforces that you need to practice knitting to be good at it.  Knitting isn’t something that you just all of a sudden get, it takes practice and patience.  Annie has to practice in the story, then she shows her friends at school how she knits.

Lily says, “I thought it was really good.  I liked that she knits and that she taught the kids in her class to knit.”

The illustrations are beautiful, Annie and her mom both wear sweaters that Alana Dakos designed – they’re available under the Never Not Knitting brand.  Both girls enjoyed finding the cat and mouse that are hidden on every page.

Three thumbs up from the girls in the Knitting Up North household.


My husband was practicing with his new camera lens the other day and decided to use my knitting as his focal point.  I’m always happy to have him take pictures of knitting, especially if my exhausted face is not the focal point.  This is after an all day event at work, so I am wiped out.

It’s interesting to watch myself knit from photos.  I am a thrower rather than a picker.  I.e. I knit English rather than Continental.  I know this is a less efficient way to knit as your motions are much bigger and therefore slower.  I’m not going to win any speed knitting competitions any time soon and I’m ok with that.

I can knit either way, and when I knit with two colors I hold one color in each hand.  It’s just that I’m more comfortable throwing and it’s a relief whenever I’m done with two color knitting because I can go back to throwing the yarn over.

As I teach the knitting class, I am mostly teaching them to throw the yarn.  However, I have noticed that a couple of kids are more comfortable holding the yarn in their left hand and picking.  It makes me wonder about whether our knitting preference is because we’re taught that way or if there’s a natural inclination.  Both girls that want to pick are right handed, so it’s not an issue of what the dominant hand is.

An interesting side note is that one of our students was knitting backwards last week.  She got to the end of the row and rather than flipping her work around, she just started knitting the row backwards.  It took me awhile to figure out what she was doing (I was watching 5 kids knit all at once), because all of her stitches were sitting on the needle backwards.  While she’s the most proficient knitter I have in the class along with Lily, she’s also the tightest knitter.  I think next week I’m going to cast on with much larger needles and see if she’s ready to start making her square.