Our brand-new Instant Pot Book

We've written THE Bible for every model of Instant Pot. Yep. Every. Model. Including the new Max machines. The recipes are written so that you can use whatever buttons you've got. They're written so about a third of them can be used with EITHER the pressure cooker or the slow cooker mode. They are 350 of them--including some of the most innovative "road map" recipes you've ever seen. And the book is priced to sell. Check. It. Out. Here. (Or by clicking the cover of the book for a link.)

Our Class For Aim Healthy U!

We're so exicted to announce our new class with Aim Healthy U! It's all about SHORTCUT COOKING. We've partnered with the folks at Clean Eating Magazine and at Vegetarian Times and we promise to get you in and out of the kitchen faster while cooking delicious, clean meals. Click this link for the course. And put in the discount code of MARK50 to get fifty dollars off the enrollment fee. We'll be with you every step of the way: in the videos as well as in Q & As online. We can't wait to meet you! Let's get cooking.



Bruce's first knitting class! It's all about a combination technique for purling in Continental knitting that will get you knitting faster than you can believe. Click here.

We're so proud of our pressure-cooker class, one of the most popular classes on craftsy. Click here. Bruce works with a stovetop cooker; Mark, with an electric one. Along the way, they make incredible meals: glorious chicken soup, a crazy-cheesy casserole (in 5 minutes!), an Italian-inspired stew, and even (yes) cheesecake.

To get a discount on Bruce's Craftsy cooking class, click here. And you'll learn how to be a better cook in 7 simple lessons. He covers the differences between low temperature and high temperature roasting, stove top and oven braising, as well as pan frying, sauteeing and making amazing pan sauces. The recipes along the way include a Southwestern Braised Brisket and Skillet Rib Eye Steaks with a buttery chipotle tomato sauce.


Our newest. 500 recipes. Every one, for calibrated for both stovetop and electric machines. Multiple sell-outs on QVC. Lots of recipes, lots of fun.

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or independent booksellers.

Vegetarian Dinner Parties WINNER OF THE 2015 IACP PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD!

Join us as we explore the culinary possibilities of vegetables without any health or ethical claims. (Although if you're a vegetarian, we've got your back! Over half the recipes are vegan, to boot.) Go ahead. You want to throw a dinner party. And you want to see these recipes. They're some of the best we've ever crafted.

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Book Loft in Great Barrington, MA (another local store)

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We want to cook for you! And it can happen. Please join us at one of these fun events.

We've recorded a full class on shortcut cooking for Aim Healthy U! You can cook along with us. We're there to answer questions. We've got a zillion shortcut tips. I mean, you need this. Here's a link to get you registered in the class! Use the DISCOUNT CODE BRUCE50 to take fifty bucks off the price of the class.


Do you know why you're not using your slow cooker enough? Because up to two-thirds of the recipes in any given book aren't written for your model size! But we took care of that. With over 500 recipes, we've written a book that sizes out every one for almost every size of machine. And it's not just math. We've done the testing and worked out the ratios. You gotta see it to believe it.


barnes and noble

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Bruce's Second Knitting Book!

BOYFRIEND SWEATERS presents nineteen patterns for women based on guy's styles and designs--or put another way, nineteen patterns for men that women will want to wear. (There's some pretty sexy photography, too!) Here's where to buy it:



independent booksellers

Our Whole Grains Book

We move whole grains to the center of the plate! Experience whole grains, not as nutritional wonders, but as culinary superstars. Click on one of the links below to buy the book:



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    « Dealing with Circular Needles | Main | Adjusting A Pattern To Fit Your Taste »

    Gauge is Everything but it's also Simply a Suggestion.

    I hear it all the time from students.
    "I hate knitting a gauge swatch!"
    And they hear this back...
    "If you want to be surprised at the fit, if you want to have wasted 30 or 40 hours knitting a sweater that the recipient can never wear, then don't knit a gauge swatch.


    This little icon appears on every label of yarn. It's a suggestion from the manufacturer. This one says that the manufacturer thinks this yarn looks best at 5 stitches and 6 rows per inch which can be achieved on size US 8 (5mm) needles. The only way to know if this is true for you is to knit up a 4 inch square of stockinette on size US 8 (5mm) needles. If you get 5 stitches and 6 rows per inch, great. If you get fewer stitches and rows you need to go down a needle size and try again. If you get more than 5 stitches and 6 rows per inch then you need to up a needle size.

    As you can see in this sample, taken from Jacqueline Fee's The Sweater Workshop, the yarns were knitted on many different needle sizes. 

    What makes doing your gauge swatch so interesting is that you get to see what the yarn you're working on looks like in other gauges. Sure, the manufacturer says it's best at 5 stitches per inch. But you might like it better at 4 stitches per inch or at 6 stitches per inch.

    When it comes to yarn labels, the gauge is only a suggestion - you're free to experiment and create a fabric that you like, even if it's not what the manufacturer suggests.  Maybe the manufacturer says the yarn looks best at 5 stitches per inch, but you like it at 4 stitches per inch - then you can use it for patterns that require a gauge of 4 stitches per inch. Because while the gauge on yarn label is simply a suggestion, the gauge requirement in a pattern isn't a suggestion... or is it?

    Let's say you have a pattern that calls for 5 stitches to the inch. But you fall in love with a yarn but that yarn is labeled at 4 stitches to the inch. You now know you can knit it on smaller needles to squeeze in more stitches per inch—and you get it up to 4 1/2 stitches to the inch. You then use even smaller needles, making a tighter fabric at 4 3/4 stitches per inch. But you just can't knit this yarn any tighter, you can't get it to the required gauge of 5 stitches to the inch.

    "Well," you think, "being off by 1/4 stitch per inch isn't that much." Yes it is. Getting 1/4 of a stitch per inch more than the pattern calls for adds up. Every 4 inches in the pattern will yield 1 extra stitch. And over the chest circumference of a 40" sweater that's 10 extra stitches and at your gauge of 4 3/4 stitches per inch you've added 2.1 inches. 

    But all is not lost. True, you're looking at a 2 inch difference, but you might be able to use this yarn and simply knit a smaller size in the pattern, knowing that your sweater will be almost 2 inches larger that the given final dimension. And sometimes a pattern yields sizes 36, 40, and 44 - but you'd prefer a 38, 42, or 46. Going "off gauge" by a 1/4 stitch per inch may just be the answer you're looking for.

    In the end, gauge is always suggestion. Going off gauge in choosing a yarn allows you to choose from a much larger range of yarns for any given project. And going off gauge from a pattern allows you to fudge the final dimensions of a sweater which might just yield a better fit. Just knit your gauge swatch and do the math so you know exactly what you'll have in the end.

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    Reader Comments (6)

    I have bought KNITS MEN WANT (which is full of gorgeous patterns for men's knits) and I am struggling to understand the gauge tables at the start of each pattern. I do get that it's important to knit a gauge test patch thingy but what I don't get is what the numbers on the tables mean in relation to that.eg 3, 3 1/2 4, 4 1/2, 5, 5 1/2, 6. Where do these numbers come from? I have searched the book for a clear explanation but can't find one. Is it because I'm a Brit?

    November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTina

    Ok - I think I've worked it out! The numbers in BOLD are the number of stitches per inch - right?

    November 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTina

    When my husband found out I was a knitter, he made it well known to me to never knit him anything. After I knit my first baby sweater, his tune changed. So I bought your book, Knits Men Want. I just started to knit the basic pullover and it was the first time I ever made a gauge swatch. I'm really excited to finish this project. Thanks for writing the book!

    February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

    am used to British pattern books and am trying to work out how to knit one of the jumpers in Knits Men Want but am struggling to understand how to start. I have looked for directions in the book but there's no instructions to get me started. Can someone help?

    May 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

    Given that this is on the bruce&mark page I'm a little surprised there has been no clarification. Tina, I think I agree with you - but (I am also British) I have not got a clue how to read the guage tables-they are unlike any other I have come across. Help unlock the secret to this book, please?!

    December 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeila

    I love the book Knits Men Want but I too am confused by the guage. Is it just the number of stitches per inch? I can't find an explanation anywhere in the book although it's crucial to understanding the patterns. Please help so I can start knitting.

    July 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

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