Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Book review

a number of new books have found there way into the house recently, the result of amnesia, Amazon, and the odd visit to Kinokuniya. I love my library of craft books, there is so much inspiration and promise on that shelf, even if I never make a garment out of the book, I have still learnt so much from the author, whether it is a new finishing technique, or how knitting changed their life.

I have to start with The Yarn Harlot's latest offering - Knitting Rules! this book is, like Stephanie's blog - a great read, I curled up on the couch and delighted in it for an afternoon. The book is set out in logical progression; first the madness, then the addiction, then the rules, moving through knitted garments from the easy (hats) to the more complicated (sweaters) there wasn't much in it that was new to me, but given the Harlot treatment it was extremely entertaining, and I love the way that she makes the reader feel that they are not alone in their awkward geekiness, and that sticking wool down the front of your top in public is normal (to test for itch)
I will be passing this book on to Holls, as I felt that the way it presented knitting as "know the rules - then you can break them" will help to create fearless knitters, and that is what we need to keep the craft alive and growing. I love the little highlighted comments sprinkled through the book - There are no knitting police!
( I have to remind myself of that often, maybe I'll embroider it on my sock knitting bag)
as well as Steph's take on buttons and buttonholes, I always wonder which side the buttons should go on for babies ( having had only girls, I didn't realise there was a LAW! - just kidding) and her solution is perfect - if the person wearing the garment will be dressed by some one else, put the buttons on the right - cool, now I don't need to ever think about that again!
So let's hear it for the Harlot, the pop princess of wool.

Then there was The curious knitter's guide from the Mason-Dixon team, sweet as all-get-out, these girls are charming! I was induced to go buy cotton within minutes of opening this book, and everyone I know is getting a dishcloth or knitted hand towel in their Christmas present this year.
The book contains a number of rug and afghan patterns,and loads of great ideas and ways to transform them to your own taste, I had always steered clear of knitting strips of fabric, but these two make it look so tempting that I might give that a go as well. I liked the way the author's personalities came shining through, just like on their blog.

Finally ( not because I limited myself to three books, oh no, when I looked at my recent account at Amazon the list is much longer than 3, it's my husband's fault , he asked me to order a DVD for him...and well... but because I have to save something for another blog entry)
here is the Vogue knitting stitch dictionary volume 1 - knit and purl, like anything from Vogue (well except maybe the latest issue - but that's my personal feelings) it is well set out, beautifully photographed and very clear. The hardcover book lies flat for ease of use and there are 265 stitch patterns, all easy to understand, and unlike many stitch dictionaries, you get a good sized sample to look at, so if you do go wrong you can see where the problem may lie. (usually the problem lies with me not reading the instructions)
This is not a desert island book, if finances dictate then you are better off with a copy of the Mon Tricot stitch dictionary (mine was 50c at an Op shop) but it is nice to have in the library.

I am inspired by Mary at the Wool Palace to start having a "knitting book of the month" so each month I will choose a book and knit something from it, this month it will be the Mason-Dixon book - and you guessed it - dishcloths! However, unlike Mary I will probably forget and crap out half way through June.

gratuitous "fo" picture, my knitting from SSK on saturday.
My handpainted merino, using a vintage Paragon bootee pattern - see she does knit.