I would love to blame the complexity of this book for my lack of blogging, but truth be told, I finished the book some time ago. I have no valid excuses other than life!
This slim volume was put together by the editors of Threads Magazine in 1993 and includes a wealth of material for those interested in the history of the knitting craft.
Knitting Around the World includes more than a dozen different topics that were once articles in Threads Magazine.
Starting out with the renown Alice Starmore and Aran knitting is a great way to introduce the reader to historical knitting. Alice, who lives in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland and has written extensively on the subject is the perfect person to author this feature. Included on the next few pages are Aran cable patterns and an outline of how to design an Aran pullover.
The less well known Bohus Stickning from Sweden is written by an old associate of mine who seriously researched this colorful knitting style. With charts on the following pages, the reader can easily experiment with Bohus knitting.
Also called “two-strand knitting”, this technique seems mainly used for sturdy mittens and socks. A pattern for the socks shown in the photo is included in the book.
After Fair Isle knitting and Argyles, there is a short article with illustrations and photos of techniques for managing stranded knitting by author, Maggie Righetti. I have included here as an example of the clarity used in Threads Magazine on each subject. They always go above and beyond to make the reader understand techniques.
I loved the inclusion of historical articles with photos, illustrations and a workshop on creating simple versions of the knitted lace.
While not as well known as knitting techniques from the British Isles, this is nevertheless and interesting style of knitting and well-written piece of history.
Knitting Around the World begins and ends with Alice Starmore – coming more or less full circle.
Should I keep this book? I’ve thought long and hard on this one. The subjects are interesting and varied. Would I knit from the book – probably not. I’m hoping the next knitter who gets it will love it! Sadly, it’s not going back on my shelf.
Ending the year with a blog sounds like a good idea to me. I just have to make my 2017 resolution to blog more often!
When searching Amazon, One Skein is lost in a sea of “One Skein Wonder” books. This slim volume is written by Leigh Radford and published by Interweave Press in 2006.
It’s a thumbs down for me. The patterns for the most part are just OK and not worth the room on my shelf.
I do like this pair of hats. Seems like an easy project in a chunky yarn on size 11 (8mm) needles.
This was shown as a “Quartet” with 4 versions. One scarf shown on a man is so short that it had to be fastened with knitting needles – really! It is a simple project, although none of the projects are marked for skill level.
I do love fingerless mitts and am always prowling around to find good ones. I’m not crazy about this pair with elongated stitches and no thumb.
Not a bad project, but I’ve seen similar ones before.
The cover does say “projects to knit and crochet”, but the crochet projects are few. This is OK if you are a knitter/crocheter. If you only do one or the other craft, this is not the book for you.
I’ve omitted pics of the leg warmers, bags, projects for baby and ones for home such as a bath mat. Many are not worth including.
Knitting for the First Time by Vanessa-Ann (is this a real person?) was published by Sterling/Chapelle in 2003. I think it was put together by an editor and the author is just a made-up name. The first question is do I think this is a good book for a beginner. This is what I thought about as I reviewed the book.
Before I go further, I’ll say: Thumbs Down for this book.
The answer would be no, no – not a great beginner book. It does start with a decent review needles, tools and yarn.
I do like the drawn illustrations as opposed to photo illustrations.
The order of all the basics is a bit strange. First abbreviations, then adding a new skein of yarn, then fixing mistakes and then finishing. I think a true beginner might find this a bit confusing.
For me, here’s where it breaks down. Really – a color work Christmas stocking in beginning patterns. Plus, other than the cute baby pullover and hat, the other patterns are not great.
With the sweater, this hat is very cute!
More unimpressive patterns.
This spread and the next couple pages show sweaters designed by some of the designers within the book. No patterns for these – just pictures. I guess it’s inspiration, but all are really, really beyond a beginner!
Exquisite Little Knits is a nice little book for “Knitting with Luxurious Specialty Yarns” as the subtitle suggests. Lark Books published Little Knits in 2004 in the hay day of specialty yarns.
Do I love this book? It’s mainly a project book of simple accessories that depend of the yarn rather than stitches to make them interesting. Thumbs Down for me!
I liked the photographed how go’s. They are clear and easy to understand.
Once the basics are covered, the book is broken down by various types of yarn. This scarf is from the “Lattice” section. It’s nice that a photo of the ball plus an image of the strands of yarn used is included.
I do like this scarf. True to form, I’m always more interested in projects that are made in simple yarns rather than novelty yarns.
Nice unisex garter stitch scarf! A good project for charity knitting or a gift.
After a long hiatus, I’ve realized that my mission to remove knitting and crochet books from my shelves has really stalled. Got to get back to it in a big way!
This book is a perfect one to start my book removal quest. It’s a nice book for someone looking for classic knits. The Green Mountain Spinnery has a wonderful back story that is worth a read.
Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book was published in 2003 by The Countryman Press in Woodstock Vermont.
Before I begin, I’ll start out by saying that I’m moving this book off my shelves. It’s a nicely done book, but not really relevant to my knitting these days.
Where it all began. A 3-page section on the company’s history is a good way to start.
I liked the still life photos. They keep the mainly classic designs from becoming dated.
The instruction pages had a clear layout. There were shaded designer notes, size, materials and experience level. The instructions below were clear and included a schematic drawing with measurements.
Good charts and a side-bar of 4 color ways make this project approachable and easy to follow. One might have to enlarge the chart to make it more readable.
I love these top-down pullovers. The pattern comes in child’s and adult’s sizing – a real plus! I might copy this pattern before I move this book to a better home.
Love these classics that are sized from chest size 37″ to 54″. A great range!
The last project is a group of accessories.
This was something I don’t think I’ve seen in a book of patterns. It’s a very helpful chart outlining everything you need to know before starting a pattern including skill level, gauge, needle size, finished measurements and yarn needed. Great!
Another excellent feature was a page giving some great classic books that definitely should be in a well-rounded knitter’s library.
The 3-page section on yarns would best be described as “a word from our sponsor”. It is after all a book produced and edited by a company who sells. It’s also great for helping a knitter substitute other yarns.
OK – I admit that I’ve fallen off the face of the blog world. I have lots of excuses not the least of which is that I took the photos in Florida and then couldn’t find the book when I got home – sigh! Anyway, I’m back and ready to move some of my books off the shelves.
This book was first published in 2002 in England. It has 8 different kids/baby sizes from 3-6 months to 9-10 years old for a variety of classic unisex styles. It’s meant to allow for a mix and match aspect that gives the reader an opportunity to experiment and be creative.
Is the book for me? I’m not sure. I’m not usually this indecisive I do like the idea of the styles and variations. Let me think and I’ll let you know before I get to the end.
This is good. The mini-layout with call outs is very helpful. The next page in the spread shows how to incorporate style variations into the sweater or sweaters.
My only negative comment on the chart is it seems like old UK & Canadian needles are long gone. Maybe I’m wrong. The book seems more designed for a newer knitter who only see needle sizes in Metric or US sizing.
This page shows the designs for 3-6 months and little schematics of what you will be able to make in this section.
The photos in the whole book are quite good. No surprise as Kate Buller is definitely at the helm of the design/photography of the book.
At first I wasn’t clear about how to use these body charts, but in re-reading the how-to section I got the idea. All the little boxes are places to insert various charts shown in the Creative Library.
Usually I’m not a fan of photos showing techniques, but these are close up and rather good.
I’ve come to the end and I’m giving this one a Thumbs Up! There are many good things about the book and for the moment, I’m keeping it. My thought is once I’ve gotten through all that I own, I’ll go back and make a second pass. This may take the rest of my life!
Another little book today. Even though it’s little, it has taken me awhile to get this into my blog. Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival (published in 2002 by Chronicle Books) is an easy to read and easy to use book. I have some negative comments, but generally it’s a nicely done 120 page volume.
Thumbs up or down: I liked the top down sweater at the end of the blog post, but most of the patterns are too simple for me. I’m going to pass on this book and keep my shelf space for more important books.
There is the usual “Getting Started” and “How to Knit” chapters
The American Style “How to Knit” page shown in the book has very small illustrations ( all illustrations are similar and all too small). Could you really learn from these illustrations? The next page is the Continental Style with no illustrations – yikees! Plus I wonder if a beginner would get the difference between the two styles and why to choose one over the other.
After all the “How-to” pages – through page 40, the first projects were simple and noted by a “1” in a circle. Clever graphics. The instructions tell you what you need to know and what page to refer to for a refresher on the technique – very clever. I like the step-by-step numbered instructions.
I include this project only because I’ve been working on mittens this winter and looking at various patterns. There isn’t a section which shows how to cast on and join for double-pointed needles. Not the easiest for someone who is using the book as a novice although there are lots of places where one could go to find the technique on the internet.
The swatches used to check gauges have other uses. This spread talks about ways to use squares, but the patterns are a bit vague.
Knit in the round from the top down, this is a nice sweater. It’s made in a chunky yarn which would make it a faster-to-knit project. The lack of how to knit with circular needles makes it again a bit of a stretch for a novice.
This book is one of a series of books created by owners of the Yarn Company shop in New York City – Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs. This one was published by Carlson Potter in 2002.
Before I start the review, I’ll add a spoiler alert. I’m keeping this book and thus a thumbs up. Maybe I’m waffling in my old age or something, but the book does have some interesting designs and I’m almost in the mood to make a sweater. Haven’t done one in a long time.
The illustrations are clear and easy to follow. There are approximately 30 pages of how-to’s including a few finishing and simple crochet edgings.They are much better than photos.
The above page shows weights of yarn used in the book. If I had one complaint about the book it would be that only heavier yarns are included. The lightest weight is a heavy worsted. On the other hand, the projects are quicker to make.
Many of the designs are made with variegated yarns that a perfect for newer knitters.
All the projects are photographed on mannequins that keeps the book from becoming dated.
The pattern instructions and schematic drawings are also clear and easy-to-use.
My favorite project! Would make a nice present for someone.
A few accessories and home dec pieces end the book.
Well done Julie and Jordana!
It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally done with Clara Parkes wonderful book. Before you even ask – it’s a keeper.
In this blog, I’m going to discuss Chapter 4 – blended fibers and Chapter 5 – patterns along with a bit about the end material.
Mixing wool with fibers such as silk, mohair, alpaca, cashmere and angora bring the best of all worlds. Clara talks about blending wool for different effects. The results are wonderful for knitters.
Now that we know so much about wool, having patterns to use the yarn is a “no brainer”.
Wool is a natural for socks. It’s warm, it wicks and it lasts with wear.
I’m always looking for clear instructions, charts and schematics. This book doesn’t disappoint.
How do you wash wool? Hand washing is outlined step-by-step. Good advice. The next page covers keeping moths at bay. More good advice.
The resources plus processors on the next spread are a great follow up to the book. The book ends with abbreviations, a glossary, recommended reading and info on the pattern designers. What a way to end the book!
My mitts are above. Notice that the one of the left is a disaster. The cables are wrong and I really wanted a few more rows between the cables (decided part way into the mitt. The right mitt is much better. I need to make another pair now that I’ve corrected my mistakes!