Knitting Around the World

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Knitting Around the World

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.

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Knitting Around the World – back cover

Knitting Around the World  includes more than a dozen different topics that were once articles in Threads Magazine.

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Aran Knitting – Alice Starmore

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.

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Bohus Stickning – Margaret Bruzelius

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.

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Another Swedish knitting technique

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.

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Illustrations drawn and photographed

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.

 

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Historical Shetland Lace

I loved the inclusion of historical articles with photos, illustrations and a workshop on creating simple versions of the knitted lace.

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Knitting from the Faeroe Islands

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.

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Fair Isle Tam making – Alice Starmore

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.

https://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Around-World-Threads/dp/1561580260/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1489005645&sr=8-3&keywords=knitting+around+the+world

Knitting for the First Time

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Knitting for the First Time

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.

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Knitting for the First Time – back cover

The answer would be no, no – not a great beginner book. It does start with a decent review needles, tools and yarn.

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Illustrations

I do like the drawn illustrations as opposed to photo illustrations.

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Abbreviations

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.

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Basic Techniques with patterns

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.

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Cute Baby Hat

With the sweater, this hat is very cute!

Beyond the Basics

Beyond the Basics

More unimpressive patterns.

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The Gallery

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!

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0806964154/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me=

Exquisite Little Knits

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Exquisite Little Knits by Iris Schreirer & Laurie J. Kimmelstiel

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.

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Exquisite Little Knits – Back Cover

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!

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Photographed How-to’s

I liked the photographed how go’s. They are clear and easy to understand.

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Gemstone Scarf

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.

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“Hat for All” from the Wool section

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North Cape Balaclava from the Silk section

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Golden Threads Boa from the Ribbon section

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Flying V Scarf from the Wool section

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.

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Hot & Now Scarf from the Wool Section

Nice unisex garter stitch scarf! A good project for charity knitting or a gift.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Exquisite-Little-Knits-Luxurious-Specialty/dp/1579905366/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476305973&sr=1-1&keywords=exquisite+little+knits

The Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book

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The Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book cover – Margaret Klein Wilson

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.

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Back Cover – Green Mountain Spinnery Yarn

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The Green Mountain Spinnery History

Where it all began. A 3-page section on the company’s history is a good way to start.

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Guernsey-style pullovers and Fair Isle cardigan

I liked the still life photos. They keep the mainly classic designs from becoming dated.

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Instruction example

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.

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Pattern Charts

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.

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Easy Raglan pullovers

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.

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His and Hers Aran Pullovers

Love these classics that are sized from chest size 37″ to 54″. A great range!

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Classic Accessories

The last project is a group of accessories.

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Chart of Patterns

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!

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Favorite References

Another excellent feature was a page giving some great classic books that definitely should be in a well-rounded knitter’s library.

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Green Mountain Spinnery Yarns

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.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Green-Mountain-Spinnery-Knitting-Book/dp/088150579X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473276436&sr=8-1&keywords=the+green+mountain+spinnery+knitting+book

The Knitter’s Bible – Knitted Accessories

The Knitter's Bible - Knitted Accessories by Claire Crompton

The Knitter’s Bible – Knitted Accessories by Claire Crompton

Today I’m doing an easier book. By easy I mean that I could read and review in one sitting – 128 pages and I could skim through it pretty easily.

The important info: The Knitter’s Bible – Knitted Accessories by Claire Crompton (published in 2006 first in the UK).

Thumbs up or down: I’m having a hard time deciding on this one. I like a couple of projects, but I hated the English (UK) slant in language and instructions. To be fair, it was really designed to be published in the UK and doesn’t seem to have been Americanized.

Knitted Accessories - Back Cover

Knitted Accessories – Back Cover

I’m going to begin on a positive note. I did love the back flap with a ruler and abbreviations. Very clever and helpful for the knitter, although some of the abbreviations are not ones commonly used in the US.

Back Flap with abbreviations and ruler

Back Flap with abbreviations and ruler

two-needle mittens

two-needle mittens

I usually love books of accessories. They always make good gifts or are good charity projects. I admit that I really hate mittens, gloves and wrist warmers that are made on two needles that require seaming when complete. This book seems to have only the two-needle type of accessories. I’m assuming that the author must have thought this would be easier for a novice knitter. Overall a beginner knitter might have problems following this book. There is a lot of info on combining yarns to change the weight, but the explanation is not too clear for a knitter who doesn’t know about various types of yarns. Also, the “how-to” info (while very well done) is way in the back of the book. The author’s explanations of fibre (UK spelling), combining yarns, weight and texture of yarns is a bit stiff and would be a bit confusing for someone just coming into the knitting world.

How-to Illustrations

How-to Illustrations

A couple of the projects I did like that make me want to consider this book a keeper.

Cabled Wristwarmers

Cabled Wristwarmers

Mitered Square Scarf

Mitered Square Scarf

I did like the author’s addition of a page of flowers that could be used to attach to hats or scarves or as pins.

Knit Flower Illustrations

Knit Flower Illustrations

As a recap, I’d say that as an American knitter, the biggest gripe I have with this book is it’s non-American slant in writing, abbreviations and spelling. Otherwise a handy resource for making accessories.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Knitters-Bible-Knitted-Accessories/dp/0715326007/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426704084&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Knitter%27s+Bible+Knitted+Accessories

Nicky Epstein – The Knit Hat Book

 

The Knit Hat Book cover

The Knit Hat Book cover

While I’m on a blogging roll, I thought I’d go for a small book (only 90 pages long) to end the week – almost end the year!

Nicky Epstein’s The Knit Hat Book was published in 1997. It was probably one of the early knitting books that I owned back in the day when I bought every knitting book published.

The Knit Hat Book - back cover

The Knit Hat Book – back cover

Should I give it a thumbs up or down? It’s a cute little gem that isn’t taking up tons of space on my book shelf, but is most likely not one that I’ll use in the future. The other tricky little thing is that Nicky autographed it to me and that makes it hard to let go of this book.

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What to do, what to do? I’m being ruthless – so – thumbs down!

The book has 25 hats from basic shapes. Some of the styles are a bit dated, but feature Nicky’s clever appliqués and whimsical details.

Pillbox hats

Pillbox hats

Black Cat Pillbox Hats

Black Cat Pillbox Hats

She does berets, pillbox styles, simple cabled pull-on caps all in pretty basic yarns.

Roman Cable Hat

Roman Cable Hat

Bottom line: If you want to try different hats styles, this book is ideal. It’s out of print, but can be found on Amazon and probably eBay.

http://www.amazon.com/Knit-Hat-Book-Basic-Shapes/dp/1561581992/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418933416&sr=1-1&keywords=the+knit+hat+book&pebp=1418933416959

Louisa Harding Duo – more patterns are going!

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Two books (soft back) are on the table today. Both are from talented designer Louisa Harding. Both are out-of-print, but available on Amazon and elsewhere as used books.

Although the designs in these lovely collections are really nice and beautifully designed and styled (especially the Magical World for young ladies), I’m making classifying these books in the Thumbs Down category. My ruthless streak continues!

Modern Classics (published in 2006) has over 20 designs and even after 8 years they are still wearable and easy to knit.

Modern Classics by Louisa Harding

Modern Classics by Louisa Harding

I did love a few of the designs. They would be ideal for anyone making classic sweaters that will be in style for many years to come.

Basic Pullover

Basic Pullover

Fitted Cardie

Fitted Cardie

Fitted Pullover

Fitted Pullover

Modern Classics Back Cover

Modern Classics Back Cover

 

The 2nd book, The Magical World According to Miss Millie (published in 2006) is a really fun and flirty  collection of patterns. While the majority of the patterns are for little girls, there are 4 featured classic styles for little guys (look at the back cover). The sizing is for ages 3-10.

The Magical World According to Miss Millie

The Magical World According to Miss Millie

I love the thumbnail index that shows all 20 designs at a glance. Perfect for times when you are searching for a certain style.

Magical World Index

Magical World Index

Love, love the pretty shades, bohemian styling and incredible photography.

Ollie & Lily styles

Ollie & Lily styles

Hat Girls

Hat Girls

The Magical World According to Miss Millie - back cover

The Magical World According to Miss Millie – back cover

 

http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Classics-Twenty-Timeless-Designs/dp/1564776441/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413491399&sr=1-2&keywords=modern+classics

http://www.amazon.com/Louisa-Harding-Magical-According-Millie/dp/B000YFFYQG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413491450&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Magical+World+According+to+Miss+Millie

Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham

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My next book is Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham. It’s also a book by Melanie Falick and published in 2005. In full disclosure, I know and worked with Teva and also know the photographer of this book – Adrian Buckmaster. They are both extremely talented – Teva in design and use of yarns and Adrian in photography. I’m a fan of both of them.

By the way, if you love the quirky styles and interesting designs in the book – it’s out of print, but you can get copies – including mine!

I’m giving this book – thumbs down.

Why you ask? It’s a beautifully created book – I would expect nothing less from Melanie. It has a well-thought out layout and interesting photos. My problem is that none of the projects appeal to me. They are a little over the top and slightly out of fashion. I’m being ruthless in my quest to reduce my overflowing library!

Back Cover

Back Cover

Below is a sweater that Teva original did for Interweave Knits that she is updated. She says it was very popular and I do agree that it looks like an easy one to knit and is one that would look good with jeans or something more dressed up. Teva does add clever details to all her projects and this is clearly one of her signature look.

Lace Leaf Pullover

Lace Leaf Pullover

The last photo is a clever scarf and I really like the braided effect. This doesn’t mean I’m making this book a “keeper”. I just wanted to end with a positive spin!

Braided Neckpiece

Braided Neckpiece

http://www.amazon.com/Loop-d-Loop-More-Novel-Designs-Knitters/dp/B005FOI92C/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412894722&sr=1-1&keywords=loop+d+loop