Thursday, October 22, 2009

more new knitting books

Lots of new books to write about. Here are the knitting ones:

Cat Bordhi, Personal footprints for insouciant sock knitters. I have some of her previous books so had to pick this one up as well. She has some good ideas to make well fitted socks but I generally don't knit them unless I find my socks disappearing. My problem is my loose gauge and only size 2mm needles seem to work for me which isn't much fun.

I have the first book from Green Mountain Spinnery so bought the new one: 99 yarns and counting. I found this rather disappointing as compared to the first one. There are some nice children's sweaters and an aran hat at the beginning. They are all easy. I like the guernsey type cardi vest and the simple st st vest with a lace edging on the bottom. The shawl and scarf are very simple lace patterns. There's an easy fair isle cardi for children. Several hats and a pair of mittens follow and then the best item which is the Istanbul aran pullover with finished chest from 40-52". The aran patterns are all easy ones. Then come some Nordic hats in sock yarn and a fairisle hat which is attractive. there's an entrelac afghan using a brown variegated yarn. Followed by a raglan short cardi and a man's ribbed turtleneck. The whole book is on the easy side and the smaller items would make good fast gifts.

Next up is Lesley Stanfield's :100 flowers to knit and crochet. Very attractive book but I'm unsure just where I'll use them. Maybe that gray entrelac blanket would be a good choice if I bothered with it which I won't.

I have the scarf book by Lynne Barr so naturally went for Reversible knitting. One problem here is that the title is interpreted quite loosely. But she comes up with 50 unusual patterns and also has 20 projects from herself and other designers. I wasn't interested in any of the projects at this point but you never know, right?

OK. now for the last two books one of which surprised me and the other one didappointed me. Well, that happens when you buy sight unseen.
The bad news is All new homespun handknit edited by Amy Clarke Moore, editor of spin-off magazine. Actually that goes far to explain why I'm unhappy with it. I think if you are a spinner, it would be just right. Nowhere does she give you an alternative yarn but she does give needle size and gauge. Of the 25 small projects I did like the 3 shawl or scarf patterns and especially the one by Nancy Bush. Where needed there are good charts. I also liked the entrelac socks. There's a coin purse by Kathryn Alexander, mittens, socks, baby poncho, zipped baby hoodie (and the baby looks like he's choking as the zipper is in the back and over the back of his head). Moore herself comes up with a domino knit sweater which is done specifically for a child who is bigger in front than in back so she suggests basically that you make your own pattern and I ask then why do we need this pattern at all? Among the other small items are baby soakers.My daughter says no way will she go in that direction.

Now to end on a good note. Best for last. Mary Scott Huff's The New stranded colorwork. This is mainly Norwegian knitting brought up to date. There's tons of information here for the beginner who is scared of steeks for example. I like most of the 17 patterns (I'm not interested in bags and purses). She covers the whole family. Kjersten is a gorgeous green cardi for a woman using Brown Sheep nature spun sport in several colors. Being koi is a vest with t he Koi fish on the top and I love her colors of teals and poppy. Yarn is Harrisville shetland. Another nice vest is Queen of scots using Jamieson's spindrift. Houndstooth is a pullover with a doggie touch in a dk weight yarn. Norwegian blue is probably my favorite though and it also has Harrisville shetland as a cardi. Fleur de zebra is a pullover in Zarina yarns in black and white but with a great pink color to provide the punch. Wassily vest in a dk yarn is for size 44-49" finished chest size and is also nicely done. Finally the hardest one is Wedding belle in Dale of Norway Ull yarn and this is a cardi with lace and picot on the edges. I left out all the other projects like the baby bees sweater as I wouldn't put so much work into something like that but if you do Norwegian or fairisle definitely buy this one even sight unseen.Again, this is a great one for fairisle knitting and I want to use my J&S here.
Marian Poller

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