Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009 Beadweaving books purchased

There just aren't many beadweaving books published and certinaly not in 2009. Each one I purchased added to my collection and I find them to be very useful. Let's hope t hat 2010 will continue to provide quality.
Seed bead fusion by Nelson-Smith has elements of other techniques that don't interest me. But hopefully this book will help me.
DeCoster's Beaded challenge is all about RAW. Actually she has more interesting patterns in some of the bead magazines.
Cube bead stitching by Jensen opened my eyes and I went out to find 1.5mm cube beads. This was a very worthy addition and also the patterns are quite easy but pretty.
Shaped beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald is a blockbuster of a book. Written in such a way that it leads on to more unexplored territory. All her books are useful but this one was the best for me.
Beaded sphere by Judy Walker was bought from a bead supplier as it's not on Amazon. Again another very important book.
In addition to the books, the magazines continue to lead the way. Sad that Step by step beads has been gobbled up by Interweave. Interweave Press was sold to another company and since that time, it has become a very aggressive marketing power but sometimes the books have to be checked before purchase.

2009 crochet books purchased

50 fabulous crochet squares was good purchase as was 99 granny squares to crochet from an earlier year but bought this year. The latter is a better book with twice as many patterns for the buck. But when it comes to grannies, I like all of them.
100 flowers to knit and crochet was bought because of the editor. good purchase.
Interweave crocheted gifts was also a good purchase. I hope to use it in the future.
Blueprint crochet is hard for me to understand but has some nice patterns. I notice that the author has done other patterns for magazines that are not charted and also this is not the first word on the subject as I have easier books published years before this one.
Freeform crochet and beyond Boght because I have another book by this author I like. This one doesn't come up to that one.
Tunisian crochet is good. Silverman designed everything and the many color photos look helpful. Plus I enjoy doing this anyway.

2009 knitting books purchased

I decided to check my purchases for 2009 on Amazon. I also bought some books in stores and on ABE but mainly Amazon.Overall I am quite disappointed. Somehow books were of higher quality years ago. Now it seems like each book has only a few patterns of interest. So I was recently in the far east and got to look at new books in actual bookstores. I was disappointed in most of them for the same reason that they promise a lot and don't deliver. I am going to itemize the books I bought now explaining what I think about each of them.
Knitting books:
Together or separate by McCauley. I was unhappy with her first book because all the necklines were done for someone with an abnormally long neck. This book didn't do that. Most of the items are really classic and a lot of them use cotton yarns. This book was a pleasant surprise.
All new homespun handknit. I bought this one because I thought it would come up to the level of a much earlier book but it didn't. It emphasizes handspun yarns and someone wrote me on that point, that I should not have been disppointed. There is a nice lace scarf from Nancy Bush, a shoulder lacey shawl and a lace scarf. The entrelac socks look good. Then there are several hats in colorwork. These are the interesting projects. It's possible that I might become more favorable towards this one in the future.
New stranded colorwork is a gorgeous book of Norwegian and some shetland knitting and since I like almost everything on that subject I was pleased with it. The main problem is that there are all kinds of yarns used so I would need to substitute for most of them. However that's probably academic as I'm just trying to use up my yarns and finish all my gorgeous projects that I've got.
Personal footprints by Bordhi was another disappointment as it mainly explains how to knit a perfect sock with one pattern. For me this is too bad I bought it.
Reversible knitting has 50 new stitch patterns and various projects. The patterns could be good but none of the projects interest me. Again I bought this one because I liked her earlier book on scarves which was definitely interesting.
99 yarns and counting was bought as I had been thinking of the earlier book from the Green Mountain spinnery but it looks like the whole group changed in the meantime. Unlike the first book, this one doesn't really list t he yarns used. Patterns are very simple so might be good for beginners but a big mistake for me.
Vintage baby knits was one of the few books I looked at before buying. There's a nice shawl but again not sure if this one will be of much use. The author prefers wool yarns and that is not practical as all the moms want something to put in the machine.
Norwegian handknits has a lot of nice small item patterns and a few large sweaters. Reminds me of growing up in Minnesota. Here I did feel I got a book that is worth the money. But not sure if I'll ever knit anything from it.
Knits from the North sea was criticized as not being very Shetland. I don't care. I feel the shawls and scarves are lovely. Happy with this purchase.
Amigurumi knits was another good purchase. Full of weird critters and different from the other Ami books which are all crochet.
Knit on down is a good collection of useful sweaters for all ages plus some hats and other stuff. Not disappointed with this one.
Knitting saddle style was another disappointment for me. There are no other books on this subject. Author doesn't explain how to design your own so you have to do the pattern her way. I wanted to know how long to make the sleeve and didn't get an answer.
Feminine knits was another disappointment.Main problem is that the yarns used are not American but primarily Danish. I didn't find anything I wanted to make but I could always change my mind. Mainly these patterns are not easy.
Knitting in the sun was another sad story. I found that t he gauges and yarns didn't work out mainly because each designer did her own thing. I tracked each yarn online to see what gauge was called for so if I decide to make anything, I'll have a general idea of the gauge I need. These are mainly sweaters for wamer climes which is good.
Custom knits might prove useful although I haven't bothered with it as the patterns are simple. I just noticed a cape from the top down which has no pattern stitches but might be helpful as I'd like to knit one.
Selbuvotter is in a class sof its own. I probably won't m ake any of the mittens but I'm interested in the fairisle/Norwegian patterns.
Knitted lace of Estonia is definitely a good purchase a nd I'm very pleased I've got it too.
So summing up: I need to be more careful in the future about what I buy. Wait until more reviews come in. The big problem is not to wait too long and the book goes out of print.