Monday, April 12, 2004

Book reviews

Yesterday I checked out 5 books from the library:

Vogue Knitting Socks: There is one gem of a pattern that has a gauge I like (9 sts/in) and a really cool 4 color pattern -- the Zig Zag socks. I wonder if the ragg yarn would look good knit up like this? I'd have to dye some of it 4 different colors and knit a swatch to be sure but I think it'd work and it wouldn't cost anything, I already have the yarn and dyes. I could do something different and make the four colors red, orange, yellow, and purple (instead of my familiar blues/greens). But I liiiiiiike blue and green.

Knitting Around the World, from Threads: I've checked this out before but haven't seen it on the shelf in quite a while so I brought it home again. It's OOP unfortunately. The only low point is an article containing spectacularly UGLY faux Bohus Stickning knitting patterns! However it IS amusing to see someone try to interpret the Swedish Bohus designs, years before Poems of Color was available. The rest of the book is very educational, it contains articles on Shetland lace knitting, Fair Isle tams, seamless argyles, Swedish tvaandsstickning, arans, and more.

Men in Knits: This is new to the library. There are some good patterns but ho-hum, nothing that screams KNIT ME RIGHT NOW. There's no obvious reason to buy it for my bookshelf. The author devotes several pages to the psychology of men and handknit sweaters and how to go about making a sweater that a man will like enough to wear. Kinda strange. It's almost obsessive with all the charts and questions the author expects us to unload on the sweater recipient but if you follow all her instructions you'll probably make something that the recipient will wear. Apparently this is a problem for a lot of knitters, who knew men were so fickle?

Knitting from the Top (Barbara Walker): Someone lost this a couple years ago and the library finally replaced it. It's a Barbara Walker book, of course it's brilliant. I don't need to own it though, I'm content with knowing it's available from the library if I need it for some reason. Well, as long as nobody LOSES it again. If I ever decide to knit pants this is the book to check out.

A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns (Barbara Walker): I need to own all 4 Treasury books, they're worth their weight in gold. I see some reversible stitch patterns that I'd like to turn into a scarf for my mom, to match the dark brown merino gloves I knit her last month. My favorite is Hearts of Oak (p. 194-195), that is very cool and the back looks almost as good as the front (which is important for a two-sided item like a scarf). Floral Mesh (p. 218) is also appealing.

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