My reading of knitting books increases as the amount of time I have to knit decreases; with Christmas and a new baby, I had very powerful and unmet knitting urges. True devotees of knitting books can find reviews of many books at http://www.knitty.com , but here are a few of the books that have been inspiring me on this latest knitting-reading binge.
Men’s Knits by Erica Knight Knight, so she tells us, is a renowned clothing designer as well as a knitter. This book features a number of classically designed sweaters and some accessories, all photographed on multiple models of different ages and body shapes. That kind of thoughtfulness in design is exceedingly rare, and the really good quality yarn called for will also help make sweaters that will be loved and worn for decades. The designs were attractive enough that I wanted to rush out and start knitting my love sweaters, even though I know that he is not generally a sweater wearer. Perhaps I should knit him the giant (both in length and cable size) cabled scarf instead, at least in my imagination.
Fairy Tale Knits by Alison Stewart-Guinee My loyal readers might guess that fairy tales and knitting are a perfect combination for me. Oh, yes. These are mostly clothes inspired by fairy tales, clothes that will work when your child just is a mermaid or a fairy or a knight or a pirate for weeks on end and will only wear appropriate clothes. Often, in knitting books, there will be a handful of patterns that I would really want to knit and most of them I wouldn’t. This book was for me the opposite – and those that I wouldn’t knit were mostly because I don’t feel a need to knit another baby blanket for the foreseeable future, and I don’t like color work. Those patterns were still attractive, though. Not only do the patterns look good, but they are thoughtfully made out of soft and washable yarn, mostly knit in one piece to reduce finishing and get the finished product on the child “before the next growth spurt”. LB wants me to knit him the chainmail of soft grey wool; my mother wants to knit Baby Godzilla the Snow Queen coat and muff; and I would both be happy to have a Robin Hood sweater for ourselves. I really hope that Baby Godzilla likes fairies when she’s a bit older, so I can knit her a flower fairy dress. And I think I should stop now.
Soft + Simple Knits for Little Ones by Heidi Boyd Here’s a slightly older book of quick-to-knit items for little ones (though most of the sweaters here are seamed). There are a lot of good-looking items in this book, too. A few use simple intarsia – I liked the giraffe sweater, but LB wants the fleece yarn sweater with sharks chasing each other around – one on the front, one on the back. I’m planning to start a dress for BG as soon as I finish my current project; my mother kindly supplied me with the wonderful Debbie Bliss Cashmerino as a Christmas present. It’s a darling dress, and the yarn is wonderful to work with. But this book has lots of fun and soft sweaters and hats, and a portable castle filled with king, queen, knight, jester and dragon finger puppets.
Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGown-Michael Though the cover shows actual lingerie, most of the patterns in this book are inspired by lingerie but intended to be worn on the outside. There are lovely fitted tanks, corset-inspired vests, slinky skirts, sexy stockings, sweet cardigans. There were several things I could see myself wearing, as well as more I wish I had a place to wear. Her history of lingerie seemed off to me – crinolines were a product of the 19th century, not the 14th – but she is an actual lingerie designer, so her bras will work and fit like real purchased bras, which was impressive. More things for me to knit for myself, something that seems to happen much less than me knitting gifts for other people.
There’s more, of course, but that’s good for a start, I think.