Sunday, September 30, 2012

Exploring the circle ...

Knitting in Circles by Nicky Epstein offers us another crazy inspiring reference book. This time showcasing her distinctive design style using the simple circle. 

Knitting in Circles has instructions for knitting 100 patterns for circles and spiral shapes that can be used in 21 patterns for garments and accessories such as sweaters, dresses, bags, hats, afghans, and more. She encourages you to use your imagination. Each chapter focuses on a specific technique, from basics to ornate, colorwork to cables. From knitting from the center out, outside in and top to bottom. Everything you need to know about creating the basic shapes is detailed in the shaping chapter and knitting techniques explain as well as joining all the circles when you're done. She shows the knitter how to mix, match, while easily combining the patterns using cut-and-paste design templates, to create garments and accessories that are truly unique.

Not only is this book like many of her others, one that you would be proud to set out on the coffee table, but also wildly inspiring with Nicky Epstein's distinctive design style. All of her books have truly been an inspiration to me and have added to the progression of my knitting skills and style.  Needless to say I’ve gone over this book many times trying to decide what to make first. Although, I should be working up each and every circle pattern for a blanket, I’m excited to work up at least one quick project for some instant gratification first. That’s got to be a hat right?  Yes, a hat.

Here’s the one I’m talking about ….

And that poncho cover-up is on my list of “must knit” also. So simple yet stylish.
As it happens with Nicky’s designs, not all of them appeal to me BUT they certainly inspire me to think and perhaps encourage me to alter the design to fit my own tastes or inspire me to incorporate her’s style into something else I would wear or love to gift.

With this innovative book, you’ll never look at a circle the same way. Once again, Nicky Epstein has opened up a world of creative possibilities with a gorgeous knitting book that will have you knitting in circles over and over again.

In summary; when thinking about whether to purchase this book, think first about what you actually want it to give you. If you want a directory of knitted circular or spiral stitches and techniques for beginners through to advanced, with information on how to integrate it into a garment or blanket etc., then this book is for you. If you are looking for a book of patterns to work through without using your own imagination, then don't buy it. Although you may want to reconsider that and think about how much you'll want to reference her techniques in your future projects as taste and style changes.

Consider this … if you knit just one circle, you’ll be inspired to knit more.

It's just like eating potato chips!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

My views about a new book ...

About knitting, of course.

Knitting the Perfect Fit by Melissa Leapman is a guide for anyone interested in learning and perfecting shaping details and incorporating them into their knitting. Melissa shows the knitter how designer details and shaping actually work. From a variety of necklines and arm details to different shaping techniques that offer a more slimming and flattering look to any garment. She examines mastered techniques that knitters can use to adapt and customize any project. Each technique is thoroughly explained with tips and exercises, and then featured in a project to allow knitters to practice their new skills.

The book has four chapters: Basics, Step Away from the Edge, Designer Details and Figure Flatterers. Each chapter has several designs which illustrate Melissa’s styling points. Nineteen (19) patterns are included in this book. The patterns are labeled with codes to help you choose the styles that are best suited for your body type. I’ve had a few weeks with this book, now and have browsed through it quite a few times. I will admit that for many years, I’ve tried to keep away from close-fitting sweaters because I thought they would magnify unwanted or rather unsightly curves that I don't want to have attention brought to. But what I discovered was that women of any size can find some ideas in this book that will help them choose design styles that flatter their body type. I really think this is a valuable addition to any serious knitter’s library.

I liked the designs in this book quite a bit also since they are stylish without being too over the top or weird. They look wearable and comfortable. I’ve liked Melissa Leapman’s designs before and she hasn’t disappointed me this time either. The one thing I’m really disappointed about though is that the book is not spiral bound. I wish all instructional books like this would be spiral bound so that it could be laid out open and flat in front of me without the pages turning while I try out new techniques or patterns. Publishers please make a note of this. Knitters everywhere would be so grateful. 

All in all, this looks like a great book for anyone who is interested in creating better fitting knits.