Archive - Mar 24, 2007 - Blog entry

kiwiknitter's picture

Seaters From Camp - Book

"Sweaters From Camp - 38 Color-Patterend Designs from Meg Swanson's Knitting Campers", 2002.

As you know, Meg Swanson is the daughter of famous knitting guru Elizabeth Zimmermann who founded the Wisconsin Knitting Camp in 1974. This book showcases the winners of a contest offered to all former and current campers to design on all-over patterned garment in Shetland wool.

Here are my opinions of this book:

1. I liked the techniques chapter. Some of the items were new to me so I learned from reading it. It was the first time I was able to get my head around the mathmatical formula for increasing stitches evenly in a row. I found some interesting new cast-on techniques and the purl-when-you-can technique is very intriguing. The book was worth the money just for this reference chapter.

2. I definitely want to try knitting in Shetland wool very, very soon! The colours are beautiful and I like the idea of the steeks felting themselves without sewn reinforcements.

3. Thankfully, there were no chapters on the history of Shetland knitting or the basic how-to of knitting!

4. I was most gratified to see in print some of the seamless/circular techniques (such as armhole reductions with a steek) that I'd laid awake at night trying to suss out. I'm happy to know that I'm connected to the greater pool of knitting wisdom!

kiwiknitter's picture

Knitting With A Smile - Book

"Knitting With A Smile - The Compact Book with Over 39 Original Swedish Knitting Patterns" by Inger Fredholm, 2005. This is a fun knitting book by the lady who owns Gunga Din, a knitting shop in Stockholm, Sweden; maybe some of our Scandanavian members know of this lady? There are patterns for some rather plain but practical garments in addition to lace patterns (such as the "Tango Dress") and colourful multi-coloured garments. I bought this book for the mutli-coloured patterns and I was not disappointed. The garments have a very Scandanavian look, both in style, pattern and colours. She includes some Fair Isle patterns, too. My favourite is the "Stella Polaris" pattern which I am keen to try. All patterns are done in the round and cut. The sleeves are done separately and then knitting to the body by the 3-needle bind-off!

A fun aside to this book is that a gentleman knitter proof-read, corrected the English and also knitted many of the patterns.

I like this book as a part of my knitting reference library and I think others would enjoy owning a copy, too. It is not a book for someone just beginning to do stranded knitting as the instructions are sparse. But, it's wo

kiwiknitter's picture

Knitting Belt

I'm just finishing up my first stranded jumper and I've been thinking about trying the Shetland style knitting belt and long DPN's. I'm wondering if any members here have tried it in the past or use it and what the comments about it might be.

Celowin's picture

Book Mini-reviews

I've been buying a lot of knitting books recently in an effort to improve my knowledge and skills. Some have been good, while others have been disappointing. I figured I'd write up a few opinions on my most recent acquisitions.

The Knitting Answer Book by Margaret Radcliffe

Overall impression: Very limited audience

This books claims to have "Solutions to Every Problem You'll Ever Face" and "Answers to Every Question You'll Ever Ask." These are big claims, and unsurprisingly the book fails to deliver.

There is good information in the book, but most of it is very basic stuff. Even with only a couple months knitting experience, there is not much I can learn from it. The book in written in a question and answer format which is very readable, but makes it less useful as a reference.

All in all, it strikes me as this book is useful for three kinds of knitters: First, those that are just learning and don't know much beyond the basic knit and purl. Second, knitters that only do a project once in awhile, and need something to prod their memory about how things work. Finally, it strikes me as being useful for knitters that are going to teach a class, to remind themselves about some of the basics that are so second nature to them that they don't even think to explain them.