This week I finally received the newly released book "200 Fair Isle Motifs - A Knitter's Directory" by Mary Jane Mucklestone, a well-known knitter and designer. The book, published by Interweave Press, has 208 pages and is printed on glossy paper with page after page of colour photographs. It is divided into three sections: the first is "Essential Skills" which covers areas from yarn selection to finishing and blocking. Designing your own garment is also included here. The largest section is "Motif Directory" with its 200 designs. Each design has a black and white chart, colour chart for the pictured swatch, a colour variation chart and a repeat pattern chart along with the colour photograph of the design knitted up. The designs are arranged from the smallest to the largest. The final section has the index and resources.
Although there was nothing new to me in the first section on skills, I think it is very clear and complete. It would make a great guide for anyone thinking about getting started or improving their stranded knitting work. I liked the directions for weaving the floats and also the different ways of holding the strands. There are good directions for crocheted steek reinforcing. It's very nice to see how far this style of knitting has come over the past few years. Not long ago, there would have been only one way to hold the strands and nothing about steeks.
The design section is very good with lots of options to choose from. I appreciated seeing things worked in colour as I am rather colour-disabled and can't put colours together on my own.
I ordered this book from amazon.com for US$15.44 which is bloody cheap. It will take its place in my FI reference library and I am certain to refer to it in the future. I can easily recommend this book to other knitters.
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