Random Ravelings

Thoughts on knitting, yarn, writing, and life, as the mood strikes me.

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Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Feeling More Like Spring

It's finally feeling more like spring in my neck of the woods, after a winter that couldn't quite make up its mind whether to be cold or relatively warm. My daffodils are pretty much done, the tulips are starting to bloom and the grass is looking so green it almost makes my eyes hurt. I'm going to have to get the lawn mower out very soon, the lawn is looking rather shaggy.

Yesterday I found several relatively new knitting books discounted at a local bookstore, and picked up my own copy of Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop, which I'd recently gotten through interlibrary loan and had been sufficiently impressed to want to get my own copy. The book is gorgeous, large format, lots of photos and nicely laid out. While it's disappointing to find that very few of the patterns go much larger than size Large, I find the designs and techniques used to be sufficiently interesting to make up for it. I think that some of the designs could be sized up, with some care, or the techniques used could be applied to other projects. I think the book is as much a source of ideas and inspiration as it is for specific projects.

Also on the recent acquisitions list is handknit Holidays,by Melanie Falick (designs by many different designers). I'd not had the chance to examine a copy of this one before and bought it primarily on the strength of Melanie Falick's name. The book is another lovely one, with excellent production values. The patterns include a wide range of items from not-so-classic Christmas stockings to hats, scarves, mittens, gloves and sweaters. While the theme of the book is the December holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, etc), the projects are not cutesy or overwhelmingly "Christmassy". Most could be used for any of the holidays. A nice book to look at and inspirational for getting started on those holiday handknts early!

The final book on yesterday's list was another one I'd not really noticed before, but the price was right and it looked useful. This was Margaret Radcliffe's The Knitting Answer Book. The book is a small one, though not quite small enough to be a true pocket book, it would fit in a larger knitting bag. It's mostly in question and answer format, divided into sections by basic technique, from casting on to binding off, and includes a lot of useful information and details of techniques. There's at least ten cast-on techniques described in the first chapter, that I saw, as well as suggestions for dealing with common problems. Tucked into the back are garment sizing charts for all sizes, as well as a list of hat sizes. I've not had time to do more than flip through the pages, but I think it will be a handy resource to have available, both for myself and when helping other knitters.


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