Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Name of Book: Custom Knits
Author: Wendy Bernard
Any other info: 2008, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 978-1584797135

Types of patterns: women's clothing,some accessories with the instructions men's clothing could be adapted

Number of Patterns: Jumper (5); Cardigan (6); top (7); Cape (1); Waistcoat (1); Beach Cover-up(1); wrap/shawl (2); Hat (1); Skirt (1)

Split of patterns: Women's

Size Range: x-small (30") to 3x-Large (51")

Colour/Black & White: Colour photos throughout, some sketches; someone though decided that bikini's were the best other clothing to not distract from most of the pictures. Sometimes it's difficult to see some of the construction details from the photos.

Schematics: Yes

Target Audience: Intermediate. There's no beginners guide here but most of the pieces are mostly stocking stitch.

How to knit guide: no

Experimental/Classical/Modern: a lot of the pieces are pretty classic.

Comments: An interesting book. It starts with the authors philosophy and a "how to make your own custom dress form" guide, then takes you on a journey through some patterns and then to how to adapt said patterns to suit yourself.

This is all top-down construction, which suits some people and doesn't suit some others, but it does talk about adjusting designs and working them for yourself. This is a book for someone who knows something about what they're letting themselves in for. Definitely not a beginners book, though many of the patterns are mostly stocking (or stockingette) stitch or with a little bit of fairly simple design involved. It's a book to stretch you, to make you think about your relationship with your favourite jumpers and see how you can make them yourself, in your own favourite colours and with your own detail.

Buy/Borrow: borrow first and see how you like it. I bought a copy after deciding that I needed to tweak something I wasn't incredibly happy with. The patterns don't sing to me, but the design advice is proving invaluable.

Where found: Proving very popular in the libraries!

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