Monday, 9 November 2009

Name of Book: Patricia Roberts' Second Knitting Book
Author: Patricia Roberts
Any other info: 1983. W H Allen, 0491031017

Types of patterns: Garments with some accessories

Number of Patterns: (some are variations, i.e. cardigan and sweater in same theme) scarf (2); mittens (1); hat (1); Gloves (1); Cardigan (19); Jumper (27); waistcoat (2); fingerless gloves (1); shawl (1); childrens (3); pullover (1); Man's Jumper (1); Coat (1)

Split of patterns: mostly women

Size Range: 36-40 in many cases but it can be hard to find the sizing within the jumble of instructions.

Colour/Black & White: 80's colour pictures

Schematics: No

Target Audience: The 80's revivialist with a love of mohair and inartasia, along with a yearning for public ridicule. Seriously nothing really looks above intermediate really.

How to knit guide: Yes and check out the lace gloves, long nails and incomprehensible diagrams.


Comments: Gah, revenge of mohair and bad 80's hairdos, stoned models and scary charts. This is one to borrow to goggle at the idea that any of this was a good idea EVER. The cover says it all and that's saying a lot. The charts are handwritten and not all that clear, if you really wanted to knit them (WHY????) you'd have to rechart, honest, unless you're a real masochist.

What I missed on the first pass, formatting. Oh good gods, I did notice the multicoloured titles and the use/abuse of yellow for typefaces on white, but I didn't notice the fact that ends of patterns are shoved in wherever they would fit. So a pattern that starts on page 84 continues on page 81 for example. This is what happened before computerised formatting people, and still continues today by people who should know better.

I brought this to the inaugural Friday Fiber Fun meeting at the Tea Garden and I think I broke some people with the bad. It was also produced (and commented on) in This is Knit earlier that day, to much boggling and humour.

There are one or two okay patterns lurking under the fur but they're really nothing special.

Buy/Borrow: Only borrow this to boggle at what passed for fashion, why you shouldn't have designs with prominent features land on your breast and how to scare people silly. It also is an example of how some authors have learned and moved on.

Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries, thankfully stored away where it can't scare small children.

(see what I do for you all, suffer so that the truth can be told!)
Name of Book: the Art of Knitting
Author Eve Harlow edited
Any other info: Collins, 1983, 0004643017

Types of patterns: Garments and accessories

Number of Patterns: 35: Caftan (1); Dress (1); Jumper (6); Cardigan (4); Sleeveless top (2); Baby Dress (1 and cut out); Baby Jacket (1); Baby Hat (1); Girl's Dress (1); Child's Cardigan (2); hat (2); Scarf (2); Gloves (1); Socks (2); Jacket (1); child's hooded jumper (2); mittens (2); Child's Hat (1); Skirt (1); Waistcoat or sleeveless top (2)

Split of patterns: mostly women with some mens and childrens

Size Range: Women's 32-36 (a few 38); Men's 38-44

Colour/Black & White: Mostly colour illustrations with a few black and white, particularly for the older patterns

Schematics: No

Target Audience: Some pretty simple pieces and a few intermediate. One of the kids sweaters would be perfect if you wanted to learn how to do basic aran knitting and cables, it has only three patterns on the front.

How to knit guide: No

This one was modern for it's time but it's also experimental

Comments: Yes it was originally published in the 70's and it shows. However once you look closer at some of the patterns (ignore the caftan and some of the men's garments) and past some of the garish colour choices this is actually quite a good book of patterns. Many of the pieces rely on simple knit and purl designs to create interest in otherwise sedate patterns. That being said some of the designs are quite classic and in fact wouldn't take me much to be convinced to try them. Several of the designs are for a knitting machine.

The opening section that looks at knitting over the ages also has some interesting illustrations of early knitting and some of the surviving samples.

Buy/Borrow: Borrow this one before going hunting for it. It's interesting in ways for some of the implications rather than the patterns. Still they're not bad patterns and the illustrations of early knitting is interesting.

Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries has a copy. As noted the heirloom baby robe is missing for which the perprator deserves flogging.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009