Sunday, 14 March 2010

Hand Knitting: New Directions(US Amazon Link)

Types of patterns: Garments, accessories, domestic

Number of Patterns: 9: Jumper (2); Child's Jacket (1); Waistcoat (1); Jacket (1); Hats (2); Cushion (2)

Split of patterns: Jumpers are mostly unisex, 1 childs

Size Range: 40-50" (not on all garments)

Colour/Black & White: Colour and black and white

Schematics: Yes

Target Audience: Intermediate

How to knit guide: yes, but a knowledge of basics would be useful before you start into this book.

Experimental/Classical/Modern: Pretty classical stuff

Yes there are only 9 actual patterns in this book, that's not what this book is for those people who are looking to explore knitting further than the basics. She details how the stitches work, how different methods of manipulating knitting works, how to design, how to play with colours and to see from a swatch how a larger piece of knitting would work and other ideas. I like how each stitch illustrated also comes with annotation to tell you how it acts when knitted and basically this one looks like a great springboard for further exploration of knitting.
The patterns are sparse:
Project 1: Jumper is a boxy plain jumper, probably more suited to men than women with a fairly basic fair-isle-esque pattern which could be easily changed. Knit in the round from the bottom seperating at the armholes she also includes variations on the theme.

Project 2
: Square yoked jumper. Knit from the neck down with a square opening, contrast on edges, reverse stocking stitch stripes and raglan sleeves this is quite basic. Some variations suggested, again unisex, knitted for a woman it could be nice as a sloppy joe style, oversized and comfortable.

Project 3: Child's Jacket: to fit 31" or 34.5" this is knit in one piece across the sleeves and yoke and then knit down along the body, the author does say that it's designed for expansion, interesting construction and a good introduction to the concepts, variations included.

Project 4 Waistcoat, with shaping, this is knit in one piece back and forth, with some colours. Begun in two pieces these are joined above the back vent. This one caught my eye and I'm itching to knit it.

Project 5: Jacket with Shaped back: Knit side-to-side this has a dropped shoulder style and the back comes up in the middle forming almost a kimono-style garment, interesting but not me. Minor variations included

Project 6: Hats
Two hats knit in the round, one with hearts and a rounded top, the second with a diagonal pattern and a pointed top.

Project 7: Cushions
Cushion A is worked in four triangles each one picked up from the side of the previous one and knit in a different direction and then sewn together.
Cushion B is a plain square with a square pattern on it and then with a knit border.

No the patterns aren't very exciting, but it's the rest of the book with it's ideas and concepts that really got me interested and thinking. I reckon it's one for people looking for new directions, like the title implies, and wanting to play with the way knitting works. While the projects aren't very exciting they do deal with ideas and ways of changing things around to play with concepts, methods and are more springboards than concrete patterns.

Buy/Borrow: I borrowed this one from Fingal and it went on my wishlist almost immediately.

Where found: Fingal via ILLs

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