Guest Author - Marjorie Colletta
We have entered fall book release season and of course I am going to review a book I received from the publisher last year called Vampire Knits by Genevieve Miller. The items in the book are meant to, "Keep you knitting from twilight to dawn". Contrary to the title most of the projects in the books are not representations of vampires, but instead are cowls, scarves, wristers, that meant to cover the pulse points. There are also sweaters, a fabulous hoodie and a child's sweater with fangs knitted on the front. The patterns are a mixture of written instructions and some graphs for the lace work. Different designers contributed patterns, and they state what skill level is necessary to work them. The book was inspired by the Twilight series, but the patterns may appeal to you whether you are a fan of Twilight or not.
This season's book offerings direct from the publishers are, The knitter's book of socks by Clara Parkes and Deborah Newton's Finishing School: a master class for knitters.
The first book, The knitter's book of socks is written by Clara Parkes, who is best known for the knitting site, www.knittersreview.com, where she discusses the properties of different yarns. In this book she spends the first 25% of the book talking about how yarns are made, their properties and their suitability for making socks. The book goes on to include many patterns, designed by various designers, starting with a simple sock Ms. Parkes designed shown in worsted weight yarn for getting started. Working with larger needles and thicker yarn may help the beginner get comfortable knitting socks. Ms. Parkes introduces each pattern with a recitation of the sock styling and the yarns that would work best.
Deborah Newton's Finishing school: a master class for knitters is an excellent companion to her book Designing Knitware. In fact, she starts out her lessons with a review of what to look for when you start a sweater so the finishing is easier and does not look home made, but rather beautifully crafted. She includes step-by-step instructions for every step of finishing and all sorts of joins. Seams, attaching different types of sleeves, blocking, button bands, and altering are just a few of the topics she covers. This is one book that I think is important to have, since you put a lot of time and money into knitting, and a sloppy finishing will ruin the end result.