Guest Author - Marjorie Colletta
Power Cables: the Ultimate Guide to Knitting Inventive Cables by Lily M. Chin is a definitive work on cables. The book may not be for the beginner at first glance, but if you want to learn the ins and outs of cables and really understand the engineering behind cables this book will do that. She investigates and explains cables, what makes them reversible, how to incorporate color into cables to make them stand out, how a knitter has to allow for the natural tendency of cables to draw in. In addition, Chin lays out a whole new way to chart cables.
When I first started to knit I went to a class offered by Ms. Chin. The class was about designing your own garments. Ms. Chin's teaching philosophy is about empowering knitters to examine their own creativity. This book tackles the technique of cables with the same eye to having the knitter understand why cables work the way they do so you can use them to your advantage.
One problem with this method is that the explanation is complicated and the book does not always make it clearer. The first chapter of the book talks about a new way to chart that is elegant and actually helps you visualize cables much better than traditional charts, but the patterns in the book use traditional charts and not the new ones Ms. Chin has just taught you.
The patterns in the book are unbelievably wonderful and fresh; probably worth working through the book's complications. I would not attempt them if you are a beginner unless you like a challenge.
Another book that is more than a pattern book is Melissa Leapman's book Color Knitting the Easy Way the entire front of the book is given over to a discussion of how to choose colors. It is broken into sections that teach color theory and how to choose just two colors, and what to do to add a third, and then a fourth, etc. I have never seen a book explain color theory as well as this.
In addition, Leapman also includes stitch patterns and the project patterns to incorporate them. The book is easy to read and navigate as suggested by the title. I highly recommend this book if you need to add to your library and want to add color work to your knitting.
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