Posted on September 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm
When publishers send me books, they must know that I don’t really spend a lot of time on the blog talking about knitting books. There are bloggers who dedicate themselves to the task, but arrive the books still do. On occasion, I see one that is worth the money that might otherwise be funneled into the savings account you set up last year for the cashmere. However, this week, I have three upcoming titles to recommend.
Books in the knitting section usually fall into one of several categories: technique, pattern collections, life lesson essays, and Yarn Harlot. The Knitter's Life List by Gwen Steege is a completely new category unto itself. As the title would suggest, it is a knitter's bucket list, full of all the things the ambitious yarnaholic might like to have accomplished by the time her stash is divided up among her friends. It is friendly enough to entice the novice out into broader horizons, and varied enough to convince the most jaded among us that there are even greater rewards just around the bend. Gwen Steege's charming "to dos" include an index of knit world celebrities to meet, trying out new techniques like Portuguese knitting or an afterthought thumb, and reading such things as J.M.Synge's play Riders to the Sea. You will recognize much and gasp and what you don't, and likely install this book in your favorite reading spot for a long residency.
That shelf in your powder room is going to get a little more crowded now that Deborah Newton has finally written this book (and who better?). Like the Vogue Knitting Book, your EZ collection, and however many of the Barbara Walker stitch dictionaries you've managed to justify, Deborah Newton's Finishing School is going to round out your core collection of Desert Island Knitting Books. Never fear: "finishing" is not just seaming, but also making adjustments for proper fit, knowing a variety of suitable bind offs, and installing those pesky zippers! And there are pretty patterns too.
As a follow up to their much admired book, New England Knits, Weekend Hats brings Cecily Glowik MacDonald, Melissa LaBarre, and about a dozen of their favorite fellow designers together to challenge the ubiquity of the quick-knit beanie and the insert-cable-here beret. Like many knitter's heads, mine is not flattered by the cling, nor the flop, so this collection is a ladder out of my own personal hat purgatory. Make a point to leaf through this when you see it on the shelf, and tell me that there isn't a shape in there for just about every chilly head. Thank you, guys, for such a pretty collection.