Saturday, April 07, 2007

Books? Did someone say books?

Remember when, at the beginning of the year when I jumped onto the Knit from Your Stash bandwagon, I said that I'd probably wind up spending the yarn budget on books? Um. Yeah. I'll try to keep this short.


"Andean Folk Knits" by Marcia Lewandowski. I got this book at overstock.com (lovely for low-priced knitting books that have been in print a while, check them out), and my first and foremost thought is "I'm damn glad I didn't pay full price for this." There's a lot of nice cultural information, but the projects suck. It's almost entirely screwy looking bags with a few chullo hats and a knitted doll. Don't bother spending the money. If you're desperate for Andean motifs, get it from the library.




"Spin to Knit" by Shannon Okey. It's a little thin on spinning stuff, but I think even non-spinners would like the book for the patterns. It's got all kinds of great stuff to knit with a varied amount of yardage. If you've got one skein of cool yarn (hand spun or not) and want some idea what to do with it, this is your book. And it's never bad to have some idea how yarn is made, whether you intend to spin some or not.




"Historic Costumes and how to make them" by Mary Fernald and E. Shenton, and "Medieval Costume and how to recreate it" by Dorothy Hartley. These are both geard toward sewers, but they give a good idea how to construct the same shapes in knitting. They're reprints of older books and economically priced. Useful if you're gearing up for an epic design project, which I am. If you don't write your own patterns, though, I don't know what you'd do with it.




"Make your own patterns" by Rene Bergh. Another book geared toward sewers, but useful for figuring out construction methods in knitwear. In fact, it's made me appreciate knitting a lot more. We can construct fabrics that sewers have to do all kinds of darts and tucks and everything to get. This is a good book for that, but of course if you're not doing design it's not worth the bother.




"Dyer's Compaion" by Dagmar Klos. This is more like a chemistry book than anything else, but if you dye yarn, ever want to dye yarn, or think you might dye yarn, it's a great book. It's got nice things like lists of chemicals in order of safety. There are some really nice safety charts, and includes how to make a 44 gallon indigo vat in a garbage can. You could dye half of Charleston with that. Hahah. But it's a good book for quick refrence.




The history of costume, from Dorling Kindersley. There are no words to describe the depths of my love for DK. Their books are wonderful. Full of great pictures, captions, and interesting information. This was an afterthought purchase from overstock.com, sort of "Oh heck, it's DK." and of course it's my favorite of everything I ordered. Love. It.



And lastly, for extreme knitters,

The Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting, from Marienne Kinzel. I have the first book, too. See the cover doily? I knit that. It's at least three feet across. At one point I had 1100 stitches on a size two needle. Insanity. Love them. There's some less extreme stuff, like squares and rectangles. If you sort of read between the lines, there's a lot of good stuff on how to adapt round doilies to ovals and that kind of thing. Extreme lace. Woohoo.



Okay. I've actually bought more books than this, but it's getting humiliating. I'm gonna go dye some yarn or something.

9 comments:

Catie said...

you still thinking of putting together a "best of" book list? I remember you mentioned it once and I think you had a lot of positive feedback on it.

Catie said...

anybody know of a canadian overstock.com or similar - they don't ship to canada - boo

Amy Lane said...

Fun stuff...I'm just looking at the lace knitting and drooling... someday, I will do lace... I would like to take a closer look at the costume stuff...I wanted to be a drama major--that stuff never really goes away....

Julie said...

I've been looking at beginner books in stores, mentally composing my list. It's in the works. I promise.

Catie said...

not just beginners, if you have time, a list of "good books" that you own, or a list of "good lace reference"...

NeedleTart said...

Love the costuming books! I worked in the costume shop in college. I never thought about transferring my sewing pattern skills to knitting (then again, the head of the shop used to say, "Don't design the pattern if McCall's has already done it).

Kristen said...

Catie: I know that Alibris ships to Canada, but I haven't used them up here and it looks like the ship rates are $8.80 and higher. Still, they can find books for you like no one's business.

Kristen said...

Julie: Heh, thanks for letting me think out loud to Catie in your comments without even acknowledging that you wrote a post :D

I meant to add to that:
It's good to see the book on medeival costumes, because I'm tired of looking at various knitting communities around the web and seeing people asking for ren faire patterns.

Also, I'll keep you posted on my dyeing adventures, mostly because I'm living with my in-laws right now and my MIL's kitchen is more like a temple than a place where I can even entertain the thought of bringing wet wool. Hooray, I get to piss her off again! *open the fridge!*

Hannah said...

I completely agree with you about Andean Folk Knits. If I hadn't found it for cheap at a used book store, I wouldn't have bought it. Still, the motifs are interesting, so I'm glad to have it for reference. Thanks for letting us do some vicarious book shopping... Oh, and your yarn looks great!