Friday, September 21, 2007


I got a couple books and some other fun stuff today. It's been a while since I bought knitting books (go, me), so I'm inordinately excited.

The best part? A tour poster from Dolores' musical revue.

Next payday I'm getting it framed. It's going on my office/studio wall, where Dolores can watch over me, reminding me that knitting is fun, not a source of stress. If you want a poster of your own, it's available, here (along with a bunch of other fun stuff). If you aren't aquainted with Dolores, hie on over to The Panopticon and read up. She's a hoot.

More fun. Books! Book one, "Knitted Kimono", by Vicki Square.

I have an ongoing interest in knitted kimono. You see, I love the design concept of them. But they're almost impossible to knit properly. Though it kills me to admit it, there are some things knitting will not do, and the soft, loose, drape and flutter of formal kimono is one of those things. Usually. But this book is great. It gives a good bit of history in easily-digested bits; it handles the design limitations as well as possible. And the details of the patterns in the book show that she really gets it - she goes so far as to put a central back seam in one of the more formal patterns. (Central back seams are considered good luck.)

One of these days I'm going to do an entire blog post about knitting and kimono. But at any rate, this book is the best I've seen on the subject.

The second book? "The Twisted Sisters Knit Sweaters" by Lynne Vogel.

This is a design book. So if you don't wanna know about design, it's kind of pointless to get it. But if you ARE interested, oh, yeah, this is good. For the most part, it's kind of a retread of "Designing Knitwear" by Debbie Newton, but there's a lot more concentration on yarn and how yarn affects the construction of fabric. It's also got a lot of really good tips from women who have obviously knit a LOT of sweaters; stuff like using the back of the sweater you've already knit to predict gauge and slope on the sleeves. And because this book was written by committee by a bunch of spinners and hand-dyers, there is a bunch of information on using variegated yarns. In fact, it's got the best discussion I've ever seen on how to use variegated yarns effectively in garments. There's also a discussion on designing Aran sweaters. Good stuff.

In other news, I have spotted one of my patterns in the wild! Over at FriendSheep, Joanna is trying to wear all hand-crafted clothing for a week. Today, she's got A Scarf For Ally wrapped around her neck! Look at that! This has definitely made my day.

...and I still haven't redone the short-row back gusset thingie. But I did unravel it. That's something. Isn't it?


Amy Lane said...

Excellent--I've been eye-balling that Twisted Sister's book...the bit about variegated yarn (one of my big weaknesses) may just turn me...

(Ooohhh... good job on the Pattern in the Wild--that's really exciting...)

Alwen said...

Isn't it funny how synchronously things pop up? This is the second review of Twisted Sisters Knit Sweaters I've read today. Sounds like the kind of book I'd like. It's a pity I never get to wear my sweaters. (On the other hand, I don't miss working in corporate America, where the AC had me wearing them all summer.)

Sheepish Annie said...

I've never seen a knitted kimono that I thought really fit the definition even if I liked the sweater itself. I'll be curious to see how one of these patterns works up.

Loving the Dolores poster!! She really does get the whole Knitting Is Fun concept, doesn't she?

Donna Lee said...

My daughter informs me (and she is a budding expert on Japan and all things Japanese) that the kimono on the front of the book indicates that the wearer is dead. If the right side is crossed on top of the left, you're dead. So, make sure if you knit one of these, to cross the left side on top! We were looking at the book because she is intrigued by the idea of knitting a kimono. She owns a beautiful blue flowered one and wore it for Halloween one year.

Kate said...

Yes, right-over-left is how the kimono is folded for a dead person at the funeral...isn't that a pleasant thought? I am fascinated to see how the knitted kimono turn out, as I love the look of them. I'm not sure I'm ready to do something of that proportion yet, though. I haven't even done my own sweater!
Good to see that you treated yourself to some well-deserved gifts.