Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I could talk about my spinning, but showing you a wet skein and talking about it is sort of boring for me and for you it's sort of like waiting for paint to dry.

I could talk about my knitting, but I'm still working on the Big Blue Thing, which is still blue and really, really big now but it's not all that interesting for more than about 30 seconds.

But I do have some interesting things to talk about this week.  Now, I do love me some books, knitting books especially.  In the past month, I've bought four which I think are really great. 

I picked up Spinning Around a few weeks ago at the Woodland Woolworks closing sale.  Jeannine Bakriges has done a great job of detailing how to spin, dye, and knit some of Elizabeth Zimmerman's classic patterns.  I'm pretty particular about spinning books and don't usually buy them unless they have information that I'm unfamiliar with and want to try in the future.  Jeannine has done a great job of detailing fiber prep, dying, and spinning specific yarns to match the ones used by EZ.  The only complaint I have is that some of the photos are a little dark, but her detailed narrative more than makes up for the one shortfall.

If you want a beautiful coffee table book reflecting your love of fiber arts, you can't go wrong with The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook.  Judy Becker waved a copy of this under my nose at knit night and it took me about 6 seconds to decide I had to own a copy.  Carol Ekarius and Deb Robson give the history, traits, and sources for every kind of sheep you can imagine, and then some.  And let me say that I am incredibly jealous of Deb getting to play with all those fibers!  Not only does this book talk about the fleece characteristics, but they picture the raw fleece, washed fleece, singles, and plied samples of each one.  This book is where I discovered that I really, really want an Ouessant sheep; I just have to talk ToolMan into letting me put them in the backyard. 

Knit, Swirl! is another really pretty book of really pretty designs.  The best part?  These sweaters look good on everybody.  Seriously good.  Sandra McIver has put a LOT of thought into these patterns.  She not only gives you the patterns, she talks about how to choose the shape for you that will be the most flattering.  And did I mention that these sweaters can be worn either side up?  Yep, either as a long sweater with a collar or as a short sweater with a big shawl collar.  Simply brilliant!

The last book is Knit One, Knit All.  If you're an Elizabeth Zimmerman, then this is a must-have in your library.  The patterns and watercolors in this book are from Elizabeth's notes and scribblings found after her passing.  Her grandson, Cully Swansen, gathered her designs and patterns, edited everything and gives us the book Elizageth wanted to publish of all garter stitch designs.  Some of these rival her classic Baby Surprise and Tomten patterns; the Mitered Sweater is sure to become a new classic design.  Hmm, maybe that's what the Columbia fleece from Black Sheep wants to be!

1 comment:

  1. All those books are on my Christmas list. Thanks for your reviews - they all just moved closer to the top!


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