Sunday, May 01, 2005

Book Reviews

I've checked out three books from the library recently; here are my impressions:

Image hosted by Photobucket.comVogue Knitting On the Go: Socks Two:

Vogue Knitting books always have well illustrated tips/how-to sections, and this one includes tips on short-row turns, kitchener stitch, etc. The patterns are good, nothing really caught my eye enough to buy the book, but it's a good book for someone who wants some cute basic patterns, maybe good for beginners, too.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThe Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook; Dyeing, Painting, Spinning, Designing, Knitting: It's obvious that the women who created this book are a) very skilled artisans and b) are from Eugene, Oregon.

a) very skilled artisans: The book is divided into three sections:
1. color and dying
2. from fiber to yarn
3. knitting socks
So you're getting a lot of bang for your buck if you buy this book, if these are things you're interested in reading... There's good info here about dying and fibers that was interesting to read, even though I'm not going to do it. The resulting socks are:

b) obviously from Eugene, Oregon. Okay, so the author lives in Virginia. The socks in this book are very hippy-dippy, wear with your Birks to a Dead (Phish?) concert after the Farmers Market sort of look. The Twisted Sisters are a bunch of women who come together in Eugene to spin, dye, knit and wear colorful, gorgeous socks with their Birkenstocks. The patterns are great, there are discussions about knit as you go heels vs. afterthought heels, etc. There's even a pattern for toe socks! You know, like foot gloves! :) My mom had a stripey pair in the late 70s or early 80s that I remember fondly.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comKnitting On the Road by Nancy Bush, is last, but sooo not least.

Let's just say I fell in love with this book and I don't really want to return it to the library, except that some previous borrower let their 3 year old scribble on a page or two and so, of course, I NEED to buy my own, pristine copy.

This book has a hard cover with a spiral binding. So it's going to stay open, nice and flat, to the page you're working with, without any creases or bending. The shape is long and narrow, so if you really were Knitting on the Road, it would easily fit into your backpack or carry-on luggage. (Nancy Bush even includes a photo of her knitterly backpack.)

The patterns are superior, or at least they are presented beautifully. There are patterns inspired by everywhere from Whidby Island (not far from where I live!) to Scandinavia and all sorts of places inbetween. These are finally socks that I could imagine myself and Mr. Goodkarma wearing.

The book also includes a good list of sock yarns, including info about fiber, gauge, yardage, manufacturer, etc., so that yarn subs can easily be made. Without having knit any of these patterns, I can say I've definitely found a sock book that I want to own!