Daily Archives: September 3, 2009

Books, Searching for that Elusive Perfection

When I buy a book I am usually looking for three things: it has to have some new content, has to be written and presented well and I should be able to use at least 50% of the content, projects and/or info contained within.  None of this is written in stone but I am usually disappointed when one or more of the variables are lacking.

Please note I am not a critic and I will not be doing an in depth review of any of the books that will be discussed in this post.  I am simply going to share what I think of my books in a simple manner – perfect for me.

My most recent book purchase includes Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller, a British publication.

I was expecting a well written book full of lace patterns with some history thrown in for good measure.  Heirloom Knitting - A Shetland Lace Knitter's Pattern & Workbook

Heirloom Knitting does touch on history of various lace techniques.  It also goes through the most basics of lace knitting such as picking up an edge, even making a yarn over and how to cast on.  The book is well written however, it does not flow well, topics and chapters feel like they were put together in a haphazard fashion.  Photo quality is average at best and the book reads like a republication of an old text book.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with that.  Simply put Heirloom Knitting was not what I had expected.  There are bits of info that is definitely useful but overall this is not book I would run out to buy again.  However, Heirloom Knitting would be a great gift for an advanced-beginner lace knitter who wants to know a little bit more and learn the basics of lace construction.  This book retails at $50 and my book is in great shape.  I would be more than happy to trade. 🙂

I was a little behind the curve on this one but I finally got the Knitted Lace of Estonia.  Knitted Lace of Estonia

Simply put I like this book.  Knitted Lace of Estonia opens with historical intro (not too long, not too short, just right), continues with hints and fine points of lace knitting, and concludes with patterns.  I wish there were more patterns (yes, I know, I am being piggish), and I agree with Deb, there are just too many bobbles (they call them nupps).  Even with that, this is a good book and if there were to be a Knitted Lace of Estonia #2, I would probably buy it.

Finally, I have had Knit Kimono for a little while  Knit Komono Rocks! and have knitted Fan Kimono with Schaefer Yarn’s Laurel already.  This is not a book I would have seen myself purchasing but I fell in love with it when one of our customers came in with to the store with it.  The patterns are well written, beautifully photographed and they are unique.  With the exception of one or two, I am going to try to knit every single kimono in this book and hope to use Habu Textiles’ yarns to make them more interesting.  The fact that most of the garments are not fitted and loosely knitted makes them easy to adjust for gauge purposes.  And, again, I wish the book contained a few more patterns and I will rush out to buy Knit Kimono #2 if there were ever to be one.

I better hit that publish key or it is going to be late really soon.  30-posts-in-30-days, here is hoping that I can make it.