so, in addition to the collecting of old craft books, patterns, and pamphlets, i also fancy love to snap up choice new craft titles. i’ve just added a few new and interesting books to my collection, all having to do with knitting…
knitprovisation by cilla ramnek: not really so much a book of patterns, but more of a book of inspirations and ideas intended to inspire. the photographs inside are of children and teens and are shot in a very flat, interestingly flaw-filled way that reminds me of avant-garde arty fashion magazine shots, and the whole book sort of has a very european or japanese aesthetic, i’d suggest. sort of a wabi-sabi feel, perhaps? there’s a sense of the ugly made beautiful in this book, which of course appeals to me personally: i am very often a champion of that which others might find offensive or declasse. in knitprovisation, ramnek often mixes found knit or crocheted textiles together to make “new” garments, or adds embellishments. the resulting garments have a very hand-hewn, folkloric, magpie sort of feel. this book probably won’t appeal to everyone, especially those who have a very minimal sense of style or those who expect everything to be “perfect” and “beautiful” in the traditional sense, or people who want explicit instructions on how to make something. but it might appeal to those who “think outside the box” and innovate when it comes to the process of creating.
fitted knits by stefanie japel: if you have been a knitter and have been bopping around the ‘net for a few years, you probably know stefanie, the knitting maven who’s the blogger and designer behind her line of patterns, called glampyre knits. by and large, her knits are extremely stylish, practical, wearable, flattering, and relatively easy to knit. most of her designs feature a super easy top down raglan-sleeve style construction which often features the inclusion of “darts” and other full-fashioning marks that serve to make her knits fit a woman’s form exactly, in the way that darts and other shaping device work in wovens. what does this mean? no more boxy, unflattering knits. most of the designs have a minimal or classic feel, and at times a little Victorian sort of edge.
twinkle’s big city knits by wenlan chia: twinkle has become the go-to designer for chunky knitwear with a downtown feel. chia’s new book is full of the aforementioned, in spades. all this chunk love has been illustrated in a dynamic mainstream fashion mag sort of way, with a lithe model leaping and writhing around for the camera to show off the giant-gauge goods. these big gauges aren’t for everyone, but those knitters who embrace the bold might just be so brash. my favorite knit in the book? the “incredible skirt”, with it’s graduating color and organic feel.
edited to add on 3/2/2007: upon further examination of twinkle’s new book, i noted that sizing only goes up to 34″ (fitting up to a 37″ bust, according to the sizing notes on page 78). shame on you, wenlan chia! i think your sizing scheme is out of touch with current average sizes of women and also a bit size-ist as well. a slightly wider range of sizes (perhaps up through 38 or 40?) would have been a smarter move on your part, and would perhaps make your beautiful book more salable in the long run, to a wider audience of fashionable knitters.