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AlterKnits: Imaginative Projects and Creativity Exercises Hardcover – 9 Sep 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang Inc; First Printing edition (9 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584794550
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584794554
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 2.5 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 679,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Leigh Radford is the art director of Interweave Knits magazine and an award-winning graphic designer with over twenty years of experience in graphic design and corporate marketing.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Myrna on 29 May 2006
Format: Hardcover
I must confess I haven't attempt to knit any of the projects in this book yet, but it is one of my favourites and is one of the star guests of my bedsite cabinet. Nevertheless, that is the point of this book, to inspire you to take your knitting to different levels and to experiment with materials and techniques. It is also beautiful to read. Ah! and it comes with a handy notebook which I have definitely used, and so will you if you get this book.
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By A Biochemist on 13 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I quite like this book. Although it doesn't quite achieve the level of originality one might expect from a book that aims to ignite the imagination and inspire creativity, it is nonetheless a lovely journey. The author states at the start that she wanted to inject creativity into her work without making it unrecognisable, and in my view she has done so. It is important to bear in mind both the age of the book (printed in 2005) and the age of the author (or at least her generation). Lace up gloves and bags made from felted jumpers are these days quite familiar, but they are still a twist compared to traditional methods. It is for this reason that I have called my review "a subtle journey", because it is a gentle twist on the traditional, and not a jarring yank into the bizarre.

Where the author succeeds, in my view, is in tweaking ideas to create something a little more interesting, while still being useful and wearable. A good example of this is the lace up scarf, shawl and wrap. This consists of two pieces of knitting which can be worn separately as a scarf and a wrap, or laced together to form a larger shawl. What appeals to me about this *is* its subtlety. The combined item still looks cohesive and timeless.

What lets this book down, is its now-dated use of mixed font sizes, and slightly over-stretched explanations of how the author arrived at her design. She rather overplays her excitement and ingenuity at creating items that these days are not really that radical. She makes up for it in part with some lovely inspirational quotes, most of which I have not seen before, and in making the attached notebook generic enough to be useful for designing your own modifications without slavishly following the creativity exercises.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nomilodesigns on 25 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Fabulous. Not only are the patterns contained in this publication different but they are beautiful, I cannot wait to get started on producing them, very satisfied with this purchase.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By neverendings on 14 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books that you can't help but pick up as soon as you see it on the shelf, with it's lovely cloth-bound spine, and arty photography throughout. Now, I'm a bit of a sucker for stationery, and I should also mention that this book comes with its own Alterknits Notebook (blank & squared paper).

The title says that it includes 'Imaginative Projects & Creativity Exercises'. You have to look quite closely to see how imaginative some of the projects are, as (to my eye) at first glance, a lot of the patterns actually look quite traditional. The 'imaginative' part seems predominantly to be in introducing some slightly less common materials, such as beads, ribbons and yarn cut from t-shirts, or combining with other techniques, such as crochet or felting. The only projects that really appeal to me are the laptop & PDA cases, and the T-shirt rug.

The creativity exercises were likewise a little disappointing - well, at least a little thin on the ground. Most of them are suggestions for how to use your notebook; several of them 'work best in a group' - which I guess is fine, if you have a group of like-minded knitting friends who have the inclination to explore their craft a little, rather than just do it. I'm half & half about the exercises themselves (always wary of anything that smacks of pop psychology) - only a couple of them gave me any food for thought, but I guess different people will respond in different ways. It's a nice idea, though.

This sounds like a bit of a disparaging review, but let me reiterate that it is a sumptuous, aesthetically satisfying book. The projects aren't very 'me' but they might well be more 'you'. I said many of the patterns are quite traditional, but perhaps 'classic with a contemporary twist' would be more accurate.
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