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Brilliant Knits: 25 Contemporary Designs by Brandon Mably Hardcover – Sep 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (Sep 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561585114
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561585113
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 1.7 x 28.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,767,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
This design was my first for the Rowan Collection when I joined the Kaffe Fassett Studio. Read the first page
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By belindauk@aol.com on 30 April 2002
Format: Hardcover
An inspiring knit book. Both simple and challenging patterns enhanced by the colour work, all in basic stocking stitch. Each pattern assisted by a humourous down to earth description of where the influence came from.The opening chapters clearly marked out with line drawings and technical instructions. Nicely styled pictures with natural models. A charming and optimistic feel throughout the book with a good mixure of male and female designs.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By B. Hetherington on 16 Oct 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are some very pleasant patterns in this book but all of them are just too derivative of Kaffe Fasset. I know he learnt his craft in the studio of Fasset and it shows - it would have been nice to see something a bit more original to make buying this book worthwhile. If you already have the Kaffe Fasset books it's not really worth getting this one.
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By Bella Mazza on 21 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
Brilliant book, lots of beautiful patterns but not for the faint hearted or even a new knitter like myself. I have been able to knit all my life but only recently took it up as a hobbie to pass the time, I was always a needleperson, so have not actually tried any of these wonderful patterns but hope to one day. Just nice to flick thru' and dream!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Pretty colorwork, interesting designs but some problems, too 7 Sep 2002
By Joanna Daneman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Brandon Mably is a member of popular knit designer Kaffe Fassett's studio. I really liked many of Mably's designs, which are in some ways simpler and bolder than Fassett's--though clearly inspired by his mentor. But the design work here is spotty. Some of the ideas such as a Gypsy-striped scarf and vest, are simple in concept but look stunning. Others are Kaffee-clones, such as stars on complicated backgrounds. And there are complete departures from the Fassett style, such as a sweater with an intarsia design of pitted olives. Very cute.
The problem with this book, however, is that the quality of the knitted models varies from great to just awful. I would never have let some of those photos see the light of day, let alone the pages of a book. Knitting boo-boos jump out of the page such as uneven motif joins in intarsia, bulgy and uneven increasing above the ribbing and other amateurish-looking knitting that would have a competent knitting editor shouting naughty words. Another problem is the reliance on Rowan yarns, which are expensive and go out of production rapidly. If you want to reproduce these styles exactly, in the colors and weights of yarn specified, you may find yourself on a wild-goose chase. And the yarns used are often cotton. Now, cotton is able to be dyed in deep and bright colors, and the sheen on a mercerized cotton yarn lends a brilliance to knitting that a matte wool cannot achieve. But knitting intarsia (a technique where yarns are knitted in independent color zones and linked on the wrong side with a twisting method) is incredibly difficult to do with cotton. This is because cotton drapes and does not adapt to fill gaps in tension variations. Wool is forgiving in this matter and the fuzzy surface also hides knitting flaws. With cotton yarns, the inevitable variations of hand knitting are magnified, though master knitters can compensate. If you are not experienced in intarsia, let me tell you that a horrific experience awaits you if your first attempts are with cotton yarns. So be forewarned. If you don't believe me, look at the "Olives" sweater which sadly illustrates the difficulties that even an experienced knitter can have with cotton and intarsia. Tragic.
The sweater shapes in this book do vary from the wide and loose Fassett style (that does not always flatter the wide and voluptuous among us) and there are slimming v-necks and nicely done tunics. That's good. There are many design ideas here that are interesting and attractive, as well as some good colorways. However, other color choices were garish and muddy-looking.
So, if you like the Fassett style and are looking for more inspiration, you may find it here. But the uneven quality and the fact that many of these styles were previously published in Rowan books elsewhere, limit the value of this book.
67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Nicely produced book of men's and women's sweaters 5 Sep 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a warning, almost half of these designs are already published in Rowan magazines. The remainder, all new for this book, are often variations on Mably's style, which is similar to the well-known Kaffe Fassett's, although much simpler. The sweaters are really abstract, skirting the avant garde, although the fundamental styles are basic pullovers and cardigans. It's the color schemes that are dynamic and innovative, although Mably shows most of the sweaters in bright, bold, and sometimes almost garish color combinations. Since I prefer a more classic and muted look, it is difficult for me to see past the colors to the actual sweater and choose my own schemes. However, if you like lots of color, this book is an excellent choice. Most of the yarns used are Rowan (with some Jaeger), which is a sad choice since if you have used Rowan yarns, you are aware that as soon as a pattern is published, Rowan stops manufacturing the yarn. For instance, some of these patterns call for DK soft, which was recently discontinued. Pluses to this book are the introduction, which is concise and helpful, bearing tips on handling intarsia and fair isle in a nicely laid out presentation. Also, Mably introduces each pattern with a brief notation that describes his inspiration and intention, adding a charming touch. The patterns themselves are clear and simple to read, as are the large-size black and white charts, although there are no size diagrams, making it difficult to substitute yarns or handle your differing gauge. A huge plus is the photos of the sweaters. Unlike some publishers who concentrate more on the dramatic pose of the models, obsuring the sweater, this publisher paid lots of attention to showing the sweater. You know exactly what you are looking at and getting, including two or more photos of the sweaters, even with back views, to give you a strong idea. The book is really excellently executed, on fine quality paper. A nice presentation. I'm only sorry that these sweaters aren't my sort -- but if you like Mably's cover sweater, I'll bet you find you'll want to knit most of those included in the book!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Do you have a friend at Rowan? 1 Aug 2008
By Rosy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a handsome book--the settings alone make it very pleasant to leaf through, gorgeous country homes, beautiful gardens and models with character. Kaffe Fassett's influence is everywhere in the designs, but they are still handsome; however, the basic Fassett style, using simple shapes and 5,000 colors of bloody expensive Rowan yarn, makes them difficult for some people to reproduce...especially if the yarn is discontinued. Aside from that, there are certainly designs there I would make, particularly because they are shown on all ages and types of people. Perhaps a few too many Big Main Color pullovers with A Motif on them, and some of the sweaters, like the Green Olive number, are witty but would quickly be memorized by one's friends--"There he is! Oh, God, he's wearing that sweater with the olives again!" However, many of the checks and patterns are wonderful, like "Tie Dye" and "Cut Diamonds." In general, he also does good vivid colorways for men that they would actually wear... well, maybe there are a couple that college boys would squirm away from as too bright, but not many. The main reason I haven't tackled one of the ones I like best is the cost of Rowan yarn, and alongside that, laziness; intarsia with a million colors is nervewracking, and as for cost, I know I could substitute, but that's asking for trouble and a lot of preliminary figuring work...or unraveling. I'm not sorry I bought this; if nothing else, some of the pattern motifs and colorways could be transplanted to sumptuous shawls for entertainment without so much accountability. I'd say, give it a try!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful, but charts hard to read 3 May 2010
By Stef Maruch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I love the photos in this book, which feature adults of all ages in lovely country gardens and estates. The sweater designs are beautiful and painterly, and the sweaters look really comfy.

I've never knitted anything from this book, partly because some of the designs are very intricate and I feel like I would need a microscope to read the charts for those designs, even though most of them are full-page.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant Knits: 25 Contemporay Knitwear Designs from the Kaffe Fassett Studio 24 July 2011
By knitrideweed - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great resource for the Fassett style sweaters. Mably has stamped his designs and these are some of the best early ones. Sizing is large and one must be able to alter to fit.
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