Originally published in 1991 as Knitted Gardens, this is another reprint of a knitting classic from Jan Messent and Search Press. Jan's years as a teacher of school teachers combined with the work of her pupils has resulted in an abundance of ideas for knitted gardens worked in small units: ideal as a group project. Having been given a tour of the RHS's northern garden at Harlow Carr the night before reading Jan's book, it would be fair to say that the gardens are more traditional than the 21st Century, but that is hardly surprising in a book that was produced sixteen years ago and conceived well before that. The knitted bedspread with its rows of vegetables, formal parterre and herbaceous borders is a delighful example of patchwork knitting with embellishment that could be used for cushions and even garments. I particularly liked the concept of replicating seed packet designs in knitting as an exercise in interpretation. If you like small, compact projects, have a supply of numerous yarns and don't feel the need to make obviously 'useful' things, then this book might well appeal to you. --Lesley Fidler, SlipKnot No 117
About the Author
Jan Messent qualified as a teacher in the mid-50s and, after teaching Art, History and English, became deeply involved with embroidery as an art form. As a member of the Embroiderers' Guild, she taught embroidery design to its members, wrote and illustrated design books, and lectured worldwide. Her last embroidery book was about the Bayeux Tapestry. She became interested in the experimental use of knitting and crochet and hoped, by her books on the subject, to open up new dimensions in the creative use of yarn. Now, having retired from lecturing, Jan writes historical fiction full-time, embroidering as a side-line, reading, painting, and listening to good music.