on 13 January 2012
I was so excited to see this book for sale on Amazon as I'm fascinated with knitting history around the world. The book is beautiful,but - and this is a big but- I'm afraid it is poorly researched and could have seriously benefitted from an academic expert looking it over.
Alarm bells started ringing when the author stated that a town in Scotland was in England. Then, and there is absolutely no evidence of this, that stocking knitting started in the 14th century in England. The final thing that stopped me reading it was that the author incorrectly referenced Richard Rutt's A History of Handknitting as A History of World Knitting and when discussing ganseys she did not mention Gladys Thompson once and ended up discussing other countries in a section clearly marked 'England', without discussing other English knitting traditions of which there is academic material available.
I'm afraid I lost interest in the text then, which is a real shame as the book is visually stunning. One other thing that I didn't understand why the author presented other people's contemporary work (e.g. the beautiful Sanquhar style socks) without giving a pattern in the book or stating where the pattern can be purchased.
on 3 January 2012
A rather flippant style of writing from the very first sentence, and zipping about all over the place. It is mostly a compilation of all the books I have already got. Lots of typos in such things as book titles (eg Richard Rutt, right once, wrong once). Bits missing out of patterns - what is the use of quoting multi colours in a shoe insert pattern then not giving instructions or a chart for them? And calling them mittens halfway along?
The pix of the earliest socks is wonderful though - I can work out the pattern from that.
on 24 May 2014
I was disappointed with this book because it brings next to no new information to who has read Richard Rutt on the History of Hand Knitting and similarly easy available resources such as Sheila McGregor on Traditional Fair Isle and Traditional Scandinavian Knitting. The main difference is the photography is better and in color, which is undeniably useful, but that's it. The information that isn't available from existing books is from knit bloggers, as is the case in the chapter about Japan – hardly what you might call carefully informed personal research by the author of the book.
This is a beautifully made book, made for keeping. Subtitled 'A Multi-stranded History of a Time-Honored Tradition', this book looks at knitting in several countries. From the earliest surviving pieces of knitwear to well-known designers, this book traces the fabric of knitting. There are plenty of examples of knitwear and the photographs are very good. It shows the development of knitting and the patterns and styles that belong to each country that has interpreted this ancient craft in its own way. The book did fascinate and leave me wanting patterns and designs to knit up. This review first appeared on Karen Platt's yarns and fabric blog.