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Unusual, modern knitting designs
on 18 May 2005
This is not a book for new knitters to learn good basic technique from and nor does it claim to be. Although a few of the designs are for newbies and do not require advanced knitting skills the attitude of 'breaking the rules' could easily confuse those knitters who haven't yet learnt the rules.
With this proviso, I found this book stimulating and the writing style (mostly) enjoyable. Teva Durham describes the genesis of each design which I found fascinating although I balked at the frequent forays into new-age cod philosophising.
As for the actual patterns, I have mixed feelings about this book. Many of the designs are interesting and unusual but I have doubts about their wearability.
The author describes one of her design strategies as 'to take a technique, isolate it and blow it out of all proportion' this seems to work best with the more complex designs such as the 'large-scale herringbone pullover' and 'bias fair isle pullover'. On more simple patterns such as the 'bobble u-neck' the result is a bulky garment that makes a slim model look fat so what chance would 'normal' people have of being able to carry it off?
There are far too many designs for cowls / mini-ponchos / capelets for my taste and I believe these will soon date. However, other designs such as the 'fair isle short-row pullover' and the 'cabled riding jacket' are inventive versions of classics and as such have a timeless quality to them. These designs featuring more structured shaping are very appealing. I would recommend visiting the author's website prior to purchasing this book to see if you like her very individual style.
The photography of each design is excellent and the information given the materials used is more detailed and better laid out than many current pattern books on the market.
In short, an interesting experiment in knitting but one which I believe has only been partially successful.