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3.7 out of 5 stars10
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 13 July 2005
Having been a fan of Teva Durham's work for some time I awaited the publication of her book with anticipation. I was not disappointed. Patterns range from the classic with a twist through to the thoroughly outlandish. Fair Isle patterns are given a new spin by adding short-row shaping to the mix while chunky knits are knit on the slant to give an asymetric look.
While some of the items are high-fashion, and may date, overall the pieces are so well-designed that they are almost outside the boundaries of fashion. The only thing that keeps this from being a 5-star review is that British knitters will either have to do a lot of substitution of the American yarns or spend a lot of time on the internet sourcing the original yarns used.
I want to make around 75% of the items in this book which I think shows that it pushes all the right buttons for me. Love it!
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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.
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on 18 May 2007
I have to agree with Mammy on this one. A lot of the patterns are very wacky and I'm not convinced of the wearability of some of them, however for the experienced knitter I would recommend getting a copy of this book just for the cabled riding jacket which is a truly beautiful garment. I knit mine over Christmas and frankly I cant wait for it to get cold again so that I can wear it every day.
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VINE VOICEon 13 August 2007
Got the book because I liked the scarves on the cover. I would say Ms. Durham's effort is more about her showing what knitting can do rather than what it usually does. We normally see knits in terms of getting warm (re: jumpers, shawls, scarves) rather than getting creative. Ms. Durham sees the notion of knits in terms of getting creative: a plaid skirt in mosaic/slip stitch, a cowl in chunky yarn, a jumper echoing the gnarled ribbed surface of a tree. There is also the notion of knitting garments being like costumes in terms of the tudor designs (narrow waist, emphasis on tailoring and shoulders).

The three stars here are for a few points that Ms. Durham could have made clearer.

Firstly, the sizing: Durham does have some odd sizes, in terms of a 28 inch bustline or a 23 inch waist. From what I've gathered, she has made some of the sizes that way because the knits will stretch to say a 34 inch chest and a 26 inch waist. The fact that I had to find this out for myself instead of it being made clear in the book is a no no.

Second: Although I found the book to be inspiring, I didn't really see 'me' in any of these designs until I saw some work in some online forums. I'm now thinking about a cowl for winter.

Overall, I'd say buy the book if you want inspiration, and don't mind the occassional browse through on your shelf. But if you tend to be on the coversative side of your knits, you might be better off doing a Debbie Bliss or Rowan.
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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.
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on 26 June 2005
The book was a gift (I had toyed with buying it for some time but had not seen a copy so was unsure of the content).
The book is well laid out and very modern (although some of the models could do with a good meal!). The patterns were inspirational and very thought-provoking and I put down the book with the overwhelming urge to create!
A lot of the patterns are not very practical but they really wet your appetite and the ideas are truly original.
It is a book I will dip into regularly and currently takes pride of place on my knitting bookshelf.
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on 8 August 2015
Author and the publisher should be ashamed of their "creations". Some of the models would meet criteria for Anorexia Nervosa; the rest are just unhealthy-looking thin. I also don't believe there's anything " novel" in her approach; google "woolly knits garment design" - there's your geek sweater (named endless spiral sweater), and a few books, with generic and specific instructions on construction of geometric knits). I haven't bought this book, but looked at a copy of a friend (who is regretting buying it).
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on 30 April 2014
All went as well as it could go with this order. No delay, item arrived in condition as described and I have no reason for complaint.
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on 27 April 2015
Well written exquisite and inspirational book. Best book on knitting I've ever seen.
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on 14 February 2008
I cant wait to start knitting items in this book,i wanted this for a while and i was not disappointed when i received it.It took only a day to come,many thanks.
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