on 26 April 2013
t's rare that I read a knitting 'pattern' book from cover to cover but the combination of Ruth Cross's words and the beautiful matte pages, styled and photographed by Ben Anders has kept me hooked and I've almost finished reading it. Ruth's ethos totally resonates with me:
"In a world of shiny surfaces, flat pack furniture, clean lines and wanting everything done yesterday, the craft of hand knitting holds a very special place.... Everyone has their own reasons for knitting, but the most unexpected is also one of the most attractive - it takes time. The quietly meditative process of building something with your own hands is a reason in itself to learn, let alone the beautiful things you can create and be truly proud of."
Interestingly she first learned to knit on a pair of chopsticks and her technique is somewhat unconventional - for example her knit stitches are actually "knit through the back loop" stitches (something I also find more natural and had to train myself NOT to do) and there are some variations to other instructions too. Her background is in designing organic freeform work and so the patterns in The Knitted Home are intended as inspiration rather than something to faithfully reproduce, although you can if you want to. This is a book about texture and experimentation.
You are encouraged to do what feels good and have some fun with your knitting and to try things out. Ruth goes as far as to say that any "bendy strip" is a yarn and can be knit with, so to give it a go. I really love this approach - my own simple designs are most often presented as recipes, so it sits really well with me. This is my favourite knitting book to date. Even if you're not into improv, the patterns in the book are beautiful and there are many designs I would love to see in my own home.
This review originally appeared on my blog [...]
on 21 November 2013
I bought this after having taken it out of my library for about six months! Amazing, easy to do, ideas for home soft furnishings which can be adapted to every taste. I've already done a few items and plan to do a lot more. I'd seriously recommend this for everyone with a notion to make their own cushions/throws etc. You don't have to be an experienced knitter either because this book shows you HOW and that anyone can make them.