88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
Lots of big-scale projects.,
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This review is from: Nicky Epstein's Knitting on Top of the World: The Global Guide to Traditions, Techniques and Design (Hardcover)
I have been looking forward to this book since it was first listed as a 'pre-order option'. Ms Epstein has a formidable reputation in the hand-knitting community and is known for her innovative ideas.
The book itself is beautifully produced and generously illustrated with lavish, full-page photographs. The charts are clear and are a good size from which to work. The paper is of good quality and the colour rendition clean and true. Almost fifty different knitting patterns are included.
The book opens with a page of design tips by Ms Epstein and is followed by the various sections. She deals with knitting tradition around the world: the Far North, UK and the islands, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and the Americas. Each area is prefaced by two or three pages showing traditional designs and techniques, and a discussion of its knitting history. These introductions are followed by Ms Epstein's interpretations and the patterns.
If you love thick wool and over-sized garments, this is an excellent book. There are patterns for sweaters, jackets, cardigans, accessories and even a toy dragon. Some of the colour combinations seem a little obvious and harsh to me, but of course a knitter can adapt that as personal taste dictates.
I found the some of the garments, especially in the UK and European sections, appealing and wearable but the incongruity of a close-fitting, aran-weight evening pullover embellished with pearls and ostrich gave me pause. I doubt it would be comfortable in a warm room, and not too flattering to anyone over a size 6. There is a pattern for a capelet featuring two enormous tam'o'shanters as the front bodice. A quirky idea and amusing, yes, but it has to be a good joke to stand telling every day.
My main observation is that there is insufficient variation in yarn thickness, with little (apart from the cover garment) that is graceful or delicate. It is disappointing that the garment designs seem mostly for the slim, tall woman and would not be as becoming on an average figure.
The model on the back cover, an attractive, reed-like blonde, looks like the proverbial sack of potatoes in her super-chunky, super-sized Navaho jacket; I don't think the rest of us would stand much chance of looking even as good as she does.
The book concludes with a helpful and comprehensive section on techniques. The various interesting ways to add a personal finish to one's knitting are very useful and would adapt to many projects.
There are ideas and starting points in this book that I know I will use and enjoy; I might even knit one or two of the patterns. It is an interesting and thought-provoking collection but it has not made me race to my knitting bag to get started.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Nov 2008 11:56:07 GMT
Movie Buff says:
What a helpful review- so many people write streams of enthusiasm, or vituperation, without actually saying what is in the book, what's done well and what isn't. Thanks for taking the trouble to write it.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2008 20:19:34 GMT
Z. Herbert says:
Thank you, Movie Buff; I'm pleased you found the comments helpful.
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