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The sequel is never quite as good...,
This review is from: Wool'n Magic (Paperback)
Beginning with a bit of a history of wool, sheep, and weaving, my hopes weren't too high when I opened up this book. Although photos of more innovative work is included, I was disappointed by the number of patterns (compared to the book's predecessor, Have You Any Wool?), including 3-dimensional sheep, a shawl, and the mermaid (cover photo).
However, the following chapter on texture soon reverts to type, and the 'project' is really more of an experiment. More specific guidance is included than in 'Have You any Wool?', but more in terms of a workshop tutorial than a prescriptive how-to.
The colour section is a far more comprehensive guide to choosing and using colours than HYAW and gives a very practical suggestion for oven-dying yarns. The next chapter is my favourite, working with rings and hoops (and lampshades). These present lots of creative possibilities, and it's a shame the idea isn't taken just a little bit further to incorporate weaving, too (I have some great books covering that indepndently, though). This chapter also includes instructions to make Dorsetshire buttons, which may interest some.
The chapter incorporating embroidery and knitting in some cases seems to ground the freeform styling a little, but there is also lots of exploration of texture and adaptation from landscape that works well. The final chapter is a disappointment to me, given that it claims to be what all the previous chapters have been leading up to: free-style knitting, crochet and embroidery in...garment design. Hmm. Well, the styling is very 80s, but that can be forgiven, given its original publication date. Guidance is given for designing, piecing and making up patterns, and of course, the freeform techniques embellish the finished items (some far more convincingly than others); but I would say ths section is only the culminative purpose of all the techniques covered if you happen to have an interest in fashion design. Otherwise, the combined techniques can be used in almost any way you feel happiest expressing yourself.
Although there are parts of this book that don't quite hit the mark for me, it does provide a very eloquent and constructive 'next step on' from HYAW, and the good bits are so good, and still one of the most creatively inspiring books available. (Thanks again to Search Press for the re-issue!)