Book reviews from across the pond

I have quite the backlog of books that deserve to be reviewed.

Contemporary Irish Knits by Carol Feller

Carol Feller is an Irish knitwear designer whose designs have been featured in Knitting in the Sun, Interweave Knits, and Knitty and her own self-published pattern collections. I first met Carol when we both taught at Knit Nation in London last July.

Her book is organized around yarns available from Irish mills (and a couple of Irish hand-dyers). It’s interesting to learn about the production of yarns in Ireland, which now has just three major spinning mills to produce hand-knitting yarns like authentic Donegal tweed. I found this particularly interesting in relation to my recent trip to Iceland where we learned that all of Iceland has only one spinning mill compared to the Faroe Islands which does not have a mill at all and outsources their spinning to a Polish mill.

Carol includes a few pages at the beginning and the end of the book dedicated to ensuring proper fit and good technique. With 18 projects for men, women and children, there is a little something for everyone. The techniques include the expected Aran cables as well as lace and other textured stitches. She talks about how the “traditional” Aran sweater is only as recent as the 1950s, not centuries old as one might expect. Again, I thought this was interesting in relation to the Icelandic yoked colorwork lopi sweaters which have also been around only since the 1950s. I guess that was a great decade to begin knitting traditions!

Check out all the patterns from Contemporary Irish Knits on Ravelry here.

Little Red in the City by Ysolda Teague

Ysolda is a Scottish knitwear designer who has a lot to say about sweater shaping and fit. Probably best known for her Whimsical Little Knits series, Little Red in the City is a much larger volume with a wealth of information.

More than just a collection of sweater patterns, this book has over 100 pages dedicated to making sweaters fit at any size. The book is dominated by different kinds of modifications like short row bust shaping.

Each of the seven sweater patterns has an extensive size range, photographed on two models (Ysolda herself and Amanda of Lorna’s Laces), and is accompanied by a design story.

You can see all the sweaters from Little Red in the City on Ravelry here.

Whimsical Little Knits 3 by Ysolda Teague

The third in Ysolda’s series of little books of accessories is out, and it contains 8 charming patterns, each photographed on a different designer friend (or Ysolda herself). I was excited to see the photograph of Stephen West in Ysolda’s hat taken in London after Knit Nation last year.


Saturday Treat by Ysolda Teague

Ysolda worked together with the folks from Fyberspates to develop a few new colors in their Scrumptious yarns for this book. It features six quick projects, perfect for weekend knitting. While Saturday Treat has a similar concept as Whimsical Little Knits with quick knits, you’ll notice that it is more “grown up” with less whimsy and a different direction in styling.

For two lucky readers, I have a copy of Contemporary Irish Knits and Little Red in the City to give away! Comment on this post for your chance to win.

The fine print:

  • Comment on this post before midnight PDT Friday, May 18, 2012 for your chance to win. One comment per person, please!
  • Winners will be drawn by random number generator.
  • One winner will receive a copy of Contemporary Irish Knits by Carol Feller; the other winner will receive a signed copy of Little Red in the City by Ysolda Teague.


60 Responses to “Book reviews from across the pond”

  1. mkg says:

    Cool–I don’t own either book and would be delighted to win one of them.

  2. Erica says:

    I would love to own either of the books, they look intriguing.

  3. Talvi says:

    I’ve had my eye on the Contemporary Irish Knits for a while now. All of the patterns in it look amazing.

  4. Lisa PB says:

    Either book would make a great addition to my knitting library.

  5. Tamara says:

    I would love to win one of these great books!

  6. Jani says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to win! I have been gazing longingly at Ysolda’s book for much too long now . . . this would be wonderful way to obtain a copy.

  7. Diane says:

    I’d love to have Contemporary Irish Knits. I’ve been enjoying Ysolda’s book already.

  8. Marcia says:

    I love book giveaways – pick me, pick me! 🙂

  9. JoAnnaSpring says:

    What a fun giveaway!

    I hadn’t seen Saturday Treat before and am quite smitten.

  10. Debbie H says:

    I would love to win either of these wonderful books. thanks!

    gussek on Ravelry

  11. Sarah says:

    I adore ysolda Teague! Id love to get a copy of little red in the city.

  12. Margo says:

    I just finished knitting Ysolda Teague’s Vivian and I enjoyed every minute of it! I’d love to knit more of her sweaters.

  13. Charlotte says:

    Love either of those books!!!

  14. Rhian says:

    Ooh great competition! I have Little Red, but would love to win Contemporary Irish Knits.

  15. Being Irish has little to do with my love for Carol Feller’s work. I simply love her designs. To have her book would be splendid!

  16. Camilla Hadlock says:

    I searched long and hard for “Little Red in the City,” and finally own it! I learned to knit in the 1950s, and Aran knitting was my first passion (in the 1960s), so a copy of “Contemporary Irish Knits” would be a joyful addition to my knitting library!

  17. Susan says:

    Oh, cable charts and math! I would love to add these books to my collection!

  18. Kristin says:

    Contemporary Irish Knits sounds cool, and I’ve had my eye on Little Red in the City for a while now!

  19. Laura says:

    I have Little Red in the City, and it’s awesome. Every time I pick it up, I learn something new!

    Contemporary Irish Knits looks awesome. It’s definitely on my wish list now!

  20. Susan says:

    both of these look so charming, especially on sweater shaping!

  21. Elaina says:

    I am making Lauriel from Little Red in the City right now, and I am very happy with all the different shaping techniques that I’ve learned about!

  22. Suzanne Shattuck says:

    These books look wonderful

  23. I would totally love Little Red in the City, since I’ve read so many positive reviews and could really use some help in tweaking sweater and cardigan patterns. My husband just pointed to the pretty cables on Contemporary Irish Knits and is giving hints about cabled cardigans (for him, cause he already has the buttons).

  24. Monisha says:

    Both books have great patterns. I’d love a copy of either one.

  25. Lori says:

    I really love both books.

  26. Kim Garnett says:

    Thanks for the reviews. Both books look great!

  27. Erin says:

    I just finished the Ysolda Teague Marin pattern. I really liked knitting it and plan on making another soon!

  28. Susan says:

    Great give-away! Thanks for the opportunity.

  29. Julie says:

    I have been yearning for those books for a while. Fingers crossed!

  30. Susan A. says:

    It would be so much fun to win something! Could it happen?

  31. i love books as much as i love to read! Thank you for the offer.

  32. erin says:

    I have both of these books on my wishlist! I would love a colpy of either book. Thanks!

  33. Joan says:

    Oooh! I would love the chance to win Little Red!

  34. Rose says:

    Ooh, the shawl from Contemporary Irish Knits is absolutely gorgeous!! I would like that book.

  35. June Strieby says:

    Great reviews for super books!

  36. Carolyn says:

    These are beautiful books and I would cherish either one of them! Thanks for doing this 🙂

  37. Max says:

    Thanks for the reviews! I always like to hear a bit about the books that I am considering buying. You know, with all of these downloads, I kind of miss the extra reading involved in knitting or deciding what to knit from a book.

  38. Yarrow says:

    Both of them look amazing!

  39. E says:

    Could always use more knitting books!

  40. Allison says:

    I don’t have either book, but they look really great!

  41. Janieb says:

    Wow I love all these books, & have yet to own any of them! Help me rectify this problem….

  42. Roopali says:

    Love the cables in Irish Knits!

  43. Lisa says:

    I love these books! It would great to win one of them, especially the book by Ysolda! I’ve heard so many good reviews of it.

  44. Anne Marie says:

    These books both look great. Thanks for sharing them Cookie.

  45. Annie Wilson says:

    I’ve had these books in my Wish List for a while. I’d love to win one of them though.

  46. Ellen Hartzler says:

    Thanks for the book review. They all look great!

  47. LaurenS says:

    I would love to win a copy of these books! Thank you Cookie!

  48. Lynn says:

    Hey, I just noticed, you’re back to the blog – fantastic. Haven’t knit anything out of Little Red yet but have a Ysolda project on the needles at the moment. Yes, still avoiding Bex.

    Irish Knits very cool – thanks for offering the books!

  49. sharon says:

    Would love to learn more about Irish knitting! It would be wonderful to win a copy of the book, thank you for giving us the chance.

  50. tabitha says:

    Both books look great. Thanks for the review.

  51. Brandi says:

    I am definitely putting these books on my list.

  52. Barbara A. says:

    Either book would be a welcome addition to my knitting library.

  53. Kairi says:

    Lovely books, thank you for spreading the joy 🙂

  54. Lynn says:

    Enjoyed reading your book review, as I drank my coffee this morning. I have admired both of these designers. Would love a chance to win.

  55. chelsey says:

    Two great books! Please enter my name for a chance! Thanks!

  56. Karen G says:

    I’d like to win one of those books! They look great. I’m especially taken with the Irish knits.

  57. Linda says:

    Little Red has so much good info. Irish Knits looks lovely – beautiful sweater on the cover.
    Either would be a welcome prize.

  58. Toni says:

    Thanks for this opportunity – please enter me into the drawing.

  59. afolkins says:

    Yea! Thanks for the chance to win one of these fantastic books. guppymommy (rav)

  60. Alina says:

    thank you for this great giveaway!