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.