If you are a Knitters' Guild member, all books reviewed by Jen, the Guild Librarian, are available for you to check out free from the Textile Center Library--just another benefit of Guild membership!
Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Budd
The first thing that should draw you to this book is the author, Ann Budd. Even if you have only been knitting for a short while, chances are good that you have loved Ann's work or have benefited from her instruction in some way. The book has something to offer both the knitter who has never knit a sock and the knitter who has maybe a slight addiction to the soft tubular creation. Getting Started Knitting Socks becomes indispensable when you realize just how much yarn you have stashed away, and just how many gifts are on your to-do list!
I have to admit when I first bought this book, I thought all socks had to be knit with sock yarn. Ann shows you that all yarn is sock yarn by giving you a complete template for a sock knitted at a gauge of anywhere from eight stitches per inch down to four stitches per inch. Did you know you had that many potential socks in your stash? Take that stash yarn in hand, swatch it, turn to page 52, and start your sock!
After reading the first section of this book, you will know sock anatomy, and you will impress all your friends over coffee. You’ll sound like a knitting savant while keeping your family and friends warm from the feet up. Still not convinced? Did I mention all the patterns, the stitchionary, the knee-highs, and the anklets?
If socks don't pique your curiosity, may I recommend a nice book about brioche?
Knitting Brioche by Nancy Marchant
Imagine a textured linear stitch that creates a lofty and flexible fabric, a stitch that must be as old as garter stitch itself considering it can also be called prime rib, shawl stitch, shaker knitting, patent stitch and more. A lot of knitters must have loved this stitch for it to have more names than a member of England’s royal family! This book demonstrates one of the great principles of knitting: from one stitch, a million possibilities await.
Chapter four is the real gem of this book, because it is there that Nancy breaks down the design elements of the stitch into five basic techniques; point, line, form, texture and color. In the point technique, you are shown what happens when you create breaks (or dots) in the straight lines of the brioche. As she moves into the line technique, she suggests decreasing or eliminating stitches to bend and twist those straight lines. The form technique will cause you to marvel at the shapes and motifs you can create with well-placed increases, decreases and cables. In the texture method, pictures of swatches provide you with a basic idea of what this stitch might look like paired with other commonly knitted stitches. Finally, in the color technique, you observe that when a stitch has a sort of upstairs and a downstairs, one color goes up and another goes down, creating amazing possibilities.
From cover to cover, Nancy gives you real pictures, great definitions of terminology, a brioche stitchionary, and great patterns that show off what this stitch can really do. She uses lace-weight, self-striping and basic wool yarn to create amazing sweaters; scarves, gloves, hats, even a vest! Knitting Brioche will dazzle you with possibilities!
Watch for more book reviews next month!