Oh, how I loves books. Oh, how I loves knitting. Oh, how I lo-o-o-o-oves books about knitting. So to keep me happier than a pig in poop, here's a preview of some of the knitting books that are scheduled to come out during the first half of 2006.
As a quick aside, long-time commenter Anonymous noted that my yarn cost-comparison did not account for the "instant gratification [of] leaving the store w/ yarn." Yes, it's true that there is great joy in swinging a paper bag full of fabulous yarn back and forth as you walk out a yarn shop door, but there is just as much joy for me in expecting a package. The eager glancing at the clock, waiting for the sound of the UPS door sliding open or the postman's little truck, slitting open the box, plunging your hands in to see the new treasures...it's the same mentality that makes Christmas Eve more fun for me than Christmas Day. Some of the following will, undoubtedly, arrive on my doorstep to bated breath in an Amazon.com box.
One of the books I'm eagerly anticipating is Inspired Cable Knits, by Fiona Ellis, due mid-February.
Twenty designs (which is a lot, considering they are all using cables of some sort) by Fiona Ellis, a British designer published in IK, VK, and others. Let's hear it for non-dumbed-down knitting (we hope)!
I suspect Vogue's Stichionary Two (May) will also be a keeper. I've just gotten the first one, and it looks quite useful. (Note to users: I've heard rumblings of some errors in the patterns but haven't personally found any yet, so keep your eyes open for an errata.) You've heard me expound on the value of stitch treasuries before. I do realize that owning one kick-ass stitch treasury can get you a long way (and I have Barbara Walker and Harmony), but I never balk at getting new ones. As I said before, even a minor change in a pattern or stitch count can sometimes make inspiration pop in my mind. Vogue's volume 2 is devoted to cable stitches. From the looks of the cover, the stitches will all be modeled in brown yarn, which may not be the best choice depending on how dark the color is. You may have noticed that some of the green yarns used in the first book don't showcase the stitch patterns to their best advantage, so here's a plea to Trisha Malcolm (she isn't returning my phone messages, the bee-atch): how about, say, light gray yarn for volume 3?
Apparently the word "funky" is still considered a ticket to getting supposedly hip folks to buy knitting books. We've got Funky Chunky Knitted Accessories from Jan Eaton and Funky Knits: Knitting Know-How for Hip Young Things (icky title, innit?) by Carol Meldrum. I might be tempted to take a look at the former, since Jan Eaton's two books on knitted afghan blocks are interesting (and look for a third, on ripple stitches, coming in March), except the publicity shot I found on Martingale's website
looks unimpressive. See that mitten over there on the right? Doesn't it look an awful lot like an oven mitt? Seems to me that accessories don't take that long to knit anyway, so they don't really need to be that chunky to be funky, and may instead look clunky. Being neither hip nor young, nor in need of funky knitting know-how, I shall skip entirely the Meldrum title.
Nicki Epstein's got Knitted Flowers about to bloom. This is another one I'll have to look through before purchasing; I'm just not sure I need an entire book of knitted flowers for embellishment (can you say tschotschk-o-rama?), but I've got an open mind, seeing how useful her Embellishments and On the Edge books have proved to be. I thought I read something somewhere about her also releasing a felted bags book, but I can't find any reference to it on the internet, so maybe I made that up.
Knitting Out of Africa, by Marianne Isager -- If I am not mistaken, our own blogger QueerJoe owns this book in the original Danish. It's being released in translation by Interweave Press. The book finds inspiration in African baskets and textiles and the designs incorporate a variety of techniques -- stranded knitting, domino knitting, intarsia, and more.
The cover for Knitting With Ribbon Yarn by Rowan designer Tracy Chapman (who I assume does not have a "Fast Car"), looks intriguing, and this is a subject I think hasn't been explored adequately. Other than scarves and tank tops, I'd like to see some real thought given to the unique properties of ribbons of different kinds, and how to showcase them. This book is being released by Trafalgar Square, an imprint which has published a lot of Rowan designers (including Debbie Bliss), which is a good sign.
Getting Started Knitting by Jennifer Worick is a book I'll definitely buy. Not because I really need another beginner's book, but because I know the folks who did the project designs and having seen some of the designs on the needles, I suspect the book will be worth it for the patterns.
One-Skein Knitting, by Leigh Radford, is another idea whose time has come. Who hasn't got a spare ball of some kind laying around, whether intended for a project later abandoned, or left over from a larger project, or something that appealed because of color or texture or softness, but now sits unexplored because you're sick of scarves, scarves, scarves?
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee fans should look for Knitting Rules,
out around March 1st. I was fortunate enough to meet the blogosphere's own Yarn Harlot when Stephanie signed books at Rosie's Stitches East booth, and she's as funny and delightful in person as she is on her blog.
Last but not least is Big Girl Knits, by Amy Singer and Jillian Moreno, out in April.
Dedicated readers will know, perhaps stifling ennui or frustration that I'm mentioning it again!, that I have a pattern in this book. As my first published-in-an-Amazon.com-type-book pattern, this fills me with tremendous pride and excitement. I do, however, think that this book is likely to be a winner apart from (or do I mean "notwithstanding"?) my meager contribution. Amy and Jillian worked very hard to create a book which does three things for plus-sized knitters: (1) gives them patterns in an extended range of sizes, (2) makes those patterns contemporary, stylish and body-conscious, rather than flowing tunics to try to hide curves, and (3) makes the garments customizable to fit differing body types.
Let me know if you'd like me to do more previews, and I'll update as more titles are slated for release. And if there's anything else you'd like me to opine on (say, spring yarn previews?), let me know, too.
Because you, my dear readers, are so very special to me.