Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Coming attractions: fall '06 books

I've been meaning to post for a while about some of the new yarns, books and other knitting-related items that I saw and heard about at TNNA. So.....here goes. Today's preview is Interweave Press.

1. Just released is Helen Hamann's book Andean Inspired Knits: Designs in Luxurious Alpaca. It's interesting to me that this is the third book (the out-of-print Andean Folk Knitting that goes for mucho dinero on Ebay and last year's book by Marcia Lewandowski) that looks to Andean knitting for inspiration. I'm not sure if it's because there is lots of documentation and ample artifacts from which to draw; if it's the proximity of South America; or something about the fact that so many great yarns (like Manos) are drawn from South America. Whatever the reason, this book is devoted to patterns inspired "by pre-Columbian textiles from the culturally rich Andean region of South America."

All of the garments are done in alpaca, which presents some design challenges: it's extremely warm and lacks the elasticity of wool. (This may explain the lack of tailoring and shaping that many of the designs seem to have.)

On the other hand, alpaca's luxuriously soft and has a great luster. Looks like geometrics, drape and warm color tones, from what I can tell. We'll have to see if the designs are contemporary enough for most people.

2. Also recently released is Louisa Harding's Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. I've already got a copy of this book, in part because several of the baby sweater patterns are done in DK weight, and I've got DK superwash merino being sold at Rosie's. (I have fantasies about doing a sample jacket for the shop...) These patterns are relatively simple and so could be done by a new mom or a relatively inexperienced knitter without too much trouble.

I love the fact that Louisa Harding has included some patterns for pregnant women and new moms, including some breast-feeding friendly designs.

If you think it's not worth knitting for pregnancy, well, maybe you should shop for maternity clothes before you pass judgment. (Do I sound bitter?) And someone who plans to breastfeed for at least a year or two with multiple children may find the sweaters worth it. I also like the fact that the yarns used are all organically produced and naturally grown.

3. The ubiquitous Lily Chin releases Couture Crochet Workshop: Mastering Fit, Fashion and Finesse. Interweave describes this as embodying "Lily's philosophy [which] centers on constructing elegant wearables that fit perfectly" and states that the book will give you a review of "everything you need to master fit, fashion, and finesse." Only one or two designs were previewed in the materials I was given. Interestingly, no emphasis was placed on how fast one can crochet these designs. Nor could I determine if Lily's couture wedding glove pattern

will be included.

4. One book I'm very much looking forward to is Spin to Knit, by Shannon Okey. Disclaimer: I met Shannon at TNNA and was quite taken with her. She's funny and sassy and irreverent, and we palled around for a little while on the show floor. Her book promises to provide the info you need to begin spinning, along with patterns to showcase your handspun yarns. And to make things even sweeter, she's going to come to Rosie's on her book tour this fall to sign books.

5. Okay, Loopy & Mar, for you, I will mention Time To Weave: Simply Elegant Projects to Make in Almost No Time, by Jane Patrick. Don't weave, don't even have a Weavette, so I'm not sure what any of this means, but the promos say that Time To Weave includes "an approachable and inspirational way to learn the fundamentals of weaving for the first time," including braiding, stringing, knotting, frame-loom weaving, straw-weaving and weaving over a pillow form. There appears to be an airy-fairy kind of approach that incorporates a quote and essay about the item or making it.

I will try to showcase some more new stuff that I've heard about to whet your appetite for fall, now that the dog-days of summer are upon us (or at least those of us in the northeastern U.S.). I'm also working on more sleeve tutorials, including responses to some reader questions.


Anonymous said...

...another person egarly awaiting spin to knit. :)
i can hardly wait to see how much tookas it kicks!

Anonymous said...

Now, galumpka, I heard recently that the Lily Chin book is being postponed past the new year.
Don't know why, though, so no slick gossip.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, when's she signing at Rosie's? I'll be back in the general Philly area by September; hope I can come down and get a copy!

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh, Carol did you get an autographed copy of Jackets for Work and Play by the Dragon? Or do you have to preorder it like the rest of us peasants?

I got the green laceweight, and it's absolutely gorgeous. It hasn't told me what it wants to be when it grows up yet, but it's leaning towards Lotus (from Fiddlesticks).

Unknown said...

Thanks for the knit-lit preview. Don't mean to be a lemming, but the Spin to Knit book sounds fab. If I can't get to Rosie's for the signing, will you get her to sign one for me?

Anonymous said...

Oooh, me too. (signing, that is) The Louisa Harding book looks nice- I had always meant to come up with something for breast-feeding, but always seemed a tad busy at the time...

Anonymous said...

those Tiny Diva photos were just frightening.

Christina said...

Gah, Lily Chin, how you annoy me. For some reason, those pictures look like naughty 1970's wedding photos.

Eleni said...

Seriously, I thought (before I realized it was Lily Chin) that you were posting some kind of weirdo wedding porn picture. I am really really afraid.

Unknown said...

Shannon will be working with me to publish my book, so I've spoken to her on the phone--she's great! I really liked her very much and I'm looking forward to meeting her. And getting her book.

As for the weaving book, it sounds a bit too precious for me and Loop but I'll check it out. And Louisa Harding? Wonderful. Here's hoping I become a grandmama again in the next year so I can do some of those designs.

Anonymous said...

Aw, c'mon Mar, don't you that we can weave over a pillow form in our spare time? Might make a fine weave along...not. (But we *do* know a certain someone who owns a Weavette who might be interested in the book.)