Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fall book preview: PotterCraft

PotterCraft is a relatively new imprint, with its first crop of books having appeared earlier this year. Editor Rosy Ngo has been trying to create a strong rival to Interweave and Stewart Tabori & Chang, with high production values and a strong sense of style. (See, Rosy? Even though you totally blew me off, I don't hold a grudge. So feel free to email me and we'll talk about a handpainted yarns book.) Here's what you can look forward to this fall:

Cables Untangled, by Melissa Leapman: Subtitled "An Exploration of Cable Knitting," this book promises 30 patterns for sweaters and accessories, plus a collection of 100 cable patterns.

[I apologize for the slightly lopsided photos.] The book also states that it features many clear photographs, charts for the cables, and tips for designing your own cabled patterns. (Regular readers will recall that this is the book I waited in a long line for at TNNA, only to be told that they ran out. But if Melissa Leapman is reading, feel free to email me and I'll send you my address.)

Home Knits, by Suss Cousins: The ubiquitous Suss releases her third book, containing 30 projects for the home.

This book is aimed to be "a home design book" as well as a "knitting guide," looking to help the knitter "create a beautiful, relaxed environment in the home." The palette is subdued and the focus is on texture.

NatureBabies, by Tara Jon Manning: The knitter who brought you "mindful knitting" offers a collection of knitting, sewing and felting projects, all featuring organic and natural fibers and yarns.

Projects are designed to be both environmentally sound and safe for young children.

Amazing Crochet Lace, by Doris Chan: Chan provides 20 designs, which "update[] traditional lace patterns into wearable art by applying favorite motifs to create chic crocheted attire." Chunkier yarns are used instead of fine ones (sorry, Kath) and patterns are designed from the top down, to minimize finishing and piecing together.

The Natural Knitter: How to Choose, Use and Knit Natural Fibers from Alpaca to Yak, by Barbara Albright: The late Barbara Albright's last book contains designs showcasing natural fibers, including cashmere, alpaca, yak (!) and others.

The book promises to provide an explanation of types of fibers, explores plant-based dyeing and focuses on products which are "nontoxic and earthfriendly."

Naughty Needles: Sexy, Saucy Knits for the Bedroom and Beyond, by Nikol Lohr:

This book is described as "half instruction book, half peep show." 'Nuff said.

Look for them this fall at a LYS or bookshop near you.
Or not, as the case may be.


Anonymous said...

Oh my.
I'll leave aside for now the question of just how many books about "mindful" knitting Ms. Manning can possibly get paid to produce.
On to "Naughty" blahblahblah.
She spells her name "Nikol".
That is the author on the cover.
She produces a blog called "Disgruntled Housewife".
It has a very fifties (oops, sorry, make that "mid-century") esthetic.
OF COURSE she should write a knitting book.

ivyleaves said...

Speaking as a longtime fan of "Disgruntled Housewife" and one of the knitters of a pair of socks featured in the book "Naughty Needles," I can say with certainty that her mother spells her name "Nikol" as well, and did so first, and that she is NOT the model on the cover of the book. (See her rant on Sam's Club refusing to print copies of the photo.) As to the rest of the ad hominem attacks, please feel free not to buy the book sight unseen, as it is not for everyone.

Carol said...

Anyone who wishes to debate whether traditionally-patriarchy-inspired fembot fashions (or designing them) is counterproductive to the feminist agenda ought to hasten over to and for starters, search for a recent post on "sports corsets." I'm not gonna debate it here.

However, if you choose to put a book out there, your sensibility is certainly fair game for discussion. I have never heard of this Nikol person, nor her blog, but I think Kath is entitled to roll her eyes at a so-called knitting book that is self-described as a "peep show." I'm rolling mine but I will reserve judgment when I actually see the book and the patterns in it. Unless there are lots of men's thongs and williewarmers, however, I shall skip the "peep show."

Elizabeth said...

I get the feeling that publishers (and maybe authors) are really scraping to come up with new ideas about an old craft. Maybe they should all publish half as many books, but make them twice as good?

ivyleaves said...

Carol -

Thanks so much for the link to Blame the Patriarchy - I'm subscribing to the feed now.

I wanted to set the record straight on some factual errors and unwarranted slurs in the comment. Slurs based upon the actual facts are, as I said, free for all.

Anonymous said...

Well, ivyleaves, shut ma mouth if that "model" on the cover of "naughty hohumhohum" don't look jus' 'xac'ly like Ms. Nikol.
No, haven't seen or ever remotely heard of this famous knit designer.
So, okay, stick to the facts, then.
Boring boring boring cliche ridden overdone stupid to begin with idea.

Oh, and Caro, right on concerning the inanity of "sexy" knitting as empwering feminist idea.
So original! Never thought of by other boring ironic eejits.
Again I say feh.
Big time.

Oh, hang on, nearly forgot...
"sexy" socks?
Wait, let me guess...

ivyleaves said...

Oh, hang on, nearly forgot...
"sexy" socks?
Wait, let me guess...

Remember, this is the '50s, they're only knee socks, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Sexy knee socks.
Jeez, those highly original ideas just keep on coming.

Unknown said...

Naughty Needles sounds like a total bore. Remember Knitty's sorry attempt at sex and knitting? Double feh.

And Doris Chan? Arguably one of the worst crochet designers ever.

I'm looking forward to seeing Leapman's book, though. Hopefully that will be useful, as opposed to the two aforementioned books.

Anonymous said...

Hey, every designer had to start someplace, didn't they? They weren't all born with needles in their hands, a nice pattern all ready to go (good for their mothers!). At one point, every person who has ever published a knitting book has been a new author/designer.

I too knit one of the patterns for Nikol's book, and like any book, I would recommend withholding judgement until you've actually seen/read it. I'm sure it isn't for everyone, but to actually insult a designer regarding things you haven't even seen is jumping the gun a little bit.

Anonymous said...

Didn't your mother ever to you "to each their own"? Since manners are free, I'll share the concept with you. It means that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and tastes. Why do you feel the need to slag Ms. Lohr (who is NOT the girl on the cover of the book)? If her patterns are not to your liking, don't buy the book. Don't make the projects. Having knit for the book, I can say that many of the projects are fun and unique - not the usual array of raglan sweaters, baby booties, and afgans. Not that there is anything wrong with those either, but Nikol has come up with some very innovative ideas. She deserves credit for that. And if you don't want to give credit, fine. But derisive comments only make you look like a small and petty person.

Carol said...

Lookie, Anonymous, let's tone it down a bit. We can't give credit to someone before we see the book, and as I've said several times before, I think we're perfectly entitled to question the "naughty" tag, the pin-up poses and other publicity stunts. If you want to sell a book by using sex, you can't also cry foul whenever people are turned off by your gimmick. Chill everyone, and let's move on.

Nikki said...

I'm sorry to hear that someone thinks Doris Chan is not a great designer. I don't know anything about her, but I like the lace thing on the cover. What makes her the bad designer, I wonder? Is it that patterns are poorly written, or just that most of the designs suck?

I am interested in that cables book, though. I think it might be out by now.

As for the Naughty Needles, well, certainly not original, but probably no less original than the knitting stuff we buy all the time, 1/2 of which is equally gimmicky. I'd at least like to get a look at the book and patterns. Sometimes you want a comfy sweater, and sometimes you want one of White Lies lingerie thingies. Hmm, speaking of which, time to head over there . . .