With instantly downloadable PDF patterns available on Ravelry and elsewhere online, my knitting book purchase has declined this past year. Still, holding a glossy publication with colourful photos and detailed shots of techniques and special stitches is a treat.

My latest acquisitions were carefully chosen for the type of patterns they contain. Thank goodness for Ravelry featuring details of each pattern on these books so that I could scrutinize every details, look at projects already completed and weigh in my yarn options. It has certainly made it so much easier making a decision to buy the books.

The first book is New England Knits by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre. The second book is Brave New Knits by Julie Turjoman with photography by Jared Flood and foreword by Jessica Marshall Forbes (co-founder of Yes, frecklegirl herself!

Cardigans, sweaters, pullovers and cowls are a-plenty in this collaboration by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre. You could almost feel the crisp New England autumn air just by looking at the photographs. Not that I know what New England autumn air is like as I have never been there! It just looks quite cold in the photos, even though the photo shoot was probably done in the middle of summer.

Some of the patterns that caught my eye are the Ashfield Cardigan, Greenfield Cardigan, Middlefield Pullover (cover photo), Lewiston Striped Vest, Brattleboro Hat and the Whale Watch Hat. I would knit almost all of the patterns in this book and still get a lot of ideas and tips from every one of them. Go and buy this book, I highly recommend it.

I have been knitting for just 3 years and an avid reader of knitting blogs and Ravelry. It’s so wonderful to see so many of the knitterati that I admire and follow featured in this book. Ysolda Teague’s Orchid Thief Shawlette is a bit hit and, having knitted some of her other designs, I am not ashamed to say that it was this design that convinced me to buy this book.

Jared Flood’s beautiful photography is an added bonus. The projects come to life and give you that extra nudge you need to go on and start that project. His Woodsmoke Scarf is a good way of playing with colour combinations. Grumperina’s Lubov Scarf has a simple yet pretty lace pattern and even though I am not a big fan of knitting 60-inch long scarves, I am drawn to this particular design.

It is also interesting that each design is preceeded by a biography of the designer. There’s a lot of new information and insight into each designer here than is usually available online. It was great reading about them and going, “Oh, I did not know that!”. Makes them seem almost human and not the superhuman that they are for being able to come up with fresh, unique designs all the time.

Okay then, what to knit first?

One thought on “Books

  1. OMG, I just bought New England Knits this past weekend! I agree that it’s got the perfect patterns for Autumn knitting and wearing. I had my eyes open for Brave New Knits but the store was all out. Some great knitting and eye candy to be had from these books. Patterns in print are so under-rated in this PDF world!!


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