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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Book Stash Enhancement

I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas so last week some new books came home! Except for the first book, I've given Ravelry links to the books so you can click through the designs in the books and see them for yourself. (I'm assuming if you're not a Ravelry member, you're probably not a knitter and you really don't care about knitting designs. If you are a knitter and you're not a Ravelry member, you need to fix that.)

The first book I got was Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont. Abby spent part of her childhood in rural Peru where she was taught to spin by the local population. Abby has probably forgotten more about spindling than most of us (myself included) will ever learn. I'm still reading through the book but what I've seen so far is wonderful (and the photos are beautifully done). Many of us start our spinning with a spindle before jumping in and purchasing a wheel and this book makes you look at the spindle as far more than just a "gateway" tool to spinning.

Next is The Eclectic Sole by Janel Laidman. This is a self published sock book that has 14 different patterns pretty much covering all the bases for socks: top down, toe up, sideways, solids, textures, colorwork, lace, you name it, there's a sock in here with it. There are some really unique and beautiful designs in this book, but being self published, it is probably hard to track down at most bookstores.

Also by Janel Laidman is The Enchanted Sole. This is her (again self published) sequel to the above book. It has 20 sock patterns all based on fairy tales and folk tales. Again all types of construction techniques are used and this book includes a good number of knee high socks (a style I've never made but would like to).

Finally, if Janel's books cover all the sock knitting bases for standard construction, Cat Bordhi once again completely leaves the ball park, goes off roading where no sock knitter has gone before and still comes back with designs that fit human feet. Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters is her second book in her "New Pathways for Sock Knitters Series." I have the first book and while I look through it periodically, I've never knit from it. It's not that the designs aren't wonderful, it's that I still haven't knit the little homework sock you're supposed to do before you start the patterns. (It's so you can understand the patterns - probably an important part.) Since I tend to want to knit socks RIGHT NOW, I turn to more traditional construction techniques. This year I plan to sit down and knit that little homework sock and start understanding why and how socks knit upside down and backwards (OK, it's not quite like that, but have you seen her designs?) can still fit feet, and seemingly fit them well. I expect you guys, as The Blog (kind of a warmer, fuzzier collective than The Borg) to hold me to this after the Olympics are over!



Blogger danièle said...

What a wonderful enhancement ! And what amazes me truly is that a designer with your skills and talent -I bought Joy of sox just for your design only-, is still in search of improvement and new technics. But the way, I would love to read about you knitting Cat Bordhi. I am kind of tempted, but still hasn't made the jump, yet...

11:01 AM  
Blogger Connie Peterson said...

What wonderful books. I am going to hold you to the fact that you will knit this homework sock and show us what to do.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Um... I have knit a Cat Bordhi sock without first making the homework sock...

(But I'm going to make the homework sock once I'm done with this pair.)

2:59 PM  
Blogger PogKnits said...

I'm saving up for Respect the Spindle, but I keep spending my book money on fiber!

4:36 PM  
Blogger Dana KBS said...

It's funny you posted about this, Melanie--I just got a wild hair for some socks and dug out New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I got frustrated with the book's setup when I first got it, so had put it away. But now I've started a fun pair in the upstream construction, and I made my daughter a little pair of Coriolises (Corlioli?) last week.

I don't have the new book--can you post what you think of it when you're done?


9:17 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Yay! I love getting new knitting books. The Cat Bordhi book is excellent. I've already knit my first personal footprint sock and it fits so much better than any sock I've ever made for myself. Not sure I'll be able to go back to traditional sock knitting. P.S. I believe you met my mother at the Blue Bonnet Knitting Guild.

1:57 PM  

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