3 book reviews

This conglomeration of reviews features three titles published by Storey. They are not new titles, but the type that will wear well on your shelf and will help you strengthen your sock skills, expand your creativity, and work up those one-skeins in your stash into beautiful lace.

Book Cover of How to Knit Socks That Fit: Techniques for Toe-Up and Cuff-Down StylesHow to Knit Socks That Fit: Techniques for Toe-Up and Cuff-Down Styles
A Storey BASICS® Title
by Donna Druchunas
Storey Publishing
Paperback, $8.95
also available as an ebook

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

This is the sort of nutshell book I wish existed when I first started knitting socks. It includes everything about knitting socks from choosing yarn to blocking and everything in-between. There is even a small stitch dictionary. It is chock full of various tips, small history lessons, and straight forward and clear illustrations for each step of the way. While some of the explanations are basic, that is the point of the title. What’s beneficial is you now have basic information and standard language so you can more effectively research if you are curious.

Is it useful if you are an experienced sock knitter? I argue yes. While I know the parts of a sock and can knit cuff down or toe up, it’s nice to have all of the information in one place. It’s useful to have at hand when a new sock knitter approaches me with a question. I also find this sort of book to be beneficial to turn to while I’m tech editing, the size charts and basic patterns provide me a checklist to make sure nothing important is skipped.

Both new and experienced sock knitters can benefit from How to Knit Socks That Fit.

book cover for Knit the SkyKnit the Sky
Lea Redmond, illustrations by Lauren Nassef
Storey Publishing
Hardcover, $19.95
also available as an ebook

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I’ve attempted to write this review for over a year. Each time I read through my notes and look through Redmond’s book again, I find myself down the rabbit hole of planning projects and the review never gets written. I’m now looking for ideas and inspiration for a year-long creative project. It’s my third year of the #yearofmaking project, and I’m looking for something a bit new and different from what I’ve focused on. I find myself turning frequently to this title for inspiration and also others creating in this vein such as bluepeninsula’s stitch journal. I’ve been an avid recorder of the day’s weather since a child, my mother also recorded the temperature on her wall calendar. We’ll see what direction my 2017 project takes, Knit the Sky, is definitely providing inspiration.

How? There aren’t any photos of finished knits within the book, but beautiful illustrations by Lauren Nassef. Why? Redmond stresses her desire for you to take inspiration from the ideas and use the listed projects as creative catalysts and knit your project as you see fit. Some of the projects are very loose guidelines and will help direct your thinking, hopefully without funneling you toward the trap of perfectionism in these knitting projects.

I highly recommend this title for those looking for an idea book and a way to grow creativity and skills. It encourages mindfulness and reflection. As much of my life is centered around working in the fiber arts professionally, I look forward to finding a project I can work on throughout 2017 that is my time to reflect on myself, the world around me, and enjoy the process of knitting. Perhaps I’ll knit set lengths of yarn for various routes I run, or the day’s average temperature, or well, the possibilities are pretty much endless (excluding if I were to knit the colour of the top I wore that day, it would be mostly black with occasional grey if laundry day was imminent).

Book Cover Lace One-Skein Wonders®Lace One-Skein Wonders® 101 Projects Celebrating the Possibilities of Lace
Edited by Judith Durant
Storey Publishing
Paperback, $18.95
also available as an ebook

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

There is no need to fear lace. It’s not always knit on cobweb yarns and tiny needles. Lace One-Skein Wonders proves that and goes above and beyond to show you the versatility of yarn overs (and paired decreases) over a variety of yarn weights and projects. If you are new to lace or not comfortable with charts, don’t fear! Several projects are even for worsted weight yarns and feature just a hint of lace. When practical, both written and charted instructions are provided. There are even a few crochet projects! It’s not just all shawls and stoles, though they do feature in this title. Inside you will find accessories for your head, hands, toes, and your home. There are items knit in a variety of yarns including mohair, silk, and merino, among others. Throughout there are helpful tips including using lifelines, ripping back without a lifeline, and some tips for fixing missed yarn overs.

In this age of Ravelry is this sort of title still relevant and helpful? I believe yes. Browsing online after sorting through your stash can be overwhelming. I suggest choosing a skein from your stash, flipping through the book to find a project matching the yarn fiber content, weight, and yardage, and beginning. It’s a great way to use up those lingering single skeins in the stash and maybe get ahead of gift knitting.

I recommend this title for those with single skeins marinating in their stash longer than some fine wines and looking for a way to knit them into beautiful projects.

I received eARCs of these titles from NetGalley in exchange for reviews. The FTC wants you to know.

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