Monday, 17 March 2008

Library Enhancement

My third and final report from Skipnorth concerns reading materials. I was brought up in a household that believed that money spent on books was never wasted. A look around my house would assure anyone that I have taken the idea and run with it...

Unusually for me, in the Skep I bought a couple of commercial pattern books, something I haven't done for ages.


However, even if I don't follow any of the patterns there are often little details and inspirations to tuck away for future reference. Look at the back of this cardigan. I love the way that the waist shaping is done by using cables.Very ingenious.

The Knitting and Crochet Guild keep a very extensive library of books on all aspects of knitting and crochet. One of the members has undertaken a the huge task of cataloguing and identifying duplicate books which they are selling to make space and raise funds. This is obviously an absolute treasure trove. Being a new crocheter I thought it was essential to extend my stitch dictionary collection to include crochet so this Vogue dictionary was perfect but the real treasure was hiding behind this unassuming, plain purple cover...

Adventures in Knitting by Brenda Shapeero contains a fascinating collection of ideas for using knitted fabric creatively with loads of information on how to combine yarns to achieve unusual effects like this collection of braids and twists for embellishing scarves...

Or this bag made up of all sorts of stitch samplers of different colours and textures...

Or this fiendishly complex bit of cabling. I didn't say that everything in the book was beautiful but for £2 I think it was a bargain!


There were also piles of vintage knitting magazines available so I picked up this handful of vintage Vogue magazines from the late 80s and early 90s. A great proportion of the knitwear is quite frankly hideous but there are some wonderful classics and good information on techniques which add to the pleasure of howling at all the knee length intarsia monstrosities.


One of the other wondeful things about the KCG is that it is a wonderful source of obscure self published material which offers something a little bit different. Another addition to the stitch dictionary collection,but this time witha difference. In the Knitters Guide to Stitch Design, Anne Maloney also give loads of useful information about how to design stitch patterns from scratch. In Curvaceous Cables Collection, Dawn Brocco explains some innovative ways to use cables which I have never seen before. So many opportunities to build my knowledge of knitting and crochet I am in a bit of a whirl. If only I had more time...

Winghams, not to be outdone, yielded this fine clutch of back issues of Spin Off magazine which I am sure will be a fabulous source of information and inspiration for improving my spinning skills. Can't wait!

Finally, back to the knitting. In an attempt to get my Sock System back on track, I've chosen as my tricky sock project this pair of Wishbone Lace socks by Nancy Bush in this quarter's Piecework magazine which I have just begun a subscription to. I love Nancy Bush's patterns as they are invariably beautifully researched and written and often include a new technique for a cast on or a heel flap which I can tuck away in my mental library of sock techniques.

So far, I have already learned a new cast on so it is looking good!

Life here at Yarn Archive headquarters is a bit hectic right now as I fly out to Australia for three weeks in a couple of days time. SO much knitting to organise, so little time...

5 comments:

picperfic said...

I love books and those old magazines would have driven me crazy...I can't imagine how you feel at leaving them all behind as you go on your travels. I love having my 'stuff' around me, packing knitting needs for three weeks will be tricky! Have a lovely time, is it a holiday?

LittleBerry said...

Loved reading your review of SkipNorth I feel like I have been :o)

Hope you have a great trip to Australia.... will miss you blogging though!

Mandella said...

Have a wonderful time in Australia. Bet you buy wool!

TutleyMutley said...

You got a real treasure trove of books there, Jane. (I too love books and just can't get enough!)
Australia! Wow, have a great time and hope you can crochet/knit on the plane...

murdo said...

Adore that cable shaping!!!!! You can never have too many books :)