Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Classic Books and Why You'll Like Them

PhotobucketRecently, Dover Publishing approached me with a request for some book reviews.
Yes indeed! I exclaimed. And shortly thereafter, I had two lovely new knitting books in my hands.

I'm very appreciative for the opportunity to review these publications, because they're both classic knitting books which, shockingly, I've not had the chance to peruse.

First up is the commemorative edition of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac. Yes, I can hear your collective jaws drop. I have actually never flipped through this seminal work.
To mark the centenary of Zimmermann's birth, this edition of her month-by-month pattern book includes a fabulous introduction by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.
This may be my favourite snippet from her writing:

"It was recognition. I was a skinny, weird, bookish Canadian teenager who knit all the time, and there I was, felling better about myself because I had finally found another person on earth who seemed to feel as I did... [s]he said things I thought but didn't say. Things like that knitting made her feel clever, that solving knitting problems was like solving real problems, that it was challenging, exciting, fun, engaging and even funny".1

There's also the wildly popular adult version of the February Baby Sweater by Pamela Wynne.
It's tucked away back there, near the end of the book :)

PhotobucketThe second lovely that I was sent is the new and expanded edition of Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting.

As an art history/museum nerd, the first thing that made me gasp was the beautifully illustrated history of aran knitting. Really, who could resist a book that makes the tie between the Book of Kells and knitting?

With information about the how tos, the wherefores and whys regarding this style of knitting, Aran Knitting is an attractive and incredibly useful book. Definitely a classic must-have for the cable-loving knitter.

I'm sorry, I must go: I have cables to drool over.

1 Introduction to Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac; Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, pg. xiv


neferatowen said...

Dang...I'm going to have to buy my copy of the Knitter's Almanac again...I should have waited :p

Kathleen Dames said...

I'm going to have to put the new Knitter's Almanac on my Christmas list - I love the original. And I was just drooling over my Starmore this morning. Eala Bhan is on my short list - just trying to decide on a yarn (and plow through some design ideas brewing). Enjoy!

Hilary said...

How cool that you're doing book reviews!! And you've totally convinced me. I must have both. The commemorative EZ sounds extremely cool, and I may be able to justify replacing the bought-used-for-a-buck version I already have.