Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Piecing It Together; and, Knitting New Scarves – a Mini Book Review

Filed under: Books,Knitting,Reviews — folkcat at 4:31 pm on Friday, November 2, 2007

A quick note: Freebie Friday will happen – just not quite yet. I’m having one of those slow start days. I promise, I’ll get it up here later.

Meanwhile, I did, in fact, get back to the piecework last night. See?

QIP - Grandmother's Flower Garden Table Mat #1

That partial column of hexes on the right is what I accomplished last night at Panera. Not bad! It felt good to get a little of my other projects back into the mix.

pb020785_edited.jpgOn the other hand, my most recent order arrived from Amazon yesterday. I first saw this book over at Grumperina’s blog; she, in turn, had learned about it at the purl bee. It’s Knitting New Scarves: 27 Distinctly Modern Designs, and I’m finding it endlessly fascinating.

I haven’t studied the details of this book in as much depth as I normally do for a review, so let’s call this a mini-review. I will tell you this – even with the quick look I’ve had, I highly recommend this for any knitter who wants to stretch their imagination, and learn to take their knitting in new directions.

Knitting New Scarves: 27 Distinctly Modern Designs

Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang (Harry N. Abrams, Inc.)

Acquired by: online purchase from Amazon.com

Purchase Price: $14.93

Cover Price: $21.95

The author and designer, Lynne Barr, has done the sort of thing that always makes my toes tingle. Diving in headfirst, she took the basic techniques of knits and purls, and then threw the rules out the window. She uses dpns, circular and flat knitting, short rows, picking up stitches, and more, in unconventional ways to create three-dimensional scarves that really wow me.

I am already itching to cast on for a large number of the patterns in this book. Some of them would be great as stash-busters, some simply manipulate the spatial reality of knitting in such tantalizing ways that I can’t wait to see these twists, turns, and shapes coming from my needles.

Here’s a small sampling of the many designs that caught my eye. As always, click on any image for a larger view.


That last scarf shows that there are even patterns for the rawest of new knitters here – it’s a simple garter stitch scarf that derives its curves from short rows. Some of the other patterns involve using double point needles in ways I never dreamed of – not just knitting around in a circle, but knitting to create lobes and wings and flaps. The wavy scarf is entirely created by knitting a flat tube with larger needls on one side, smaller on the other – then swapping the sizes at regular intervals.

I am unbelievably excited by this book, and eager to dig in. I love the idea of sculptural knitting, and I want to master these techniques so I can then play with them myself. The only question that remains – where to begin? There are 27 patterns in this book, and I think I want to knit every one of them!

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Comment by Carol

November 2, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

Like I need another book! Thanks, I think.

Comment by Carrie K

November 2, 2007 @ 6:30 pm

It does look like an intriguing book! Argh.

Comment by Elspeth

November 2, 2007 @ 9:04 pm

I really want that book too. I saw it on her blog and really love the one she is making especially. Weird, because after this year I hadn’t made scarves at all and now I want to make them!

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