Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Two new books!

I received two knitting books from Amazon last week, and I digested them a bit over the weekend.

Handknit Holidays, by Melanie Falick
What a beautifully photographed book! This is one of those rare knitting books that is so well laid out that the designs look even better than they are. There are a few misses, such as the cover design and the poncho and matching dog sweater, but there are several projects of varying degrees of difficulty that I can see myself making. I've already bought the yarn for the vintage gloves (without the beading) and the gansey sweater, the first sweater I will knit for my husband. There are some very special designs in here, like Annie Modesitt's lace tablecloth and Teva Durham's aran tree skirt. Several of the designs are holiday-neutral, but there are a number of Christmas designs.

The Knitting Experience, Book 3: Color, by Sally Melville
Let me get this out of the way first: most of the designs in here are either not my style or just plain fugly. I doubt I will make more than one or two, if that. Don't let that turn you off, however. This book is easily worth its cover price. Melville is a great teacher and includes instruction for every kind of knitting using color that you can think of--intarsia, stranded (fair isle, though she steers clear of that term), knitting with handpainted yarns, and slip-stitch designs. What I like best, I think, is that she shows a number of methods for accomplishing the same goal. For example, she shows three different ways of holding the yarn for fair isle knitting--both in left hand, both in right hand, one in each hand. She also gives instructions for holding one strand around the neck. It seems that, too often, an author chooses one way of knitting as "correct," when we all know that there are as many ways to knit as there are knitters.

In other knitting news, I'm cranking away at the holiday list. Still working on a couple of items, but I did get a pair of felted clogs knitted up and ready to go. I think the lace scarf for my mother is going to be the project that comes down to the wire.

After more than a week, I haven't heard from the friend whose daughter received the lovely Samantha sweater. I'm not really sure how to take this; I even emailed to confirm that she received the package. Still nothing. I'm debating calling, but I don't want to sound desperate for gratitude. She used to be a fantastic person, but now I'm not so sure what's going on. At this point, it almost needs to be something serious (though I obviously don't want anything bad to happen to her or her family). It's strange that this bothers me much more than not getting a thank you for the throw I knitted for my cousin's wedding. If there's one time in your life you should send a thank you note, it's for your wedding. Oh, well, I'll stick to the registry from now on and only buy or knit for friends' kids when I know they'll at least acknowledge the thought.

I nearly forgot to add that my parents picked up the spinning wheel! The Schacht is sitting where the tree will be when it's put up around the first week of December. Mom's putting a big bow on it, and I'm going to get cranking while everyone else is opening their far inferior gifts. The store was closing out their fiber, too, so I got some nice tops for good prices. One is a mohair blend, and the other is a Corriedale, I think. I really wish I could have been there to see my dad in a yarn store!

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