Saturday, January 06, 2007

Nothing Better

I got a very exciting package in the mail the other day:

I LOVE new books. I am still expecting some more from - Melanie Falick's Handknit Holiday (at last), Gaughan's Knitting Nature, and J. Sowerby's Victorian Lace Today. My lovely Mum and Dad gave me yarn money for Christmas, so I clicked over and changed my "Wish List" to my "Shopping Cart"... I love doing that.

I took a chance ordering the above books sight unseen, and they are FANTASTIC. I am especially keen on Melissa Leapman's Cables Untangled: An Exploration of Cable Knitting. It's a very well-rounded volume. A basic how-to book, with quite a few nice designs from a wide range of difficulties. There are several I've got my eye on, which may even displace Eris from the "Next to Knit" list.

I actually ordered this book with Erika Knight's Classic Knits in the hopes that I could lift a cable or two out of the Leapman book, and add them to one of the basic designs in the Knight book. I've got three skeins of Malabrigo merino worsted in the stash, and I've been wanting to design a vest for it. I was hoping to end up with something with a central vertical cable that splits at the neck and wraps around, to be grafted together at the centre back. The idea has been sort of swimming around in my head for a long while, but it's the shaping that has stopped me from casting on - I want to be sure it'll fit first, since the Malabrigo doesn't like being frogged too much.

We'll see. I don't know when I'm going to get around to the sweat-and-tears design work on the vest, so don't hold your breath or anything.

One thing I love about Cables Untangled is the sizing: one of the sweaters I want to knit, for example, has finished measurements from 37.5 to 50.5 inches. The smallest design in here is a sleeveless V-neck top - its finished bust ranges from 34 to 46.5 inches. There is a cool knitted skirt (I know - never been a fan, but I would actually make this one) with a hip range from 31.5 to 47 inches. As someone with a generous bust, I always have to grade up knitting patterns to fit me, and sometimes it's just not worth the trouble. It's a relief to have it done for me.

Anyway, I haven't decided what to knit out of here yet. There is a chapter of cabley stuff for the home (pillow, afghan, rug-type stuff), a chapter of clothing for women, and a chapter of designs for gifts - men's sweaters, scarf, bag, child's sweater, and so on. Lots of options. Leapman has also included an extensive stitch dictionary in three parts: "Cabled Ribs", "Cabled Panels", and "Allover Patterns". In conjunction with the "Designing with Cables" and "Techniques" sections, you could do a lot of interesting things.


In other news, I have almost reached the spot I was at before I tore out St Brigid's first sleeve. I have probably two more 24-row repeats to knit before I get to the saddle (which will fly), so a couple more sleepless nights should do it. An aside - I'm so glad I decided not to knit both sleeves at once with two balls of would have been fairly daunting to have to frog and reknit TWO sleeves instead of one. I can't wait to get this sweater finished. I'm pushing my luck, as here on the West Coast spring is literally breathing down our necks. My friend Kate has sharp, deep green furled crocus leaves already out of the ground in her garden. I'm thinking when I get St Brigid done, it will be just in time to pop it into a muslin bag for the summer.


Gwen said...

I like the look of the toy book; on one of your knitting links I saw someone's knitted nativity set. Very nice indeed, but looks like a lot of fiddly work. But then, you knit the mamlukes... this would be a walk in the park. Have fun with your new books!

Kate said...

The boy and I were just admiring those crocuses the other day ... I love them. The first sign that the dark will again come to an end.
Aren't craft books the best?! The endless possibilities ...

amanda said...

I ordered 2 knitting books from amazon last week as well: domiknitrix and glamour knits (by erica knight). they are both OK - domiknitrix is actually good for its intro with techniques. The glamour knits is decent - there's a cool bracelet cuff pattern i want to try.

thanks for the compliments on forecast!

karen said...

Geeez, I might have to get the Melissa Leapman book too! It sounds very compelling!
Missed you tonite - hope all is ok- keep us posted !! - hope that you have not been overcome by too many skeins of yarn or from a knitty reading frenzy!! talk soon,karen

Shan said...

Karen and Kate, I was completely unaware that it was even Wednesday at all. I am SO sorry I missed it...I even had some progress to show you guys.

Next time.