Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Look at the Library - Book Review

The following was submitted by our new librarian, Karen J.

A Look at the Library

Each month I will review five books to familiarize and encourage our members to utilize the LIKCG library. I will bring those books to the next monthly meeting so they will be available to you. If you have any special requests, please do not hesitate to contact me, Karen J, at
____________________________________________________________________ Greetings From Knit Café, by Suzan Mischer, c. 2006, is the product of a young woman who is living out many of our own fantasies. That is, she left her stressful high power job as an executive at CBS to raise her children in Los Angeles. She soon became an avid knitter, honing her skills in a local Starbucks coffee shop after dropping her children off at school in the mornings. Like many of us, she dreamed of opening a yarn store for knitters to congregate and relax, complete with soothing beverages, good food, music, books and an eclectic mix of her own favorite yarns. The store opened in 2002 and welcomes knitters 7 days/week.

This book is a compilation of 30 projects that run the gamut from a yarmulke to a 28" X 70" pom pom awning! The book is quite entertaining to read as well as a bit off centered. If you are looking for staple projects this would not be my first choice; however, if you wish to surprise yourself or delight a friend with a computer keyboard cover, a bikini or a red carpet gown, look no further!___________________________________________________________________ Knitorama, by Rachael Matthews, c. 2005, is a collection of some of the zaniest projects I have ever seen and believe it or not, many of them are actually quite functional! Among the projects are cotton dishcloths, which can be washed and bleached repeatedly, are a great way to experiment with a variety of stitch patterns, and as stated in the book, are a way to “feel proud as you leave it draped and drying over the taps”. Fried Egg Ear Muffs (theirs are sunny side up) are crocheted and merely slip over your auricles. That’s pretty zany, right? In addition, there are shoelaces, duster gloves, apple protectors, sponge covers, booties to cover the ends of the drumsticks of your Thanksgiving turkeys and brassieres to choose from.

The projects that intrigued me the most are the knitted pastries, chocolate cake and ham sandwich which all look quite realistic and are sure to be conversation pieces, albeit lacking nutritional content! On a more serious note, the first part of this book contains much information on how to distinguish yarn content using a flame test, how to decipher the symbols on a yarn band as well as several ways to thread the yarn through your fingers to achieve optimal knitting tension. ____________________________________________________________________
Lion Brand Yarn: Just Socks, c. 2007, is a compact book containing both knit as well as crochet sock patterns. It is organized from simplest to more complex and utilizes the readily available yarns by Lion Brand.

At first I thought mainly beginner sock knitters would be best served by this publication. The patterns mostly call for yarns of heavier gauge than the traditional sock/fingering weight types. Upon closer look however, I realized that knitters of many skill levels might like the lovely Chevron Lace Socks, Striped Footsies (for those gals who wear tennis sneakers), and the Toeless Pedicure Sock. These would make special gifts for the friends and daughters in your life. I look forward to trying the Norwegian Style Footed Slippers which feature a variety of gorgeous fair isle patterns with only three colors to juggle. Thanks again to Lion Brand Yarns!____________________________________________________________________ 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders, edited by Judith Durant, c. 2007, is a book I have seen many times in bookstores as well as local craft outlets and I have always passed on purchasing it. Having to peruse it more carefully today, I see now that I really did not “get” what makes this volume unique and worth reading. The problem I had was that all the projects are pictured (3-4 per page) within the first 32 pages. You really need to study these photographs carefully to determine if you would want to knit an item because you don’t get any second looks or additional views of the projects before turning to pages 33 - 256 of printed instructions. However, once you decide, as I did, that you love the Christening Shawl, 3 Seasons Lace Vest, Rhea Lace Stole, Dogwood Blossom Wrap, Ruffled Neck Warmer, Horseshoe Messenger Bag, Cable Mittens, Cabled Baglet, and Cross Stitch Scarf, you will head for the chapters which, by the way, are organized by yarn gauge. Now that’s unique!____________________________________________________________________ Yarnplay, by Lisa Shobhana Mason, c. 2006, is a well organized book containing an introduction that discusses yarns, needles, and tools. The projects follow and are organized according to items for the household, clothing accessories, sweaters, vests and tank tops. The photographs are beautiful, plentiful and especially informative because they depict a variety of angles and details for each of the projects in this volume. The author is very specific about the yarns she chose for each project. So, if your stash happens to contain some very well known brands including Rowan, Araucania, Filatura di Crosa, Lorna’s Laces, South West Trading Company, Artyarns or Noro, you are in luck!____________________________________________________________________


Angie said...

This is a great review! I look forward to future reviews. Thanks Karen!

Sandy said...

What a wonderful idea! I, too, look forward to seeing future book reviews.