Knitting on Top of the World by Nicky Epstein, c. 2008, is an exciting book that is a treasure for our library to own. It is one of those volumes you wish you could display on your coffee table and be able to leaf through at any moment for eye candy as well as a history lesson. It is organized according to regions in which Nicky pairs gorgeous photographs to a detailed history of knitting traditions, techniques and styles from that part of the world. I, for one, was never a good student of history; but for me, reading about the geographic location, lifestyle and history of places such as Isle of “Aran”, “Fair Isle”, and Estonia brought such appreciation for those tiny knit/purl combinations I am learning. Within each of the six sections of the world, Nicky includes several projects that showcase that area’s unique contribution to knitting design, tweaked by a pinch of her own sassy style!
Grannies On the Go, published by Sixth and Spring Books, c.2008, is one of those adorable pocket sized books that will have crocheters grabbing their hooks and knitters admiring their sister craft. The projects range from using just one tiny, sequin embellished granny square to create a ring, to a multitude of granny squares used to make skirts, handbags, shrugs, capes, hats, blankets and scarves. There are several very sophisticated projects that use lovely color combinations in this book so please don’t pass it up!
Shawls Two on the Go, published by Sixth and Spring Books, c. 2008, is another pocket sized book that brings us 22 new shawls to consider making. There are some very avant garde pieces including Iris Schrier’s modular wrap (turned into shrug via the use of a purchased silk scarf and a couple of strategically placed tacking stitches). For those who knit for warmth, there is a beautiful cabled wrap as well as textured knits with clever edgings such as I - cord loops. Of course, there always are lovely lace pieces to choose from, one of which is an ethereal lace shawl fantastically embellished with beads, no pre stringing required.
Sorry, Hooked on Jewelry, by Pat Harste, c. 2009, crosses the line. Is it a bead book or a crochet book?!! You will love the jewelry here. As Ms. Harste states, “I love to crochet, and I love jewelry even more.” I was particularly drawn to the use of bead crochet to create focal pieces for necklaces and earring drops, rather than its more familiar use in tubular form for roped necklaces and lariats. There is a solid introduction containing information about the tools and materials needed including thread types, hooks, and jewelry findings. Now, isn't it wonderful when two passions meet, like bringing old and new friends together.
Crocheting on the Edge, by Nicky Epstein, c. 2008 is another super addition to the ever growing series of Epstein books, giving crocheters some wonderful ideas that knitters have enjoyed in the publication of her first three, Knitting (Over, On, and Beyond) the Edge. Buttons, ribbons, beads, pearls, and crystals embellish bobbles, ruffles, points, flora, and fringes. In addition to encouraging you to use these edgings to individualize your own projects, there are at least nine funky Nicky designs to explore, including jackets, vests, capes, shawls and belts.