Sunday, February 06, 2005

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Football is a mistake. It combines the two worst elements of American life. Violence and committee meetings.--George F. Will

The best part of the Super Bowl was watching Paul McCartney sing. Before that, I worked on socks. Now I'm done with football.

On with blogging and leave the TV to John.

Books Redux and Then Some
Never mind that I still have laundry to do and the evening is becoming elderly. Let's talk about Fair Isle and lace books.

As far as Fair Isle books are concerned, (and lace too, for that matter), these books will be either heavier on technique and lighter on designs, or vicey versy. In my opinion, Alice Starmore and Ron Schweitzer are the two foremost Fair Isle designers around. Ann Feitelson comes in third. Ron designs a lot with Shetland 2000 yarn and is featured on Yarns International's website. Ron also has had designs in the Jamieson books that are wonderful. AS you all know. If you don't own any of her books, try to buy one. My personal favorite is Stillwater but they are all outstanding.

Technique for Fair Isle has been best explained in Sweaters From Camp, which was edited by Amy Detjen and Meg. I am not crazy about most of the campers' designs; however, the technical info therein is the best I've ever read. For that alone, for those few pages, it's worth buying. And of course, AS's Book of Fair Isle Knitting is a must. Amazon has 7 copies of it right now at $130, if you feel like plunking down the bucks.

Lace knitting and knitted lace--I swear I can never remember which is which. There are lots of good pattern books out there but one of the best technical books on lace was written by Susanna E. Lewis, Knitting Lace. This book uses the lace sampler from the Brooklyn Museum, first re-creates each lace section with clear charts and instructions, and then teaches the knitter how to design lace. Absolutely invaluable to the would-be lace designer. I had the pleasure of working with Susanna back in the mid-80s when I edited a machine-knitting magazine called MacKnit. Susanna was a very well-known machine-knitting artist and teacher who is probably the most technically talented knitter I have ever met. More talented than EZ, in my opinion. And much like EZ, Susanna's designs were often hit-or-miss. But she cowrote The Machine Knitter's Guide to Creating Fabric with Julia Weissman, a book that I'm sure machine knitters still use.

I have a number of very good lace books in my library, all of which I think are worth having--Sarah Don's Shetland Lace, the Marianne Kinzel books, Shetland Lace by Gladys Amedro (one of the best), Traditional Lace Shawls by Martha Wiseman, The Lacy Knitting Of Mary Schiffmann by Nancy Nehring. You can't go wrong with any or all of these books.

Some of these books may be out of print. You'll have to check, if you're interested in buying. But if you're interested in knitting either Fair Isle or lace, you really can't have too many of them. I've done a fair amount of lace but nothing terribly complex. It's an area of knitting that I'd like to explore more.

So, what books would you like me to discuss next? Let me know. And dare I say that having your significant other glued to the TV is a rare and handy thing? Yep. "GO PATS!" That and a couple of beers makes John a rare and handy guy, don't it? May you all have a blessed Super Bowl Sunday and thank God when it's over.

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