Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ethnic Knitting Exploration - The Blog Tour

Thank you to Donna for including me in the blog tour of her new book, Ethnic Knitting Exploration.

I love books and love my knitting books – patterns, techniques, history & fiction all have spaces on my shelf. This is my first Ethnic Knitting book and given my intense passion for all things historical, thirst for knowledge of all things knitterly I couldn’t wait to see what Donna had uncovered.

I’m more about the hands-on knitting for sampling the world of knitting, hearing the histories from a knitter who tells the story with her hands as much as her words. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to not have to wade through chapters of dry history with pictures of recovered knitting in various states of preservation to have my appetite whet for more of the Lithuanian & Icelandic motifs! I’m already a lover of all things Aran, so that was like preaching to the choir! The motifs included immediately evoke the feeling of more traditional Scandinavian sweaters and the Lopi “skating” sweaters that I grew up with.

Ethnic Knitting Exploration is an enticing appetizer for colour- and stitch-work while taking the time to explore the sweater shaping of the raglan, yoke & saddle-shoulder.

What I seriously love is that Donna has stocked the pantry with the ingredients and recipes to take this appetizer and make oneself a banquet! With so many “how to” books for knitters I am very impressed with the ground work that is laid for knitters who want to design their own sweater (or fingerless glove, or capelet or poncho). She has taken into consideration varying skill and comfort levels for those new to designing and has detailed worksheets where you can just drop in the numbers -which she explains very clearly how to get – and you can work from a schematic, step-by-step plan or a planning sheet for counters like me who work it all out ahead of time.

The technical drawings and swatches are clear, the graphs are easily read and the sketches are whimsical – I didn’t even miss the colour included in most books that, as Donna mentioned somewhere (it escapes me …), increases publishing costs and can distract a knitter/designer from their own vision.

Ethic Knitting Exploration is just that – an invitation to join Donna in her love and discovery of knitting traditions, explore them and make them your own.

For more information about Donna and all her books, check her out Sheep to Shawl and her blog. You can also find out about the other blog stops on the tour and get more insight into Donna, her Discoveries, Explorations & Adventures!

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