Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Knitting Classic Style: 35 Modern Designs Inspired by Fashion's Archives, by Veronik Avery

Knitting Classic Style: 
35 Modern Designs Inspired by Fashion's Archives
Author: Veronik Avery
Photographer: Sara Cameron
Publisher: Abrams
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
So a few weeks ago I decided to learn to knit. Well, decided might be too strong a word. Mike was learning to knit and I thought I might try it too, since I had done a little knitting as a child and figured I'd pick it right back up. I didn't. It was a disaster. I hated it. But, more importantly, I felt that knitting had defeated me and I couldn't have that (YOU WON'T BE ME, KNITTING!). So I kept at it, almost 100% out of spite. Who was the spite directed at? I dunno...the needles? It didn't matter. Eventually I got better. Sort of.

It didn't take long before spite turned into cockiness. I could knit anything! I was well on my way to being a knitting master! I had knit! I had purled! I had cast on AND bound off (binded off?). What more did I need? I was officially a Beginner Knitter, I assumed.

So when I saw this book that claimed to be "aimed at both beginning and more advanced knitters" I thought, "Aha! I'm totally ready for this!" I was wrong. So, so wrong.

Turns out knitting is like its own language, and reading a knitting pattern is like reading music. You have to know what you're looking at and really understand how it relates to what you're supposed to be doing with your hands. Knowing how to do a purl stitch really isn't enough to be able to follow a "beginner" pattern any more than knowing how to bang your fingers on a piano is enough to be able to read--and play--a piece of sheet music. This book had me feeling in over my head pretty quickly.

As cute as some of the sweaters in this book are (and some are very cute, though others just look dated and old-fashioned, if I'm honest), you really have to think about how you define "beginner" before attempting them. If you're completely fine with using patterns--and by patterns I mean a series of abbreviations and code that knitters use, not step-by-step directions--you might want to try some of these. If, like me, you would like more tutelage, you're probably not ready for this book. All but one of the photos are of the finished products; none of them (save one) are of the process itself. If this book is for beginners, I am clearly nowhere near "beginner" status.
Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Cozy Classics:
Pride and Prejudice
Cozy Classics:
Moby Dick
Creating Children's
Artwork Quilts

Distrust That Particular
The Silence of the

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