Occasionally I receive books from publishers to review. Here are a few that crossed my path over the last few months.
Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Romance
Okay, I don't quilt--me and the sewing machine don't get along so well--but I aspire to learn some day. This is the second Kaffe Fassett quilt book in my library (the other--Glorious Patchwork--is a signed copy that I just had to have) and they are beautiful not only for the craft, but for the luscious photographs and images they project. They make me want to quilt, and set off for the British Isles and drink tea snuggled in one of these pieces of art.
If you are a quilter, I cannot tell you if Quilt Romance is a good book in terms of making a quilt, but it does appear to come with complete instructions and tons of inspiration. Photographed in a small Welsh village renowned for it's Mediterranean architecture, it is a beautiful book to flip through and provides inspiration to all crafters who love working with colour.
Haiku Knits by Tanya Alpert
This is a lovely hardcover book of interesting and innovative knitting designs for women. All are inspired by Japanese design and take knitting as fashion rather than just craft. The photographs are excellent--the sweaters are easy to see, one can get a sense of the fit and construction and the patterns are well laid out and easy to read.
I want to say I love the cover pattern--Chrysanthemum--it can be worn as shown or turned upsidedown to look like this:
While interesting, fashionable and innovative, Alpert's designs are for the young and thin. The top size in most patterns is a 40" chest (some are smaller) and while many designs like the one above have a large amount of ease, they are meant to have that beautiful drape and flow. I loved many of the designs, but I gave away my copy since most of the designs wouldn't fit me the way the designer intended. It is unfortunate that a larger range of sizes was not provided.
These designs are also meant to highlight the yarns used which are often special for their texture, content or drape. This is not a criticism; Alpert does a wonderful job creating projects that look beautiful and use yarns that are somewhat atypical for most knitters or which are seldom used for things beyond scarves and shawls.
400 Knitting Stitches by Potter Craft
Who doesn't love a stitch dictionary? This one is a good addition to your library with a nice range of stitches. In this one, the focus in on texture with slipped stitches, different ribbings and a few cables. It includes both line-by-line written instructions and charts. The book is also compact, so you can carry it in your knitting bag.
It's a perfectly good book except for one thing--the charts are REALLY small. This may show my preference for charts over written instructions, but having charts the size of thumbnails that require me to scan and enlarge them really took away from my enjoyment of this fine resource.