Monday, November 15, 2010

SUCCESSFUL LACE KNITTING

A beautiful and very interesting book by Donna Druchunas is celebrating the work of Dorothy Reade and the lace knitting itself. So, who is Dorothy Read? To find out you need to read Donna's book where you will find articles and photographs some of which are picturing a beautiful woman spinning, drawing lace charts, and traveling. There are some photos of her work and exhibits in a museum. In short, we are very thankful to Dorothy for her tremendous work on the develoment of lace charts that we now can follow for intricate knitting designs.
The structure of Donna's book is simply brilliant! She begins with historical notes about Dorothy Reade's work and her life. Later she walks us through lace knitting techniques and reading charts. Next we are looking at more than 20 delicate lace designs all using some element or stitch pattern that was used in Reade's projects. Chosen designers had plenty of inspiration from the lace stitch research by Donna Druchunas. Evelyn Clark, Annie Modesitt, Jackie Ericson-Schweitzer, Kristi Schueler, Debbie O'Neill, Marnie MacClean, and more are among the contributing designers for this book.

It is very hard to choose between these unique projects, but I wanted to say about the two of them. One is called Lace and Colorwork Wimple by Annie Modesitt. It is not only beautiful, but it is also very creative. Annie used the chart for lace part of this head covering and added a colorwork based on the same chart.


The other one is called Lace Mesh Triangular Shawl by Evelyn Clark. It is almost a replica of Dorothy Reade's shawl that was displayed in a museum.





















In summary: this is another great book by Donna Druchunas and I am in awe of the amount of work that went into it. Well done, Donna.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TOE-UP 2-at-a TIME SOCKS



For every sock knitter in the world making a second sock is not as exciting as making the first one. Some even wait awhile before working on the second sock. For me it was always a worry that they come out the same in size especially the height on the leg part. I also never tried to make socks from a toe up. If you share my sentiments, we do not have to worry about this anymore. The new book called Toe-Up 2-at-a Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes is the cure for both of these problems. This is Melissa's second book. The first one 2-at-a-Time Socks was a success, so I was not surprised that I liked her new book.
In this book Melissa is teaching us how to make 2 socks at the same time and she starts them from a toe. There are some very helpful hints and explanations on a step-by-step procedure, so if you even never made a sock, this book will take you through the motions. There is a whole chapter on that topic. I loved the Sock Anatomy where Melissa related the proportions of an average sock. It is very helpful if you want to design your own sock.There is also a chapter with 15 patterns, so you can follow instructions for a particular sock.
I always appreciate many helpful photographs and charts that go along with explanations. The layout of the book is very friendly and easy to navigate. It's a keeper for me!