Colorwork for Adventurous Knitters by Lori Ihnen, photography by Corean Komarec, pub. Creative Publishing international, Inc., 2012.
When my daughter saw the title of this book, she exclaimed, "Mama, that's you!" But the title doesn't refer to knitters like me, rather to knitters who only have experience with single-color knitting and are wanting to go beyond. My first project was a striped baby blanket, so this mindset is alien to me, but I understand it exists, and this book is a valuable resource for such people.
Actually, it's a valuable resource for anyone---even fearful knitters---who would like to try a more controlled use of color than is available with variegated yarns. Ihnen starts slowly, with stripes, offering stitch patterns with a more complex appearance than plain straight-across stripes, tips for working stripes in rib or in the round, and three easy projects to whet the appetite for what's to come.
Photography is clear, though faces tend to be better lit than the knitted item and there are some dubious styling choices. But I would not buy this book for the projects (though some are truly fetching). I would buy it for the colorwork instruction.
This book is loaded with clear photos of techniques as they are being worked and after they have been finished---right side and wrong side---and tips to straighten them up if they look a little wonky.
It covers stripes, slip-stitch colorwork ("mosaic knitting"), stranding (including fair isle and steeking), intarsia (including intarsia mixed with stranded knitting), and embellishments such as embroidery.
Ihnen lays out the different techniques in a straightforward way, explaining various methods of working each one and including bonus material (like spit splicing!) along the way.
She covers the pros and cons of using various methods and suggests instances where one might be appropriate and others when another might work better.
If she seems to oversimplify in a couple of cases, or if her wording is less than felicitous at times, this book is still the best resource I have found for beginning colorwork.
The Child's Cardigan at left and the Intarsia Owl Hat above are two projects out of the 16 in this book that I would consider making. Since these are supposed to be introductions to each technique (as opposed to lengthy and involved conversations), the projects tend to be small: coasters, bags, and pillows which do not call for much in the way of sizing options.
Colorwork for Adventurous Knitters is also spiral bound, so it will lay flat without coaxing. Congratulations to Lori Ihnen and Creative Publishing for turning out a well-thought-out book!
Disclosure: This copy of Colorwork for Adventurous Knitters is from Kangath's library. Kangath was not compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in the review are the blog author's and are not necessarily the opinions of Creative Publishing international or Lori Ihnen.
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