Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Little Red in the City

I have a lot of books.  I love my books and I read them through as often as I can, though since the knitting thing became a factor in my days, I read somewhat less.  It should come as no surprise that since the knitting thing came along, there has been a massive accumulation of knitting books.  I keep thinking that surely, I have the really good ones and yet...

available in paperback and digital copy or a combination of both!

I like her work.  I have knit several of her Liesl sweaters, and firmly intend to knit that marvelous little pattern again.  (I'm going to wait a few years though.  Don't want to flood the wardrobe a single pattern no matter how much I love it)  I've knit her masterful Ishbel and have a second planned.  I'm working on Damson right now.  I have the Coraline pattern and it sits at the top of the sweater queue. Her wee baby shoes are the cutest thing out there, bar none.  But Ysolda has so much more in store in Little Red in the City.  

If you have ever needed to alter a hand knit for anyone, get hold of a copy of this book.  It has some of the best and most comprehensive photos and drawings of how and why and where to adjust.  She doesn't just tell you this is a good place to adjust, or tell you how to do it, she tells you why. 

She tells you why you want to do it here rather than there.  Her drawing on one of the garments in the book (pg 55), while discussing short rows, answered a long pondered question.  She includes a section on how to calculate the number of short rows you need that takes you far beyond the usual ' add some short rows for bust shaping'.

She not only shows specific things but shows you what the difference looks like on samples.  She doesn't just say that colourwork in knitting works better in woollen spun yarns, she shows you why.  Her samples (pg 12) of worsted spun birdies and woollen spun birdies side by side clear up the why for even the newest colourwork knitter.   

Ysolda isn't afraid to take you on her journey understanding why either. By showing and disscussing some of the things that she didn't think about while working up the designs, she teaches us how to examine our work, how to see our own failures in the way they should be looked at, as lessons.

Sitting, reading the book last night, it felt as if I was sitting in a knit group and having coffee with her.  Her warm and chatty style makes the massive amounts of information she gives, easy to take in.  You get an overwhelming amount of information without being overwhelmed.  

It is a comfortable book, written by Ysolda, a knitter among us, who is right smart and clever, who lives just round the corner.  (In this instance, the globe is the corner, but where friendship and knitting are concerned, that just isn't that far.)   Not at all intimidating, not at all inaccessible, just warm and friendly and good.  

And then there are all the patterns.  I didn't even get to the patterns! 

My kind of book and I hope yours too.  Get hold of a copy.  Well worth it.


Sel and Poivre said...

What a great overview - thank you so much for giving us a peek into this book. I was thinking about picking up a copy - you've put more fuel on my fire for that I'll tell you!

Brendaknits said...

Thanks fro that review. I have never been too interested in her designs - they seem too 'little girlish' to me - but you have made me look at her work in a different light. Thanks.