The Essential Guide to Color Knitting – Margaret Radcliffe

I don’t often review craft books, because I don’t often read them cover to cover – what I buy are mostly technique or pattern books, and while parts of those are readable, reading the whole thing is usually only something a sadist would do.  I do occasionally make exceptions.

One area of knitting I haven’t explored in much depth is color work – mostly because the idea of working with multiple skeins of yarn at once is not something I’m terribly interested in.    However, I was listening to the Knit Picks podcast one day, and Kelly talked about this book, and what a wonderful resource it was.     She talked it up enough, I tracked it down, and added it to my Amazon wishlist.     Well, guess what was in the year end blow out DIY themed Kindle Daily Deal day shortly after Christmas?     For 1.99 (maybe 2.99 – a steal either way), I couldn’t resist.

And this is a really good resource.    The author does touch on the more complicated color work with multiple skeins of yarn that I’ve been avoiding, but starts out with color theory, and ways to more strategically play with color in your knitting.     She even ends with a chapter on designing with color.     I’d say it’s a good read for any knitter that wants to better understand how to pick their own colors for making knitwear.

The Knitter’s Book of Socks – Clara Parkes

Much like the cookbook I just read, I don’t normally read knitting books all the way through. This is also one of the few authors that I will automatically get her next book, even if I haven’t previewed it first.

The first part of this book breaks down exactly why socks are different than many other knitted pieces (because they’re made for feet, which have a unique set of requirements for comfortable wear), and exactly what kinds of yarn will best suit those requirements. There’s a lot of interesting reading in that section – there was a lot of information I would never have thought of to take account of when making socks, and it also helped explain to me why I like some of the sock yarns that I do.

There are also patterns – running a fascinating gamete of styles and techniques. A number of these are going into my Ravelry favorites, and a few might even make it into my queue. I’ve been on a sock hiatus, but this book may be just the thing I needed to get me out of that.

If you knit socks, you should definitely read this book – you’re sure to find it fascinating.

The Knitter’s Book of Wool – Clara Parkes

I don’t often read knitting books cover to cover, but both of Clara Parkes’ books have been an exception to that rule.

The Knitter’s Book of Wool covers the process of making wool yarn from sheep to spinning. There’s a discussion of the different grades of wool, and what makes those grades better for certain types of projects. There’s also a listing of a number of different sheep breeds, and what makes their wool better for particular types of projects.

I’m not a spinner, so I haven’t delved into the differences in fibers as much as a spinner might, so this was all new and interesting information to me. I definitely recommend the book to anyone that wants to learn more about choosing appropriate yarn for projects.

There are also a number of different types of projects included at the end, several of which have landed in my Ravelry queue.

The Knitter’s Book of Yarn – Clara Parkes

It’s not often that you can actually sit down and read a craft book through, but the Knitter’s Book of Yarn is one that you can. It’s a very readable, very informative book.

The other starts by breaking the various types of fiber into broad groups – Synthetic, Cellulose, Cellulosic and Protein. Within these groups, the yarns share certain characteristics, but beyond that, they’re broken done into source, be it animal, vegetable or mineral. There’s a ton of good information in the book that would be helpful to anyone trying to figure out exactly what yarn would be best for what project.

The book also discusses the making of yarn, and then breaks out into a discussion of various plying methods, with patterns for each type of ply. There are a variety of patterns included, in everything from quick knit mitts to sweaters.

All and all, this is a great resource book, one I’m sure I’ll be referring back to often.