Hi, everyone--I hope you are having good and relaxing vacations. I'm still away from home, so no pictures, but I do have something to blog about . . .
K and I happened to stop by a bookstore here (okay, so we "stop by" any bookstore we run across, so what), and it was going out of business. Bad for them, but good for me--everything was on sale. I immediately raided the knitting books, of course, and came away with a bunch of stuff.
I snagged the Yarn Harlot's latest, Free-Range Knitter. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I enjoyed her first book of essays, but as always with Stephanie, it was witty and well-written. Definitely worth the read.
For reference, I got two of the new Harmony guides: Cables & Arans and Lace & Eyelets. After looking through them more closely, I'm glad I didn't pay full price. These'll be handy to consult, but the editing is terrible--duplicated patterns, misindexing, text errors--you get the picture. NB: check every pattern before knitting.
I also picked up three books of patterns proper. The most interesting is definitely Knitting New Scarves by Lynne Barr. This isn't a book for beginners or people who just want a damn pattern already. The author is obviously insane, but in a good way, and the book is gorgeously produced--beautiful photos, high-quality paper, detailed instructions, and so forth. The scarves themselves are crazy. Among others, there's one designed to look like a string of pearls and one designed to look like a high-rise in Dubai. A wonderful, inspirational book.
On the other end of the spectrum entirely, I got The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, by Ann Budd, a collection of basic patterns for socks, gloves, mittens, hats, sweaters, etc. I have forever been longing for such a book--my college friends will tell you about my adventures in adapting whatever pattern I could find to whatever materials I had handy. I expect this will be a great resource.
Lastly, I picked up It Girl Knits, by Phoenix Bess. Unfortunately, I already regret it. I bought it for a single sweater pattern which looked good, thinking there might be a few more things worth knitting in the book. After reading it over, though, I don't think it was worth it. The sweater is the only thing I'd even consider knitting, as things stand. The rest of the patterns fall into two categories: so ridiculously easy why pay money for the pattern (headbands, kerchiefs, felted bags consisting of two rectangles stuck together) or so absurdly impractical you've gotta be kidding me (yoga pants, halter-top dresses, bikinis). Although I guess I now have MULTIPLE options should I ever need to knit someone a bikini. Another irritating thing--since the patterns are frequently slinky, skimpy, and clingy, they require specific yarns and caution against substititution. A definite negative for the creative knitter working on a budget. In conclusion: sorry, Phoenix. Go back to high school and try again.