I have been trying to get a post up all week about one of the books I mentioned I purchased recently, but I keep getting distracted. I sat down last night to start, but got sidetracked when I noticed Gymboree was having a sale (I spent an hour looking and didn't buy a thing). I accidentally left the book home today that I was planning on reviewing. Instead, I am going to review a book I borrowed from the library... Alterknits: Imaginative Projects and Creativity Exercises by Leigh Radford.
Let me just say first that I can NEVER find good knitting books at my library. I think knitters hang around the front of the library on the days they know the new books get shelved and then check them out for weeks on end. My county has a very large library system, and I could easily reserve books online. But, I like going in and finding new stuff waiting for me. I couldn't believe that Alterknits was sitting there staring back at me.
Leigh does have a Web site where you can view most of the projects from the book. Take a look.
My first reaction to the book was that there wasn't much in it I would probably ever knit. A lot of the items were for the home or functional items, and I am not really big yet into knitting cushions and bed covers. I will say that the screen door shown is absolutely amazing...who the hell would KNIT a screen door? My dog would gleefully take the first opportunity to run right through it. And then I would have to kill him.
I did enjoy how the projects took the basic concepts of knitting and move them "outside the box." There are patterns for some really cool jewelry, a paper crown from crepe paper, and some paper lanterns. A lot of the other patterns, to be quite honest, are things I have seen before. Every project did have a twist to it...like taking a basic tank pattern and then adding cute little ruffles to the front using a novelty yarn.
The book does have "creativity exercises" sprinkled throughout to try and get the reader to think of their knitting in a different way. A notebook comes in the back for you to write your responses to the exercises...kind of like an inspiration notebook. The library had removed the notebook from the book so I couldn't take a look at it, but I thought it was a nice touch to include it in a book that wants its readers to extend themselves creatively.
I am glad I didn't initially buy this book without looking at it first (a habit of mine). I think I was more inspired by Loop-d-Loop than this book. Overall, it was nice to sit and look it over and try out the exercises.
Tomorrow...a new project! No, I didn't cast Florence aside. I just needed something smaller for my commuting knitting. Although now that I think of it, this new project won't probably be small for long!