First, the facts:
Author: Rosemary Hill (aka Designs by Romi)
Published by: Interweave Press, 2008
Type: Knitted & Crocheted Jewelry.
Pattern Size Range: N/A
The In-Depth Look:
Did you see those stunning Bijouterie earrings in the latest issue of Knitty? Weren’t they gorgeous?
Now, picture an entire book filled with equally beautiful knitted jewelry, all from the same, talented mind.
Yes. Exactly. Beautiful stuff. Do I need to say more?
Oh, really? Seriously? You want more?
Okay. This book is all about jewelry–knitted and crocheted jewelry. And almost without exception, I love just about everything in here. (And the couple of patterns I don’t love, I still like.) There’s nothing in here that’s ugly or ill-thought out. Nothing bulky or trite. It’s creative, and lovely.
As I said, all the patterns are knit or crocheted, but the materials vary. There’s jewelry knit with wire (silver or otherwise). There are knitted beads made from wire. There is jewelry made from fiber, like that stainless steel yarn from Habu, and jewelry made with felt. All of it is enhanced with beads, or extra, stylistic touches.
There are good instructions on how to do some of the jewelry-making touches, like attaching fasteners (known as findings), or adding links of jewelry chain. Now, my beading skills are elementary at best, but at least most of the projects here seem within the realm of possibility for me. And not all of them require you to know the business end of a pair of pliers, either–though some do.
What ARE the projects?
Well, there’s the “Sterling Frame Bracelet” right at the front–rectangular silver links covered with knitted silver wire with a bead, and linked together with homemade 8-shaped links. A copper necklace and earrings made of long, knitted copper-wire beads. A necklace with beads knitted into a tube of silver. One made of beads created from imperfect swatches. The necklace/earring set of resin donuts is one of my favorites.
Okay, that’s all just from the first section. Then there are the lacy scarf/necklaces made out of silk/stainless steel yarn (with beads). And the “Silk and Pearl” bracelet–with its matching earrings that looks like little bird nests. Necklaces and bracelets made out of felted circles. A multi-strand, beaded cuff bracelet. I love the “Ball and Chain” necklace and earrings, with little balls of felt knitted into beads, and think the “Cutaway Choker” looks like a treat to wear.
The “Gypsy Earrings” are one of the rare missteps, but not so much because they’re not attractive as because they remind me of the shade pulls my grandmother used to have on her window shades. (I wonder if I’m the only one to think so?) I didn’t love the “Scarf Cocktail Necklace” but think it might look better being worn, and the “Earthly Circles” necklace isn’t really my cup of tea, but … again, that’s a personal preference thing, you understand. It’s not that those aren’t good designs, they’re just not my favorites.
There are frequent sidebars giving extra tips like, how to make your own findings, or the specific felting technique a certain project required, and the step-by-step illustrations are wonderful.
The photos of the finished pieces are gorgeous, very stylish and elegant (as you’d expect). I wouldn’t have minded seeing a few of them modelled, but they’re well photographed and it’s easy to see the details, so I can live with that. The projects are listed out in the Table of Contents, and also in the index, where the materials for each one is helpfully spelled out.
Really? Beautiful book. Just beautiful. And my jewelry box is suddenly looking very empty…
This very cool book can be bought from Amazon for just over $15.00.
This review copy was kindly donated by Interweave Press. Thank you!