First, the facts:
Author: Debbie Bliss
Published by: Sixth & Spring, 2009
Type: Design and Patterns.
1. Designing for the Body
2. Designing with Color
3. Designing with Texture
4. Designing for Kids
5. Designing with Details
6. Design Workbook
The In-Depth Look:
I love books that give me a look into what an author or designer is thinking. How they working things out. How they get inspired. How they made decisions.
Well, here you go–a look into the mind of Debbie Bliss as she makes design decisions.
Each of the first five chapters addresses one particular type of design challenge–body shapes, colors, textures. Desigining for children. Adding details. In each chapter, she gives her thoughts on how to work with that factor. She gives reasons why some things work and others don’t. Or why some patterns don’t come in sizes to fit all people (because the shape just simply wouldn’t work outside a certain range).
Then, to follow up each chapter, there are patterns to help illustrate the points just made. Sweaters with color work, or added texture. A-lines to show what they can do as a flattering body shape. Cute things for kids. (And there’s one picture of a little girl in the smock dress that is just beyond adorable.) Do I love every pattern? No, but these are Debbie Bliss patterns and so they are more or less classic and timeless–and I’ll just try to ignore the out-of-place-that’s-just-too-much collar on the otherwise gorgeous Cable Band Cardigan.
At the back of the book? Sketch outlines of different sweater shapes, all ready for you to color in, add texture, do whatever you like with it–have some fun. Also, knitter’s graph paper. You have to love a book that gives you resources you can use again and again. These pages clearly state that photocopying is permitted, so there’s no reason the fun needs to end.
A couple physical aspects about this book I particularly liked? It’s a hardcover, but with a spiral binding, so you can open it, have it lie flat. I like that. It’s also got a nifty elastic on the back cover that you can use as a bookmark. Not to mention a handy card at the back that includes a gauge guide, holes for determining needle sizes and a grid of yarn weights. Nice little extras–though that last one would be more effective if you could remove it from the book. (Though that opens it up to being lost, so…)
All in all? An interesting book with some great design tips, lovely patterns, and some nice extra features.
This book is available at Amazon.com.