First, the facts:
Author: Nancy J. Thomas
Published by: Potter Craft, 2008
1. Origins of Tweed Yarns and Fabric
2. It All Starts with the Wool
3. Making it with Tweed
4. Walking on the Moors: Projects for Beginners
5. Hiking the Scottish Uplands: Projects for Advanced Beginners
6. Walking the Irish Cliffs of Moher: Projects for Intermediate Knitters
7. Sailing the North Sea: Projects for Advanced Knitters
The In-Depth Look:
Not a brand new book, but not really old enough to count as a “classic,” this is nevertheless a new one for my collection. I’ve had my eye on it since it was published but kept putting it off and putting it off, always telling myself that there were other books I could or should buy first. …And yet, I kept coming back to this. Finally, when it showed up in Knitpicks’ 40% off book sale with a “last chance” label, I couldn’t afford to put it off anymore.
Because this really is a book I wanted to have. Its focus, not surprisingly, is tweed. It looks into the history of tweed as a fabric and also as a yarn, discussing what makes tweed yarn unique–the heathery blend of unexpected colors in the yarn, that give it a little texture, a little extra bit of color.
These are exactly the things I like about tweed yarn–how it gives a visual texture to whatever is knit with it, without being as busy as color work or cables, though both those things can work with tweed yarns when you know what you’re doing.
And that’s exactly the point of this book. It’s a collection of patterns designed strictly for tweed yarns. Patterns that will highlight its special features without taking away from it. You can, for example, do stranded colorwork with a tweed yarn where it will give a little extra depth to the color design, but it will also largely hide the “tweediness” of the yarn. You can do cables, but if the yarn’s color accents are too strong, they can get lost in the cables. But when you do these things right, you end up with a knitted fabric that has subtle, organic color variations, like the specs of mica in a piece of granite.
The patterns in this book are classic–nothing trendy or too cutting-edge. Classic shapes that won’t go out of style for, well, ever. Vests. Pullovers.Cardigans. Scarves. The kinds of garments you wear to stay warm and look great while doing it. The kind you can pull out of your closet again and again because you won’t get tired of them.
Really, I don’t know what took me so long.
You can get your copy at Amazon.com.