First, the facts:
Author: Alice Starmore
Published by: Dover Publishing, 2010
Type: History, How-To, Patterns.
1. Historical Background
2. Aran Patterns
3. Classic Aran Designs
4. Celtic Designs
5. Designing an Aran Sweater
Pattern Size Range: Varies
The In-Depth Look:
What is there to say, really, that hasn’t been said?
Alice Starmore’s books are among the most hyped and most sought after knitting books in the history of knitting books. Well, I don’t have statistics on that, specifically, but when old hardcovers of pattern books are selling for hundreds of dollars on eBay … there has to be a reason.
I have copies of some of her books–her Celtic Collection Knitting book, the Celtic needlepoint one, Fisherman Sweaters–but not the ones lusted after by the masses. My crystal ball was obviously foggy in the 90s and I just didn’t foresee how darn popular Pacific Highway was going to be.
Or, you know, this Aran book.
It’s a mystery to me, really, why I did NOT buy it way back when. I have a tendency to latch onto books I like and not let them out of my hands. My guess is that, just out of college, the price for this rich, informative, full-color book was just a little out of my reach. Or maybe my local yarn shop at the time didn’t carry the book. I really don’t know.
What I do know is that I would have loved this book as much then as I do now.
First, it’s gorgeous. Not having an original edition to look at, I can’t tell you how many of the pictures are original and how many are new, but the photos are all beautiful.
Then, it’s informative. There is a great history of Aran knitting here, interestingly told. Not to mention detailed instructions on how to actually knit them, how to do the cables and bobbles and all the other bits that you need to know.
And, the patterns? Oh yeah. There are patterns. Gorgeous, cabled, intricate patterns that make me want to knit almost every one of them. Some are downright famous by now.
Seriously–do you really need me to be telling you any of this? Of COURSE you want this book. It’s one of Alice Starmore’s outright masterpieces, reissued at a price that people can actually afford.
And, to sweeten the pot? There’s even a brand-new sweater pattern. It’s a lovely, fitted ladies’ cardigan, and is just gorgeous.
As I say, I don’t have an original copy to compare this to, but according to the copyright page, this edition has a new forward from the author, the new pattern (Eala Bhan), and a couple pages at the back which mention where the photos were taken.
So–what are you waiting for? Why have you not gone to buy yourself a copy yet?
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