First, the facts:
Author: Jane Brocket
Published by: Collins & Brown, 2011
Type: Patterns and a knitting lifestyle
The In-Depth Look:
I’ve read Jane Brocket’s Yarn Storm blog for years and this is the first time I’ve gotten my hands on one of her books. (Mark this up to a reluctance to pay overseas postage, or to buying the “Turkish Delight” compilation of two of her other books.)
Having read her blog for so long, I’m familiar with her easy attitude toward living–keeping things simple, but making them beautiful and cheery–all of which is encapsulated in this charming book.
Divided into sections like “Charm” and “Colour,” the book is filled with patterns that you’d expect, like sweaters, blankets, and scarves, but also with ones you might not expect, like hot water bottle covers or toothbrush bags. (I’m guessing the latter is a distinctly British thing.)
In fact, part of the charm in this book IS the “British Thing.” I’ve lived in houses with central heating my whole life and so far as I know, we’ve never had a hot water bottle, so being reminded that many people use them daily is a good thing. I always enjoy coming across British spellings of things, or British slang, so that sense of place and culture helps make this book distinctive.
More importantly, though, the knits remind one that knitting cozy things for your house and for your family is universal. Every room is better for a bouquet of flowers (unless you’re allergic), and a pile of knitted dishcloths, or a cabled rug by the door just helps to make your living space that much more livable.
This book, with its lovely patterns, is as much about living as it is about knitting. You want to crawl into the pages and lean on the sunny windowsills and curl up with the afghans. The pictures are that inviting.
The book itself is hardcover and solidly constructed, though I have my own questions as to why the publisher opted to print the title on a 5″ wide piece of paper that wraps around the book, tacked into place by a dot of glue inside both of the covers. Not only did the glue leach an unsightly dot through the paper, but my book arrived with that paper “cover” already slightly wrinkled. Knowing how crowded and busy my bookshelves are, I have my doubts as to the longevity of this slip of paper, and can’t imagine putting it in a knitting bag. It’s a design element that looks pretty but isn’t entirely practical. I peeked underneath it. If or when it tears off, I’ll be left with a cover that’s one, large picture of the stripes from a tea cozy, with the title imprinted on the binding.
Still … if that kind of nitpicking is the worst thing I can say? You know I liked the book. And I did.
You can get your own copy from Amazon.com.