My Headlines

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weekend Kniterature

I have a whole bunch of knitting texts I want to share my thoughts on, so I am going to be trying to do a kniterature review each weekend - and I am trying to take it to the next level and try to be a little more professional than I have been in the past.

Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment - also, today is the last day to enter into the Tropfest DVD giveway! Winners will be announced tomorrow night.

Anyhoo, without further ado...


Title: Domiknitrix
Author: Jennifer Stafford
ISBN-10: 1581808534
ISBN-13: 9781581808537
Format: Turtleback
# of Pages: 256
Publisher: North Light Books
Published: 2007
Book Source: Borders
Price: $43.95 - purchased with $20 borders voucher (therefore $23.95)
Skill level/Audience: Beginners to Master Knitters

This is a great book which is all about taking control of your knitting. It begins with the Domiknitrix philosophy of knitting and design, followed by the guiding principles, or the 8 rules to knit by. These include the basics such as getting gauge, finding flattering projects and getting it right (even if you have to do it twice or more!)

The next section contains some very useful content - going through different yarns and their properties; how to care for knitted garments; deceiphering ball band codes; and, explaining different needles, tools, toys and equipment.

A lot of this information is the stuff experienced knitters only ever figure out after years of knitting and scanning magazines, so it is useful to have it written down in one place. There is a lot of content here, but it makes for good browsing and reading in small doses - and a great reference.

The next section is the usually the one I loathe in all knitting texts - the dreaded Learn-To-Knit section - however, I find this section is more about technique than the basic LTK.

Rather than leaving knitters in the dark, it shows 4 ways to cast-on; "picking" and "throwing" techniques; working in the round; several different ways to increase and decrease; short rows; basic lace knitting; picking up stitches; colourwork; and, textures - all with full colour photographs showing all steps of the technique.

It also has some great finishing techniques included - grafting stockinette, garter and ribbing; different pocket installation; button bands; how to fix your mistakes; and...
Installing zippers!

All the other technique instructions in the book are just like this - there are clear pictures, diagrams and explanatory text.

This is immediately followed patterns, which have a skill level (although it is suggested you "bite off more than you can chew" which tells you which of the above techniques you will be utilising for each patterns -

I love the phrasing - it's not "to complete this pattern you must know how" but rather, in this pattern you will "learn". It is a fantastic way to stretch your knitting skills, because what you are not told what you need to know before you start. The lessons are in the previous pages, and you can flick back to them whenever you want a reminder.

Although some of the patterns have a 'goth' or 'dominatrix' inspiration, the feel of most of them are easily altered by something as simple as a colour change - or in some cases, just wearing different clothing with the finished item. There are a number of items that include a box of intarsia or colour-work - and the really cool thing is that all the charts are the same size, so you can pick from several different designs what you want on which sweater.

And the really fun stuff -

- turning your knitting on it's head! There are only a few patterns in this section, but they give you a great launching pad for where you can take your knitting.

In the back of the book there are the useful pages such as a glossary, reference texts, extra colourwork charts, yarn pushers, and an index (so you can easily find that technique you need).

Overall, I would suggest all knitters get a hold of this text - it is an invaluable source of knowledge and technique. You may be put off by the PVC, leather and corsets, but I really recommend to not judge the book by these images and take a closer look at the content.

This is not a flash-in-the-pan taking advantage of the "knitting is the new yoga" mentality - it is a serious text of technique, and as such, belongs on the shelf with authors such as Zimmermann and Walker!

If you want to know more about domiknitrix, check out her website.


Bells said...

Well there you go. I had completely overlooked this book as one of the gimmick books that i'm in the habit of avoiding. Now I know differently.

Thanks for that!

Michelle said...

Thanks for the review! I was trying to decide if I should buy this book, but now that I've read your review, I definitely will.

Lynne said...

I have avoided both the book and the website for all the wrong reasons!

Thanks for an intelligent, unbiased review.