November 01, 2013

Bookish. - Issue 3

Bookish by amirisu

The books I am going to introduce are two of my recent favorites, which also match one of the themes of this issue - modern interpretations of traditional designs. Beautiful images, stories of the places, and some original designs are the common format of both books. Now, let's look inside the books!


Colours of Shetland by Kate Davies

Self Published, 2012 (Book sold through the author's website: colours-of-shetland)

Kate's blog has been one of my go to places when I want to pretend that I am taking a long walk on a Scottish hill (which is more frequent than you can imagine). Before discovering her blog, I bought a few picture books on Scotland, but I prefer Kate's photos. Her book ranks as a favorite in my enormous book collection. As expected, she captures the landscape of the Shetland Islands

beautifully, they are the essence of her design inspiration.

The book has 5 parts - Stevenson Lighthouse, Puffin, Ursula (a native plant), an area called Northmavine,

and Scatness archaeological site - plus her essays and technique instructions. Each part has a topic-related story

and a set of patterns she designed for the theme. Her sensitivity to colors - the way she picks and matches colors from natural landscape - is superb. My particular favorites are Puffin sweater and Northmavine Hap shawl. Her exquisite color choices always make me want to knit in exactly the same colorways. Patterns are charted in full color, making them very easy to read.

I sincerely hope there will be a Japanese versionof this book, knowing that Jamieson's yarn is already very popular in Japan. Highly recommended.


Icelandic Handknits by Hélène Magnússon

Voyageur Press, 2013 

When a friend showed me his breathtaking photos from his trip to Iceland, Iceland became my dream vacation destination. But, I never really connected it with knitting. Then I started to notice well-known knitters/designers like Ysolda and Jared blogging about their experiences. Iceland is a very popular destination for knitters these days. Imagine you need a wool sweater all year long!

Helene has sent us a copy of Icelandic Handknits just in time! Loopi knitting is already well-loved in the Japanese knitting community, but I didn't know the extent of Iceland's knitting culture until now. Elaborate color work, intarsia and intricate lace knitting have been part of people's daily lives for generations.

In this book, Icelanding Handknits, Helene uses traditional techniques to design items like mittens but she also interprets them for more modern usage.

Techniques are shown in detail with full color pictures.

Read this book, and you will visualize yourself holding a flight ticket to Iceland in your one hand, a knitting bag in the other.