Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

It is a knitting book. I do knit and so buy lots of knitting book. But I almost didn't buy this one. Met up in the book store with my husband, showed him the books I was going to buy, and told him I was going to put the knitting book back. He wouldn't let me. He said it would give me ideas. He's an accountant so I dithered a bit. Finally bought it. Thank heavens for husbands!

The book is by Ruth Lee. Back in the few years I was engaged in machine knitting, I had a book by her on machine knitting. I adored the book. It was creative, imaginative, everything I was not, wanted to be, could not be. And this book is published by Batsford, a company who used to publish tons of wonderful English fiber books. The name of the book? Contemporary Knitting for Textile Artists.

I turned first to the back pages. I am always interested in bibliographies and sources of supplies. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Mostly English sources, which is logical.

Then I looked at the last chapter. One page. "Knitting as Art." This sentence convinced me of my husband's wisdom:

"Beautifully made, considered sampling underpins contemporary textile practice, while informing the next step in the development process." (p. 123)

I think that I shall do something with these words, print them out and frame them.

I proceeded to go through the book backwards. There I found interesting bits about Lee's creative journey. I found interesting material on decorative surfaces, on felting (could I felt crackle woven in wool? crackle woven partly in wool and silk?) on spool knitting (could I weave with hand-knitted cord?), working with jumbo yarns, often created by plying or winding yarns together (wouldn't go through the heddles, but who needs heddles, and what about plying very fine yarns together), working with unfamiliar materials such as lingerie elastic, netting, wire.

Did I mention the photographs? They are beautiful.

This is not a book about (knitting) technique, though she talks in kind of generalized ways about techniques. This is a book to inspire. It has inspired the weaver in me.

Related Post: Inspiration from Quilting

© 2008

Posted August 19, 2008 by http://talkingaboutweaving.blogspot.com/


Dorothy said...

That sounds like a great find Peg. I can't resist a good book myself ;)

I like the quote about sampling.

I might have to look for her machine knitting book, I got a simple knitting machine recently and feel a bit daunted by it at the moment.

Taueret said...

Thanks for that Peg, I haven't been spending enough on books of late ;-). (srsly, thanks).

neki desu said...

Thanks for the lead, it sounds as a must have.
Who knows, it may get me into serious sampling:)

Peg in South Carolina said...

Dorothy and Taueret, sorry about the enabling..........well, not really......(grin!)
Dorothy, if you are just starting out machine knitting, I don't think her book on machine knitting is the place to begin. I don't know what the good books are now, but the British have written wonderful books. Also, I'd bet my bottom dollar that there is at least one machine knitting list on Yahoo (more enabling, here.....).
Neki, so many of the really good knitters, weavers, dyers, etc., that I have become aware of have grown through serious sampling. I happen to be one who loves to sample, but I now realize that my approach needs, at least at times, to be more serious in its approach (and, sob, record-keeping.......).