Fall is traditionally the big season for knitting books to come out, but another of the advantages of the current renewed interest in knitting is that knitting-related books come out at all different times of year. This past week, I was able to redeem an Amazon gift certificate that I gratefully received for my birthday and get some new knitting books, which I shall review forthwith. (The only thing I miss about being a lawyer -- other than the paycheck -- is getting to use ridiculous words like "forthwith." Which I really didn't do much anyway, since I was a big "plain English for lawyers" type of gal, but phrases like "inter alia" and "sui generis" stuck in my pointy little head so humor me.) Today's book review is one for which I have a personal connection (and I'm not just talking about my ample ass).
Big Girl Knits
Okay, forget all objectivity: the thrill of seeing my name and pattern in print, in a real live book, eclipses everything. April 18th marked the release of the somewhat painfully-named Big Girl Knits, to which I was a contributor, albeit a small one. So even if this book sucked nine kinds of ass, I would be hard-pressed to say something mean about it. Thankfully, I am spared that ethical dilemma, because it's a good book.
You all know Amy Singer and Jillian Moreno from Knitty: Amy is the editor and Jillian is a frequent contributor and if I'm not mistaken, helped instigate the founding of the influential on-line magazine. Both are what they euphemistically describe as "big girls," and they've written a book devoted to knitting for ampler figures.
The first part of the book is techniques and tips for knitting for a more endowed figure. There's much breathless tittering from reviewers about the "3-B" formula: boobs, butt, belly (perhaps because some aren't used to seeing the word "boobs" in print?) but knitting books that provide instruction on how to adapt patterns for different kinds of figures, especially ampler and/or curvy ones, are long overdue. Even experienced knitters might learn a thing or two about pattern adaptation from this section.
The rest of the book consists of patterns, sized for a wide range of plus sizes. You can take one look at the models and see that we're not talking about coy little size 12s that simply look plus-sized compared to the scrawny, boyish size 0 models we're used to seeing. These are big girl models, which gives the book a sense of legitimacy that other "plus-sized" patterns lack. And for anyone who's looked at a pattern and groaned to see that the size "Large" was for a woman with a 38-inch bust (Vintage Knits, anyone?), you'll be happy to see a size range that extends up -- way up. Of course, patterns are a matter of personal taste, so you'll probably end up loving some and feeling indifferent about others, but still, it's a great selection of patterns ranging from accessories to sweaters and jackets, and a lovely shawl. And my Chinese Menu Handgear pattern, which is a completely customizable pattern for mittens and gloves, is versatile enough for anyone to use. I would like to knit some in a variety of yarns to show you how different the pattern can look depending on what yarn you use (add that to the ever-growing "Knitting To-Do List" -- hah); the constraints of using a nubby tweedy yarn and only having a photo or two to show you means that you can't see some of the detailing in the different cuffs.
In other news
Okay, greenies, here's two batchs of green laceweight:
as well as some Blue-Faced Leicester roving in two palettes of green. Also in the picture are two batches of some organically-grown wool roving from a Montana farm. This stuff is so soft and lofty that I may have to try a batch of it myself.
I've been putting the Black Bunny stuff at the bottom so those of you who are disgusted by shameless cross-promotion and crass commercialism can just skip it.