22 March 2008

Book Review

I went to the launch of Robin Melanson's Knitting New Mittens & Gloves at In The Loop Cafe last Wednesday. It was a delightful gathering with live Celtic music and much trying-on of the beautiful samples. I actually had a peek at the book about a month ago when Robin brought a copy into the cafe but decided to hold off buying until the party so as to be all official-like. And I got my copy signed by the designer! Tres cool.

It's, quite simply, a beautiful book. There are twenty-eight designs, at least half of which I want to marry. Robin turns mittens, gloves and hand warmers into creations to be fancied and adored. Discussing the book with Christina of The Loop, we decided that the best description of it, is scholarly knitting. Robin has combined creativity and inventiveness with a deep respect for technique and knitting lore. In her own words, the designs are "unusual but not outlandish". I know I will be a better knitter after tackling some of these.

Her use of Celtic language is not out of place. How delightful that a pair of beaded sea silk hand warmers are named after Rusalka, a Slavic water dwelling fairy.

The book itself is a nice size for portability. The photography is gorgeous. My one main criticism, no fault of the designer I'm sure, is the typeface. It is far too small. When I lay the book on the table, I cannot read the print, making knitting directly from the text impossible. Enlarged photocopies will be necessary - a small inconvenience for such a wonderful collection which will live in my knitting library for years to come.


Scheherazaad said...

Looks lovely. I will have to bookmark this for next winters knitting

Miss Scarlett said...

Are those little baby mittens? They are so precious.

It looks like an excellent book - thanks for sharing. I'll keep my eye open.

Oh Baby! said...

nice review! sad i missed the launch. you'll have to bring it on out to the dick for a show n tell! please?

Marin (AntiM) said...

Mmmmm... I just got this and I was reading it in the bar while waiting on a friend and had four or five requests for the mitts on the cover.

I love this book.