book: knitalong

Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together by Larissa Golden Brown and Martin John Brown and published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang (March 15, 2008).

This is the long awaited book of the year. Larissa is a past contributor of whipup and an amazing writer and knitter and very passionate about anything fibre related. She collaborated with her husband Martin on this book and what a fabulous partnership they have - a writer and knitter - I am so jealous of them getting to work together like this on a wonderful project. This project has taken them a while - they not only wrote and edited, designed and knitted but also collaborated with knitters around the world to organise the knitalongs that make up a big section of the book and the premise for the project.

The patterns in the book are so varied and excellent, some have already been pre-tested by knitters around the world. The photography is just luscious. But really my favourite part has got to be the knitalong diaries. Where knitalong participant’s projects have been featured from the six different knitalongs that ran alongside the book while it was in production. I love what Larissa says “It’s like hearing a dozen different singers do the same great song.” - Inspiring and wonderful all at the same time.

You can see some of the images online at the website and on the flickr knitalong groups: Meathead hats : pinwheel blankets : socks 101 : recycle along : square along :

About the projects - they are all designed to be knitted in company or as part of group and they all have a story to go with them. There large projects such as afghans, pinwheel blanket, blessing way blanket and barn raising quilt, Medium projects such as a cycling sweater, mothwing shawl, Blue Ribbon Scrap Wrap and smaller projects like the felted nest, eden scarf and the Entomology Hat & Mitten Set - and some super easy projects like the Recycled Sweater Pincushion and the Knitter’s Magic Yarn Ball. There are more too - 20 projects in total.

This book has so much more than patterns and stories (although goodness that is more than most books) There are heaps of faq’s about knitalongs - history and jargon explanations - gorgeous historical images dotted throughout the book are just special little treasures. The first section concentrates on community and includes short essays on knit cafes, knitting circles, knit ins, and tips on how to find a knitting group. Chapter 2 is ‘remembering’ and is a journey through the history of knitting as a social lubricant and knitting in war and peace and. Chapter 3 is ‘finding your voice’ and has a heap of info on the online community - blogs, forums, websites etc. Chapter 4 is about improving and growing your skills, competing and challenging yourself and collaborating with others. And the last chapter is about ‘giving’, swaps and gifts and donating to those in need as well as being kind to the earth - recycling and eco knits.

I have found this book to be a fabulous resource, a font of information, a big inspiration and an excellent read.

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