Knitting Book Reviews

New Ideas for Today's Knitting
by Jean Leinhauser & Rita Weiss

Every now and then, a pattern is published that falls under the heading of "what happens when knits go bad." When the majority of a knitting book fits into this category, knitters are left wondering what strange confluence of astral events or editorial confusion led to its publication. Unfortunately New Ideas for Today’s Knitting is such a book; a decent concept - "edgy designs [using] the same knit and purl stitches we’ve always used" – that went sadly awry.

My initial impression was that this is a book published five to seven years too late, after the love affair with novelty yarns ended. Of the twenty-three designs, over half are made in part or completely with novelty yarns including a memorable three-quarter length coat in yellow faux fur and a barely-there, backless mini-dress constructed with a ribbon ladder yarn and an eyelash/chenille blend, finished with a 10" fringe around the bottom. But perhaps the most impressive "knits gone bad" example is the red, fun fur ensemble comprised of jacket, beret and boot toppers.

There are a few halter and tank designs which may appeal to the younger knitting crowd, made from cotton and bamboo yarns, so popular this spring. Empress Halter showcases Schaefer Yarn Company Laurel’s beautiful hand dyed colourways in cotton and Sophisticated Tank makes use of bamboo yarn’s drape.

Tops in New Ideas for Today’s Knitting range in finished bust sizes of 28.5" to 64", with the average range being 32" to 38".

Reviewed by Janelle Martin

Janelle is an addicted reader and a book reviewer for Armchair Interviews. A passionate knitter in what remains of her free time, she wonders, "Why can't we knit at work?". Her blog can be viewed at http://antheras.blogspot.com

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