Knitting Book Reviews

Pretty in Punk
by Alyce Benevides & Jaqueline Milles

Pretty in Punk: 25 Punk, Rock, and Goth Knitting Projects is THE knitting book for anyone who came of age in the 80s, idolized everything British and is more Vivienne Westwood than Laura Ashley in their fashion sense. Alyce Benevides and Jacqueline Milles, owners of the counter-culture knitwear company knit-head, have gathered together 25 of their signature designs and invite knitters to “unleash their inner rockstar.”

Beginning with their signature Mohawk hat (currently being sported by Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore on tour) in the chapter “For the Head”, the designs in Pretty in Punk are divided into six sections depending on where on the body the garment is to be worn. While the patterns themselves are simple (suitable for beginners although there are no learn to knit instructions), these designs have serious attitudes. Benevides and Milles’ sense of style carries throughout production of this book. Everything here reflects punk, rock and goth sensibilities; from the high-fashion style photographs to pattern names – although in this case, punk gets a nudge of luxury for these ladies aren’t above using cashmere.

Even if your style no longer runs to mod micro-minis or sporting the union jack, Pretty in Punk is the perfect inspiration for your inner rebel. Instead of plain gauntlets, why not indulge your quirky side by using the “Love Bites” arm warmer pattern? My inner goth is mentally digging through the stash to find the perfect mohair for the “Goth Girl” jumper and “Vamp” scarf. Benevides and Milles suggest that anti-authority knitting means injecting yourself into what you make, whether your style is goth, mod, punk, ska or rockabilly, it’s all about individuality. “All you need is two sticks and a ball of yarn.”

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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