Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book Review - Ethnic Knitting Exploration

Donna Druchunas's whirlwhind Blog Book Tour is stopping here today. Here's a peek inside her latest book, Ethnic Knitting Exploration.

Focusing on the fiber traditions of Lithuania, Iceland and Ireland, you'll find here designs drawing on each country's traditions - beautiful Lithuanian colorwork motifs, Icelandic yoked sweaters, and Irish Aran cabling. The book provides a plan for a sweater drawing on each country's traditions, as well as simpler items like fingerless gloves, a capelet, and a poncho.

Donna takes an unusual approach in writing this book - rather than a photo-heavy book with a bunch of projects and line-by-line instructions telling the reader how to make what they see, all delivered in our special knitter's shorthand, each pattern is given three different ways - using a visual plan, using planning worksheets, or as a step-by-step project sheet.

This unique approach is great in a lot of ways - for starters, every pattern starts by measuring the wearer or her favorite garment, giving knitters all the tools they need to guarantee a perfect fit. You simply measure and plug the numbers you've gathered into one of the worksheets (or a combination of multiple worksheets) and off you go!

Don't let the simplicity of the line-art illustrations fool you - complicated moves are explained here in great detail - everything from cables to steeking, with a wealth of tips and tricks.
Instead of a "do what I do" approach, this is a much more useful, engaging way of putting a project together. Each project is geared towards helping you make the perfect garment for you. Say you've got the yarn in your stash - You know it wants to become a classic european sweater... you can almost see it if you squint your eyes... but how to do it? ... Donna's written a great book that will walk you through it and get you there.


kat coyle said...

yes. well said. i like how much information donna put into such a small book. it really covers a lot and allows for the knitter to be very creative.

Donna Druchunas said...

Thanks Kat. It was supposed to be even smaller -- one book instead of a series of three -- but I got carried away!