Thursday, 23 December 2010

Debbie Bliss The Knitter's Year

Debbie Bliss has always been an inspiration to me as a designer, she is a lovely woman and is very driven and hardworking. When I saw the title of her new book, The Knitter's Year, I thought it was such a fabulous idea and was so annoyed that I didn't think of it first!
The book is divided into four sections, one for each season, and there are 52 patterns - one for every week of the year. I am obviously a little bit sad, as I get so excited just thinking about how perfect this layout and concept is for a craft book. However, I must say, Debbie must have nearly killed herself by working on a knitting book with 52 patterns. My latest has around 30 and I almost had a breakdown writing it!
Like the Erika Knight book I talked about yesterday, the styling of the book is just as fabulous as the concept. The country cottage style setting, whitewashed wood and washed out colours are so pretty and of course make a good setting for every season and weather.
The projects are simple enough to actually able to give knitting a project a week for year a stab (maybe one year I will try it...!) but look interesting enough to keep you knitting. Another thing I like about the book are the practicality of its size and paper stock, it feels substantial yet ultimately usable.
The projects are, on the whole, relevant to the season they are in, which is great. I am partial to the plant pot covers in spring, the peg bag in summer, the pin cushion in autumn and the hottie in winter. I also love the opener pages, with their silhouetted illustrations of leaves and flowers in pretty colours.
My only niggle is that there are far too many decorations in winter. The chapters, or seasons, contain thirteen patterns each, and you would think that these would be split quite evenly between the three months they encompass. However, winter has dedicated nearly half of its patterns to Christmassy themed items, or colours that scream holidays. I would rather have more of the hotties and woolly warmers than Christmas nik-naks, even though I love this time of year. Aside from this and the flags, which seem a bit strange and out of context to me, the patterns are very in keeping with Debbie's great taste and style and are all simple yet beautiful classic pieces.


Anonymous said...

Debbie is having the same idea as Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitter's Almanac" so many years ago. Too bad she didn't think of it first!

claire montgomerie said...

Oh, I have that book too!! I didn't even think about that! Perhaps I shall write a compare and contrast piece next - it will give me a chance to re-read the almanac!