Monday, February 18, 2008
New Book on Felting: " i ♥ felt"
A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Taunton Publishing, and asked if I would like to review a new book they are publishing this month. I agreed, and they sent me a preview copy. The book is i ♥ felt: 33 Eye-Popping Projects for the Inspired Knitter, (Paperback) by Kathleen Taylor (author of Knit One, Felt Too).
The first section of the book covers the basics of felting in detail, from tools and instructions to helpful tips. Taylor also emphasizes the importance of swatching and keeping a journal. Swatching has a dual purpose here. It is not just to determine your knitting gauge; it is also critical because felting the swatch allows you to see exactly how the yarn(s) you have selected will behave, and gives you a valuable preview of the finished project - before investing significant time, money and yarn.
A felting journal is not only a nice record of completed projects... Properly kept, as Taylor demonstrates, it is valuable tool for replicating results you want to repeat, and avoiding mistakes you don't! It can also be springboard for creativity as you experiment with different yarns and felting techniques (such as needle felting).
Taylor's instructions and patterns are clear, concise, and easy to follow. After reviewing the basics, the balance of the book explores a variety of fun and colorful projects designed to spark your imagination. Felting can be something far more creative and varied in results than just shrinking your knitting. There are projects of all sizes, from bookmarks, mittens and slippers to sweaters, coats and totes. The photographs are big and beautiful, and the colorful yarn choices are anything but dull and ordinary. She takes felting in a variety of directions that many knitters may not have thought about before - including felting intarsia - with eye-catching results. I particularly like her combination of felted and unfelted sections within a single project, such as her Evergreen Cabled Jacket for women.
There is a section on troubleshooting, should something turn out differently than expected (which as many of us know, can happen more than we'd care to admit!). She offers creative fixes for common problems, and also shows how your felting journal can help you avoid typical pitfalls in felted projects.
Overall, Taylor has put together a wonderful book, one that is both an excellent primer for the novice and a creative resource for the experienced felter looking to expand the craft in new directions - a valuable addition to any knitter's library!
NOTE: i ♥ felt: 33 Eye-Popping Projects for the Inspired Knitter, (Paperback) by Kathleen Taylor will be available February 19. (You can also pre-order it now at Amazon.com)