When I signed up for Vogue Knitting Live in NYC, I decided to go with the big package. When I went to Chicago I got a smaller package and three extra classes by themselves. This time, I wanted the tickets to the Gala and Cocktail Reception. Something else that came along with this package in particular was a $200 gift card to the Vogue Knitting website, which I quickly spent the moment it was in my hands. It will surprise none of you when I tell you that I bought books. That’s right ladies and gents, $200 worth of knitting books and it was spectacular!
I ended up getting Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 6 (I did not see 4 and 5 on the website or else I would have bagged them as well), Nicky Epstein’s Knitting on the Edge and Knitting Beyond the Edge (to go with my copy of Knitting Over the Edge) and last, but not least, Vogue Knittting The Ultimate Sock Book and The Ultimate Hat Book. Over the next few weeks I am going to review these books and give you my musings on them.
The first one up is Vogue Knitting The Ultimate Hat Book.
One of my first problems with buying these books online was, how do you know if you’re going to like them or not? It’s not as though you can simply flip through them, look at the photos and decide if you like the patterns shown there. Not to be deterred in my book-buying experience, I went to Ravelry and looked up the books there. Not only can you see which patterns the book includes, but projects others have completed and shared with the community. I think this really gives an advantage to buying any pattern online or in print, because you can see how others have modified it or how lighting and colour change the look. A hat or sweater you previously didn’t enjoy the look of may be much more flattering when seen on a different model.
This book begins with a word from the author and a brief history of hats. I never really thought much about where knitting came from and how it evolved from a means of making clothing and generating income to a pastime of the middle class. The entire history is only two pages, but interesting in it’s general overview. There is also the ‘anatomy of a hat,’ to clarify terms used in the book, and ‘types of hats’ with illustrational diagrams. In the pages designating the different types of hats, there is a small blurb about the style origin, typical look and special construction information.
I am going to glaze over the ‘basic techniques’ page and move right on through to patterns. They are divided into five categories; basic shapes, cables, lace, colour and embellishments.
My favourite category is basic shapes. Most of the hats in this section are relatively simple, but really showing off the different styles that were covered in the ‘types of hats’ section. One in particular that I like is the Pillbox Hat. It is a unique shape that would suit a smaller facial structure, like mine. The intricate colour work in the photo really drew my eye, as well as the beautiful blue yarn.
Without giving you the whole book, I will say that I am really happy with content. Hats are one of the best gifts to knit, along with scarves, and there are a lot of interesting ideas I had not thought existed before. I guess we know what everyone is going to be getting for Christmas this year…
I will be reviewing The Ultimate Sock Book next Friday so drop in to check it out. I have high hopes for the sock patterns included there. I am also curious about the history of knitted socks. What is now a luxury was once a necessity, can you imagine having to hand-knit all the socks in your sock drawer? I guess I really shouldn’t say that since I KNOW there are people who do that. Respect to you sock knitters, respect.