Functional Friday: Knitting on the Edge by Nicky Epstein

The next book on my review docket is Nicky Epstein’s Knitting on the Edge. I purchased the book Knitting Over the Edge from Chapters and absolutely loved all the interesting edges, stitches and bobbles. When I saw Vogue Knitting had the other books, I jumped at the chance to add them to my collection.

Knitting on the Edge

Knitting on the Edge begins with a page about texture. There are twelve swatches knitted in the same pattern, but different fibers. It allows you to see the stitch definition and how defined or subtle the difference is. I love that this book has this in it! Some new knitters and even seasoned ones, forget that tension, fiber, needle size and all manner of things affect how your stitch pattern will turn out. This page serves as a gentle prompt to keep these things in mind when choosing your pattern and yarn.

The next section is ribbing, on my original perusal I got really excited because I am not generally a fan of the K2P2 ribbing. I always change the ribbing on sweater patterns I do. I think one of the only ones I did NOT change was the ribbing on my Terracotta sweater by Tanis Fiber Arts and that is because it has a cabled hem.

Terracotta Cobalt Edge

In Knitting on the Edge, there are many hems with different ribs, cables, twists, slipped stitches and bobbles. I feel I am going to be able to find a vast amount of hems to keep me occupied in my sweater knitting for a long time.

The next section is ruffles. Personally I am not a ruffle person, but for someone who does enjoy ruffles in their work, there are a variety of garter and stockinet ruffles and even pleats. Nearer to the end of the section, there are a few patterns for smocking, which I really liked.

The next section is lace and a picture of a magenta sweater prefaces it with a lace hem on the sleeves and body. I absolutely love the lace hem used in this sweater, it’s elegant and since the rest of the sweater is relatively plain, lace is the perfect touch. Even if you are not interested in buying this book at all, I would highly suggest checking out this particular picture.

With the warmer weather coming up I am looking forward to delving into lace. There are edgings as well as stitches that can be adapted to the entire body of a work. I actually saw a really great example of this at the New York airport. When Paul and I were heading home from Vogue Knitting Live, we met a group of ladies heading back to California. One of the ladies was wearing a short-sleeved lace cardigan. I believe it was made from a Noro yarn, but it could have been something that just looked similar. I really liked the look and it wasn’t something I thought I would like. I plan to make one this summer, maybe to wear on my honeymoon?

The next section is fringes! I do not venture into the land of fringes all that often, but sometimes a blanket, afghan or scarf really calls for one. There are many basic fringes, which look like what you would expect from a fringe book. However, there are some really interesting ones that I would have never thought of. I could see my mom really liking this section of the book because they would add a lot of character to your knits.

The next section was not very long, but it was possibly my favourite, flora. All the edgings and stitches in this section were leaves. Since I am having a fall wedding and the theme is whimsical forest, I loved this section. I am thinking about applying these stitches to a shawl I could wear. I especially liked the idea of beading to add depth to the stitches. Used in the correct place, I could imagine the beads looking like dewdrops on the leaves. I am personally biased for this section, but I really like most of the patterns in this section.

The last section is called points and picots; the picture that introduces this section is heavy on the bobbles. Like ruffles, I am not generally a fan of very obvious bobbles. I like to create things that are subtle and elegant. I think bobbles are more playful and it really depends on the person. I actually came across the term ‘knitterly’ at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC. It alludes to handmade garments that are not in keeping with the fashion scene, but are completely fun and comfortable. It’s not very often I make things that are ‘knitterly’, but I think I should do more. Why make handmade things if you don’t go completely crazy once in a while…

Knitterly Scarf

The ‘knitterly’ scarf I made for Paul that Chloe ended up stealing as a blanket

I digress, I thought this section would hold nothing for me, but there were not really all that many bobbles! There were even a few bobble edges that I liked. I will try them out eventually in an attempt to be more ‘knitterly’ and do the community in general proud. Quite a few of the edges had the clean lines and subtle patterning I am so fond of, so I was quite pleasantly surprised. Do not fear, there were stitches that had many bobbles, cord, scallops and puffs. Even if your taste is not in line with mine, I think this book does a good job at catering to a wide range of styles.

On the front, these were the sections stated; I realized that there was a secret section at the end. It had all the patterns of garments from the photos! The pink lace sweater I was so fond of and the braided scarf from the front cover are in the back of the book. I did not expect the patterns since this was a book for decorative boarders. All the boarders pictured were in their respective sections, but I am really glad to have the patterns all the same.

Next week I will take a look at Nicky Epsteins other book, knitting beyond the edge. It is the essential collection of decorative finishes.