Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Knitting Beyond the Edge

The Essential Collection of Decorative Finishes

Nobody knits like Nicky Epstein. She’s a legend, knitwear royalty to many of her fans. And deservedly so. Her work has appeared in major knitwear magazines, museums, and television. She’s written twenty books on topics that range from Barbie clothes to travel inspired fashion.

I’m a big fan, particularly of her edgings series. “Knitting on the Edge ” is one of my favourite knitting books. The perfect resource for knitters like myself who like to create unique pieces. I’ve used these techniques to make tea cosies, scarves, and dolls. I also adored “Knitted Embellishments,” it taught me a great deal about the art of sculptural knitting especially knitted flowers. I loved it so much that when I finally returned it to the library I had to pay a hefty fine. Ms. Epstein understands the needs of the creative knitter. This, I believe is because she’s one of those rare creators who’s both highly skilled technically in addition to being very imaginative.

Unfortunately I was disappointed by “Knitting Beyond the Edge”. I found the designs and edgings dated. They reminded me of the eighties when the sweaters often made people look like walking Christmas ornaments. In addition I felt I’d seen these patterns in slightly altered variations in her other books. Not that the book isn’t without merit. The book is well laid-out with large photographs of the projects and the patterns are easy to understand and precise. I was intrigued by the Faux Fair Isle Jacket and thought I could adapt it to my suit my needs. Plus I thought a few of the cuff designs such as the: Susie Q Cuff, the Happy Honeycomb Cuff and Peplum Ruffle Cuff could be used to invent lovely fingerless gloves.

So is this new book really beyond the edge? Definitely not. Probably more like “Sitting Close to the Edge.” But it’s still a very practical resource for those knitters interested in adapting and designing their own clothes. Indeed I’ll be spending the afternoon making a pair of the Poet Cuffs for a poet who recently published her second book.

- by Lesley Buxton

Knitting Beyond the Edge: Cuffs And Collars, Necklines, Hems, Closures by Nicky Epstein

Sixth & Spring Books

$19.95 US

$38.95 CAD