Saturday, May 5, 2012

Knitting Never Felt Better

Superstar textile artist and author, Nicky Epstein’s book “Knitting Never Felt Better” is the best book about felting I’ve ever read. Felting, for those of you that are new to the term, is in Nicky’s words “the process of  turning wool into matted wool. Sound dull? It’s not! It’s a magical metamorphosis.” As a bonafide felting addict, I couldn’t agree more. This craft has a flexibility that regular knitting—as much as I adore it—doesn’t. Primarily this is because with felting there is the possibility of creating your own unique material. A material that is both incredibly resilient and beautiful and that can be used for both experimentation and every day projects such as: hats, bags, slippers.

So what makes this book so much better than most?  To begin with there are more than a hundred and fifty samples complete with a before and after shot of how the sample reacts to the felting process. Plus there are many informative features such as: “Felting  FAQ’s” and Nicky’s list of top ten felting yarns. In addition to loads of information about the way different yarns felt, stitch patterns, colourwork techniques, beaded knitting as well as ideas for appliqués and templates. These features alone are worth the price of the book. It’s a marvellous reference tool. But this is only the tip of the knitting needle. Ms. Epstein also introduces the reader to a fascinating three-dimensional felting method inspired by the Japanese art of Shibori. which uses every day items like marbles, shells, wooden discs, dowels to create one-of-a-kind shawls and purses. 

I recommend this book without reservation. It's perfect for felters of all levels, who will be able to use it both as an instruction manual and as a source of inspiration. But be warned, this the kind of book you won't want to lend out so you might want to hide it at the very back of your bookcase.

-Lesley Buxton

Knitting Never Felt Better: The definitive guide to fabulous felting.
By Nicky Epstein
Sixth&Spring Books
$38.95 CAN