BY HAND

Books give knitters a head start on summer stitching

Posted May 21, 2012, at 2:32 p.m.

The sixth installment of “Stitchionary,” published by Sixth and Spring Books, provides knitters and crocheters with a collection of more than 200 edgings pulled from the pages of Vogue Knitting magazine. Choose from edgings that add texture and color or opt for ribs, cables, lace or something unusual such as a loopy fringe or ribbon banding. The lace patterns in the book are charted and could be used as a way to practice lace stitches simply by knitting a swatch. This compendium of edgings will allow knitters and crocheters to put their own decorative spin on caps, sweaters, socks and other items to give them a fine finish. The book is lavishly illustrated and is a worthy addition to any needlework library. The cost is $29.95. For information, visit sixthandspring.com.

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After “Knitting on the Edge” and “Knitting Over the Edge,” author Nicky Epstein is “Knitting Beyond the Edge” in her latest book detailing how knitters can add a decorative flair to cuffs, collars, necklines, corners, edges and closures. Opt for closures that feature leaf patterns, embroidery, buttons, cables and bobbles. Choose neckline treatments with bead edging or cuffs that explode with flirty ruffles. The book also includes directions for a jacket and a sleeveless sweater with a deep V-neck livened up with a cascade of ruffles. The book offers 350 edgings that are sure to give the inventive knitter plenty of ideas to experiment with. The cost of the book is $19.95. Ask about it at your favorite bookstore or library, or look for it online. For information, visit sixthandspringbooks.com.

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Real men do knit, which is amply demonstrated in “Knitting with the Color Guys” by Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably. The designs in their book are meant to make the hearts of knitters sing with the pleasure of mixing colorways in a geometric way to produce cushions, blankets, hats, mitts, leg warmers and scarves, some of of which are knit on the diagonal.

Fassett was the first living textile artist to have a one-man show in 1988 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Mably’s designs have been featured in Vogue Knitting, Rowan and other magazines. Many of the designs in the book call for Rowan yarns.

The cost of the book is $29.95. For information, visit sixthandspringbooks.com.

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“Hand Printing from Nature” by Laura Bethman is a spiral-bound classroom that aims to teach readers how to make nature prints by applying ink or paint to leaves, flowers, shells and other natural objects to create images on paper. The technique, the author says in her introduction, is easy to do and that getting started is simple. “Feathers, lemons, daisies and just plain grass are waiting for us to print them,” she writes.

Bethman gives a short history of the ancient origins of hand-printed images in the first chapter before she moves on to discuss collecting natural objects, pigments and supplies, printing methods, single and repeated motifs, creating hand-printed patterns and printing scenes and flowers. Her book makes it easy to explore a new craft.

Projects in the book include stationary, notecards and notebooks printed with leaves, printing on fabric with mushrooms and even a wall mural printed with tomato vines.

The book is sprinkled with plant facts and lore, tips for displaying images and instructions for making objects adorned with printed images, such as a pot holder.

The cost of the book is $20.95. For information, visit storey.com.

Ask about these books at your local bookstore or library, or look online.

Snippets

Pleasant Mountain Fiber Arts Workshops will take place Friday through Sunday, June 22-24, at its new location in the Brownfield Community Center in Brownfield. Classes in spinning, knitting, dyeing, felting, crochet, tapestry weaving, card weaving, several different rug techniques, doll- and puppet-making, bookbinding, basketry, silk papermaking, punch needle and more will be offered. The cost ranges from $25 to $80. For information, visit pleasantmtfiber.com.

Durell Buzzini will conduct the Toe Up Socks knitting workshop, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at Essentially Felt Studio and Fine Yarn, 865 Pushaw Road in Glenburn. The cost to attend the workshop is $35, including sock pattern. Advance registration and payment are required by calling 942-0365.

Call Ardeana Hamlin at 990-8153 or email ahamlin@bangordailynews.com. Don’t forget to visit her blog at byhand.bangordailynews.com.

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