Brave New Knits by Julie Turjoman

When Julie asked if I would participate in a blog tour of her book, Brave New Knits, I was extemely flattered--it's not like Nake-id Knits is the most popular girl at the party, if you know what I mean.

But the cats and I have been at it for a while--goodness me, since 2003!--and have surfed a blog or two in our time.

Which is what makes Brave New Knits such a revelation. Though it features the designs of some knitblogging stars--Jared Flood (who also did BNK's gorgeous knit friendly photography), Wendy Bernard of Knit-and-Tonic fame, Norah Gaughan (who blogs for Berroco), lace queen Anne Hanson, Shannon Okey (the mind boggles at the energy exhibited by this knitgrrl) and Stefanie Japel (author of FittedKnits and GlamKnits), it also makes a point of showcasing the talents of several emerging designer/bloggers.

Here are profiles and designs by people whose names might ring a bell, but whose blogs may or may not. Like Teresa Gregorio of CanaryKnits. Her contribution, the Milk Maiden Pullover, stopped me cold. Inspired by a 16th century Dutch engraving by Lucas Van Leyden, the top evokes the square necklines of the period but without the bust-squishing stays and corseting that made fashionistas like Anne Boleyn look so uncomfortable. (Gregorio's bodice ribbing--sheer genius.) 

See? What that poor woman wouldn't have given for some alpaca and circular needles.



I'll also be keeping my eye on Anne Weaver, designer of the Johnny Rotten Jacket. While some knitted blazers have that awkward, self-conscious look of a poor pairing (like topping a petite fillet with ice cream because you can), Weaver got it exactly right. She's created a relaxed, cropped jacket (complete with lapels and slip-stitch pin-striping) that works as a sweater.

There is much to like about this well thought-out book, including scarves, socks, and a most adorable toddler tunic by Julie Weisenberger. I was pleased to see that the patterns feature photos, schematics, charts and written instructions. Plus there are lots of garment options (anthologies of this sort can rely heavily on quick-knit accessories), a knitter's guide to blog lingo, and 26 designer/blogger profiles written by Turjoman, which offer a window into each knitter's creative process and blog.

A good knitting book should do one of two things: It should offer easily followed patterns that compel users to knit, or it should inspire knitters with design flourishes and informative bits that set fingers ablaze. Whether you choose to knit BNK's patterns, find a fresh blog read or discover a new design muse, Brave New Knits proves that knitblogs are so not over and that the talent in our small corner of the blogosphere is absolutely breathtaking.

Good on you, Julie, for taking the vibrant digital confab that is knitblogging into print.


Comments (1) -

September 13. 2010 21:30


What a cute top!!!! I so wish I had this talent.

Ivy |

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