Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I heart "I (Heart) Felt" !!!

I just read this book and I have three words to say...... "GO GET IT"
It comes out today, February 19th. I have had the pleasure of perusing it over the weekend. I liked it so much, look what it made me buy!!!

In this book, Kathleen Taylor takes a new spin on felting. The experimental knitter can have so much fun with this. The projects touch on felting with novelty yarn, cables, intarsia, fair isle, and embellishments. Have a felted project that didn't turn out quite so right? Kathleen even added a solution for those mishaps.

The first thing that I noticed about the layout of this book was the gorgeous use of color. The book uses a mixture of bright and muted tones to keep the eyes interested. The pictures are clear and colorful as well. The projects are laid out one by one, with instructions following each photograph.

The book is sectioned into 4 chapters : the basics, playing with texture, using color, and exploring embellishments.

In the basics section, the author gives a thorough explanation on what felting is, and how to achieve great results. One nice surprise is that she notes the different techniques for different types of yarns, as well as different types of knitting for felting fair isle, intarsia, and cables. I never knew that these differences even existed, and it has truly opened my eyes to the vast possibilities of felting. Personally, I would have never thought to felt alpaca, but there is a great hat and scarf pattern in there. Also, there is a section on what to do if your felting is not quite turning out as expected.

The patterns are laid out very nicely. A thorough explanation of the yarn characteristics for each project are given, with the all important row gauge being included. This also helps when yarn substitutions are necessary. The yarn choices for the projects are a good mix of luxury yarns as well as affordable yarns. The measurements are included to account for the sizes before and after felting. The knitting instructions are very clear and concise, written text instructions. Very simple cable charts are included when needed, and they illustrate one pattern repeat. Color charts are also included for the fair isle and intarsia projects. The patterns include hats, bags, scarves, slippers, decorations, and even a sweater.

My favorite "Must Knit Now" projects are the Cosmos Bag, Sewing Kit, and Autumn Harvest. The Cosmos Bag uses a variegated yarn, which is something I have not tried in felting. I am curious to see how the colors will blend after the felting process is complete. The Sewing Kit and Autumn Harvest are great uses for leftover yarn. There are even a few patterns that are made for kids. The Beaded Tiara and Magic Wand will make any little girl feel like a princess. Personally, my least favorite project would be the child-sized shaggy slippers. It reminds me of a sea anemone. Haha!!

In the embellishment section, the focus is on beading, appliques, and needle felting that occurs after the project has gone through the felting process.

Overall, I would say that this book has a project for knitters of all levels. There is a section for knitting terms and abbreviations, yet there isn't a step-by-step "How to knit" guide. I would suggest that at knitter know the basics before embarking on this fun felting journey. I will begin my journey with the Cosmos Bag, substituting the yarn with the Burly Spun in the picture. My second project will be Autumn Harvest, which involves stuffing the knitted piece with polyester fiberfill before the felting process begins. I will post progress pictures in the next few days.

Run to your nearest bookstore today, and check it out!!!


Virtuous said...

Thanks for the book review!

Kim said...

Just flipping through that book with you on Saturday, I saw lots of cool projects. I'm looking ofrward to seeing some finished felting projects.

Mary Beth said...

Just fyi, I've done a ton of felting over the last few years. Solids, semi-solids, & 4-color ply's (Cascade Quarto!) all look fab felted. Varigated yarn, for me, always turns out a bit like colored mud. The best ones are bright to start with with long lengths of color before the next change. (Noro yarns look very good felted. Manos not so much.Unless it's a solid color.) The yarns all fuzz & blend into each other, so if the dyes are too close in color they won't retain any ditinction.

I know. Blah, blah, blah. Just my 2cents & all.

CarrieM said...

Now I have to go and look at it! Hmmm, sounds like fabulous fun.

Nashe' said...

Hi Shameka !
I love your blog ! entertaining w/great pics and projects ... stop by my spot and say hi some time , when you get a chance..your one busy woman !!!
loved your review on this book ...