A "wow" from start to finish, Swing Swagger Drape is filled with garments that are not only exciting and different, but very wearable and flattering. Each one has both visual complexity and body-friendly shaping. We can happily accept the author's invitation to "step into my world of color". Australia provides the setting for photographer Alexis Xenakis's lush images and is a source of inspiration to the author, whose design skills and eye for detail are evident on each page and in every project. There are plenty of options for each pattern, including a variety of lengths and color combinations. Also packed into the pages are tips for achieving the right fit, mixing and matching textures, making Polyform clay buttons, and more. It's a wonderful mix of techniques, such as intarsia, drop stitch, and miters. Motivated advanced-beginners will be able to tackle most of the projects, but there are plenty of challenges for seasoned knitters. Special favorites include the Metro Coat worked in Intarsia with cables, shown with a choice of three lengths and a trio of panel options (solid, color block, or strips and bobble accents). The way the tree climbs the sleeve of The Deco Drape & Jacket and then turns into an abstract graphic is sublime. Go straight to page 55 to see the irresistible Miter Vee, which is a drape that will make you crave winter. A section called "Process & Practice" in the back of the book will help you get started. It includes four simple projects as well as basic techniques and yarn specs. Don't miss the colophon on the final pages with more beautiful photos and the author's story.-www.knittinguniverse.com Wow, transport yourself to Australia with this collection of tremendous knits. I like most of the knits in this book. Jane has gone out there, researched, brought her own style and shape to knitting and it works. She is my number one favourite knitwear designer of the moment. Another thing I love about this book is the design of it, the layout and photography set this book apart from any other I have seen recently. It really is wow! (that's why I've said that twice). The collection includes knits for men, women and children including bags and hats, but the essence is on style, fit and looking great. Patterns include simple stitching for beginners to complex challenging shaping for the experienced. Some of the colourways don't quite work for me, but hey this is almost knitting perfection.-KarenPlatt.co.uk The subtitle of this remarkable book is "Knit the colors of Australia" and if you still harbor any opinions about knitting being for old ladies in rocking chairs, you need to see it. From the glorious coat on the front to all the garments within, this is a book for the modern knitter. I tend to be suspicious of coffee table books with their large format, glossy photographs and lush colors but this one has all of that with none of the usual minus points. It is simply a book of patterns that looks good. It is actually more awash with instructions, charts, diagrams and patterns than photographs although there are plenty of these to show what the finished article looks like. This is not a beginners' book in any sense, more aimed at intermediate and advanced knitters who want a nice big challenging project that looks impressive and is practical. There are garments for men as well as women in here, and you can find coats, cardigans, sweaters, hats, gilets and wraps. The projects are organised into sections, dealing with intarsia, textures and miters but the best way to find what you want is to look at everything; the headings tend to be more about the author's creative journey which gives the book its unique style. You can also find, at the back of the book instructions on making polymer clay buttons, getting the perfect fit and various other aspects of the earlier patterns too such as understanding intarsia. There is also a lovely section on the author's home city of Sydney and various other places where the photographs were shot on location. This book has a great Aussie style about it, from the colors and textures used to the exuberant sense of style and general joie de vivre. If I see a lovelier craft book this year I will be very lucky - one for the keeper shelf.-Myshelf.com
About the Author
Jane Slicer-Smith is a knitter, a teacher, and the author of Signature Handknits. Her work has been displayed in various knitting magazines, such as Interweave, Knitters, and Vogue Knitting. Alexis Xenakis is the publisher of Knitter's Magazine and XRX Books. His photography is featured in more than 32 books, including all three volumes of The Knitting Experience series. He lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.