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Swing, Swagger, Drape: Knit the Colors of Australia Paperback – October 1, 2009


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Swing, Swagger, Drape: Knit the Colors of Australia + knit, Swirl! Uniquely Flattering, One Piece, One Seam Swirl Jackets; Foreword by Cat Bordhi + Knit in New Directions: A Journey into Creativity
Price for all three: $59.79

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Xrx Books; First Edition edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193306417X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933064178
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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.

More About the Author

Jane Slicer-Smith learnt to knit as a five-year-old when, in her native Yorkshire, her grandmother showed her what came naturally to women of her time. Mary Lister also filled Jane's mind with dreams and her hands with paintbrush and oils. Following a degree in Knitwear Design and a bursary-sponsored trip to Africa, Jane moved to Australia, where she now designs hand knits, selling her kits and bespoke swingcoats, capes and jackets around the world under her Signatur Handknits label.

Jane met brilliant photographer, publisher and exhibition organiser Alexis Xenakis while teaching at one of his Stitches shows in Philadelphia. Swing Swagger and Drape is Jane's first opportunity to showcase a stunning range of new designs in a beautifully photographed and edited book.

Jane spends her time designing and living in Sydney with husband Brett, when she isn't teaching and exhibiting around Australia, the US, Canada and England.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I just saw the book in my LYS today.
AmerAussie
This book is full of stylish, innovative designs that are not too far out for the average person to wear.
E. Gorwin
Will try to get up the gumption to try one someday, but in the meantime I enjoy the book as it is.
Paradocs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Book Fan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Several garments from this book were presented at my knitting guild. Random people from the audience (none were huge, but none were mini-model types either) tried them on, and they all fit and looked really great! The presenter explained that increases were placed throughout the body of the garment as part of the design motif, rather than at the seam edge. For a number of the jackets, they would fit nicely over the shoulders, and then have a very nice flare that would begin part way down that that looked flattering on numbers of different ladies that tried them on. And there were several very interesting garment constructions. One very interesting coat with nice looking collar draping turns out to be mostly a large rectangle which was described as having a few increases and decreases in just the right places.

From the photos it is clear that the designs are very interesting and the colors are wonderful. But what really impressed me from seeing the actual garments on real people is how well the shape and fit were designed as well, qualities that are not as obvious in the flat model photos in the book.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By mwr on September 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wow! (all the rest is commentary).
Run, don't walk to get this book!

This is another wonderful book from Knitter's! Alexis Xenakis's photography is excellent as usual, and the editors from Knitters are meticulous with everything from the graphs to their instructions. They have thought of everything.

The colors and patterns are spectacular. All are wearable and there are choices from conservative colors to bolder colors. Clearly, a great deal of time was spent in this book.

The designer goes beyond just the design but has something for all levels of knitters.
For beginners, the book walks you through the building blocks of each design. For the power no-holds-barred knitters like myself, the patterns and colors are organized so that they can be used as a springboard for going beyond what is presented. Knitters' also has a website for people to play with color choices.

Would I make and wear any of these items? Absolutely! I immediately found some items that I do plan to make.
As I went through this book, I wanted to run away to a desert island with this book, needles and two crates of yarn and do nothing for a year but play with the designs.

What if you are not a knitter? The book is worthwhile just for the photography itself and would be a wonderful coffee table book! Need I say more?
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By E. Gorwin on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book mainly for the gorgeous cardigan on the cover, but that was just the tip of the iceberg! This book is full of stylish, innovative designs that are not too far out for the average person to wear. What impresses me most, however, is the creative, imaginative use of color. Several garments are shown as a basic design in various colorways, all of them stunning. This designer is a true artist. The photography is outstanding as well. You won't be disappointed with this book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Peterson on December 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the best knitting pattern book I have seen in a long time. The multiple color choices, the clear directions, the broad range of sizes and the variations on the patterns add up to WOW! I always check out knitting books from my library first, so I can go through and decide if they're really worth buying for me. This one was an absolute, resounding "Yes". I wouldn't even wait to put it on my Christmas list - wanted it now!
Thank you, Jane Slicer-Smith!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By AmerAussie on September 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just saw the book in my LYS today. The photographs are beautiful, the designs are unique and definitely reflect the colour palette of Australia. Many of the designs are charted and quite detailed. It is definitely a book for experienced knitters who have an eye for unusual and eclectic design. Not sure how it is that the LYS already has the book and Amazon does not yet.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eve Starr on January 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is loaded with inspiration. Whenever Alexis is set loose on location, you know you're in for a treat. There are patterns made and shown in multiple colorways and variations in length. The intarsia patterns alone are worth the very reasonable price of the book. But my favorites by far are the mitered vests, capes, shawls, vests and jackets. Jane's sense of rich, saturated, unexpected color combinations is exciting and inspiring. There are lessons in the back of the book, complete with small projects to get you familiar with the specific techniques that the large projects use. Jane is an excellent teacher, and if I had the opportunity to attend a workshop I would jump at the chance! She elevates the use of the mitered square and triangle to high art. ("Domino Knitting" and "Knit to be Square" by Vivian Hoxbro are excellent primers on the subject, but the projects in those books are more utilitarian than they are objects of wearable art.) I have way too many knitting books, but this one is a must-have.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Chris Finklein VINE VOICE on December 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This ranks almost as a coffee table book it is filled with such gorgeous temptations. The colors, photographs and directions are beautifully illustrated. My only reservation is that the ideas within these pages are not necessarily suggestions for a novice knitter. The projects inside are exquisite on all levels but they are demanding and probably very time involved to complete.

I am thrilled to have this book in my knitting library, but realistic that to attack any of these projects would be expensive and more than anything, very lengthy to finish. But it certainly lures my interest levels.

On a scale of 1-10 I'd rank this book a definite 8, not any higher merely because of the magnitude of each project. I'm a long time knitter but most of these projects suggest skilled & masterful abilities.
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