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Unexpected Knitting Hardcover – September 1, 2003


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Unexpected Knitting + KnitKnit: Profiles + Projects from Knitting's New Wave + Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Schoolhouse Pr (September 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0942018222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0942018226
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
Debbie New's artistic abilities are incredible!
San Francisco Bay Area Reader
I spend hours looking over this book, imagining my next project.
M. Brown
A must have for any adventurous knitter's library!!
Myra Wood

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Deepa Nirmal on December 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Debbie New takes knitting forever out of the realm of craft and into that of high art. This is NOT your Grandma's knitting! With fiber and needles she conjures up artworks on scales ranging from statuesque to small. There are pieces both functional and beautiful, and while the book might be intimidating to beginner or intermediate knitters, it will be a source of inspiration and a delightful addition to the coffee table.

I made a 'scribble lace' capelet based on one of the techniques and it never fails to turn heads. While I am just an advanced beginner, I certainly aspire to one day be able to create magic with fiber like Debbie.

Highly recommended!
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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By book worm on November 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Just when I thought I had enough knitting books on my book shelf. This is an amazing and very inspirational book on knitting. New approaches knitting from two angles, one being very free-form and the other, scientific. The free-form approach is very liberating, especially since it doesn't require the usual "let's knit a swatch first, and then get to the fun stuff later." Knitting a swatch can be a real drag. And even if you do knit a swatch and measure carefully, there is still that thought lurking at the back of the mind, is this going to come out right???? and more importantly, is it going to fit? Knitting can become more of a chore, than something fun and creative. New shows how one can just jump in and start knitting, adjusting along the way to make things fit to size. This makes knitting and the whole creative process fun and flowing, with marvelous, colorful results. As a side note, I have never seen such happy kids photographed before in a knitting book. These kids look genuinely elated, which is understandable since they are wearing very colorful and beautiful pieces of works.

Her scientific approach makes me feel like I almost need a math or science degree to follow, however after careful reading, it is very interesting and ingenious. Much how things in nature are ordered, New shows how knitting is very similar. This will certainly appeal to the mathematician or scientist who knits as well.

The book also showcases some of New's works of art, such as knitted scultures among other things.

Two thumbs up. This book will surely inspire and be a source to turn to when one wants to release creative energies.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Monika Steinbauer on February 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book was beyond my expectations. I've been a knitter for over 30 years now, but I never thought one could knit such pieces. They are works of art more than knitted pieces. This book is a joy to look at, over and over and over again. It helps thinking outside the box and that there is more to knitting as one would believe. Great book!
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Robin A. Gower on February 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Debbie New is the most innovative knitter since Elizabeth Zimmerman, and Unexpected Knitting is a book that provides inspiration and new directions (literally! she designs at all angles) to even experienced needlers. New has an organic sense of her projects; she knows her materials and is willing to experiment. She has the gift also of being able to explain clearly, in words and in charts, exactly how she has produced her groundbreaking designs. Not all her designs or techniques will appeal to all knitters, but there is some new insight to be gained in every project she describes, and everyone will find something wonderful among the sweaters, jackets, and art pieces beautifully displayed and explained in this volume.

This is not a book for a true beginner, but for anyone with a grasp of the basics, it will extend horizons tremendously. This is something genuinely new and genuinely exciting in the world of knitting. Buy it!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Knitosophy on October 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is true that I'm unlikely to make exactly these patters and these colours, although I'm certainy going to give her incredibly easy take on socks a go. But what I find so amazing about this book is the way in which Debbie New has brought (I'm guessing) her scientific and mathematical background into her knitting, taken it in directions it hasn't been before, and then simplified things so I can join her on the journey.

I loved Loop d' Loop. I love this book for the same reasons. Passion shines through in all of New's writing; genius in the patterns (I mean the units and techniques here, not necessaily all of the finished items which are not all to my taste, but then why should they be?) It propels me to the needles and some wool and experimenting. Not only that, but it makes me think "I could do something with that" which a lot of books don't do.

Aside from all of that, it's big, it's hardbound, it's beautifully typeset and the photos are gorgeous. Well worth every cent.
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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful By knitting librarian on February 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Fans of pattern-less, swatchless knitting should have a look at this book.

The author shows how to create flat and 3-dimensional angles and shapes and using increases and decreases. The idea is that you would knit assorted shapes (circles, ovals, squares, rectangles, triangles, snaky twisting strips, cones, spheres), binding off and picking up at random. Then you would fit these shapes into the outline of a sweater (the kind that is seamed under the arms and sides) and knit into the spaces to fill up the grid, joining with the existing shapes as you go along (e.g. with a knit-2-together to link stitches). Hems and necks can be picked up and knit in the round after seaming.

She builds up almost all of the sweaters this way with variations. The log cabin sweater is done with rectangular strips. Swirl knitting uses circles, ovals and snaky strips.

There are a few more innovative techniques. Notable are scribble lace, which is plain knitting done by alternating a thin yarn or thread with a very thick one, and virtual knitting, which is really nalbinding (an ancient technique that looks like knitting, but you do it with a needle, one stitch at a time) over a temporary backing, which is cut away and removed later. Cellular automaton takes the scientific principle of following simple rules to form complex patterns and applies it to colour or texture knitting. Ourobus knitting is mitered circles which are folded origami-like to create sweaters. Labyrinth knitting is a sweater knit as one long strip with carefully places angles and corners, sewn up to make the sweater form (again, the kind that is seamed under the arms and sides).

The irony is that anyone who knits without patterns or swatches would probably know how to form basic shapes already.
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