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Splendid Apparel: A Handbook of Embroidered Knits Paperback – May 1, 2015
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Once in a while a review book lands on my desk that I cannot put down. Knitting is an art in Anna Zilboorg's hands and we can always rely on XRX books to produce a great book with innovative knitting. It's not that embroidered knitting is new, it's just the way that Anna uses it. She has perfectly fused excellent knitwear design with beautiful embroidery that fits snugly into the pattern. Proof that craft is art. This is one of those knitwear books where you think 'I'll knit that one first', 'Gosh, must have that one', 'I want that one NOW'. Eighteen patterns and I would be happy to knit them all, although that gaping waistcoat arm would have to be amended! Intelligent knitwear, stylish to wear and great to knit. Clear photos, excellent design and very clear charts. The embroidery how-to is fabulous. If this book is not the best selling number one knitting book, I'll eat my ball of wool! It doesn't get any better, so this begs the question - what's up next Anna? You MUST buy this not only for yourself but also for all your knitting friends - start a Zilboorg knitting circle. Karen Platt- yarnsandfabrics.co.uk
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There patterns are beautiful and I don't know where to start in order to describe this book. There is 'Iris' a cabled cardigan constructed with panels and then embellished with embroidery. It is a red as bright as Mars when it deigns to shine, with blues and yellows to light it up and give contrast to the embroidery. The buttons alone on the 'Milkweed' cardigan are enough to make me drool. They look handmade and they are all different. The sweater itself also impresses. It is knit with Lamb's Pride yarn, one of my favorites in their Wild Oak colorway. It, too, is cabled and the embroidery on the inside of the cables makes it a standout sweater. 'Trillium' may take the grand prize. Made up of traveling stitches, it is comprised of panels of dark variegated yarn. Its colors are earthen tones that speak to meof the autumn months in New England. Its panel construction seems to be a favorite of Ms. Zilboorg's.
The book is divided into sections that include swatches with embroidery: Ribbing, Cables, Offsets, Lace, Traveling. The swatches are beautiful and can serve as inspiration for many a knitter.
I have not seen so beautiful a knitting book in a long time. I thank Knitters Press and Ms. Zilboorg. I can't wait to pick up my knitting needles.
SPLENDID APPAREL absolutely belongs on every serious knitter's reference shelf, both for the stunning embellishment ideas, and for the thoughtful explanations about how the right embroidery stitches, added in the right places, can bring a knitted fabric totally alive. Zilboorg recognizes that adding embroidery to an already complex knitted fabric (one incorporating cable, lace, or traveling stitches) is a LOT of extra work, so she discusses how to use minimal amounts of embroidery to good effect, and gives tips on how to knit her beautiful garment designs to best effect WITHOUT embroidery.
For example, in the "Marsh Mallow" lace cardigan pattern, Zilboorg observes, "A little embroidery makes a big difference in how this pattern 'reads'. Without outlining the stitch where the wings come together, the wings fly up. With the outline, even in a very similar color, the wings swoop down. . . . if you want to embroider, you should use the vertical double decrease in the center between the wings. If you do not want to embroider, it would be better to use the left-slanting double decrease throughout. This helps make those wings flow in a semi-circle . . . ."
As you can see from the above quotation, SPLENDID APPAREL is a book intended for advanced knitters--although anyone (including adventurous intermediates) who can knit the underlying cable or lace fabrics should be able to knit and embroider the garments. Probably knitters should have some prior experience with embroidery, because embroidery on knitted fabric is always tricky--you need to get the tension right, so that the added embroidery doesn't pull on the knitted stitches or make the fabric stiff and unyielding.
The embroidery stitches used are: Algerian eye, back stitch, buttonhole circle, cable chain, chain stitch, cross-stitch flower, fly stitch, Palestrina knot, stem stitch, Smyrna knot, and tied-down cross. The book cover illustrates some of these stitches as used in the Trillium design.
Of necessity, the designs call for relatively fine yarns (mostly DK weight; some medium worsted), and for US 5 or US 6 needles. (Fancy cable and lace stitches take a lot of rows, so thick yarns would create huge garments that no one could wear.) This means that the designs require both time and dedication to knit and embroider.
If I had unlimited time, I would make and embroider nearly every garment included in this book! Some of the designs are a little too elaborate for my taste, but they are all beautiful and inspirational. They are designs for garments that, when completed, will be cherished and worn mostly on special occasions. My favorite, at this moment, is the fairly simple Foxglove, a cardigan with an allover pattern of textured diamonds that have an Algerian eye embroidered in each diamond's center.
The designs are as follows: LOBELIA (cardigan; Palestrina knots in spaces between cable crossing); POPPY (cardigan; fly-stitches in purled columns, Palestrina knots inside lattice shapes); ONIONS (cardigan, shown on book's back cover; stem stitch inside traveling stitch curves); IRIS (cardigan; fly stitch over purled columns, Palestrina knots between cable crossings); MILKWEED (cardigan; Palestrina knots between cable crossings, Algerian eye in center of diamonds); PRICKLY PEAR (pullover; stem stitch over knitted columns, Palestrina knot between clusters); WINTERGREEN (cardigan; stem stitch in centers of knitted curves, Palestrina knots in plain rows between cables); FOXGLOVE (cardigan; Algerian eye in centers of diamonds); BITTERSWEET (cardigan; stem stitch in center of cable ribs, half Algerian eye in half circles formed by cables); DODDER (vest; Palestrina knots over YO pairs, stem stitch in centers of knit stitches outlining YOs); MOUNTAIN LAUREL (cardigan; Palestrina knots in lace columns); MORNING GLORY (vest; detached chain stitch over double wraps, stem stitch over purl stitches between twisted stitches, tied straight stitches on bobbles); MARSH MALLOW (cardigan; detached chain stitch at top of purl sections and in cuffs, chain stitch in center decrease line and in cuffs); SWEET WILLIAM (cardigan; cable chain over cable crosses, fly stitch over purled column, Palestrina knot at points of diamonds, stem stitch in center of decrease curves); BUTTERCUP (vest; Palestrina knot below double decreases, double strand runs through decrease columns); RHODODENDRON (v-neck pullover; stem stitch on purl curves, fly stitch outlining swirls); TRILLIUM (vest; Palestrina knots in diamonds, double cross variation in center diamond, back stitch in ovals, stem stitch in purl columns); KNOTWEED (cardigan; stem stitch outlining hexagons and inner diamond and between ribs, cable chain through center of diamond).
As always, this book published by XRX Books (Knitter's Magazine), includes many, many gorgeous full-color photographs by the superb knitting photographer Alexis Xenakis.
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your own project.
However sometimes you just want you
projects to sing.
This book is the answer.Read more
not actually used info as yet