Book review: Decorative Knitting

A friend suggested that there’s no reason why my book reviews should be limited to new books, and this made sense to me. So when I acquired a nifty book at a local craft supply reuse shop called the Scrap Exchange, I immediately realized that it was a good candidate.

Decorative Knitting, by Kate Haxell and Luise Roberts, is a book about ways of embellishing and decorating knitting. Many of these are fairly standard techniques, but some of them are quite unusual. When I was flipping through the book, the moment I knew I needed to buy it and look at it more carefully was when I noticed the swatches of inlay.

Swatch from Decorative Knitting

My swatch here is exploring the use of dip stitches to couch yarn onto the surface of the knitting, but Decorative Knitting describes a multitude of ways to use contrast yarn as a decoration, as well as beads and found objects. I used some basic suggestions on their part to inspire a little play in my swatch.

The beading section in particular is quite comprehensive, listing a variety of methods of incorporating beads, feathers, grommets, and ball chain.

The embroidery section shows some standard methods, but also extrapolates from them in some interesting ways. I particularly like the French knots embedded in ribbing and the duplicate stitch in cables.

Decorative Knitting is a hardback book that appears to be out of print. I would recommend it for knitters or designers who want a book that will spark ideas for interesting embellishments.

Haxell, Kate, and Luise Roberts. Decorative Knitting. Trafalgar Square Publishing: North Pomfret, Vermont, 2005. ISBN 1570763062

Available used or through Interlibrary Loan.

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