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.
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.