Sunday, 6 December 2015

Knitting: Stitch-Led Design by Alison Ellen

Exciting news! Alison Ellen has released a new book! Knitting: Stitch-Led Design is an inspiring read with ideas and projects for knitters of all levels. Published by Crowood Press, the book is available to buy direct from Crowood, where you can also take a "peek" inside the book. 

Alison Ellen's new book
Published by Crowood Press

"This book encourages you to look beyond ready made knitting patterns and to explore as new the creative potential of this strong textile structure that we are all so familiar with. It looks in minute detail at how stitches can change the character of the knitted fabric, using even the simplest combinations of knit and purl to alter the surface, feel and drape." This quote from the inside cover perfectly describes the first part of Alison's book.

I particularly like the"Comparing Stitches" Chapter where Alison demonstrates how different stitches affect the knitted fabric . She has included a "baseline" sample on each page to clearly show the differences. Understanding how knitting stitches behave at this detailed level is the key to designing and making interesting and original knitwear. 

The chapter on "Shaping" is an excellent resource for exploring 3D form and knitted fabric manipulations. I have had first hand experience of some of the samples in this section as my knitting group, Teresa, Maggie, Sue, Rosemary, Joy, Kim and I, helped to test knit a selection. I am also very proud and absolutely delighted that Alison has included one of my designs in her book. My Points scarf pattern illustrates how increasing and decreasing can create 3D form. Knitted in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, the scarf looks great worn long or wrapped around to show off the 3D patterning.

Points Scarf by Emma Vining
in Knitting: Stitch-Led Design by Alison Ellen
Photography by Colin Mills
The "Techniques" Chapter includes the information you need to make the gorgeous designs included in the last Chapter, "Projects". Beautifully photographed by Colin Mills. the garments and accessories have clear and informative pattern and yarn notes. The projects range from lovely hats, bags, scarves and small accessories that use the techniques demonstrated earlier in the book, to some of Alison's most beautiful designs, such as her Modular Jackets and my favourite jacket, "Broken Blocks". You can see Alison's design Collection on her website, Alison Ellen Hand Knits.

Looking in detail at Alison's designs in Knitting: Stitch-Led Design, you can really appreciate the clever thought behind each garment, along with the stunning combination of yarn shades she has selected. In each project, the stitch pattern and garment shaping relate really well together. The end result is beautiful garments and accessories that are a pleasure to knit. 

"Written by a passionate and innovative knitter, Knitting-stitch-led design pushes ideas and boundaries to encourage creative thinking and confidence in experimenting. It promotes a different approach to designing and explores how stitches work, always asking the question 'what would happen if....'" This quote from the book cover is spot on and sums up why I find Alison's approach to design so inspiring. I thoroughly recommend this gorgeous book for all the excellent advice and encouragement for knitters to experiment with their knitting.

You can read more about Alison on her website and there is an interesting interview with her on the Knitting & Crochet Guild website too.

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