Category Archives: book review

Book Review: Stitch n’ Bitch Superstar Knitting

Spoiler alert: I think this book is awesome.


I took up knitting not long after the first Stitch n’ Bitch manual was published, so all of my knitting life has been in the contemporary landscape that includes this series of books. Knitters have no shortage opinions about them – something that Debbie Stoller address directly in her introduction to this new addition to the series. Many people reacted to the heavily modernized and youthful trappings of the craft as presented in these manuals, others celebrated them as a revival. And I don’t know whether it’s possible to say whether the Stitch n’ Bitch books were responsible for the resurgence in the popular profile of knitting in the last decade, but the books have certainly happened alongside it.

Truth be told, I’ve been a bit ambivalent about the series myself. I’ve knitted one or two things from the earlier volumes but never spent a great deal of time with them because once my knitting ambitions took to things like cables and design and socks and colour-work and so forth, there wasn’t as much in the early books to tempt me. However, I still refer to the original Stitch n’ Bitch as a solid source for general knitting technical know-how, especially for new knitters. These are not just pattern books. If you’re on the look out for a solid, non-web-based, can-read-it-whenever-wherever-you-want set of pages on basic knitting steps and don’t want to pay a fortune for it, it’s a pretty great option. This, in essence, is how I feel about this latest volume, Stitch n’ Bitch Superstar Knitting, but applied to advanced techniques – like cables, colour-work, beading, intarsia, lace, bobbles, and more.


Let’s take steeks, for example. (You know, when you cut up your knitting on purpose. If steeking is new to you and need to go ahead and look that word up to check, I’ll wait.) I’ve had the chance to teach a few local classes on steeking, and it’s a pretty fun and empowering thing to know how to do. When I teach it I work with swatches, have people practice cutting steeks using 3 different methods of reinforcement (or un-reinforcement, as the case may be), and talk about the difference fiber content makes.

And then, at the end, I refer people to a collection of approximately eleventy thousand books, reference manuals, web tutorials and video clips on where to go for more help. It’s not that any one of these things is wrong – it’s just that it’s rare to find a comprehensive set of this information contained in the same location. This is partly because different sources tend to choose a specific focus, and others fill gaps as they become apparent. This is also because knitting, as a collection of knowledge, is constantly changing, which is the reason why you won’t find decades-old knitting manuals that tell you how to do things like a crochet steek reinforcement.

Stitch n’ Bitch Superstar Knitting, I dare say, makes a pretty good attempt at being a comprehensive technical manual, for many many different skills. When I got my review copy of this, I looked through it and had few expectations, but the more I flipped through it I kept thinking, “you know, this is a really good book.” And when I dropped by the local yarn shop and showed it to Bridget, she looked through it and said the same thing. Not only does it cover a lot of advanced techniques, but it covers each one well, in comfortable and accessible language.

It explains not just how to cable, but how to cable without a cable needle, something which is new enough not to be usually seen in printed books. It explains intarsia and how to work with different colours while working flat or in the round, and does such a thorough job at this that I might actually consider knitting something in intarsia. And then, because all the technical stuff isn’t enough, it goes on to a section explaining pattern construction and basic design elements – again, something that can be hard to find accessible support sources for – and then a collection of patterns to practice everything you’ve learned.


The patterns are substantial. There are a lot of sweaters, which I love to see, as well as a variety of accessories like gloves, socks, and bags – even a dog coat. All of the projects use one or more of the skills addressed in the technical section. I think it’s worth having a flip through – it’s likely some of the patterns will depend on your own personal tastes, but there is incredible variety, and most of the patterns are worked in yarns that are widely available.

This is a super neat book. It’s on the side of knitting, knowledge, skill, and encouragement, and I can get behind all of these things.

I may yet offer this book up as a blog giveaway, but that will have to wait. I’ve got a few other book reviews coming up in the next month, and since my postage budget can only stretch so far, I may have to choose randomly.

In any case, happy knitting this Thursday! Catch you next time.


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Book Review/Blog Tour: It’s in the Bag

Today I’ve got something new to keep me busy on the blog – a stop on a blog book tour! I was invited to be a stop on the tour for Kara Gott Warner’s book It’s In the Bag, and how could I say no? Yesterday the Fitterknitter talked about shrugs with designer Colleen Smitherman, and tomorrow Lynn Hershberger will talk about striping and colour.

As for me, my original designer interview plans ended up not coming together, so instead I’m going to chat for a bit about some projects that caught my eye, and my overall impressions of the book. And keep reading to the end for a giveaway – because what would a blog tour be without giveaways?


Overall, this is a pretty diverse book. It is intended to showcase projects that can be easily accomplished on the go, or carried with you ‘in the bag.’ There are a range of projects from beginner basic to advanced techniques like cabling, mitered squares, even a bit of beading. There’s everything from scarves and hats to sleeveless tunics. The majority of yarns featured are recognizeable mainstream labels from North America and Europe, including Classic Elite, Mission Falls, Rowan, and Takhi Stacy Charles. There are plenty of options for kids, adults, and home knitting.

One of the projects that really caught my eye was the Uptown Chic Satchel by Cecily Glowik Macdonald, pictured above. I’ve not knitted many bags myself but I quite like the look of this one – the triangular shape at the sides would probably lend quite a bit of stability overall, and it’s worked in a bulky weight yarn (Classic Elite Duchess), which means a person probably could knit it on the go – perhaps even in a couple of bus rides! Sign me up for that.


I’m also a fan of one of the Harlequin Socks, by Kathryn Beckerdite, one of the few sock patterns in the book but no less attractive. These are shown in Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet, but I imagine they would look good knitted up in a variety of semi-solid or possibly slightly variegated yarns. Although the photo here doesn’t show the sides as well, there is a diamond pattern running up the side of each leg, adding a degree of interest/difficulty to the ribbing. I’m actually thinking of working up a pair of these in my holiday gift knitting.

So, dear readers, this is a book you may wish to keep on your radar if you are on the lookout for collections with manageable and diverse projects. It covers a lot of bases and would be a pretty approachable book even for the relative beginner knitter.


As a thank you to ‘blog tourists’, Kara has gifted me two drawstring Della Q bags to give away – one green, one pink. Just the right size for a small on the go project. To be eligible for one of these, please comment here and tell me about what your favourite project is to knit while you’re in transit! I’ll draw two winners at random on Wednesday evening at 5pm EST.

That’s all for today – happy knitting, and may your Monday be manageable.


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Book Review: The Knitter’s Book of Wool

Okay, so first of all, you all already own The Knitter’s Book of Yarn, right? Right? If you don’t, I’m going to assume the reason is because you a) know someone who owns it and borrow it when needed, b) have permanently absconded with the copy from your local library, or c) are Clara Parkes and therefore know everything that is in the book and therefore don’t need your own copy of it to remind you.

And if you’ve read the Knitter’s Book of Yarn, chances are you already know how wonderful it is, and therefore can guess at the awesomeness of its sequel, The Knitter’s Book of Wool.


I’m a big fan of wool, so I’m very happy about this book. If you have ever taken a skein of wool of any kind from your stash and given it a loving squeeze or imagined in your head what you would like to knit it into, just based on touch alone, then this book is for you.

Like its predecessor, the Knitter’s Book of Wool is divided between knitting knowledge and knitting patterns. Independently, these two contributions would make a worthy publication, but here they are combined in the same volume, to make it more than simply a collection of patterns but a book that will sit in your knitting library to be consulted time and time again.

In the first four chapters, Clara Parkes takes you through ‘What is Wool’, ‘Turning Wool into Yarn’, ‘Meet the Breeds’ and ‘Plays Well With Others’. These four chapters are a pretty thorough education into what makes wool such a versatile and useable fibre. Spinners in particular will likely enjoy Chapter 3 on sheep breeds. Ever wondered what the difference is between Cormo and Merino, or Bluefaced Leicester and Border Leicester? Well, Clara will tell you. She’ll also tell you about what will happen when you blend wool with different types of fibres and what you can achieve with that yarn and why.

The patterns that accompany this fibery education are a pretty versatile collection. There are items in here that will appeal to beginners on up to seasoned knitting veterans, for women, men, children, and home. How about this Bella baby sweater, for example? Surely something that could be knitted quickly and stylishly for wee recipients.


The adult sweaters are also accessible to a variety of skill levels, and are constructed in a way which shows off the texture of the wool being used. I like the Allegan Cardigan (by Sandi Rosner) and Comfy Cardigan (by Pam Allen), below.

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The patterns I really keep coming back to look at, though, are the shawls. There are several here, of all different construction types and using a variety of yarn weights. Just get a look at the Falling Water stole by Jane Cochran, for example. Couldn’t you see this draped at your desk chair for chilly working days, ready to accompany you right out into the brisk air over your coat? I sure could.

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Then there’s Sivia Harding’s beaded Tibetan Clouds stole, which is so beautiful that I do not see how a person could knit this without imagining herself wearing it to an elegant dinner soiree and meeting the tall dark and handsome stranger of her dreams rocking the lace like there’s no tomorrow. These last 2 stoles are the patterns I am hoping to cast on for some time soon…if the Christmas knitting doesn’t get me first, heh.

I think the best compliment a knitting book could get is that it makes me want to knit things from it right away. Clara Parkes, this is a winner.

Happy knitting!


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Book Review: The Big Book of Socks

When you’re a knitter, there is just a whole darned lot to love about fall. I love that I can break out all my hoarded socks and sweaters that have been waiting to come out again ever since May, I love that wool feels cozy in my hands again…and I love that there are new knitting books on the shelves coming my way for review. I’m pleased again to be keeping up with a bit of blog book reviews. The fine folks at Random House Canada are good enough to continue sending a few titles my way, and I thank them for it!

Today, I have a few review comments on The Big Book of Socks, by Kathleen Taylor:


If you’re a knit-blogger, or a knitter who is a blog-reader or Ravelry user, chances are you are familiar with socks in some fashion. Socks are the little black dress of the knitting world – good for all knitting occasions. Either you’ve knitted them yourself, or you’ve at least been exposed to them enough that you’ve probably started to think about knitting your first pair. You probably don’t need me to tell you why socks are awesome to knit and to wear.

It’s also true that there is no shortage of sock knitting books out there in print, so it can be difficult to tell one apart from the other. It took me a bit of time to consider The Big Book of Socks for where it fits in, because at first glance it may seem a bit simplistic in light of other sock efforts – Ravelry and the blogosphere abound with sock patterns of intricate complexity, some that seem to push the boundaries of knitting. These things, however, are not what The Big Book of Socks is trying to accomplish.


I think where this book fits in is for the knitter who has not tried sock knitting before, and needs a gentle and progressive introduction to it, or for the knitter who wants to knit socks as gifts for family members or friends, but needs some variety in basic options. There is a very brief introduction to the world of sock knitting in general, with some short notes paid to the differences between a few techniques, and then six different kinds of socks: Basic, Striped, Textured and Cabled, Lace, Colorwork, and ‘Just for Fun’. Essentially, this book takes you through a mini workshop whereby you gradually apply slightly more adventurous techniques to the whole sock concept. Most patterns are sized from wee child on up to male adult.

This starts out with, surprisingly, tube socks. It’s been a long darned time since I saw anyone recommend knitting tube socks (essentially, tubes with toes but no heels), but Kathleen Taylor makes the point that these can be ideal for small children whose feet grow quickly. I imagine they might also be a gentle step up for new sock knitters who are just getting used to the whole in-the-round thing first, and the heel second.


Never fear, though, for this book does in fact progress to heel flaps and short row heels. (Generally the patterns are written for cuff-down knitting). As the chapters progress, the socks become slightly more adventurous and introduce the knitter to new techniques – lace, cables, bobbles, beads, stranded colourwork, all of these are included in turn. I quite like these simple lace socks, above, and there are even one or two pairs with bobbles on them that I would make as a fun pair. You know I’m a fan of colourwork, and I admit I was quite taken with the two-colour mosaic socks, below.

The yarns included in the samples will also be familiar to most people who look through the book – they include well-known American labels such as Knit Picks, Patons, Blue Moon, Berroco, and a few others. This also makes me think the book was produced with accessibility in mind, since these kinds of recognizeable labels can be pretty easy to locate.


So, I think that while a lot of experienced knitters will probably glance at this book and then put it back on the shelf, it may be just right for others. Do you know a knitter who hasn’t yet embarked on his/her sock knitting adventure? Or are you that knitter? If so, you just might be an ideal recipient for this book.

I’m happy to pass on my copy to a sock knitter or would-be sock knitter out there. If you’d like to put your name into the ring, please comment below and tell me why you enjoy/would enjoy sock knitting. The more sock knitters, the merrier!

[ETA]: I should have included a deadline! I’ll accept comments to this post through Saturday midnight, and will draw a winning name some time on Sunday. Thank you to everyone who has left a comment so far! It is lovely to read them.


Filed under book review, socks

Book Review: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Some of you may be waiting on an Autumn Rose FO post…and one will come, just as soon as I weave in those last couple ends I should have already done by now find a photographer. But in the mean time, I have a book review that’s been waiting in the wings – and it ain’t even a knitting book!

I think most of you know where I stand on cupcakes. (I am on the side of cupcakes). During the last year of finishing my PhD dissertation, I baked them a lot. Baking things gives me the same great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that I get from knitting, only a lot faster and with frosting on top. Delicious, delicious, procrastination. This, I feel, is a good thing. And because I know my way around a cupcake pan, I was very curious to have a look at this new offering in the baking world: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes.


When it comes to Martha Stewart, I am admittedly ambiguous. On the one hand, I often find that her cooking recipes ask a few ingredients too many and are a little bit fussy, and I steer clear of the home decor stuff entirely. (Why would I give up the precious knitting time?) On the other hand, a lot of her recipes are quite simple and her techniques often make a lot of sense, and I think the complicated, overly precise and finicky projects of Martha’s often overshadow the ones that are in fact very do-able, very practical, and – in this case – very tasty. Not everything needs five million steps, and I’m glad that Martha (or possibly her staff) realize this.

And lo, this cupcakes book does not disappoint. If you are a fan of baking, if you could potentially become a fan of baking, or you know someone who can tell their all-purpose and cake & pastry flours apart, then you just might need this book. It is worth it. It has a good supply of standard recipes – vanilla buttermilk, devil’s fudge, blueberry, carrot, one-bowl chocolate, marbled swirl – on up to filled, glazed, and carefully decorated ones. If you want to get out the pastry bag and decorating tips, well, Martha is here for you. If you want to just bake some plain old cupcakes and slap some plain old icing on them, this book will do that too.

Overall, I’m glad to have tried out this book and I think it is a great collection of recipes. A must-have for the cupcake baker.

Don’t worry about complicated. Your cupcakes do not need ganache filling or candied walnut sprinkles or complexly piped icing. If you want to put all of these things on, people will gobble them up happily, but I have never seen anybody refuse a well-made plain vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting. They are just as delicious.

I have made three recipes from this book: Vanilla Buttermilk cupcakes with Swiss Buttercream Frosting, Devil’s Food Cake (chocolate cake) with Chocolate Ganache Frosting (these may be the ones on the cover of the book), and Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes. They were all fantastic, and I regret very much that I do not have pictures of these endeavours.

Although I think this book is a great resource overall, I do have a couple of gripes with Martha. For one, despite incredibly clear written and photographic instructions on all the recipes, this book assumes that you are baking with the aid of a stand mixer (a la the ubiquitous Kitchen Aid one, or similar). While I have recently been able to have the use of my mother’s stand mixer (and it is, in the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, “so choice”), I am here to tell you that you do not need to own a stand mixer in order to bake cupcakes. The vast majority of baking that I have done in my lifetime thus far, has been with regular mixing bowls and hand mixers. It can be done, and I do wish Martha would acknowledge this more often.

Second, I think anyone using this book would do well to skip past Martha’s written introduction and just use the recipes. She paints a picture of cupcakes as incredibly indulgent, cosmopolitan affairs that belong in trendy upscale bakeries and complex adult dinner parties. This is surely the image that cupcakes have taken on recently, thanks to trendy NYC cupcakeries and similar spots, but let’s not forget what cupcakes are: they are small cakes, they are yummy, and they are meant to be eaten. They are for people of all ages, and they belong in your cluttered kitchen, eaten with your fingers while leaning over the sink, just as much as at a fancy party.

Third, the quantities in this book are large. Many of the recipes make three dozen cupcakes, which means some recipe adjustment is probably in order much of the time.

Finally, if you’re new to baking cupcakes allow me to impart a bit of experiential wisdom from the dozens of batches I have made. If I can save you a bit of turmoil, please let me. When baking cupcakes:

1. Do allow your cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them. There is nothing worse than successfully applying a beautiful swirled mountain of frosting with a piping bag before watching it all melt out into a splat.

2. After you’ve made your batch of cupcakes and you discover you have far more than one household needs, I highly recommend sharing them with a group. (Don’t you have a knit night to go to?)

3. One of the best gadgets you can get if you are going to bake on a regular basis is an ice-cream scoop with a release mechanism. It is about the perfect amount of batter that needs to go into a waiting cupcake liner.

4. Do the little things that seem finicky and stupid. DO pre-heat the oven. DO make sure your baking racks are set as close to the middle of the oven as possible. DO combine your flour and baking powder/soda/salt before mixing. DO let your ingredients come to room temperature before using them (not just the butter). It’s things like this that can make the difference between cupcakes that look fluffy and perfect and ones that come out half-burned or uneven and tragic.

5. Finally, if you are going to go to the effort of dirtying up your kitchen and then eating the indulgences that result from those efforts, make the best you can. Bake from scratch whenever possible. Use real ingredients. Mixes are easy, but they will never match the taste of real cake. Remind yourself and your loved ones what cake was meant to taste like.

It’s my birthday this week and I’m sure there will be more cupcakes later…the only question is which kind?

Catch you again soon…next time with knitting content, I promise.


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Book Review: Socks from the Toe Up

I have a review for you this week, dear blog readers, this time for the recently released book Socks from the Toe Up, by Wendy D. Johnson.


This book has been in wide release for a month and a half or so, so some of you may already have had a glimpse of it. Some of you may also be familiar with Wendy’s blog, and although I am not a regular reader of her blog I know enough about her knitting style to know that it makes sense that she would pen a book dedicated to toe-up sock knitting, since it is her method of choice for sock knitting. Let’s have a brief look inside the book.


One high point of Socks from the Toe Up that bears mentioning is that it is technically strong. There are several pages devoted to techniques like toes, heels, and bind-offs which are useful for toe-up knitting. If you’ve dallied with toe-up sock knitting before, many of these techniques will already be familiar to you. If not, they are presented here with helpful images to make the process as painless as possible.There are instructions here for 3 different kinds of toe-up toes, heels (including the ubiquitously cuff-down slip stitch heel), and bind-offs.

Another strength of this book, possibly the strongest feature in fact, is its production. The images are colourful, plentiful, well edited, and generally quite attractive. Also, the format is quite user-friendly: the written instructions for each pattern are contained over the same fold, so there is minimal flipping back and forth required, and the size of the book itself is small enough to be portable – I can envision knitters slipping this into their handbag to set over their lap while in transit. (This is actually a quality I wish more knitting publishers would keep in mind – knitting books need not be coffee table books.)



The technical ‘part a’ of the book is followed by the sock patterns ‘part b’, which in turn is subdivided into ‘Basic’, ‘Lace’, ‘Textured Gansey’, ‘Cabled’, and ‘Sportweight’ Socks, although these last three sections contain only 2-3 patterns each. Not counting the basic socks (which would be an excellent starting place for those new to toe-up), there are 20 patterns in this collection.


The patterns are knit in a variety of trendy and colourful yarns, and are certainly meant to be eye-catching. Lots of bright colours and strong photography here. I like the look of the Lace and Cable Socks (above), which could be versatile for a number of sock yarns. I was also intrigued by the Vandyke Socks (below), which are knit in a single skein of Dream in Color Classy, and therefore likely to be a speedy knit.


Socks from the Toe Up is in general a nice addition to a sock knitter’s library. In the end, my only concern with it is that I am still left wondering why the book does not do more to convince readers why we should be knitting socks from the toe up in the first place. Other than a brief note early on about the convenience of being able to use up all the yarn in the skein without worrying about running out, there is very little attention paid to answering this question. For example, from a toe-up sock book, it is surprising to me that other than the lacy patterns, many of these socks could be virtually identically reproduced working from the cuff down.

Perhaps I am under-selling the usefulness of yarn economy (which make no mistake is quite useful), but I think there was a big missed opportunity here. There are lot (a LOT) of sock books out on the market these days, and any new offering needs to distinguish itself from the others in some way. Either the ‘why toe-up’ question was not considered necessary enough to devote time to it, or the publishers are assuming that anyone who buys the book already wants to knit from the toe-up and does not need convincing. There are certainly valuable traits to toe-up sock knitting that have nothing to do with efficient use of yarn – what about customizing fit? or the difference of working certain patterns in one direction versus another? I wish Johnson would have done more to emphasize such benefits or differences involved working from the toe-up.

Overall this is a nice collection of patterns, and for knitters looking for a new set of sock patterns to work their way through, this will be a good book to add to the collection. If you are looking for a handy set of instructions about how to work socks from the toe-up, then this will also be a very useful book. If you’ve had a chance to look at this book yourself I’d be curious to know what you think, or if you have a favourite pattern from it.


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Book Review: Knitting and Tea

I’ve been remiss in getting back to the book reviews the past few weeks, but now that I’ve gone through a period of post-term sloth, it’s time to get back to the writing and the thoughts-thinking, and what better way to ease into that than with a book review? This one has been on my desk for a month or so, and is a recent publication called Knitting and Tea, by Jane Gottelier:


On the surface this would appear to be a collection of knitting patterns inspired by the world of tea, but it actually strikes a decent balance between both halves of the title. It does contain knitting patterns inspired by the world of tea, but also includes a great deal of attention to tea itself, including brief notes on how it is processed, different locations where it is planted, and particular attention to cultural events or sites focussed around tea – cricket matches, afternoon tea, or even more workaday ‘builder’s tea’. All of these provide chapter divisions between patterns, but also a small series of recipes. I’m quite interested to try the cake-like Bakewell Tart, as one example.

The knitting patterns themselves are diverse, and include a variety of techniques and skill levels. Sweaters are definitely in the majority, but there are several accessories including a scarf, capelet, hat, pillow, knee-socks, and – as would be expected in a book like this – several different kinds of tea cosies. Here are some relatively lo-tech images to illustrate.



The ‘builder’s tea’ chapter offers several casual knits, including this ‘biker’s’ scarf and a-symmetrical cardigan jacket. I would make either of these, although I might adjust the cardigan as a plain front. The men’s sweater above is a beautiful cabled piece, and I might actually be inclined to adjust it to a women’s pullover – but I admit to wondering if this piece would actually appeal to a broad number of men. My sense with male knits is that cables are best used in a more modest fashion, but I’m very happy to be proven wrong.


These two sweaters above present me with similar questions – I like the women’s Somerset Cable sweater, but find the back more attractive than the front which includes an extremely bulky cable in the centre. I would knit this with the back piece adjusted for the front as well. The men’s Cricket Cardigan is definitely reminiscent of the pale-coloured layers worn by men on cricket fields, and I commend the design. Again, though, I wonder at its versatility, similar to the builder’s pullover above.


This Flowerdew camisole is, I think, one of the strongest pieces in this collection. It is feminine, delicate, and includes delicate stitches, beads and YO frills around the edges, and a lacy hem. It is knit in fingering weight and I am imagining the decadence of making this in a merino-silk or merino-cashmere blend. Another strong piece is the Garden Jacket (below), worked in a DK blend from Rowan that could be easily substituted with the DK blend of your preference.



And tea cosies? Well, we’ve got your tea cosies right here. There are sparkly ones, pom pom ones, a tea-cosy made to look like a cupcake and another with tassels on top. These, like some other patterns in the book, will be entirely up to individual knitter style preferences. I would recommend a nice browse through this book before deciding whether to purchase, but overall there is a broad range of patterns here, an intriguing theme, and delicious recipes as a bonus.

The only thing that leaves me less enthusiastic about this book is the way the models are used to showcase the garments. According to theme, the chapters are organized according to the location of tea consumption or tea production, which affords 2 chapters in India and ‘Ceylon’ (now Sri Lanka), and several more located in the imaginative space of the United Kingdom or elsewhere in Europe. It is clear that the models have been chosen for each of these chapters with the same kind of visual homogeneity in mind – chapters ‘set’ in England use models are pale-skinned, and often pale-haired, and chapters ‘set’ in India use models with darker skin likely of South Asian ethnicities. The two sets of models do not overlap in either set of ‘locations’.

This leaves me wondering how appropriate this is to visually represent people according to the sites of colonial history in this way. On the one hand, the history of tea is a colonial one, which includes a hefty share of power imbalance and trading relationships across the British Empire. On the other hand, how does it help us to so casually reinforce the assumption that people’s skin colour must always locate them in a specific part of the world? Particularly when such assumptions are more and more difficult to hold, in our present day world. I wonder if the Gotteliers considered such questions in their process of producing this book.

If you’ve had a chance to look at this book I’d be pleased to know your thoughts as well. As a collection of knitting patterns alone, this is worth looking at, but in many ways leaves me uncertain if such a theme would have been better approached with different organization.


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