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Thomas's Knitting Book
Thomas's Book of Knitting Patterns
for each: 5 sheep (excellent)
knitting life divides neatly into B-1980 and A-1980. During
the B-1980 era I owned no knitting books - only pattern
booklets and a few magazines like the original Vogue Knitting
and two others long out of publication. My only reference
was my ten cent copy of the Learn How Book bought at Woolworth.
Although I had made 3 afghans, a coat, 2 suits, numerous
sweaters, 3 pairs of socks and some baby items, my stitches
and techniques were quite basic. I had not tried lace nor
color work. While I had been inspired by Elizabeth Zimmermann's
knitting series shown on channel 9 in the 70's (?), I had
not really applied her ideas to my knitting.
was around 1980 that I started buying the knitting books
that were now appearing in the market. Because of them my
knitting began to be transformed. I devoured them cover
to cover and was inspired, or compelled, to try all the
"new" techniques and approaches revealed in them
and my education still continues. I'd like to tell you about
two of those books that initiated my collection of knitting
Thomas's Knitting Book, Dover Publications, 1972 (first
published in England in 1938).
Thomas is deservedly the first guru of knitting. She covered
basics, lace, color work, shaping, construction, knitting
with beads, embroidery, socks, mittens, shawls, even frame
or rake knitting (think "machines"). Although
cables were not mentioned, she had great chapters on shaping,
selvedges and the movement and characteristics of different
knitted fabrics and stitches. Best of all is a multitude
of drawings of every possible technique you'd like to see.
This book was a revelation to me and ranks as a prize possession.
companion book, Mary
Thomas's Book of Knitting Patterns, followed in 1943
(reprinted by Dover in 1972).
book is a delight. Every conceivable type of stitch is included
with several good examples of each, and frequent digressions
on where and how the stitch might be used. There are lots
of clear photographs of the fabrics and innumerable, absolutely
wonderful drawings of the completed stitches, as well as
the needles shown in the process of making the stitch, --
all in black and white. This was 1943 and they look exactly
as if they might have been done on a computer! They are
superb. She also includes charts for all the stitches; they
use her own set of symbols - not anything we would see today,
but they are surprisingly clear.
was the first time I had seen anything resembling a stitch
dictionary with all the great step-by-step instructions.
I was truly "blown away" and even now, for a book
63 years old, I'm still impressed.
you ever chance to find either of Mary Thomas's masterpieces,
don't even hesitate - just grab it, and run home with it.
Mary Thomas's Knitting Book from Amazon.com
Mary Thomas's Book of Knitting Patterns from Amazon.com
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