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A few books have arrived in my post box in the last fortnight, heralding the spring publishing season.  Two that I'd like to share with you are both from Interweave Press.


Lucinda Guy's Northern Knits is a gorgeous collection of designs, all inspired by the knitting traditions of a particular corner of the Western Hemisphere that is almost as famous as Lucinda Guy is among knitters for a particularly charming take on the knitted garment. It's a natural combination, and the result is a book that will most likely tempt you to make a few things, if only the yarn were more available to the knitter.  I am a bit frustrated by the source materials, although they are a natural choice for these designs. Alafoss Lopi and Jamieson & Smith will be the most accessible to the North American knitter, but gauge swatching and substitutions are inevitable with this book, should you fall hard for one of the beautiful designs.  In this internet age, perhaps it is not so difficult to find yourself some Lodband Einband for a sweater, which is a good thing considering here is the inspiration to try.


Meanwhile, Shirley Paden has published a book I have been wanting for years.  Her Knitwear Design Workshop is a resource for the casual pattern tweeker and serious would-be designer alike. I have always valued the Vogue Book of Knitting for the basics of various sleeve treatments and classic neckline shapes, but Paden here offers blueprints for the modern knitter's expanding repertory of options.  It is illustrated with many sweaters from her own design history, and includes patterns for several new and deliciously textured sweaters, all intended to illustrate the principles at hand.  Add this to your essentials shelf, next to Barbara Walker and Nancy Wiseman. And make something fabulous.