Thursday, July 27, 2006

REVIEW: Why You Need Wendy Knits (The Book)

There's bad news and there's good news.

The bad news? I'm not an impartial reviewer. I'll admit that right up front. I've been an avid reader of Wendy Knits (The Blog) for three years now and I had extremely high expectations for Wendy Knits (The Book.)

The good news? Wendy Knits (The Book) exceeds those expectations.

I thought writing this review would be a snap but to my surprise it's turned out to be a whole lot harder than I thought. What can you say about a book that works on every level? Not much, as it turns out, besides a loud and enthusiastic, "BUY THIS BOOK NOW!"

Wendy Johnson is an extraordinarily gifted knitter. Visit her blog and you'll see examples of lace work that are otherworldly in their beauty and perfection of form. She is also a gifted and talented designer. Flip through the pages of Wendy Knits (The Book) and you'll find patterns for everything from delightfully simple scarves to classic tank tops and pullovers to the wickedly intricate Grape Arbor Shawl.

But here's where Wendy separates herself from the other wonderful knitters out there: Wendy has the ability to explain the most complicated knitting maneuver in clear simple language that even a terrified beginner can understand. The patterns are well-thought out, beautifully written, error-free, and it that's not enough, she offers charts, too. What more can a girl ask for? I hope this is just the first in a long line of knitting books by Wendy Johnson. Wendy could easily do an entire book on the mysteries of knitting lace, another one on socks, maybe one on various Scandinavian techniques. The list is endless as is her talent. But I do have one complaint: if ever a book cried out for color photos and hardcover treatment, this is it.

Wendy Knits is truly one-stop shopping for beginning and experienced knitters alike. I was a Wendy fan before and I'm even more hopelessly devoted now. Spend a few minutes with this book, a pair of bamboo needles, and a skein of something luscious and you'll be hopelessly devoted too.

(And no, I'm not related to Wendy. I just know a great knitter when I see one.)



Anonymous ruby55 said...

Well, I can't speak to knitting at all. It must be 50 odd years ago that I did any. I think I knitted a washcloth for my grandfather and I admit it was a rather paltry-looking thing.

Then when my widowed grandfather remarried, he married a woman who loved knitting and made all sorts of nifty things for his grandchildren. However, she constantly had a stiff neck and a doctor told her at the time that she'd have to give up knitting. In view of the fact that age 9 I'd already had a stiff-neck episode without a direct connection to knitting, I decided the better part of valor was to not take up knitting again. If I had, I'd probably be a total basketcase and not just 3/4 of one with the pain I have.

I wanted to enter your contest but if this is only for knitters, then I guess I should stay away. It's the authors that I read here that attracted me.

If you'd kindly leave a message for me on the blog, I can decide what to do.

1:15 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

This is for readers and knitters and I know I speak for all of us when I say, "Please enter the contest!" We hope to provide a little something for everyone, although admittedly the main focus is on knitting.

We're glad you found us and hope you come back often.

Barbara, one of the Romancing the Yarners

1:45 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thanks for such a great review, Barbara!

8:11 AM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Ruby, I completely agree with Barbara. We're tickled to death that you're here--and books are a big part of the prize, so who better to win than a reader? (You can always give away the knitting stuff--my local senior center loves when I bring in fabrics and yarns and floss.)

Thanks for coming to visit!


9:22 AM  

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