Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Deborah Newton has done it again!

Knitters who swear by Deborah Newton's classic  Designing Knitwear, a reference so useful it's been in print since 1992, can now pre-order her latest fount of knitting wisdom, Finishing School, due out on October 4th from Sixth and Spring Books.

Lucky me, I've been devouring an advance copy, and can attest that

  • whether you use the book selectively, to trouble-shoot a problem or inform yourself about a particular aspect of knitwear post-production, or-
  • read it from cover to cover for both edification and enjoyment...

you will become ever-more sensitized to the nuances of fit and finish, and gain a wealth of practical advice for making the most of your knitted labors of love. This dual result springs from the book's main question:  How do you accomplish good finishing--and enjoy it?

I'm one who doesn't mind finishing projects, but I realize finishing's the bane of many knitters' existences. The other day, standing in line to pay for some LYS purchases, I noticed a display of business cards from people who specialize in FINISHING the knitted work of others. On the topic of unfinished knitting, more shall be written at a later date, but if enough knitters get their hands on Finishing School, there will be far fewer UFOs lurking about, and perhaps less to say.

Deborah's very own notions tin

I had the great good fortune to chat with Deborah recently, and asked her two questions.

SMW: The organization of the book takes the knitter from blocking--the beginning of the finishing process--through various stages, like seaming, edging, closures, etc. Within each chapter are sidebars of problem-specific tutorials and "cheat-sheets" that provide short cuts or tips about finishing. Is this the way you initially conceived the book? How did it develop in your mind?

DN: In a book like this, the organization pretty much takes care of itself.  The book completely reflects MY process--having done the finishing for as many sweaters as I have over the years...I have encountered almost every kind of situation possible. The book is TOTAL EXPERIENCE, no conjecture. I am expressing what works so well for me.

SMW: What do you want the book to do for knitters?

DN: My goal is to show knitters that there is a thought process, and a way to prepare, that make finishing less daunting, more approachable, and more rewarding in and of itself.

Gentle readers, one more thing: Deborah Newton will be at VK Live in LA next weekend, lecturing, workshopping, and book-signing.

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