More than anything else as a knitter, I am driven by color. I fall for yarn in the perfect shade of whatever it is, I am especially drawn to saturated rich mouth watering hues. Sometimes I like my colors one at a time, another I prefer a great happy jumble of jewel tones or mossy barky fair isle. This Fall season brings a number of recommendable books to the bookshelf of the knitter besotted with color, serving as guides to managing them together, or hoping to inspire you to branch out in your techniques. Here are my favorites, in no particular order.
Noro: Knit 40 Fabulous Designs by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton
Sixth & Spring Books
Let's face it, Noro yarns are the closest thing knitters have to Italian sports cars. We love them for their look, we quibble over our favorites among them, and we apologize for their delicacy when we drive them too hard. We covet them anyway. Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton has no such hesitations in her love affair with Noro yarns and uses the opening chapter of her new book to explain why. Here she tells the story of her journey to Japan to visit the elusive Eisaku Noro and the company he founded. She lets the reader in on a few of the secrets to the artful yarn making process, and shares Noro's ambitious craft philosophy summed up in "The World of Nature" slogan printed on every Noro label. Also included are patterns for 40 of Hamilton's designs, some of them familiar from her 25 years of work with Noro yarns. If you already own some of Hamilton's Noro books, you may want to resist the Amazon impulse and instead, thumb through it the next time you're at your LYS to see what you think (of course, we at Twist Collective urge and support your buying anything and everything you can from your Local, but you already knew that ::wink::).
Color by Kristin: How to Design Your Own Beautiful Knits by Kristin Nicholas
Sixth & Spring Books
The Poster Girl for Color Play, Nicholas depends on the reliable palette of her lusciously colored Julia yarn from Nashua Handknits to demonstrate combinations, but how to do it with yarn father afield, say, from your stash? Swatch swatch swatch, she says, and walks the walk herself with beautiful demonstrations of what a simple shift can do to a color idea. That alone would be reason to add this book to your list, but among the designs is the sweater that turned my very own craft-resistant sister from a "someday" knitter to a "Right now, I NEED TO MAKE THAT" knitter. Thanks Kristin for pushing her off the fence.
The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe
Where to begin? An encyclopedic guide to just about everything you would ever need to know about working with color: thorough and masterful chapters on color theory and techniques, from managing color changes in stripes to conquering intarsia in the round (and otherwise), this is a book you could learn something from anytime you open it. Radcliffe aspires to break knitters out of their monochromatic rut, whether or not they think they're in one. A few minutes with this book, and the intervention is complete.
99 Yarns and Counting : More Desings from the Green Mountain Spinnery by The Green Mountain Spinnery Cooperative
While not strictly a color knitting book, per se, I include 99 Yarns in this rodeo round up because I have always admired the colors their Mountain Mohair comes in as it never fails to stop my breath whenever I see the full range displayed together in a yarn shop. They cry out for combination (as we were so lucky to feature in Jennifer Appleby's
Gytha sweater design in last winter's issue), and can also be enjoyed as such in several designs among the 36 collected here. A worthy addition to your library, and a heart warming reminder of how easy it is to knit local.