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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lovely lovely books

Its been a very busy week with very little time for blogging or, unfortunately, even for knitting. However, the post I've been waiting to do is about my trip to our local antiquarian bookshop. It is situated on the balcony of a wonderful victorian arcade and has all the atmosphere and charm you would expect, even down to a special reading room that only invited customers are allowed into. (More on this later)

I made several purchases the first of which is the Patons Story of HandKnitting

patons

It was written back in 1985 so the 'current' knitting trends are somewhat dated, but the historical side of british handknitting is fascinating. On the back cover is a picture from an early Patons publication which I'm very fortunate to own, but more importantly, its how I imagine myself and my life to be when I'm knitting.

Patons lady

I'm afraid I don't often seem to experience such serenity, but I keep on hoping!

The second book I purchased is one of the Batsford series, which I now have a fair few of. This one is the Complete book of Traditional Knitting by Rae Compton

batsford

This book looks at traditional knitting patterns from Shetland, Fairisle, Aran, Iceland, Sweden, Central Europe - the list goes on. A very interesting book.

The third book I bought is this one

weldons

and it is glorious. 860 pages of techniques from 'faggoting' to 'punch work', which both sound like something which used to happen in victorian taverns to solitary sailors on their way home!

The illustrations, such as this one, are beautifully executed

knitting

I think these instructions on sewing a collar are brilliant

collar

Such detailed explanations and so clearly illustrated.

I love this page on how to swiss darn

swiss darn

Each picture is a little work of art.

I did get to go in the special reading room to pick two books for my valentine's present. I haven't been allowed to have them yet, so I will have to reveal them after February 14th. But the room was wonderful, there was an emormous leather club armchair in front of a cast iron fireplace and mahogany bookshelves from floor to ceiling. There were the most beautiful volumes of children's stories which I was also very tempted by, but even my man has his limits, so I chose my two special books and left the magical room behind. It almost felt that if you looked behind you, it wouldn't be there anymore.

Finally, back to my Patons story of handknitting book. The inside cover has these two fantastic illustrations of shade cards from the original Patons range.

beehive

Patons shades

some of the yarn names sound incredible, like Lady Betty Fleecy, Petticoat Fingering (ooh er missus!) and Pomeranian. In the Beehive Scotch fingering there are 132 colours available in 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 ply. Heaven!

for now
Ruby xx

6 comments :

Gudrun Johnston said...

Wow...some really great finds!

Lauren Hairston said...

Oh my goodness! Everything is so romantic! Being a student of history, I absolutely adore old books. A Story of Handknitting sounds fascinating. I may have to look that one up on Amazon. I can't wait to see what you got yourself for Valentine's Day! (Sounds like the holiday around here since I end up either buying myself a present or telling my fiancé what to buy me.)

Robin said...

That book sounds wonderful! I love the "serenity" picture. Ahhh, for life to be that calm.

Queen of the froggers said...

I do love your book finds, there is something so special about vintage books. I have seen the Weldons before, great book.

Aruba Blue said...

Love the 'serenity' picture I would love a framed picture like that. I dont think that lady ever had a white knuckle moment when knitting!!! The Patons colour charts are incredible a real knitters fantasy!!

Shay said...

Oh what luck! Congratulations on your finds.