Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review: The Alchemy of Color Knitting by Gina Wilde

Book Title: The Alchemy of Color Knitting The Art and Technique of Mastering Exquisite Palettes by Gina Wilde
Publisher: Potter Craft
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-307-39355-5
Craft: Knitting
Approx. Price: $24.95
Length: 144 Pages
Number of Patterns: 25
Pattern Presentation: Written and Charts
Difficulty of Patterns: Advanced Beginner - Intermediate

The Alchemy of Color Knitting The Art and Technique of Mastering Exquisite Palettes is a collection of patterns and color lessons by the talented Gina Wilde, co-owner and creative director of Alchemy Yarns. Not merely a book of patterns, this book masterfully describes the basics of color and color relationships. Although this book could stand alone as a collection of patterns, it's the detail Wilde goes into regarding color organization that is brilliant. A well written book from an author well educated in fine arts, The Alchemy of Color Knitting is a must have for any knitter wishing to take their color/design skills to the next level.

What I liked about this book:
  • Having very little education in art and color, I found the information about color both fascinating and helpful. Wilde reveals how to use the color wheel; what primary, secondary, tertiary, and achromatic colors are; defines color and relationships; and even the meaning behind color.
  • Each chapter is also a color lesson. -So not only will you learn about the fundamentals of color theory, but you will experience several patterns which demonstrate her lessons perfectly.
  • Each pattern has additional information about the color, fiber, or personal information Wilde chooses to share with us. Because of this, I actually read this book cover to cover. I found it highly interesting.
  • In addition to the normal pattern notes (skill level, yarn, needle size, gauge, et cetera) at the beginning of each pattern, Wilde also includes the Color Exercise for that pattern - Thus connecting what you've learned from the beginning of the text to the pattern you're working on. As a former teacher, I love the visual and kinesthetic aspect of this book.
  • As one would expect, Wilde uses Alchemy Yarns for her patterns - but includes a nifty yarn substitution guide in the Appendix - allowing the reader to compare the specific Alchemy Yarn she used with other popular yarns of the same weight.
Personally, I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book. The pictures and colors of each project were stunning. As with many of the items I review, I took this book to Friday Morning Knitting Group and had to fight off the other knitters to have it back. I learned so much about pairing colors and using color in design. I didn't realize how much about color I didn't know. I can't wait to put what I've learned to good use in both color design of projects and of dyeing my own yarn.

My favorite patterns from this book: Clematis Scarf, Socks Squared, and i. Shibori Messenger Bag



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