34 all new projects, including 7 garments, all with colour photographs, easy-to-follow instructions and templates where appropriate A huge collection of exciting motifs in knitting and crochet to incorporate into freeform garments and accessories A comprehensive stitch glossary
From NSW, Australia, Jenny Dowde completed 6 years at art school and a course in machine knitting. Jenny has lectured on Colour, Design and Creative Knitting at knitting seminars around Australia. She has participated in Australian Textile Fibre Forum computer design workshops. She has also made polymer clay buttons for a designer knitwear company and taught polymer clay workshops at various Fibre Forums in Australia. In 1997 she discovered the wonderful medium, "scrumbling" or freeform crochet, with the only equipment requireed being a hook and lots of yarn! She now combines knitting with crochet in her freeform work.
Surface Works is about using plain knitted or crocheted backgrounds to which surface decoration can be added," is how Jenny Dowde describes her book. She loves the idea of being able to use only small amounts of very expensive yarns or beads, braids and ribbons to jazz up otherwise plain work, or to break up the surface with texture. Suggested embellishments include textured stitches, both knit and crochet, edgings, colour knitting and 'collage' using flowers, I-cord and needle felting, to name a few. She describes and gives instructions for her projects - hats, scarves, bags, cushions and garments - all adorned in some way. She is happy for them to be made as they are but hopes she will inspire readers to create their own 'masterpieces'. She quotes Cate Blanchett, who said, "I love strange choices. I'm always interested in people who depart from what is expected of them and go into new territory". This is the sort of journey any 'fibre-fan' will embark on with this book. Full of exciting and original ideas, it will inspire them to experiment and create their own art-to-wear-and-use. Surface Works is definitely a must-have and should occupy a prominent place on the bookshelf to be referred to again and again.- Pam Mitchell, The Textile Directory This book takes plain knitted and crocheted backgrounds and embellishes them with surface decoration. In her introduction, Jenny advocates the use of the book as a platform for your ideas, although patterns can be followed as directed, which gives a bit more freedom to the reader in how the projects are tackled. The book starts by taking you through creating different backgrounds by knitting or crocheting, and then looks at embellishments that can be added (including a very novel use of paperclips). After this, you are presented with a series of projects. This is a very generous book, with 35 Projects divided into sections of type (including Bags, Shawls, Cushions and Adornments), each one different from the next. Throughout, you are given full instructions on executing from start to finish, so everything you need can be found in the pages. I would say that this book is aimed at the confident knitter/crocheter, as instructions are abbreviated. There is a glossary at the beginning that you could refer back to, but if you do not understand the terminology, then you will be constantly flicking backwards and forward, which will probably be off-putting. However, the photos are very clear and colourful and, if you are not a knitter, you can still get inspiration from the projects for embellishing ready-made pieces with stitch. A great book for those who want to take their knitted pieces to the next level.-Samantha Packer, Workshop on the Web Add surface decoration to plain knitted or crocheted backgrounds. Looking at 35 projects which include scarves, hats and neckpieces and shawls and tops, each item is decorated using techniques that are fully described and illustrated. The first half of the book shows techniques and ideas. The book begins with ideas for texture in knitting and crochet and a number of stitches are illustrated and instructions are given. I think the most interesting of these are picot and fluffle. Edgings, braids and cords follow on. If you really want edgings and paterns of this nature, this is done far better by Nicky Epstein. Next up is what is described as painless colour knitting. We then go on to collage surfaces - adding embellishments, which is an interesting concept, but I don't see too many people adding paper clips to their knitted surfaces, safety pins in the punk era maybe. The Arty Bits section continues this them and is a better attempt at ideas for surface decoration including ridges and freeform stitching, although the latter is not explained in detail. The 35 projects shows the techniques in practice. They include some very good ideas for bags and cushions. Equally the ideas for crocheted jewellery are interesting. I found the ideas used for scarves and hats, jackets and tops not so successful. There is no shaping to the garments and they look awkward. This book has its good and bad points. It will no doubt give you ideas to follow on your own and can be used as a starting point.-KarenPlatt.co.uk