Nicole Reads A Lot

so many books, so little time

Brave New Knits

on February 1, 2011

Title:Brave New Knits
Author:Julie Turjoman
Publication Date:August 2010
Publisher's DescriptionBrave New Knits is the first book to celebrate the convergence of traditional hand-knitting and modern technology. The Internet has made it possible for the knitting community to connect through photos, pattern-sharing, and blogs that document the knitting projects and passions of dozens of designers and enthusiasts. With a Foreword written by Jessica Marshall Forbes, co-founder of, Brave New Knits includes 26 must-have garment and accessory patterns, all gorgeously photographed by knitting celebrity Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. Contributors range from established designers like Norah Gaughan, Wendy Bernard, Anne Hanson, and knitgrrl Shannon Okey, to rising stars such as Melissa Wehrle, Connie Chang Chinchio, and Hilary Smith Callis. In-depth interviews with the designers reveal their design philosophy and passions. From shapely sweaters and delicate shawls to fingerless gloves and stylish hats, each of the knitted designs features detailed directions and charts to inspire both the beginner and experienced knitter.
My rating:*****

I love being a librarian. I recently discovered NetGalley, which allows librarians and other bookish types to review ebooks, usually in advance of their official publication dates. The idea behind this goodness is that you’ll review whatever it is that you read. Since I’d all but abandoned my book reviews, I had to decide whether I thought that it was worth it, but I’d be an idiot to let a little laziness get in the way of free books. The first book I reviewed was Brave New Knits by Julie Turjoman. At 245 pages this book is HUGE, and it’s so lovely as a pdf that I know the physical book must be awesome (note to self: buy this for the library…and possibly for myself).

Brave New Knits is an excellent resource for knitters and those who are interested in the recent history of knitting, especially as it relates to the Internet. This book is a treat for knitters, but I think that there is a lot here for non-knitters to appreciate, too. People who are less familiar with or interested in the craft of knitting will still be able to learn about how the Internet contributed to knitting’s resurgence as a craft and hobby. I think that other interests might be able to apply the idea behind Ravelry to as-yet unborn social networks that relate to specific interests or pursuits.

The 26 patterns included in this book are lovely, and are sure to hold the interest of knitters of all skill levels. Whether a person is looking for a quick knit or a more time-intensive piece, there’s something here for everybody.

I love that the designers are profiled here, and that they talk about themselves and their craft in more than just a couple of paragraphs. For those who are interested in getting into the design side of knitting, this book’s designer profiles will undoubtedly provide inspiration.

Brave New Knits also shows the social power of the Internet knitting community. Jessica Marshall Forbes and Casey Forbes, cocreators of Ravelry, the online knit and crochet social network, write the book’s forward. The fact that there even is an Internet knitting community is in large part because of Ravelry, and this is underscored by how heavily the community factors into the designers’ profiles.

There are so many awesome things to knit in this book, and I’m definitely going to make something from it at some point (I’ll add it to my 100+ item queue).

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