Book Review: Pretty in punk

by kath_red on 08/07/2007

in Books, knitting+crochet+yarn

Pretty in punk: 25 punk, rock and goth knitting projects, by Alyce Benevides and Jaqueline Milles, photographs by Rob Benevides, published by Chronicle Books.

First up I really want to congratulate the photographer and stylist on how this book is put together. It is hot! The images are fun and gorgeous and the reason I am mentioning this is because I am drooling over these things and want to make them NOW! Well yesterday in fact. I have made the pink ear-flap felted hat with eye-cord, I have made it felted and not felted, and with and without the mohawk. Felted it is so very warm and snug, and un-felted not so warm but bigger and covers more head space. Either way it is very cool and I love wearing them (its winter down here in Aus).

I have not as yet got going on any other projects, but my daughter has put a few orders in. The instructions were pretty easy to follow, obviously the first hat took me a little longer to work out, but by the second hat I had it down (not exactly churning them out however). Yarn is given in non-branded yarn terms which I much prefer, and gauge measurements are provided for the various sizes – this means that you can experiment with whatever needles and yarn you have on hand to get to the correct swatch sizing for the size hat you are making. Instructions are detailed with long explanations of each section and especially good – the ‘why’ you are doing it as well as the ‘how’.

For example in the explanation about felting the finished hat the author says “We’re not experts at felting, and we don’t really do it for the felted effect. Rather, we discovered that taking a chance and throwing a knitted piece into the washing machine sometimes improves the overall texture and feel of the fabric. This is especially true when there is an intarsia design; the slight bit of felting smoothes out some of the edges of colour changes. It also creates a sturdier-feeling fabric, with is great for bags and hats.”

The projects, even though the styling of these projects is rock, punk, goth, if made in different yarn they can be whatever you want them to be. I have made the red baron aviator cap (same earflap cap, except it ties and buttons under the neck and does not have a mohawk) for my husband in a plain blue wool and it not only looks fab he loves it too. The projects themselves have good basic design principals underlying them. A knitted tie, a vampish neck choker, a cute loose knit camisole, are all projects that be made into whatever you want them to be, or as they are they are fab.

Projects in the book range from hats, and other accessories like armbands and scarves and ties to tops and skirts and dresses. There is a bulky knit fitted long sweater/dress with removable sleeves, a knitted corset, a bum pocket patch to add onto your jeans and mini skirt. My favourites are the hats and I will be making more of these, but I am also into the armbands and some of those sweaters. These projects are definitely not boring or plain – so get knitting some punk, goth and rock knits.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jonipossin July 8, 2007 at 11:01 pm

Never say never. I don’t think those styles are me, but I love looking at books like that because they often trigger an idea for a creation of my own. So… thanks for sharing.
You’re cold down there, and we’ve been having a heat wave. My daughter just moved to Arizona and the air conditioning didn’t work. It was 115 degrees in the shade. The AC has now been repaired but the house has stood empty soaking up that heat for so long, that it’s going to take days to cool off.


2 Tekopp July 10, 2007 at 12:40 am

This book is a nice example of what happens to subcultures when someone tries to make money on them, in any way or form.
Personally, I’ve looked at this book and found it insulting and silly, since none of the designs are as subversive as one would think. Nothing in it even remotely speaks to the spirit of any of these subcultures. It’s such a twisted look on this that it seems like mockery.

It’s a book that probably has nice basic patterns, but the rendition of them shown are not punk or goth, they’re for people going to a carnival.

Sorry about my little rant, but the book makes me very angry.


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