Design It, Knit It: Secrets from the Designer’s Studio by Debbie Bliss. Sixth&Spring Books; Spi edition (June 2, 2009).
Reviewed by: Kate is a busy mother of four with many craft projects on the go, including, but not limited to, crochet, knitting, sewing, dyeing, paper making, spinning, felting and bookbinding. Kate has challenges in the areas of finishing things, saying no and craft supplies storage. She also has a very very patient and tolerant husband.
Reading this book, I feel as if I have been invited over to Debbie’s place, I am in her studio looking over her shoulder while she is deep in the designing process of her knitting patterns and yarn colours. In this book she imparts gems of wisdom, in chapters about designing for the body; with colour, with texture, for kids, and designing with details. In each chapter Debbie explains her ideas on what kinds of elements she considers when designing patterns, this is then followed by three patterns demonstrating her ideas, each with a little explanation of the design features included in the pattern.
The last chapter, rather helpful for would be designers or just those who like to alter a little here and there, is a design workbook, with blank basic garment shapes for you to colour and fill with stitch details, to suit your own body shape. This section also includes knitters graph paper, and a stitch gauge.
This book is less a comprehensive ‘how-to’, and more a ‘This Is A Glimpse Of How I Do It’ – and I think that it would be difficult for a new designer to use this as a design or knitwear primer. However in addition to the projects, this book does offer some interesting insights from a leader in hand-knit design. (Naturally all the projects feature Debbie Bliss Yarns – delicious but not so easy to always get hold of – and expensive.) The book itself is hardcover and spiral bound, my favourite combination! The feel of the book, the patterns, and the colour of the yarns, as with all Debbie Bliss products, are calming, classic and smooth.