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Handpaint Country: A Knitter's Journey [Hardcover]

Cheryl Potter , Alexis Xenakis
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 28 2002
Cheryl Potter and photographer Alexis Xenakis profile 20 women who have made dyeing yarn a way of life. This resource includes forty designer patterns and tips to make the most of these memorable yarns.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book is inspirational March 22 2002
It's a gorgeous book, hands down. I put it right up there with Knitting Across America for sheer inspiration and beauty. The book is organized by geography, much like Knitting Across America, and Cheryl interviews dyers from every area. Mountain Colors, Valentina Devine, La Lana Wools, Fiesta Yarns, Koigu, Great Adirondack, and more. The only area that wasn't covered well is the West, which may mean that there are not a lot of hand dyers in business here.
Patterns follow each dyers review, and they are varied and beautiful. Top name designers such as Lily Chin, Sally Melville, Rick Mondragon, and Cheryl Oberle offer a wide range of garments and other items; sweaters, vests, afghans, shawls, hats, etc. Some are deceptively simple; Valentina Devine's Garter Blocks afghan is simplicity itself to make, but it's just beautful in the colors she chose.
Of course, the photography is incredible. Alexis Xenakis has outdone himself yet again. Yarns are photographed in natural light, often using the landscape as a backdrop.
The book is printed on high quality glossy paper, so the colors really shine. The body text is in a sans serif font, in a size that is quite comfortable to read. There is plenty of white space for your eye to rest after the excitement of texture and color.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lavish with Some Practical Problems Nov. 29 2002
This book is beautiful beyond belief. The photographs are beautiful and it's interesting to compare and contrast the different views of handpainting yarn and design sensibilities presented here. I also liked the insights provided into running small yarn companies coupled with the sense of craft in different parts of the US. The big pages can inspire dreams about knitting and the book is a great spur to the imagination.Some of the designs are not to my taste but there are many tastes presented here and I'm sure most readers would find plenty of things they like.
I would also recommend this book to people who handpaint their own yarn as I do - seeing the excellent photographs of many different styles of handpainted yarn was a real eye opener to me.
That said, I regret that it's hard to find out where to buy many of the yarns so tantalizingly presented here. I have been knitting for over thirty years and never follow a pattern exactly; I wouldn't recommend this book to neophytes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous! Nov. 7 2002
I am very fussy about my knitting books. Many of them have the same basic sweater patterns over and over (look at the schematics) the change in "look" of a sweater comprising of variations in guage, yarn used, or a different pattern stitch. An experienced knitter can figure most of this out by his/herself. Therefore I look for something new - something different - in a book of knitting patterns. Otherwise I pass on the purchase.
This book has lovely, creative designs and they are readily adaptable to substitution yarns, as most of the yarns featured are MUEY EXPENSIVO! (I don't know about you but I consider spending 3 - 500 dollars on yarn for a sweater I may not finish a bit steep!) I still buy the handpaints, but where a solid is shown, i will substitute a more basic yarn.
In any case, the patterns are beautiful and inventive - showcasing Top designers best work. The yarns are drool material, and the photography is exceptional, displaying these incredible handyed yarns in all their sensual beauty! This book goes far beyond a "coffee table" book, although it has the same size AND you really want to pick it up and look through it whether you knit or not. You will want to photocopy the patterns before you make them.
I love this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! Jan. 28 2002
By A Customer
Advertisement for this book began nearly two years ago. I don't know if this was meant to be a teaser or if the publisher simply had extensive delays in putting out the book. I won't say that the wait was worth it, since I'm too impatient by nature to claim that. However, if I had known what a fantastic book they were publishing, I think that at some point I would have become unnervingly desperate for my own copy. I suspect that Cheryl Potter was determined to surpass the classic Knitting Across America, and she has! The quality of this book is magnificent. It's an art book, the coffee-table book that belongs in every knitter's home. Large format, artfully decorated, with hundreds of pages that are simply covered in beautiful photos of natural landscapes, yarns upon yarns, colors upon colors, and the artist designers of the yarns. La Lana is here, and Rachel Brown and Mountain Colors, and many more. The patterns for the sweaters, all focused on handpainted yarns but easily adapted for other yarns if you are not fond of handpaints, are almost secondary to the beauty and quality of this book -- and yet these patterns are all exciting and lovely (most are even easy to make!). You'll find sweaters and vests, all inventive in how they use one or more handpainted yarns in order to display the variations of colors to best advantage. There are a few children's sweaters, but most are for women. Many are classic styles with an interesting twist, either with the use of yarn or in the styling of the sweater. A few are a bit weird, there to satisfy those of us who want something playful. We even get a knitted pair of slacks. I didn't count how many patterns there were, but I'd say close to thirty, in that range or possibly more. Read more ›
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