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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
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 book Feb. 24 2002
This book was worth the...time waiting. I used handpainted yarns for a while, but these ideas ..... Wow!!! The photos are excellent, the stories behind the women who painted and designed with this wonderful yarns are pure inspiration.
The only thing I missed, in times of Internet and as I am a knitter in Europe with no chance to come to one of these wonderful fiber festivals in USA is: the e-mail and internetaddresses of the shops, so that I can mailorder these yarns.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!!! Dec 10 2003
Sometimes I just want to pick up a knitting book just to drool over the designs, colors, textures rather than attempt something. The patterns appear rather well written and easy to follow-it's just that I am a basic, basic, basic knitter and have not reached this "Zen" level of knitting. This book TOTALLY inspired me to keep going. I WANT to be able to knit like this and use these yarns. I saw one review that said she couldn't find the yarn. Concidentally, the other day I was in AC Moore craft store and picked up a magazine titled Interweave Knits. Almost every one of the yarns were listed in this magazine! I will always reach for this book for inspiration.
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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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