Nicky Epstein is very imaginative and she puts that imagination to anyone's reach with this book on borders. 350 borders, in 6 sections: ribs (or stitches that could be substituted for ribs on a sweater or anyplace you might want to use ribs), ruffles (and as much variation as you might want on the topic), lace (lacy stitches with an emphasis on yo/dec types of motifs), fringes (almost all of the borders shown are actually knitted, with the exception of tassels), flora (with an emphasis on motifs that represent nature), and point and picots (some bobbles and geometrics).
I think the weakest section is the one on lace, but maybe that's just the illusion given by the relative fount of newly published book on the topic of lace and the astonishing number of border options in those publications. The other sections are wonderful just because of the number of different ideas. It should give anyone ideas to customize a project or even start one from scratch to suit the border.
Another compliment to give the book is that there are patterns included as inspiration and they help to see how the border elements might be used to enhance a project. There are 3 sweaters, one cardi, two scarves and one ruffled bag. They are fun pieces, but of course, not the focus of the book.
The book's editing is fine, but it would have been interesting to use charts for some of the more complex stitches.
on June 15, 2004
Knitting on the Edge is a collection of basically everything you could possibly consider using on the edges of a knitting pattern, from lacy borders to the more mundane ribbing, garter stitch border or hem.
The book is pitched toward beginners or intermediate knitters, making it very acessible. However, more expert knitters, used to charts, will be annoyed by the endless strings of "k5, p2 tog, yo...", and the inability to edit the patterns on the fly.
The chapter on ribs is for the most part uninspired, while the section on ruffles and pleats is worth a look, especially if your taste runs towards things with frilly edges, or you see yourself concocting a garment for a baby girl sometime in the future.
The lace section is deeply dissapointing. The examples are swatches knitted in some kind of raspberry-colored worsted yarn. It's almost impossible to determine where the eyelets are, let alone what kind of pattern they make.
There is a paltry collection of 25 apparently rather uninteresting traditional sideways lace borders, with the majority of the chapter taken up by borders that consist of a few repeats of a lace pattern that are bound off at the final row. Besides neglecting the entire point of a traditional lace border (which, if knitted onto the live stitches of a piece, completely avoids binding off, maintaining the inherent elasticity of lace) it leads the knitter into the difficult prospect of attempting to bind off a lace pattern in such a manner that it dosen't bind up and look a complete wreck.
The chapter on fringe and tassels demonstrates several clever methods, incorporating traditional knotted fringes and fringes made from dropped sitches, some of which are cut. There are also interesting patterns made from fringes along the edges of cable patterns, for that "Celtic Cowboy" look.
The section entitled "Flora" contains representations of plant anatomy in various states of abstraction. The more realistic versions in sculptural stitches or lace are quite lovely.
The final chapter, "Points and Picots", also covers some patterns that would be better off classed in the "lace" department, as well as such standbys as The Hem, in all its various turning rows, and The Band of Garter Stitch (The Band of Ribbing having been covered in a previous chapter).
The final section of the book contains patterns for the use of some of the edgings in the book. The ruffled purse is really the only project here that was particularly inspired; everything else was rather ho-hum: edgings go on the ends of things: cuffs, collars, and hems. I would have been happier if Epstien had included some more challenging projects, or ones that pushed the envelope of edging.
Overall this book bites off far more than it can eat, let alone comfortably chew. Epstien only scratches the surface of her topic. I would have been happier with a much larger and more in-depth coverage of the topic, especially that of lace borders. Nicky Epstein is not the next Barbara Walker. However, this is a good introduction to borders, and a good book for any designer (aspiring or otherwise) to own.
on May 18, 2004
What a cool book! There are three pullover patterns, two scarves, a purse and a cardigan, but the real stars are all the different stitch patterns for edgings. These are organized in chapters by type, and range from ribs, ruffles, lace and fringes to flora, points and picots. Each chapter's sample swatches are knit in a different color theme and are shown on the same two-page spread as the stitch instructions. The swatches range from the simple to the very sophisticated, the colors are lush and tempting, and the instructions look straightforward and clear. The number of alternatives offered is dizzying! The reader can peruse 102 different rib swatches, for example.
Now I know why I have not been able to start my next bag yet -- I was waiting for the inspiration of this kind of a collection! I'm sure I'll be able to pick out one of the cabled fringe edgings soon and cast on for a new project. How could I not, with so many tempting images before me?
My only gripe -- there's no index, so if you remember that you wanted to use the saxon braid and you didn't write down the page number, you have to scan through a whole chapter to find it. This is a minor concern, but given that some chapters are upwards of 20 pages long, I thought I'd mention it. The entire book is just under 170 pages.
This is probably the perfect companion to Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.
on June 3, 2004
The variety and styles that the author has designed are numerous enough that it should satisfy a variety of tastes - it certainly earns its five stars. Nicky Epstein's unique knitting artistry is well reflected in this book. The swatches are clearly made (details of stitches are easily seen), the categories are numerous, the styles range from easy to complex work. I especially like the format of the book - layout is clean and readable (like when you have it open while knitting), and the projects in the book give you a basic idea how to use the edgings.
It DEFINITELY is a good addition to one's knitting reference library. The author has a prior book with some of same edgings but this book is unique enough and full of very useful things to make the purchase well worth it.
on August 15, 2011
This book is a wonderful resource for people wanting to try different edgings, or even just trying to find a new and fancy way to make a scarf. I investigated this book at the library before ordering. When ordering, Amazon said it would take 7 to 15 business days to reach me. It got here in two days. Well protected in solid boxing. In some cases it takes old stitches and applies them in new ways; full patterns in lovely yarns are also included. My friends are drooling (neatly) over this book. I suspect they'll be ordering their own copies before long! I am very happy with my order.
on June 6, 2004
Nicky Epstein has done it again - created a knitting book that every knitter should have in their personal libraries. The patterns for the borders are well organized by type making it easy to scan through the pages and select a border for your latest knitting project. The photos of the swatches are crisp and show excellent stitch definition.
If you hadn't given much thought before to adding decorative edgings to your knitted garments, afgans, shawls, etc. this book will inspire you to do so. Definitely a MUST HAVE book for all knitters!
on January 1, 2006
Once I got the book, I started to work on the scarf that was shown on the cover. I used pink yarn instead of blue, it looks even better. However, this book only have few projects for you to follow, if you want to knit a sweater with those edges, you have to calculate everything on your own with those edge patterns.
Moreover, the second book she published is even better - "knitting Over the Edge: The Second Essential Collection of Decorative Borders"!!
on June 11, 2004
If you miss this one, you'll be sorry. Packed full of patterns and awesome ideas. Clearly written as per the author's past books, but this is her best so far! Beautiful patterns, just beautiful!