Well there’s just one more day of the Crochet for Bears blog tour — tomorrow Donna Druchunas will be talking about the book and the project that she’s working on from it. We have a break today because Vashti and Robyn are both overachievers and did their posts a day early. Vashti wrote a comprehensive review of the book (she writes great reviews, when you’re visiting her blog be sure to check out her series on 70s crochet books). Robyn interviewed me by e-mail and shows a sneak peek of her contribution to the book. She’s also doing a giveaway!

My own stack of books I’ve been sent to review has grown quite high in the past few weeks as this is the time of year for book releases. I don’t necessarily review every book I’m sent but there are a few I’m going to be talking about over the next few weeks that I found particularly fun.

Melissa Leapman is one of the most prolific knit and crochet designers I know. She’s also a great mentor to many in the industry–she’s a generous teacher and loves to share designing advice with newcomers. Her latest book is a bit of a departure from the coffee-table style hardcovers that she has published with Potter Craft over the past two years,  but that doesn’t make it any less useful. Color Knitting the Easy Way: Essential Techniques, Perfect Palettes, and Fresh Designs Using Just One Color at a Time is not a comprehensive guide to color work. It actually only deals with color patterning where you work one color per row — either in stripes or with slipped stitches. But it turns out there’s a lot of variety even with these two techniques, and Color Knitting the Easy Way has three features that makes it a book that will probably become a well-used part of your libary:

  1. A guide–it gives detailed instructions about simple and fancy striping and slip stitch (or mosaic) knitting.
  2. A stitch dictionary–there are over 60 stitch patterns with bright colorful photos AND easy-to-read charts
  3. A pattern book–patterns aren’t the main focus of Color Knitting the Easy Way and that’s ok. But there are 10 simple patterns so you can easily try out what you’re learning.

That would be enough for a good book, wouldn’t it? But Melissa doesn’t stop there–the beginning of the book is a look at color theory from a knitters perspective and shows ways to choose yarn for two, three, four and even five-color projects. Each technique also has a “designers workshop” discussing how to turn the techniques and stitch patterns into your own designs.

CROCHETERS TAKE NOTE: Most of these patterns can be worked as tapestry or jaquard crochet, so don’t dismiss this book just because it has knitting in the title. I often get my crochet color work inspiration from knitted stitch patterns.

So, Potter Craft inadvertently sent me TWO copies of Color Knitting the Easy Way so I’d like to give one to you. Just leave me a comment telling me how you choose your colors when you’re knitting or crocheting with more than one. I’ll pick a winner at random on Thursday of next week.

Book Review & Giveaway: Melissa Leapman’s Color Knitting the Easy Way