In this book, fiber sculptor Katharine Cobey reveals how she achieves her wonderful diagonal knitting effects by dissecting the techniques she uses. She also offers a progressive guide on how to design knitted garments on the diagonal, building skills for two- and three-dimensional design. Katharine also addresses some of the pros and cons of working in nontraditional materials such as plastic and wire. As a side note to spinners, though much of her work is handspun, spinning is not a focus here.
This is not a book for the pattern knitter; it is for the adventurous who are not afraid to play extensively with orientation and form. With occasional self-deprecating humor and personal stories, Katharine draws on a deep knowledge of her craft as she urges readers to take control of their knitting. Those wishing to follow the instructions provided may sometimes find themselves having to research stitches and techniques referenced but not fully explained. A short dictionary at the end defines terms specifically coined for the book.
While diagonal knitting is simple conceptually, in more complicated constructions the knitting, surface design, and shaping all work together as an integrated process. Some of the benefits of diagonal knitting are that neither the size nor shape of the final product depend on the initial cast-on row, and simple patterns can easily emphasize and enhance basic garment shapes.
Diagonal Knitting ultimately challenges to conceptualize and deconstruct the myriad of approaches that one can take to his or her work. For example, to get the full impact of how the designs will fall on the finished piece, Katharine suggests folding paper mock-ups (or even deconstructing cardboard toilet paper rolls) as a way of understanding both shape and graphic placement. Since geometry dominates over complicated stitch patterns, daring beginners can also try their hands at diagonal knitting. For those fascinated by the geometry involved in achieving wonderful visual effects, it is worth spending the time to think through the various directions given. For those looking for innovative ideas to add to their sculptural knit repertoire, these techniques will add new dimensions on how to approach their art.
Scattered throughout the text are images of Katharine's artwork, taken by her husband, which alternately illustrate and tantalize the reader with possibility. The final gallery section of the book speaks volumes about the author's passion through images of her own sculptural forms. Thanks to the author for committing to print her unique take on her craft for the rest of us to learn from.