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Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
The design of this book is lovely. It's size and scope make it functional as a coffee-table book.

Lara's Library (Sort Of): Vogue Knitting Knitopedia

Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
If you are a graphic design nut, the chapter titles are enough reason to buy this book.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
Illustrations are clear, but have a homey, hand-drawn quality.

Vogue Knitting Knitopedia: The Ultimate A to Z for Knitters is like that pretty girl in your high school class, who knew all of the kids she deemed "cool" and a lot of vocabulary words, too.

I feel a little conflicted about writing about this book. It's not that I don't like the book. I just don't LOVE it. I'm normally head over heels in love with the volumes I write about here, so I don't want to damn it with faint praise.

Maybe the title just over-reached for me. I don't think any book that's only 240 pages long could really be an "ultimate" guide to anything, especially a topic as wide and varied as knitting. It just isn't comprehensive enough for my taste.

I think it would be a good book for a beginner to have, because the vocabulary alone would be helpful to someone who is figuring out common knitting abbreviations or what the heck people mean when they say "intarsia."

Also, there are lovely essays threaded throughout the book. Debbie Bliss, Linda Cortright, Nicky Epstein, Elaine Eskesen, Norah Gaughan, Vickie Howell, Brandon Mably, Tara Jon Manning, Kristin Nicholas, Shannon Okey, Clara Parkes, Mari Lynn Patrick, Amy R. Singer, Alice Starmore, Margaret Stove and Meg Swansen all contributed and, really, are worth the price of admission all by themselves.

I think that list shows both my problem with and what I like about this book. I was really put off when I read the "designers" entry and saw fewer than 40 names listed there.

Maybe the egalitarian, wide nature of the internet has spoiled me. Over 20,000 people are listed as "designers" on Ravelry. Clearly, even scratching the surface of that wouldn't be practical at all.

Maybe I'm just annoyed that some of my favorite designers didn't make that list. Maybe I'm overly concerned that some knitters might take this as gospel and ignore some of the great work that's out there.

Or maybe I just need to get over it and enjoy that the pretty, cool, girl in the class will let me read her notebook. Yeah, that's probably it.

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