Anyway, I thought I'd pretend my opinion matters and give you all a review of one of my more recent knitting book purchases: Knitting Socks with Handpaintd Yarn by Carol J. Sulcoski. As you can guess by the title, it's a book of patterns specifically designed to show off awesome handpainted yarns (like, say Tipsy Sheep...). If you haven't figured out what to do with your Cosmo yarn yet, this book is bound to inspire you.
One of my favorite parts of this book is the introduction. It talks about the different kinds of handpainted yarn - wild multis, muted multis, and near-solid or tonal yarn, and each pattern has suggestions for which type it works best with. Nearly solid/tonals are great for showing off fancier stitches, whereas wild and muted multis have so much going on already that a simpler stitch is usually more appropriate. The intro also talks about how slight changes in gauge can drastically alter the ways color will pool and stripe in a handpaint,.. so doing a swatch is super important. (Confession: I almost never swatch. I'm clearly a terrible person.)
The patterns in this book are awesome. There are simple cable and rib variations, and that gorgeous cover image is created using nothing but planned increases and decreases to give a chevron effect. It's also the first pattern I made from the book, in KnitPicks Imagination Mermaid Lagoon.
Hand-knit socks: another perfect comfort item in times of illness.
More complicated patterns work with combining two different handpaints, toying with vertical and horizontal construction, and one called Whirlpool even incorporates beads to create fun flashes of light in the finished sock. There's even corrugated ribbing and fair isle flames thrown in just in case you weren't having fun yet.
And the glossary. Ye gods and little fishes, I love this glossary. The illustrations are very clear and the written instructions are easy to follow. It shows you a variety of cast-ons used in the book (including one called the Eastern Cast-on, which I'd never seen before) as well as all the increases, decreases, and grafting techniques that you'll need to construct these bad boys.
As with any publication, there are always errors that pop up after printing, so be sure to check the errata page over at Interweave before starting any project from this book.
This sinus pressure is killing me. And Grease is making me want diner food. Blaaaarrrrgggghhhhh.....