Elements of Style: Knit and Crochet Jewelry with Wire, Fiber, Felt and Beads by Rosemary Hill is a fascinating book bringing together crafts that many knitters enjoy but that might not always be used together.
Knitting with wire, adding beads to knit pieces, felting beads and using crocheted pieces as beads are just some of the concepts explored in the 17 projects in this book.
There's not much too this book other than the patterns (though there are eight glossary pages going over basic techniques and tools, as well as helpful sidebars throughout). That's fine, because the patterns really do need to take center stage in a book like this, and the instructions are often quite lengthy when multiple techniques are combined in one piece.
The projects are divided into three sections: wire, fiber and felt. The wire projects use knitting (there's also one crochet project) and more traditional beading techniques, while the fiber projects use yarn that contains stainless steel (a couple use linen yarn instead) and the felting projects combine felted fibers with beads and findings to make lovely body decor.
It would help to be familiar with jewelry making before attempting many of these projects, since they often involve using jump rings and headpins, manipulating wire into specific shapes and other potentially tricky techniques. There are some projects, particularly in the fiber and felt sections, that could be completed with less beading experience.
Some of my favorite projects include the Donut Break Necklace and Earrings, made with resin doughnuts linked with chain, jump rings and bits of knit wire; the Scarf Cocktail Necklace, an ethereal, random knit and beaded concoction; the Falling Leaves Scarf Necklace, made with knit leaves separated by coils of beads; and the Delicate Rounds Necklace, made of knit and felted doughnuts and tons of beads.
Elements of Style includes many lovely and imaginative projects for knitters who like to make jewelry or for beaders who like to knit. If you're currently one but not the other you might find this book inspires you to try your favorite craft in a different way.
Publication date: November 2008.