Brandon Mably works in the studio of the world-renowned designer Kaffe Fassett, and is a legend is his own right in the world of color knitting.
As the teacher of "Color in Design" workshops, he has traveled the world teaching knitters how to use color more dramatically in their designs.
His book Knitting Color: Design Inspiration from Around the World illustrates how different landscapes and people from around the world have influenced his knitting.
A Lesson in Color
Before he gets to the travelogue/pattern section of his book, Mably spends several pages discussing his "theory" of color, which is not a theory so much as a practice, a close study of how colors work together and how different shades and tones of color can be combined for good effect.
"These are difficult concepts to grasp," he writes, "and the only way to come to grips with them is to practice, practice, and then practice some more. Persevere and you will start to look at things differently."
Mably certainly looks at things a little differently than people who haven't spent so much time working with color have, but his book gives inspiration that we can all learn to be a little freer (and smarter) when using color.
He outlines a project he uses in his workshops to help knitters learn about color, and while you might not have hundreds of colors of yarn in your home to try it with, at least you can use it to start seeing color a little better.
Twenty patterns are presented in this lovely book, each one corresponding to a country that Mably has visited, from Australia to England, the United State to Peru, Vietnam to India.
Luscious pictures illustrate Mably's inspiration, and then a pattern or several derived from those inspirational images follows.
All of these patterns look complicated. That's because they all use a lot of color and often include pages of charts and instructions.
But these patterns are mostly not really that difficult if you approach them with patience, and several of the smaller projects would not be that difficult at all.
Even the larger projects--and there are several jackets, vests and throws--could be scaled down for use on a pillow or even a child-sized project.
The idea behind this book is not to intimidate knitters or make them think they'll never be able to knit such beautiful garments, but to inspire them to see that even the most elaborately colored items are still just made in stockinette stitch, and if you can follow a chart you can complete them successfully.
Even if you never knitted a pattern from this book, which would be a shame, the information about learning how to use color (not to mention the gorgeous photos) are instructive and inspirational.
If you're afraid of knitting with color or just aren't sure how to do it "right," this book is a wonderful guide.