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Slipping Stitches and Taking Names

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When we heard that the fabulous designer Teva Durham was putting out her first book of original knitting patterns, we could hardly wait. If you've stitched, bitched, bought the T-shirt and are ready for the next level, Durham's new book, Loop-d-Loop: More than 40 Novel Designs for Knitters will be an asymmetrical, cabled rip-tide of inspiration. Although the book isn't intended for beginners, the clarity of Durham's directions makes it possible for anyone to pick up some of the simpler patterns. More experienced knitters will find worthy challenges here as well.

This book is a good read as well as a good knit, full of original anecdotes about the process of design. Teva's theatrical background comes out when she talks about trying to find the right dance music (a minuet) to match the rhythm of a stitch pattern. But the real test of a knitting book is the patterns, and these hold up. The designs include clubworthy wear (plunging necklines and one-strap blouses) scarves, shrugs, hooded capelets, chair slipcovers, sweaters, and gloves, but always with an unsual twist. Durham keeps the knitter on the tips of her needles. She even manages to make the bobble, garnish of grandma blankets, sexy. Since most of the book's designs are not on her website , we think you LA knitters probably can't live without it.

This patternmaking masterpiece is, of course, available online - but we suggest you take the trouble, or rather the temptation, to drive to La Knitterie Parisienne to acquire your copy. Swathed in the genteel location of a North Hollywood strip mall, LKP caters to everyone from movie stars to beginners who still haven't been weaned off the goopy eyelash stuff. Take your favorite lighting designer and have them swoon over the color choices. You will find not only the book, but a breathtaking assortment of luscious yarn (we suggest you check out the Noro). Just east of Coldwater on Ventura. Free parking. Once you open up Loop-d-Loop, you'll need some yarn to go with it.