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Old 11-29-2012, 05:55 AM   #1
1st Leg of the Journey
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FO: Book cover
A while ago I lend this book from our local library:
The Encyclopedia of Knitting
I only ever really knitted the stocking stitch, trying something else every once in a while but it never really sticked. However, now I decided to try the different patterns in this book to get some more experience.

At about the same time I decided that a book in my library needed an extra cover to protect it from damage. All the books probably need that, but I'm very careful with this one as it is an old book. Some of you might know it: the Diary of a Young Girl
It's a second edition and the name of its previous owner is written in it, so it is not worth much in terms of money. But the previous owner was my (great)aunt who lived through WW II and bought this book 3 years after the end of it. I can only imagine what kind of impression this book made on her - it is amazing the kind of things one thinks to ask someone after the person herself is gone. So the emotional value of the book is quite high.
Anyhow, I needed a cover and I already had the usual strong brown paper out when I saw an advertisement for a stretchable bookcover. So I was ready to go to the shop, but it was a Sunday... I am not sure how the next step went, but I think I saw one of my tries from the Knitting Encyclopedia and figured that would work too - 2 birds with one stone. The book would be covered, and I would get some serious knitting practice.

So I started. I did not really have a pattern in mind, I just knitted something and when I liked it I kept it. Some patterns I had to do over 3 or 4 times, but that's what practice is about
After I had a few "patches" I had to think about the size of the next ones, for it all had to fit together to cover the front, spine and back of the book. This was a bit of a puzzle, and a bit of a gamble whether it would fit or not .

And it took me a while, but these were the patterns I used:
  • star - p49
  • butterfly blocks - p51
  • bamboo rib - p57
  • heart leaf - p95
  • flower sprig - p94
  • little blocks - p46
I especially had a hard time with the butterfly blocks - after 7 times I figured how to knit the 3 strands together so they looked like a butterfly. And when you figure out how to do it, it seems like a breeze and you wonder why you hadn't done it like that before At least, that's my experience
The heart leaf was a bit tough with the decreasing stitches, and the flower sprig had a bobble which was quite a challenge. But the star, bamboo rib and little blocks are surprisingly easy - just knit and purl stitches

After stitching all the patches together, here is the end result:



I wanted the red bamboo rib spine to cover the whole spine, but it was not wide enough. Or the heart and flower where too wide, or the star too narrow - or maybe all of this


I just bound off the patches and stitched them together. Then I took some red textile I had laying around and used this to attach the knitting to the book, on the inside. I stitched it all by hand, as you can probably see in the pictures below:




Not really a straight line, is it?

In the end, I got a lot of practice and I do like the end result - but it all does look a bit sloppy to me But then again, I guess I do not have the patience to do it over and over till it is perfect .
One big downside is how the knitted fabric seems to draw away from the edges of the spine, exactly where the book is most vulnurable. I swear, it has a mind of its own. And the knitting is quite flexible, so it does not really give the original book cover the strength it needs to be kept together.

So, it kind of did not meet its purpose - but it was a fun project to work on

NB I'll post on an other book I made a cover for, after this one, later. As you can see I tend to "talk" too much to post about this in a jiffy... In this next project I tried to learn from my mistakes on this one and make a more effective cover I just noticed you can already see a bit of it in the pictures :rotfl:
It seems so easy...
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:25 AM   #2
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What a labor of love for your greataunt, for Anne Frank and for you. The motifs and colors work beautifully and the cover will certainly help protect the book. Well done all around!
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:45 AM   #3
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It looks wonderful and no better book to have a beautiful cover on. My daughter and her family were in Amsterdam in July and went to the Anne Frank house, in fact rented a houseboat across the canal from it. They were deeply moved by it. You did a wonderful job.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:25 AM   #4
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Bravo on a job well done. I particularly like the star, reminiscent of the Star of David--very apropos indeed!

And I don't see your book cover as sloppy, but rather cozy and protecting, even if it doesn't quite fill the bill.

I hope you're getting some of these patterns memorized so when you return the library book you can use them for other projects.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:34 AM   #5
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I think this is quite a knitting endeavor and very beautiful indeed...Your explanations and photos are very helpful and I appreciate the time you took to show and tell. I LOVE IT!!!!!
Thank you!
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:38 AM   #6
1st Leg of the Journey
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Thanks for all the kind words

Originally Posted by Antares
I hope you're getting some of these patterns memorized so when you return the library book you can use them for other projects.
In the post is a link for the online English version of the book. I will probably photocopy the book from the library when they ever decide to take that one down for copyright purposes - the book itself isn't available in bookstores anymore.
It seems so easy...
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:57 PM   #7
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Very creative and inventive! Wonderful use of different pattern stitches and colors! Way to go!
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:15 PM   #8
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This is so amazing. You did beautifully. So much thought and love went into this project, it had to be the great success is truly is. I have to think your aunt must be proud of your work too. Anne Frank's story is relevant today. I feel you honor her also as well as your aunt. Well done. Your story of the book cover is eloquent; thank you for sharing it. My life is enriched today.
~ GG

Cheating is an option. . . . Cheaters never win and winners never cheat, but smart knitters who want to retain an iota of sanity do, cheerfully. ~~Kory Stamper
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:35 PM   #9
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What a great cover! It's a perfect cover for that book, too. I loved the book!

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Old 11-29-2012, 06:46 PM   #10
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What a wonderful project! I love the patterns that you chose. It looks like a very good fit from the photographs. Good job!
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