Nicky Epstein now has 14 books to her credit on her web site, and they all seem to have a sense of FUN that I absolutely love. From her first book of knits for Barbie that flew off our shelves despite the $30 price tag, I loved how Nicky put glamour and cheekiness into each idea that she brought to life through her knit and crochet patterns.
That being said, as far as I'm concerned, I would consider her latest book: KNITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD her magnum opus.
A beautifully produced book, it covers history, geography, regional crafting and resource distinctions, and shows a thorough respect and appreciation for what knitters from around the world have brought to the development of this beautiful craft and artform. Then in order to give knitters a chance to try out and perfect the techniques that she features (colour work, cable, etc) she offers 4 wonderful patterns for 20" sweaters, which would fit a baby but also double as an interesting hat, a tea cosy, etc.
Now follow this link http://www.vogueknitting.com/node/529 to check out how she has interpreted that respect for these regional traditions: a matador jacket with curlicue epaulettes, a cowl neck jumper dress with beautiful classic cable motif, a Scandinavian yoked cardigan of the most untraditional colours, and even her take on Canada's own Cowichan sweater in an oversize wrap of gigantic wool with more than a touch of blue.
I loved this book, not because I would run out and make all the patterns therein, but more because Nicky Epstein inspires me to look at traditional styles and patterns that I see every day in a new way. She has taken the best of what she saw in each of these traditions and translated them into her own sense of style; and she invites us to do the same.