I have some books to return to the library, and since the majority were recent publications, I thought you'd like to hear a little more of them.
The first is The Art of Seamless Knitting by Simona Merchant-Guest and Faina Goberstein published by Interweave Press. Here's the Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Seamless-Knitting-Simona-Merchant-Dest/dp/1596687886/ref=sr_1_1/176-1124777-6734331?ie=UTF8&qid=1386259395&sr=8-1&keywords=Art+of+Seamless+Knitting
I first heard about this book on the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird, here's the link for the program: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2013/06/11/the-art-of-seamless-knitting-with-simona-and-faina-1
It's a beautiful book, beginning with great advice at the beginning about measuring and gauge, there's even great advice about avoiding the jog in your color stripes. It is not strictly about top-down knitting designs, as some involve picking up stitches along a knitted edge to create a sleeve or other design element. There are three patterns I'm admiring, the socks! Titled Lace Stockings (I know, there's not a lot of sock patterns WITH seams, but these Knee-highs are so beautiful you won't mind) designed by Faina, they could have been worn at Downton Abbey. There's a Lacy Cardigan designed by Simona that's made with Bijou Basin Ranch Lhasa Wilderness (a sport-weight yak/bamboo blend) that would be sweet in spring and cool nights in the summer and dressy enough for church. There's a pull over that has a near commercial knit quality by Faina called Textured Pullover and another cardigan she designed Cabled Cardigan, long sleeved, thigh-length and a generous collar, both would be wardrobe staples in winter.
I picked up Kristen Omdahl's book The Finer Edge ~Crocheted Trims, Motifs & Borders, also published by Interweave, in 2012 (new to my library, what can I say?) Here's the Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Finer-Edge-Crocheted-Borders/dp/1596685549/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386260789&sr=8-1&keywords=the+finer+edge+crocheted+trims+motifs+%26+borders
In addition to miles of ideas to trim your projects, there are some projects to create. I liked the Memphis Bag with features a bouquet of ruffles to carry around the market. There's also an afghan, a pullover, a shawl... Kristen has appeared on several podcasts, including several appearances on Marly Bird's program as well.
I also have to return Nicky Epstein's book Knitting On Top of the World ~ The Global Guide to Traditions, Techniques and Design published by Sixth and Spring Books. It's an older book, 2008, not the first time I've borrowed it and probably won't be the last. The sections are divided into areas of the world and the styles inspired by those areas, including Far North, Windswept Isles, Old World, Around the Mediterranean, Far East and New World. The photography makes this a coffee-table quality picture-book, but the designs are Extreme Epstein. How about an heirloom quality pullover for your newborn that can keep your teapot toasty when he's outgrown it? Here's the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Nicky-Epsteins-Knitting-Top-World/dp/1933027673/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386261390&sr=8-1&keywords=Nicky+Epstein+Knitting+on+Top+of+the+World
Like I said, these are all going back to the library today, I don't own copies of any of them, and was not asked to review them by the publishers. I just found them on the shelves of my library, brought them home and have been drooling over them when I've had quiet moments.
It's amazing to me how fast that due date came along!