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***The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns

Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes & Gauges

by Ann Budd

Reviewed March 29, 2003.
Interweave Press, Loveland, Colorado, 2002.  112 pages.

Yesterday, I got some new knitting books I’d ordered from Amazon.  What fun!  Since knitting books aren’t exactly something you sit down and read, I haven’t been reviewing too many of them.  Still, I do have a couple of knitting book reviews already posted, and a few more books I’d like to mention.  So I thought for a few issues, I’d mention a knitting book in each one.  Then there will be a nice selection to look at in that section of my Nonfiction page on my website.

The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns is one of the books that arrived yesterday, so obviously I haven’t yet knitted anything from it.  It looks like it’s going to be a wonderful resource.

My knitting buddy and I love to go into Kaiserslautern and browse in the delightful little yarn shops.  There’s usually some luscious yarn on sale for such inexpensive prices that we can’t possibly resist.  (I usually either spend money myself or encourage my friend to spend money!  Either way, it’s a lot of fun!)

There’s one little problem.  Once you have a wonderful yarn, what do you do with it?  In the past, I’ve been a pattern follower.  I see a pattern I like in Knitter’s magazine, and then order that exact yarn from, maybe changing the color, but not being any more innovative than that.  Sometimes, I’ve been able to find a pattern I like that uses yarn similar to what I’ve bought in the yarn shop, but often I’m left wondering what to do with the beautiful yarn I’ve bought.

What’s lovely about this book is that it gives patterns in multiple sizes for five different weights of yarn.  The patterns are for vests, sweaters, scarves, stocking caps, tams, socks, mittens, and gloves.  So it seems like I should be able to find a project for any yarn I might buy.  What’s more, I think it will be a great resource for finding uses for leftover yarns in my stash.  Since so many of the projects are small, this will give me an excuse to buy a few skeins of a yarn that attracts me and try it out on a pair of mittens or a hat.

I have to admit that I bought the book with a certain super bulky yarn in mind--and I didn’t find a project that appealed to me as much as one from Knitter’s magazine that I will have to modify.  I wasn’t crazy about the look of the sweaters and vests.  Still, the author gives ideas for personalizing them, and it is a nice basic design that could be jazzed up with a great yarn or maybe a color picture or a fancy stitch pattern.


Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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