When my creativity feels sluggish, I turn to books for inspiration. I was lucky to find three new books that have helped me to work through this slump. The first two are available for pre-order, I received eARCs of these titles from NetGalley in exchange for a review. The third book I was delighted to find on the shelf of my local library, which recently reopened for browsing.
Please click on the titles names if you want to jump directly to a specific review.
- Adventure Cables: Brave New Stitch Crossings and 19 Knitting Patterns by Meghan Jones
- Knit Hats with Woolly Wormhead: Styles for the Whole Family by Woolly Wormhead
- Mix and Match Knit Sweater Designs by Rita Maaßen
Brave New Stitch Crossings and 19 Knitting Patterns
by Meghan Jones
Release Date: September 2021
Adventure Cables takes traditional knitted cables and Jones’ unique twist to create unique fabric and designs. This book builds on five core types of crossed stitches and offers both accessories and garments that showcase the updated technique. It is a book that expects some experience in knitting, but I think beginners would be delighted to see what possibilities exist after proficiency in basic core skills. If you are an experienced knitter looking for novel ways to work cables, I believe that this book will delight you.
Don’t worry if you have forgotten how to successfully knit from a chart, the first section of the book is dedicated to tips and tutorials to help you work them successfully. After basic charts are covered, Jones delves into what makes Adventure Cable charts unique and what is needed to successfully read and work these special stitches.
The range of pattern types helps this be a book that will appeal to a range of knitters – if you like to work accessories in the round, there are designs for you. Prefer to work flat? It has you covered. Primarily a sweater knitter? There are patterns for you as well, designed to adapt to a range of body sizes and gauges.
Which designs caught my eye? The Palouse Falls Shawl features textured lace Adventure Cables that move over a lacy background. I love that it begins with a cast on of only 4 stitches! The Goose Prairie Vest uses simple A-line shaping to highlight the orate cabled cable design and looks stunning in a subtle tonal semi-solid yarn. I love the balance of this design and really want to start knitting it right now. The Tekoa Mittens check all the boxes, mirrored design, fun geometric design, and is stunning in fun color combinations.
Adventure Cables by Meghan Jones can help you experience knit cables in exciting new ways.
This review originally appeared at netgalley.
Knit Hats with Woolly Wormhead
Styles for the Whole Family
by Woolly Wormhead
Release Date: August 2021
Originally published in German as Mützen Stricken: Cooler Stricklook für die ganze Familie (2019)
Translated by Regina Sidabras
Showcasing Woolly’s unique style, this book has a hat for every member of the family. I suggest knitters jump first to the end and read the section “The Basics”. Here, Woolly explores hat sizing and measuring for a good fit, why not every style is best for every head, the effect of ease, why one size doesn’t fit all, as well as some advice on hair and where on your head to wear a hat, especially if you wear glasses. I wish there were some photo examples in this section, but it’s still quite useful.
The hat designs are grouped by who might wear them: women, men, and children. I think this distinction is arbitrary and it’s possible to look past that as the sizing covers a range of circumferences for every design. Each pattern includes all the basic information a knitter needs in a clear and well laid out format. If there are special stitches or techniques required page numbers are included so you don’t have to hunt for the technique within the book. With nearly every design there are hints for a successful knit. I’ve relied on Woolly’s tips for grafting in garter stitch for years and I appreciated the clear tutorial provided.
This is a beautiful book that gathers twenty-two of Woolly’s inventive designs into one nice collection. Which designs caught my eye? I want to knit them all. The stunning photographs help.
This review originally appeared at netgalley.
Mix and Match Knit Sweater Designs
by Rita Maaßen
Originally published in German as Dein Pullover Design (2018)
Translated by Katherina Sokiran
In this newly translated book, Rita Maaßen guides the knitter through a basic knit sweater. The book then builds on that base to create many new and unique possibilities. Geared toward a newer knitter, this is also a useful title for someone looking to better understand how small changes can lead to a completely different knit garment.
Maaßen first shares the techniques needed for mastering a basic knit sweater, the foundation of the entire book. Then shows how, by making a different choice in the type of knitting stitch chosen, it turns into six new designs. The possibilities then expand as the book explores the effect of changing different designs elements. The 23 included designs showcase how changes to these parts of a sweater such as hems, silhouettes, and more can create a whole new look.
Overall, this is a beautiful book and I’m delighted to see it available for English readers. The photos are clear and help to illustrate the different mix and match combinations. Unfortunately, the sizing included is very limited (36-46) and knitters needing an expanded size range will need to learn how to do that from alternate sources. Despite that, I think the included lessons could help any knitter looking to learn basic sweater design.