≡ Menu

Review: Knit So Fine

First, the facts:


Title: Knit So Fine: Designs with Skinny Yarn

Authors: Lisa R. Myers, Laura Grutzeck, and Carol Sulcoski

Pages: 143

Type: Patterns–Mostly Sweaters, with some Accessories and one Skirt


  1. Introduction
  2. The Skinny on Fine Yarns
  3. Tools, Tips, and Techniques
  4. Simplicity
  5. Speed
  6. Style
  7. Shine
  8. Glossary/Sources/Supplies
My creation

Published by: Interweave Press, 2008

Pattern Size Range: Varies widely from pattern to pattern, anywhere from 27″ to 48″

The In-Depth Look:

The self-professed aim for this book, as stated by the authors: “Skinny yarns get a really bad rap. Knitters have somehow gotten the idea that they’re slow, fussy, or old-fashioned. We’re here to prove otherwise. Thin yarns offer a world of possibilities; in fact, they can do anything a thick yarn can do and more–and often, they do it better.”

Well! As a fan of not-chunky yarns myself, this is definitely an objective I can get behind!

The first chapter explores the advantages of fine yarns–better fit, better drape, better economics, to name a few–and then goes on to point out the things you can do with thin yarn that you can’t at do at all with chunky ones. (Socks, anyone?) I particularly liked the picture of an hourglass-figured doll wearing a dress in a chunky yarn and one in a fine yarn; if even SHE looks fat in a bulky knit, think how the rest of us look!

There’s a very nice, basic chapter about types of yarn, and things to look for–the fibers, the importance of a swatch, the benefits to things like lifelines in lace. It’s a perfectly nice chapter that more or less tells you things that a lot of knitters already know–which doesn’t make it any less important!

Also useful? A series of tips on staying motivated if you’re feeling bogged down by your fine-gauge project. This strikes me as brilliant because, “It takes too long” has to be one of the biggest excuses for NOT using fine yarns for things like sweaters. And how can you object to a section that tells you to, “Treat yourself to a small pleasure when you reach a particular milestone?”

Then, of course, there are the patterns.

As a rule, I thought this a really nice collection. Nothing is so young that it’s too “weird,” but nothing is boring and old, either. I think it skews a little more to the young demographic, but not in a way that someone out of her 20s is going to be embarrassed.

I counted 14 sweaters/vests, 1 dress, 1 skirt, and an assortment of various accessories–a beret, a ruffly scarf, a lace shawl, gloves, and legwarmers. I really liked the Kimono Top, which looks eminently wearable. (Although using a DPN as a closing device seems fraught with danger when you sit down–something the model isn’t doing–but then, I’m sure you could use something less pointy). The Ribby Vest is fantastic–a striped, V-neck in an assortment of Trekking yarns.

I wasn’t crazy about the Dolman Top, which is a little too 80s-retro for my taste, but I would love to have one of those Skater Sweaters in my closet–a short-sleeved “thermal”-knit t-shirt designed for layering for a little extra warmth. I loved that. And the Wrap Dress? Divine, except that I think you need a very specific (perfect) figure to pull it off. Ditto about the Bamboo Skirt which is lovely but–a ribbed skirt could be clingy in the wrong places if, again, you’re no longer in your 20s. (Oh, and the shoes the skirt was photographed with? I couldn’t find a pattern for them, but I’d like a pair, please!)

And, the Travelling-Stitch Legwarmers? Oh, so very NOT “Flashdance.”

The write-ups of the patterns looks good–they’ve got the (should-be) essentials like schematics and notes, along with the written instructions. The charts, where they’re needed, are large enough not to strain the eyes, and there are tips for using them at the back, along with some extra instructions for things like short rows and the cable cast-on.

The pictures–all-important in a book of knitting patterns–are good ones. They’re well-lit, give a good look at the sweaters, and there is a nice balance between “whole-view” and “close-up” looks at the various knits.

Oh, and the patterns are listed by name in the Table of Contents AND there is an Index at the back highlighting the locations of different techniques and talking points. In other words, the publishers actually considered that people might not memorize the entire content of the book the first time through. I SO appreciate that in a knitting book.

What didn’t I like? Not much, really. Some of the patterns I wasn’t crazy about, but there wasn’t anything that made me want to hide my eyes. (And, believe me, I have books like that!) I wouldn’t want to knit or wear everything in here, but there are a few patterns I really liked and a bunch more that I liked enough that I’d offer them closet space–and since my feeling about a knitting book is that it’s worth the price if there’s just one or two patterns I want to make, well … that definitely makes this one a winner. Like I said, I think it’s geared a little more toward younger knitters, but not in an “exclude everybody over 30” kind of way.

Again, this is Knit So Fine, and it’s selling at Amazon for $16.47.

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

The Gush: I liked this book. It makes a great case for knitting with fine yarns (which I happen to like), and the designs are good ones–classic, but with a fresh feel, and well worth the knitting time.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Chris August 28, 2008, 8:59 pm

    I have a pattern booklet or two with fine-gauge patterns and I agree – they look so much better! You’ve left me more intrigued by this book than I was before.

    Chriss last blog post..In which I report on a lot of reading and a very little bit of knitting

  • maria August 29, 2008, 1:04 am

    I think the Barbie comparison is actually a bit of a fallacy. The size of that skinny yarn in comparison to her measurements is about the same as the size of a CHUNKY yarn compared to actual human measurements. ~_^

    And I found your shoe pattern:

    (I am in love with all his shoes. Well, most.)

    marias last blog post..Cosmopolitan

  • --Deb August 29, 2008, 8:37 am

    @ Maria–Well, that’s true, but all that really means to me is that the percentage is different, but the picture is trying to make a point–and sometimes you need to exaggerate to do so. Obviously, the difference on Barbie is greater than on an actual human, but there’s no question that a chunky, cabled sweater is going to make a person look like she’s just gained weight, while a lightweight, properly fitted one will be slimming.

    Oh, and thanks for the shoe link–they’re kind of out of my price range, though (grin).

  • Kat with a K August 29, 2008, 12:02 pm

    I have this book and love the patterns, but hadn’t read the beginning stuff. Your review made me want to go home and read it all! Especially the tips for staying motivated!

    Kat with a Ks last blog post..First thoughts on Sarah Palin

Next post:

Previous post:

%d bloggers like this: