First, the facts:
Author: Mary Scott Huff
Published by: Interweave Press, 2009
No real chapters, just the patterns and some instructional sections at the back.
Pattern Size Range: Child to Adult
The In-Depth Look:
The author of this colorful book starts by saying, “I have always found colorwork irresistible. Charming vintage knitting patterns with pony-tailed ladies sipping their apres-ski toddies live in my knitter’s heart right next to the memory of my first baby bootie and the day I finally executed a tubular cast on … Knitting of all stripes has at one time or other held my attention, but I always seem to wander back home to colorwork.”
Then, after a brief, one-page introduction, she dives right into the patterns. Patterns for men, women, and children. Sweaters, mostly, but with some assorted accessories mixed in.
As implied by the title, all the designs are stranded colorwork. Some are obviously inspired by the traditional Scandinavian designs–you know the ones, with the drop-shoulders and squared-off shapes–but some are more fitted, more modern. The colors are creative. Oh, sure, there are a number of traditional combinations, but mostly it looks like she was having fun throwing unexpected colors together, or opting for bold colors rather than subtle. (Except for the “Wedding Belle,” which is delicately beautiful.)
The shapes are sometimes creative. She says, “Sometimes my designs become little more than vehicles for beautiful closures. I have actually been known to design extra openings in garments, purely as excuses for beautiful buttons and hooks.” And so you ahve leather straps and buckles on one sweater, or an off-center cardigan, a vest that closes on the shoulder … but it’s all in good fun.
After the patterns, there is a detailed chapter about techniques–anything from choosing yarns, to cutting a steek, to whether or not to tack down your floats.
One last quote: “Never feel bound to any rule that doesn’t suit you or your knitting.” I like that one!
This colorful book is available at Amazon for $16.47.
(Note: Apologies if this seems like a short review–I wrote it twice. Once, then WordPress ate it, and then this rebuild which covers all the high points, but is perhaps missing some of the finer details. Sorry about that. Leftovers are just never quite the same.)
This review copy was kindly donated by Interweave Press. Thank you!