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Review: Knit, Swirl!


First, the facts:

Title: Knit, Swirl! Uniquely Flattering One Piece, One Seam Swirl Jackets

Author: Sandra McIver

Published by: Seastack Publishing, 2011

Pages: 207

Type: Patterns.


1. Silhouettes and Sizing
2. Tips and Techniques
3. Centered Circles
4. Centered Ovals
5. Off-Center Circles
6. Off-Center Ovals

Knit, Swirl!

The In-Depth Look:

I was so excited to see this book–I’d heard such great things about it–and it did not disappoint.

This is a beautiful book. I mean, the first reaction is that it’s just so darn nice to look at. Beautiful photos, good paper stock that can stand up to being repeatedly paged through. A good, solid feel in the hand. Just looking at this book is a pleasure.

Obviously, though, that’s not the main point in a pattern book. It’s the patterns that matter, and these are gorgeous.

In her introduction, Cat Bordhi describes seeing Sandra’s sweater for the first time. “Sandra and her sweater became the darling of our group of high-powered designers. One by one, we discovered that the sweater (which we soon tagged the ‘Miracle Sweater’) made us instantly feel young, graceful, and buoyant. … As you study this book’s images, you’ll realize that Sandra has achieved an entirely new dynamic that includes several distinct silhouettes, enticing sleeve and collar choices, and curvaceous shaping. … I believe this sweater is destined to become one of the most oft-knit, beloved and reliable knitting designs in history.

This is the kind of rave a designer dreams of–a master at innovative thinking giving a dream endorsement.

And justified, too. All the patterns in this book are based on the same concept–a single-seam, circular jacket. You might be thinking “That’s nothing new,” but the concept really is. Unlike other circular sweaters you may have seen, these don’t have a seam getting in the way of the circle. Their construction is unique, and there are so many options for wearing them.

Divided into four basic categories (combinations of circles or ovals, with the bodice being centered or off-center), at first glance, the designs all look kind of the same. Since they’re all based on the same concept, they all resemble each other. But like members of a look-alike family, they all have their own personalities.

The author says, “All Swirls share the same basic construction–an outer circular form that flows into a bodice and sleeve component. … Variations are created by changing the size of the circular form, the arrangement of the decrease lines, the placement of the bodice and the location and shaping of the inner collar edge.

Like just about every one else, I want to make one of these designs.

The instructions are extremely detailed and there is an elaborate schematic with every design, along with clear instructions as to the basic construction techniques that apply to all the patterns.

And did I mention that they’re beautiful?

Not only that, but this book is self-published by the author–a feat which never fails to amaze me. (Especially when the result is this beautiful.) You can get your copy from Amazon or directly from the author.

(Note: Sandra told me that they’re running a second printing in mid-September and that at the moment, there are limited copies of the first run available. You can still order copies from her, your yarn shop or from Amazon, though, and they’ll be shipped as soon as they’re off the press.)
Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by the author. Thank you!

My Gush: Beautiful AND clever–my favorite combination!

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