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Review: Nicky Epstein’s Knitting in Circles


First, the facts:

Title: Knitting in Circles: 100 Circular Patterns for Sweaters, Bags, Hats, Afghans, and More

Author: Nicky Epstein

Published by: Potter Craft, 2012

Pages: 224

Type: Stitch patterns, as well as full-fledged patterns for things to make


Notes on Texture and Gauge
Designing with Circles
Project Gallery
Round 1: Basic Circle Shaping
Round 2: Texture & Techniques
Round 3: Lace & Points
Round 4: Colorwork
Round 5: Eclectic

KS: Knitting in Circles

The In-Depth Look:

It’s almost hard to know what to say about another collection of stitches and techniques from Nicky Epstein. I have seven of them on my bookcase, I think. (Eight? I’ve lost count.) It’s easy to see why, too, because they’re wonderful–bringing our attention to a specific theme (squares, edges, flowers, circles, etc) and then doing as many possible things within that framework as possible.

She says in the introduction here that, “Over the years, I’ve used a variety of circle shapes in my designs and thought it was finally time to share their many unique and beautiful uses with knitters of all skill levels. In this book, I’ll teach you different ways to shape, create, and embellish knitted circles, using traditional methods as well as some I’ve come up with on my own.”

She says she’s created 100 circles as well as 20 full, original designs for this collection–all made of circles–big ones, lots of little ones sewn together, or several joined in clever ways.

It’s easy to forget … knitting so obviously lends itself to rectangles and squares … but circles are versatile. You might think “hat” and “pillow” and then stop, with a glancing thought at a circle skirt or wrap/shawl/poncho of some kind. But really, you can do all sorts of things with circles. Sweaters. Afghans. Bags. Almost anything.

The book starts with basic shapes–ways to knit a circle. Start in the center and increase in a spoke pattern? A spiral? How about knit across in garter stitch rows? Or shaped around a center point with short rows? Then you can add texture … stitch patterns like cables or lace. (It’s hard to flip through some of these without thinking of the perfect tam-o’shanter cap.) Of course, color is always nice, so next we can try stranded color, or intarsia blocks–anything to add a splash. And then, as a full-fledged swing at having fun, there’s the “eclectic” section filled with … well, everything.

Finally, we get the patterns for the 20 original designs–sweaters, wraps, afghans, bags. A nice variety, all using circles. Some I think are more successful than others. (Some look rather like they’re using circles because they can rather than because they should.) But they’re all fun, all creative, and many of them are lovely.

Really, the book is a pleasure to flip through, and with so many different circles to choose from, there are tons of inspiration here.

But, then, it’s Nicky Epstein. At this point, I expect nothing less.

You can get your copy at Amazon.com.

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by Potter Craft. Thank you!

My Gush: It’s Nicky Epstein. Of course it’s wonderful.

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