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Book Review


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  Knitting Today's Classics: 60 Exquisite Sweaters from Elite
by Kristin Nicholas
Buy it Now at Amazon.com

When looking for yarn patterns, the common tendency is to leaf through page after page of individual patterns in a three-ring binder at your local yarn shop.

It takes extra conviction (and financial commitment) to buy an entire book of patterns. This book is worth your money.

Classic Designs

Many designers try so hard to be stylish that their designs -- like the rapidly changing face of fashion -- are almost instantly obsolete. Thankfully, this collection is an exception. Published in 1995, it has designs that are still fresh. I'm always finding another pattern to knit.

The Patterns

The book is divided into six sections: Quick & Simple, Decorative Stitches, Designing with Color, Cardigans, Warm Weather Knits, and Tips for Beginners. The designs span all four seasons, and they're suitable for total beginners to experienced knitters.

The Quick & Simple section includes the raglan "Vis-a-Vis" pullover that is, in my opinion, the finest raglan pullover pattern around. The concept is simple enough, but few designers get it right. I've made several variations on this pattern over the years, with different gauges and yarn combinations, and they've all come out beautifully.

Knitter-Friendly

Kristin and the 10 other designers featured here write simple, clear, and easy to follow patterns. They don't use ambiguous language, and they don't nag. Nor do they send you out on a ledge and leave you there. I've yet to be misled by a pattern in this book.

Kristin encourages people to have fun with their knitting -- improvising with colors, shortening or lengthening patterns to suit individual body types, changing necklines if you'd prefer ribbing to a rolled stockinette cuff, and so on. You can easily follow the patterns, word for word, and get wonderful results. It's later, when you're ready to experiment, that the real fun begins!

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