Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Knitting Nirvana

“One-Skein Wonders: 101 Yarn-Shop Favorites,” edited by Judith Durant and Gwen Steege (Storey Publishing, $18.95), is one of those books every knitter should have on hand. In fact, every knitter should carry it with her, as I have for the past week, in the knitting bag she lugs around on her daily rounds.
It is in turn inspiring, fascinating and delightfully laid out — with patterns grouped by yarn type. It’ll make you want to catalogue your yarn stash, if only for an excuse to visit your favorite little yarn shop for material to create what catches your fancy. Which is exactly what I did after leafing through it.
The center spread contains 24 pages of full-color photos against vibrant backgrounds — there are hats and socks, but oh, what delightful patterns they are.
The day after opening “One-Skein,” I trudged up to my craft area and sifted through my plastic totes filled to the brim with yarns stuffed willy-nilly.
All the better to knit you (forth)with, my dear, I mouthed to my yarns. This wool would be perfect for the crimson One-Car-Ride Coaster Set with artfully placed strokes of contrasting wool needle-felted onto the finished squares. The end result looks less like a place to rest your sweaty glass and more like a largish petit four embellished with a pastry chef’s touches.
There’s the crimson Fabulous Filigree Scarf, shown on a sleeveless denim bust, delicately warming invisible shoulders in machine-washable wool employing short rows. A drapey plummy Floral Mesh Shawl, airily knit in multicolored silk “as lightweight as it is luscious.”
Oooh, the Twisted Spiral Neckscarf in rainbow Noro wool, corkscrewing this way and that — much like Kyra Sedgwick’s lovely blond ringlets cascading over her shoulders. The ends are even tied off like twin pigtails. In the illustration, the scarf curves around the neck, colors blending seamlessly from rose red to pale yellow to mud brown to green, eggplant to robin’s egg blue to minty then yellow green.
And from our own state, New Haven’s Yarn LLC has submitted Shrug This in pale blush lamb’s wool and mohair, a delicate wisp of garment that is quickly knit on 10.5 (three stitches per inch) needles from the neck down. It would be equally as fetching in cotton.
Marji’s Yarncrafts in Granby has a pattern for a Super Simple Triangle Shawl in a salmony-wool-crepe finished off with a crochet edge.
The best thing of all about this book, as my editor says, who received this book as a Christmas present, is that you can experience some of the more expensive yarns because, as the title says, you only need one skein.
It seems the jam I’m in now is not what to knit from “One-Skein Wonders,” but what not to knit.
Sorry to say, but it is likely you’ll have the same experience.
See or call (800) 441-5700 or bookstores nationwide to purchase.

No comments: