Lacy Little Knits: Clingy, Soft & A Little Risque by Iris Schreier
I do love preordering books from Amazon. This book will supposedly not be released until July, but it arrived almost a full month early. Iris Schreier designs for Artyarns, and all of these patterns utilize Artyarns and her signature modular knitting technique. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting too much out of this book, but it was pretty cheap at the Amazon price and I needed to qualify for the free shipping. I find myself a bit pleasantly surprised, as there are several lovely patterns to add to my list.
The book begins with a detailed explanation of the techniques used and includes directions for several test swatches. This section seems thorough, and I’m sure I will find it useful should I decide to make any of the patterns. The patterns (because I know that’s what we all came for) are divided into 5 sections, each of which showcases a different technique. The patterns build from easy to advanced knits in each section. Here are a few of the patterns I’m interested in.
The Good: The ruana. Do you see the ruana? Look at the back! I love it. Of course, it’s knit in Silk Rhapsody and would cost a bajillion dollars, but I could find a sub somewhere. I’ve been trying to find a good ruana pattern for ages. I even like the variegated yarn, and I almost never do for sweaters. Modular knitting really shows off multicolored yarn. I also adore that little cropped vest/bolero thing. It only looks crocheted. I could definitely see myself wearing that. The little cap and the scarf are good basic patterns (the scarf is really lovely up close, and is shown in two different versions in the book.) That dress is really amazing. I’m not going to knit a dress or anything, but it’s a really unusual piece. I know you can’t see details on the sweater with the ruffle, but it has a center panel with diagonal patterns and the sleeves are knit the same way. I would like to see it with the model standing though… I am always suspicious of sitting. I like that there are a variety of models in this book, including those of all ages. The patterns themselves look well written, with clear schematics. She tells you how much yarn you need, and what weight, but only includes a note at the end of the pattern mentioning a specific artyarn that it is knit in. I like that because I think it encourages substitution.
The not as good: The sizing is ok but not great. Most sizes go down to a 32 or 34″ bust (and I really like that she tells you how much ease to allow for each sweater) but I don’t see many sizes above 42,” and some end a bit short of that. I’m iffy on the technique of alternative rows of two weights of yarn in a lace pattern (the cover sweater and several others use this technique.) I think the photo styling could be better, although I’m able to overlook that. There are a few too many mohair sweaters for my taste, but for the record I think one is too many (I do not like mohair.)
The verdict: This book is $13.57 on Amazon right now. That’s what – the cost of two magazines? 2 online patterns? Anyway, it’s pretty darned cheap. The patterns are pretty, and there are a lot of them (and mostly sweaters too!) If you love variegated yarn I think it’s definitely a good purchase. If you’ve knit the famed multidirectional scarf, you’ve already done modular knitting. I think it’s an interesting technique. This book is definitely different from any other on my shelf. I’m recommending it based on one reading, and I’m adding 3 patterns to my list (the vest, the scarf, and the ruana.)