Here’s the Skinny on ‘Knit So Fine’ (Review)


[amazon_link id="1596680520" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]Knit So Fine[/amazon_link]I don’t have the prejudice against fine yarns that some knitters have, so I dove into Knit So Fine by Lisa R Myers, Laura Grutzeck and Carol Sulcoski a natural from the get-go. And I really like this book. It’s not the fine piece of art Vampire Knits or French Girl Knits is, but it is full of really nice patterns that I can see myself both knitting and wearing.

Cover of "French Girl Knits: Innovative T...

Cover via Amazon

The first quarter of the book or so is devoted to how (and why) to work with fine yarns. The authors talk about special considerations to keep in mind such as tangling and snagging, and use a fashion doll to illustrate the difference in texture between fine yarn and more bulky yarn.

wrap dress

After the first quarter, the rest of the book is patterns, and what lovely patterns they are! There is an actual, wearable knit wrap dress, and a ribbed knit skirt (you know as well as I do that most of the knit dresses out there for home knitters are actually unwearable, even with ‘foundation garments’).

There are berets, and stoles, and the loveliest pair of leg warmers (wearable in the office!) I have ever seen, and a very pretty pair of fingerless elbow gloves and (takes deep breath).

Anyhow, yes, there are lots of pretty patterns. Of course, Knit So Fine has down sides, like every book out there. It doesn’t have the nifty ‘save your place’ flaps that so many new knit books these days have, and compared to some of the bindings I’ve seen, this one is less elegant and perhaps a bit less sturdy.

kimono

In terms of the diversity of models and patterns, Interweave got it (mostly) right on the models, but wrong on the patterns. The cover models ranged from blonde and ginger with freckles to Asian to Hispanic to Black, and women with a range of facial features that seem to embrace rather than reject their ethnicities. Very nice. Well done.

However (there’s always a however), all of the models appear to be under thirty, and not one has any body features even remotely resembling ‘curves’. If any of the models are above a size six, I’d be surprised.

Which brings me to the pattern fail I found. Not a single pattern in the book goes above a size 46′ chest (or hip, in the case of the skirt). C’mon. You don’t need to be skinny to appreciate skinny yarns. It’s frustrating especially since several of the patterns would look wonderful on really curvy women. The kimono and the asymmetrical cardigan would look especially good on large women with lush curves.

Also, the names of the patterns are boring. They aren’t even capitalized, merely barely descriptive. Mohair t-neck? Why not ‘Fuzzy Favorite’? Lattice lace pullover (which is lovely, btw) why not ‘A Tiskit a Taskit’? The ribby vest using variagated sock yarn? Why not ‘Sunrise Vest for Mondays’?

traveling stitch legwarmers

If you are one of those weird people like me, however, that actually likes or even prefers to work with skinny yarns, Knit So Fine is a really great book. Those gorgeous legwarmers (traveling stitch legwarmers – should have been named ‘The Show Must Go On’) are enough in and of themselves. And several of the sweaters are of the ‘I would wear this to pieces if I owned it’ sort.

Not all of the patterns ‘take forever’, either. Between lacework, doubled yarns, and simple stitches, several of the patterns overcome the biggest hurdle to knitting with skinny yarns by being quick to knit. If you’re likely to find yourself fondling the skinny yarns at your LYS on a regular basis, this is a great book for your library.

small print: While I often recommend things just because I like them (I’m nice that way) please assume for FTC purposes that any endorsement is compensated — and have a truly beautiful, happy day!

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About Maureen O'Danu

Maureen O'Danu is the webmistress of Am I the Only One Dancing? where there is a new discussion every day on any one of dozens of topics and ideas, as well as reviews, geekery, family, fun, and enough politics to season the pot.
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