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Book Review: A Trio of Knitting Books

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Knit One Below by Elise Duvekot features over 20 patterns, all designed around one stitch: knit one below. An oft-overlooked technique, it is an easy way to add intriguing color combos, stripes, and intricate patterns. You can create a ribbed-look without purling; you can create a variety of patterns and textures. This book gives complete and thorough directions for k1b, how to work standard techniques like selvedge stitch, intarsia, and handling yarn ends while using k1b, even the best patterns for felting. The patterns are not particularly innovative. Most are basic pieces with no shaping: pullovers, cardigans, jackets, and vests for both men and women. The patterns are most notable for their intricate color patterns that look more complicated than they actually are.

Toe-Up Techniques for Hand-Knit Socks by Janet Rehfeldt is a small volume that gives advice on every aspect of knitting toe-up socks. Every aspect is covered in-depth: casting on, short rows, toe shaping, heel gussets, and more. Toe-ups are unique because you can try them on as you go to make sure they are the right size. A handful of sock patterns are included (as many as you can count on your toes), and are unremarkable; they are there to walk you through the process of knitting toe-up.

Ocean Breezes: Knitted Scarves Inspired by the Sea by Sheryl Thies is a collection of 25 very knittable, very wearable scarves. “Adriatic Sea” creates undulating ribs that mimic ocean waves. “Cockleshell Lace” is a wispy scarf with a scalloped shell shape. “Crest O’ The Wave” shawl has a simple triangle-shaped lace pattern in the Shetland tradition, and trimmed with contrasting ribbon. “Fish Net” is knit to resemble its namesake, but softer and less fishy. “Fisherman’s Rib” is a simple, dense ribbed pattern embellished with loopy drop-stitches along the edges. “Goldfish Tails” is lacy fishtail pattern in a sunny color and edged in bobbles. “Kelp Forest” looks like seaweed-shaped cables, without having to actually cable. “Ocean Currents” has a unique swirling pattern that reminds me of a mermaid’s tail. “Sea Foam” is a light, barely there undulating yarn-over pattern.

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