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Book Review: Beautiful Embroidered and Embellished Knits by Jane Davis

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Beautiful Embroidered and Embellished Knits by Jane Davis takes basic hats, scarves, bags, and sweaters and shows you simple techniques to dress them up into something special. This book doesn’t just give you techniques to add some beads or some felted flowers; it actually takes you through an entire pattern.

“Big Yarn Beaded Hats” gives you a simple hat pattern with chunky yarn, and two different options to adding beads to it. Similarly, the “Woodland Scarf” takes a basic stockinette scarf and shows how to dress it up just by adding some beading (in this case, seed beads and leaf charms arranged to resemble branches).

“Black Swirls Wrap” shows you how to add a delicate black swirl pattern to a turquoise scarf, without doing intarsia. It also gives a technique to add contrasting fringe. “Celtic Diamonds Scarf” uses the same embroidery technique to create an intricate diamond pattern reminiscent of classic argyle.

Take the embroidery up another notch with the “Meandering Vine Shawl”, which shows how to create flowering vines using a combination of chain stitch, straight stitch, lazy daisies, fly stitch, satin stitch, and back stitch. “Little Black Purse” gives an elegant evening option, accented with only a hint of beading (don’t be fooled by the photos – the purse looks purple, but it’s not).

“Posy Tote” offers a large market tote with dainty I-cord flowers. “Crazy Quilt Stripe Bag” is a striped tote that uses simple, decorative stitching to create a whole new look. “Purple Suede Sweater” is a basic pullover that uses glittery novelty yarn and Swiss darning to create squiggles down the front.

“Norwegian Ski Sweater” shows you how to create a double-stitch snowflake motif without juggling multiple strands of yarn with a fair isle technique. “Cowlneck Sweater” has an elegant neckline and a surprising flourish – delicate swirl chain stitching at the cuff of either sleeve.

Many of these techniques and motifs can easily be transferred to any project. Remember that super-basic scarf that was your first project? Choose some embroidery and beading technique from this book and turn it from an exercise to a fashion statement.

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