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Book Review: Color Style by Pam Allen and Ann Budd

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Color Style by Pam Allen and Ann Budd is a collection of 17 knitting patterns designed to show off color work. All three major methods of color work are utilized: mosaic or slip-stitch, intarsia, and fair isle. Tutorials are offered for each method, along with tips and secrets for managing color changes; however, these patterns are a little complex, so first-timers, beware.

“Gee’s Bend Pullover” is a long-sleeved scoop neck with three wide columns of asymmetrical stripes. It sounds weird, but it actually works – though I am not crazy about the red-brown-green color combo.

“Holi Mitts” are fingerless gloves that use a simple slip-stitch pattern and three different colored yarns to create a pattern that looks far more complicated than it actually is. “Mohair Fair Isle” combines Turkish and Egyptian motifs into a modern-shaped pullover (one with a long, fitted shape and belled ¾ length sleeves), fuzzy mohair and a girly color palette to create a unique garment that is eye-catching. All the different elements really work together. “Honeycomb Turtleneck” is the cover look – a solid sweater that uses a slip-stitch honeycomb pattern across the cuffs, yoke, and shoulders.

“Hooded Scarf” combines a bold palette – bright pink, orange, burgundy, navy, lime, burgundy, magenta – with a bold pattern that makes it too busy. Vertically striped edges, a lattice-patterned center, bold embroidered flowers over the lattice pattern, and fringed edges are just too much. The colors sound riotous, but they are actually lovely together. Take out the embroidered flowers, and it works much better. I might even make the lattice center a solid color and move the pattern to its own scarf.

“Mosaic Yoke Jacket” is a cute jacket that hits at the hip. The all-over fair isle pattern is done with silver-grey, gold, and bronze yarns on a black background, making the jacket itself resemble jewelry. “Peace and Love Gloves” are a monochromatic affair done in a traditional houndstooth pattern. “Peace” is written on one cuff; “Love” is on the other. Color comes in with a single, simple flower stitched onto one glove.

“Retro Andean Pullover” combines rainbow stripes and occasional rows of geometric patterns to create a sweater that reminds me of something I wore as a kid. “Argyle Vest” offers an argyle pattern across the chest, but puts it on an unflattering, boxy sweater vest.

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