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Book Review: Luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders by Judith Durant and Special Little Knits From Just One Skein by Cheryl Potter

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I love knitting patterns that only require one skein of yarn. Every knitter has a stray ball or two in their stash, either from a big sale or leftover from a sweater. Pattern collections requiring a single skein of yarn are a huge hit because of this.

Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant is the third book in this series. It contains 101 patterns, all requiring one skein of yarn or less. I love that this book features a gallery of all projects in the front, organized by yarn weight. If you have a leftover skein of lace-weight yarn, you can just flip through the pages of lace-weight projects at the front without having to dig through the book. The projects in this volume are all created around luxury fibers like silk, cashmere, alpaca, angora, and merino.

My favorite patterns include “Starfish of Yak,” a stuffed starfish toy made of yak yarn; “Falling Leaves Mohair-Silk Scarf,” a delicate lace scarf with shibori-like texture; “Linen Bag,” a delicate wristlet purse in which the long wrist strap passes through the short one to close it; “Downtown Lamb’s Wool Clutch,” a soft, gathered clutch; and the “Sueno Spa Eye Mask,” delicate eye pillows that are much more dainty than the gel masks.

Another new one-skein-only book is Special Little Knits From Just One Skein by Cheryl Potter. Many of these projects feel uninspired, and the “just one skein” part of the title is a bit of a misnomer. They all require just one skein, but many of those single skeins are 1,200 to 1,400 yards long or more. That is far more than a standard skein of yarn, which averages 200 to 400 yards.

“Cascade Cover-Up” is a casual open-lace shell made to wear over a bathing suit. “Glitter Alpaca Scarves” offers two simple lace patterns for different scarves. “Potluck Supersocks” is a simple, basic sock pattern using “potluck” or leftover hand painted yarn. “Figure Eight Fantasy Shawl” is really cool, but requires 2,400 yards (8 oz) of lace weight yarn. Large, lacy figure eights are knitted in the center, with a wavy lace pattern emanating out.

“Vineyard Scarf” is a great pattern, though not necessarily new. It is a traditional drop-stitch scarf, but with extra-long drops and extra-long fringe. “Sow’s Ear Market Bag” is a fairly good match – a large satchel bag with a few sections of dropped stitches. “Tuxedo Scarf” is an odd little number – a waist length scarf that buttons down the front like the pleats on a tuxedo shirt.

If you are only going to buy one book, I would recommend Luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders. You get more patterns, more diversity, and the book costs ten dollars less than Special Little Knits.

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