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Book Review: Sensual Knits, Edited by Yahaira Ferreira

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I normally don’t buy knitting books. I love to knit, but find most knitting books not to be worthwhile. The patterns are often old-fashioned, boring, or just plain ugly. If there are any cute patterns worth knitting, there usually aren’t enough per volume to make it worth the cover price.

Sensual Knits is different. Nearly every one of the 25 patterns is something I want to take the time to knit — and wear. The pieces in Sensual Knits are feminine, classic, and flattering. No bulky grandma knits here. All of the patterns are shown with luxury yarns: cashmere, merino, alpaca, mohair, angora, and silk. These yarns are quite a bit pricier than standard wool, acrylic, or blends, but they are well worth it for better fit, comfort, drape, and longevity.

My favorite pattern in this book is Transparency, a sheer, lightweight sweater which uses a mohair/silk blend. The silhouette is sleek and incorporates simple shaping to skim your curves. It also looks like a good first sweater for me to knit, as there is virtually no seaming, and no complex stitch patterns.

Other patterns I look forward to knitting: the McQueen sweater, based on an Alexander McQueen runway knit with a hugely exaggerated cowl neck; the Sayuri sweater, a longer sweater with a nipped waist and slightly belled sleeves; the Snezi oversized shrug, a simple and cozy piece that can go from the office to dinner to curled up on the couch; and the Vixen camisole, a drop-stitch top with a punk rock feel.

This book is definitely not for beginners. I would consider myself an advanced beginner, ready to move into moderate knitting (like simple sweaters and socks). I feel as though this book can grow with me, with patterns to ease me into moderate knitting and more advanced patterns for when I am ready. For example, I love the Balloon Sleeved Jacket on the cover, but the pattern is overwhelming to me. Likewise for the Seeded Cables Cardigan (I am not yet ready for cables) or the Arris dress, with cabling and beaded details.

Sensual Knits is fully indexed, and includes a list of yarn suppliers, good knitting books, instructions for more difficult stitches, a guide to luxury fibers, and more. The patterns are clearly written, with pattern notes and schematics for each piece. The pictures are clear and detailed, but I would like a full-length back shot to accompany the full-length front photos and detailed close-ups. Sensual Knits is the perfect book for the new generation of 20-something knitters. Nearly every garment is a winner. I can’t wait to get my first project going!

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