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Book Review: The Knitters Bible – Knitted Throws and Cushions by Claire Crompton

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The Knitters Bible: Knitted Throws and Cushions by Claire Crompton is a collection of 25 pillow and blanket designs for you to knit. Knitting home décor items can be tough. Most patterns only match a very limited kind of décor – namely, shabby chic or country home. But this volume offers a wide variety of patterns – you will likely find something to fit even the most specific décor. Frankly, I was surprised at how chic many of these patterns were.

“Spring Greens” offers three different cushions in complimentary shades of green, with different details for each. One has a variety of pom-poms, one has a fun fur trim, and the third is decorated with strips of ribbon. “Terrific Trimmings” looks more like a shawl than a throw (in fact, it is even modeled as such), especially with a thick trim of gold paillettes. “Bead Me Up!” seems best suited for a child – a simple green cushion with big, chunky plastic beads knitted onto the surface. “Celtic Knot Garden” is a floor cushion with a thick, simple lattice cable design. It is shown here in a neutral tweed. “Sizzling Stripes” offers two different cushion shapes (one round, one bolster) in tonal stripes. “Colour Carnival” is an obnoxious pillow, made with a half-dozen novelty yarns in a variety of Day-Glo colors. A better use of color can be found in “Citrus Squares” – a slipcover for a square ottoman in bright colors and creating orderly rings around the ottoman. “Black and White Blocks” uses a monochrome palette to create a striking Op Art cushion.

“Breaking Waves” is modeled after the ocean, with a nubby texture in a collection of sea shades. The highlight of this project is a quarter of this throw that is comprised of extra bulky, extra soft loops, mimicking breaking waves. A matching pillow pattern is included. “Rustic Entrelac” takes a traditional entrelac pattern and kicks it up a notch with different patterns on various patches. “Taking the Floor” and “Flower Power” are two cushions that are knit using French techniques – knitting thin yarn into thick ropes of yarn, then knitting that as you traditionally would. “Denim Delight” is a throw in complementary shades of blue – with each section a complimentary pattern. “Rose Garden” throw is a wonderful rose-colored throw with a hearty lace pattern with French knit roses strewn across. A pattern for a matching pillowcase is also included.

“On The Fringes” is one of the most simple patterns, but one of my favorites. It is a simple garterstitch throw with fringed edges, but it is made up of a tremendous variety of yarns, offering texture and depth without being overwhelming. The general idea is to collect a dozen or so different balls of yarn, in complimentary colors but different weights and fibers. You choose two yarns at a time, knit with them together for a dozen or so rows, then toss them back into the mix and pick again, blindly. It’s a great stashbuster, and a technique I can’t wait to try.

Each pattern includes a color palette, and the inspiration behind each design. Many patterns also include ideas for substituting yarn, and different ways to make each pattern your own. There's definitely something for everyone here.

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