>> Thursday, July 13, 2006
Inspired cable knits: 20 creative designs for making sweaters and accessories is a new cable book by Fiona Ellis. I was offered a free copy in exchange for a review by Jen at toronto craft alert and not being one to turn down free crafts books I jumped at the opportunity!
Overall this book is good for an experienced cable knitter and will offer up some fresh patterns. The inspiration for the cable stitches is nature, and the patterns often weave about in a fashion reminiscent of tree roots.
This book would also work well for a knitter who is interested in learning how to cable knit, since the book includes general cable knitting instructions and a glossary of abbreviations. Instructions for each stitch are both written out and presented visually so you can use whichever format is easiest for you.
After trying one of the patterns and getting quite vexed I recommend you have a sheet of paper handy to jot reminders down or it's easy to get lost. The instructions in this book are quite clear, it's just that most cable stitches have lots of details and you have to be careful when you start out. Once you've done a couple of repeats it gets much easier.
The book includes sweater patterns for men and women with one child and one baby sweater (pictured below). It wasn't obvious that the baby sweater was for a baby, until I looked it up in the table of contents. The title at the top of the pattern was only "ripples in time" and it didn't indicate what the pattern was for aside from the accompanying photograph. Each pattern description is more focused on the inspiration for the pattern, with personal stories and suggestions for meditative thoughts while knitting. While the book has mostly sweater patterns (as well as other kinds of tops) there are also some patterns for smaller projects, but not many. There are patterns for a whimsical yoga mat bag that has a cable pattern of a figure doing the tree pose, a wrap, a pillow and this hat and scarf set:
For a fairly experienced knitter it's possible to also use the cable stitch patterns to design your own items. I made the following swatch using the instructions for the cable stitch for the baby sweater pattern. I love this particular stitch, it reminds me of some of the great "onion" designs I've been seeing in stores and elsewhere lately.
Since I don't really want to take on a sweater just now, I'm tempted to use the stitch to make a bag. I was inspired by this gorgeous orange cable knit bag at hide and seek. So I might do mine with the "ripples in time" stitch.
I definitely recommend this book if you are interested in learning cable knitting, particularly if you'd like to make a cable knit sweater, and overall I give it 3 1/2 wools. And yes, I am a complete nerd and I designed and drew this little icon just for my first book review. Thanks for reading it!