Thursday, January 8, 2015

Big, beautiful, bliss

As many of you know, the pre-holiday crunch often compels knitters to turn out gifts quickly, and this urgency is usually satisfied by chunky yarn and big needles. Serendipitously, my recent interest in unusual, non-ribbed cuffs led me to a mitten design with a basket-weave cable cuff that also happened to be knitted on size 11 needles.

I was pleased to find a pattern that worked up so quickly, and had an unconventional cuff.  Within a couple of days I'd made two pairs. Now that New England's enduring bitter cold temps, I'm happy to say that this pair, done in some stashed Lamb's Pride Bulky, is super warm and gives me an aesthetic frisson every time I consider the cuffs. More about cuffs in a future post; for now I'm following the big yarn theme, and will draw your attention to a nifty new book, Chunky Knits, compiled by Ashley Little. (Lark Crafts, 2014).

I'd been hoping to review the book before the holidays--for precisely the reasons I've mentioned above--but now that that boat has left the harbor I'll talk about why knitting fat yarn, apart from the speed, is so gratifying, and how this book gives you some great reasons to start 2015 in chunky mode.

Chunky Knits' clothing designs are really good, so you can treat yourself to some perfect winter weekend knitting that will produce wearables in a trice. The designs below--the Melegrana capelet and cap--are intricate but not overwhelmingly complex on manageably sized needles (8 and 10), and convey the same kind of rich texture more customary in finely-detailed shawls and scarves.

What's more unusual are the many patterns the book offers for home décor projects. There are designs for lampshades, an ottoman, a throw pillow, and a throw. I liked them all very much. Less appealing to me are patterns for knitted jewelry and mason jar sweaters, but those should appeal to the Etsy set. Anyway, you can order the book here if your LYS doesn't have it in stock, or you can enter a contest on this blog to win a free copy, which the publisher has generously made available. Just write a comment before midnight, Monday January 12 and let me know why you want the book. The knitter who won the contest for 60 Quick Luxury Knits was extremely pleased by the prize, made a beautiful hat from one of that book's patterns, and sent me a photo of it. I assure you, these little giveaways are real and delightful!

Tulip Lace Hat, knitted by Carol O. in northern California.

1 comment:

  1. I would love to win this book because I learned the basics of knitting last year, I took to it quickly and fell in love! This year I want to learn some new techniques and patterns, and I LOVE chunky knits...this would be perfect!