Sunday, July 6, 2014

{Knitting Book Review} New American Knits by Amy Christoffers

Generally, I try not to buy too many knitting books.  They're all so pretty and tempting but truly, how many patterns are you really going to knit out of any one book?  But anyway, at a moment of weakness (which I won't get in to), I purchased "New American Knits" by Amy Christoffers.

I've only had the book for a couple of weeks, but it features some really great patterns .  I particularly like the Rockwell Hat (which would be great for those random skeins of dk yarn I have in my stash), the Moses Hoodie (which I love but I'm afraid of putting in zippers), the Nevelson Lace Pullover (gorgeous!), and the Benton Cardigan (this has my name written all over it).

In the midst of all these beautiful patterns, I found a real winner - the Tanner Cowl - and immediately cast on.  I love the intricate details and lace in this design and how it folds in the photo in the book.  The pattern calls for worsted weight, but I had some Knit Picks Swish DK in my stash in this sweet Sugar Plum color (love!).  I chose to use a size #7 needle to use with my smaller gauge yarn.  I assume the overall size of my cowl will also be smaller, but I think it will still be large enough to wrap around my neck twice.  I might need to give it an aggressive block to make this happen.

The pattern uses pretty basic stitches, but does require a fair bit of attention and concentration.  I found that putting stitch markers between each 28 st repeat really helped, though you have to move them on certain rows (as instructed in the directions).  Still I've missed a couple of yarnovers while not paying enough attention, and had to make them up in the next row.  Luckily, I think the overall pattern is pretty forgiving, and no one will notice a missed eyelet here and there.

One note:  I *think* there is a mistake in the chart on row 39.  I think the first st should be another "move the beginning of the round marker, slip stitch, k2tog, pass slipped st over" thingy, otherwise you'll have too many stitches.

I'm planning to shorten my cowl width-wise, and only follow the chart to row 48.  My cowl design will not be symmetrical, but no one will notice.  And in my warm weather climate, I don't need a cowl that is 10 inches or so wide.

All in all, I love how my Tanner Cowl is coming out and I'm eyeing my next project from this book!

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