Hi folks. I haven’t actually dropped off the face of the Earth. I have finally written another book review for the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program Level II, so here it is:
Wow. This book is so much more than a pattern book. In fact, there are only seven patterns. Ysolda Teague takes us through a bit of a tailoring and design course for knitters before getting down to the patterns themselves. Her conversational style and the use of handwritten notes in the figures adds to the sense that she is giving you personal advice. Topics range from basics like yarn weights and swatching to measurements and ease to three options for working short rows. A lot of time is spent on how to personalize fit, so that you end up with a sweater you love and want to live in for days at a time.
Ysolda has done something here that has seldom been seen: each pattern is shown on a slim person (Ysolda herself) and a plus-size model (Amanda Jarvis of Lorna’s Laces). Where design modifications have been made, they are pointed out in detail. Each pattern includes extensive notes on the choices Ysolda made in designing the pattern, as well as her design inspiration. I’m not sure I have ever seen a pattern come in 16 sizes before, unless it was made for both children and adults! Five of these patterns are cardigans, but the shaping involved means that the solution to larger sizes is not simply “leave the bottom half unbuttoned” (although this is offered as an option).
Ysolda uses a variety of yarns, and no one manufacturer seems to be favored. Yarn choice is discussed as far as getting a fabric that works well for that pattern.
To add to the wonderful value of this book, each hard copy comes with a code that enables you to download a PDF copy, so you can print out and mark up the patterns and keep your book tidy.
The “Cria” cardigan is going high up in my Ravelry queue, and the “Laika” lace cardigan is tempting as well, designed as a go-to layering option meant to replace a small-gauge store-bought one.
This book is for knitters who want to learn how to modify or design patterns to create sweaters that will fit and flatter. No quick fixes: get out your tape measure and your calculator, and you won’t regret it.