Knitting Book Reviews

Knits Three Ways
by Melissa Matthay

Soon after knitting their first sweater, knitters often encounter a common problem. They find a pattern for the “almost perfect" sweater, perfect except for some feature; perhaps it has the wrong neckline or is sleeveless or they’d rather it be in a different weight of yarn. For some knitters this leads easily into pattern alteration while others will spend years making sweaters for friends and family, dreaming of someday making that “perfect" sweater.

Melissa Matthay, owner of The Knitting Tree in Madison, Wisconsin, comes to knitters’ rescue with her book Knits Three Ways: mix and match design elements to create a custom-made sweater. After years helping customers alter “almost perfect" sweater patterns, Matthay pulled together her experiences to create a simple, helpful guide.

The first chapter of the book takes knitters through construction basics; measuring, garment shaping, and yarn selection, followed by the basic sweater patterns. Matthay has created twelve foundation patterns and shown how simple choices such as yarn, stitch pattern, neckline shaping or sleeve length can dramatically alter the finished product. Although Matthay has provided three sample alternatives for each pattern to illustrate her concepts, the possibilities are endless.

The basic patterns range from staples such as the classic pullover, hoodied and v-neck cardigan to kimonos and shrugs. Matthay offers advice on using cables and lace to shape your garment or provide the illusion of shaping. She also includes some daring design options, such as her pattern for a classic shell with an open back; which adventuresome knitters may opt to knit using a mohair/silk blend for a "barely-there" look.

Knits Three Ways makes a wonderful addition to any knitter’s reference library, providing both inspiration and design advice for many years to come.

Reviewed by Janelle Martin

Janelle is an addicted reader and a book reviewer for
Armchair Interviews . A passionate knitter in what remains of her free time, she wonders, "Why can't we knit at work?". Her blog can be viewed at http://antheras.blogspot.com

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