Knitting Book Reviews

Power Cables
by Lily Chin

Lily Chin is a god.

Seriously, there is a reason this woman has such a reputation for being an innovative thinker and knitter, and she proves it yet again with this remarkable book.

She says in the introduction: “This book explores the possibilities of the knitted cable’s form and function. Although cables of all kinds will be discussed, special attention will be given to three areas: my system for charting cables of all kinds 9both regular and reversible); reversible cables; and integrating cables into a design, not just applying them."

Yes, you read that correctly. Her own form of charting. And, yes, reversible cables. So your scarves and afghans aren’t eternally doomed to forever have a bad side to show to the world.

She starts, though, with a look at cables in general–what makes a cable a cable? Why do they work? Why do some look just fine on the back and others look like a mess? But then she starts examining the ways to make a cable work from both sides, and it’s then when her genius really starts to show. Would you have thought to make the cables ribbled? No, and I didn’t either.

You know how mind-blowing Cat Bordhi’s “New Pathways for Sock Knitters" book was? How it turned almost everything you knew about socks on its ear? This is that kind of book. It makes you think about cables in a way you haven’t thought about them before. Usually you just think about how to cross, left-right, front-back, how many stitches, and that’s it. You just DO it. Lily Chin stopped to think about why, and when she turned it around to look at the back, she opened up a whole new world.

The entire book is split into sections according to different types of cables, with analysis, stitch patterns, and actual, complete knitting patterns for bags and sweaters and such, ready for your needles. It’s amazing. It’s as revolutionary as a book about knitting cables can be.

Reviewed by Deb Boyken

Deb has been knitting since 1987 and has accumulated quite a collection of knitting books over the years. Her website, Knitting Scholar, can be found at
http://knittingscholar.com .