by Stefanie Japel
This author is one whose wok I have admired for years! She had one of the first knitting blogs (at Glampyre) I ever started reading having found her through her gorgeous leg warmer pattern in the Spring 2003 issue of Knitty. So I was really excited when I heard she was coming out with a book.
I think it is well known that Stefanie is all about fit and flattering the body you have! This is a design philosophy that I wish everyone shared. She also focuses on sweaters knit in the round from the top down. This simple construction allows more time for the details and a focus on shape. Instruction and guidelines are given for shaping that can be incorporated at the yoke, bust, waist, hips or sleeves. This book is all about knitting to your measurements and Stefanie encourages altering the patterns at any point to fit you.
This book has 25 designs. The projects are divided into 4 sections, "Tubes, Tanks and Tees", "Shrugs, Cardigans and Wraps", "Sweaters, Vests and Coats" and finally "Dress-Up Clothes".
The patterns are written to help make changes, being broken up into the different sections of a sweater. She also has a wide range of sizes with most written for at least 5 sizes. Schematics are included and each pattern shows the definitions of the abbreviations. Very useful when you copy a pattern to use on the road. My only minor quibble with the projects is that a lot seem to use the same design element (ribs on bottom) and are pretty much the same design with some changes. There's nothing wrong with that, I just would have hoped for a bit more variety from this exceptional designer.
I love the layout. It's fresh and modern. It also has exceptional photos showing details. I think Stefanie had a lot of input into this book from the lack of things I could find wrong with it! Yarns are basic but nice in a decent range.
The projects are all the type of thing I would wear - nothing garish or fugly here. Everything is looks elegant (the models help). There is a dress that I absolutely love. I just wish my big child bearing hips didn't prevent me from wearing such a thing. Instead I think the simple v-neck is more my speed.
I am definitely adding this book to my library soon and have added a few of the projects to my queue!
Reviewed by Allison Linehan
Allison's blog, Neophyte Knitter, can be found at http://gumdrop.typepad.com