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45 Fine & Fanciful Hats to Knit: Berets, Toques, Cones, Stars, Pentagons, and More Hardcover – October 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 111 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Books; 1st edition (October 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579900003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579900007
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 8.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anna Zilboorg is the kind of artist and craftswoman who comes along only rarely. Her previous book, Fancy Feet, integrated a unique color creativity with traditional fiber folk traditions of Turkey. In 45 Fine and Fanciful Hats to Knit, she presents nine basic hat shapes, from a fairly standard (but colorfully interpreted) beret to amazing geometric structures such as an onion dome and a six-pointed star (knitted in two layers). Enjoy breaking the constraints of knitting "normal" hats and set yourself free. For those who really want to follow directions, Zilboorg's charts are unusually clear and her directions are brief and uncomplicated. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Zilboorg's earlier Fancy Feet: Knitting Patterns of Turkey (Lark, 1994) was notable for its lack of "fluff"?just gorgeous patterns, simply presented. Now Zilborg uses the same approach with knitted hats. All manner of exotic, richly patterned woolen caps are included, among them toques, berets, Egyptian hats, and onion domes. Basic instructions for each type of hat; full-color, one-page photographs; and charts for each design variation fill the book. Highly recommended for those knitting collections catering to the experienced knitter.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Then I bought this book and made a couple of hats.
Peggy Vincent
Zilboorg doesn't even tell us what brand, weight, or style she uses for her models, nor how many skeins she used for a given model.
R. Kelly Wagner
I love these designs...very creative and fun to knit.
S. Pirkle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Lilinah on February 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you like knitting in the round or making small portable projects, this is an excellent book. I'm a beginning knitter - I have only been knitting 6 months and am completely self-taught - and I've made several hats from this book, adapting head bands from one, body patterns from another, and shapes from a third, in my own colors. While there may be nine basic shapes, the permutations are much greater than the 45 in the title.
The charts are clear and helpful (I gather there are minor problems with some, but I haven't had any trouble deciphering them). Zilboorg gives clear directions for various types of beginnings and finishings. As a neophyte, I found them easy to follow.
Each hat took a couple evenings and was quite enjoyable to do. The shapes and colors are uplifting and lots of fun to knit and to wear. I've been recommmending this book to people who have admired my knitting. And wearing one of these hats is a great way to brighten your day and keep you head warm at the same time.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By M. Smith on December 22, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The hat ideas are wonderful. Too bad there are so many errors in the charts. I contacted Lark books for a copy of their errata (a correction sheet for the errors in this book). What I received was a very poor photocopy of the corrected charts. The corrected charts were so small, and the photocopy was so many generations from the original, that I could absolutely not read it. I counted twenty charts from the book that have corrections! I am an experienced knitter, but I have a hard time getting into a new knitting project, knowing that the charts are wrong. I contacted Lark books repeatedly to get a cleaner, more legible copy of the errata. So far, I have received nothing. I'm very disappointed. Further, the gauge she suggests is too small. More specific instructions with regards to yarns and needle sizes would have been very helpful.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Kelly Wagner on November 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
These are indeed fine and fanciful hats, but I sure couldn't manage to knit one from the given "patterns" that came out anything like the pictures in the book. Perhaps most annoying to me was the complete lack of gauge indications, which the author dismisses in one paragraph in the "General Information" with a blithe "Fortunately, exact fit is not necessary in a knitted hat." Ha! What few mentions she does give of gauge in the general instructions are inconsistent - in one paragraph, she says that most of the hats are made with worsted weight wool, yet a couple of paragraphs later, she says that for a particularly large head, a hat can be made of worsted weight instead of DK. And it's not as though "worsted weight" gives you enough indication anyway, as anyone who has tried to compare gauge on mass-market acrylic vs. Wool-Ease vs. expensive alpaca knows.

As far as how much yarn to buy for each hat - well, Zilboorg tells us we'll need 2 yards of each color per 2-color round. So, I guess, we are supposed to count the exact number of rounds in the pattern ourselves, noting which colors are in which rounds, then multiply that by 2 yards per color, and then divide that into the number of yards for the brand of yarn we select. Zilboorg doesn't even tell us what brand, weight, or style she uses for her models, nor how many skeins she used for a given model. Would it have been such a bother for her to have put a paragraph with each one that said something like "For the model, I used Brand X Shetland, one skein each of the following seven colors..." ? That little bit of information alone would help most of us a great deal.

In short: buy it for the pretty pictures, if you like, and if you collect fair isle charts, you may want to buy it for those, but don't expect any actual patterns with which to knit hats. A good book of patterns is like a conversation; this one is a monologue by an attractive but totally flaky stranger on a street corner.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I have been knitting hats all summer to hone my skills, waiting for the day that Anna Zilboorg's new book was published. Any book that promises "Berets, Toques, Cones, Stars, Pentagons and more..." is my kind of book!

After having read through the book several times, I started an Egyptian Hat and ran into the one thing that I found frustrating. The numbers don't always fit. In this particular case, the number of stitches to cast on and the first chart to knit do not match up. It turns out that this is not a particularly overwhelming problem. Zilboorg's approach is so simple and logical that I quickly figured out what was meant to happen and went on to produce a fairly respectible version of that hat pictured in her book. Any minor problems are more than made up for by the striking pictures of hats that seem to be inspired by Zilboorg's beloved Turkish socks with attitude supplied by Dr. Suess.

Like her earlier work, Fancy Feet, this book emphasises the basics and avoids esoteric techniques. While some of these hats would seem to be a bit extreme for an average office worker, there is a sense of fun, style and color that draws you in. This book was well worth the price and will keep me busy working on Christmas presents for everyone on my list.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
I kept my copy, because the hats are prettty to look at and someday I might try one (maybe not now that I've read about the errors here on Amazon) but I can understand why someone would be frustrated enough to return this. You don't buy a cookbook without recipes. The point of having patterns/recipes is so that you can replicate something you like. It is not a crime, really, no matter what people who read the Zimmerman books might say.
Not everybody likes charts. I am sorry, but it's the truth. It would not kill these authors to write things out, at least ONCE and please do not whine that it would add to the cost of the book. It doesn't have to, and hey, we have computers now, it's not like you're scribing these books on parchment with a quill pen by candlelight.
There, now that that's out of my system, I would still say to buy the book (though it is somewhat overpriced considering you get such little guidance and that there really are only 9 hats with variations), but it is NOT for beginners, and NOT for those who have better things to do than figure out badly written charts/instructions, even if they DO know how.
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