Customer Reviews: The Best of Knitscene: A Collection of Simple, Stylish, and Spirited
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on January 20, 2012
I was SO excited to receive this book when it came - I was going to knit the Heather Hoodie Vest for my 12 year old daughter; the patterns looked fairly simple and moderately easy to knit; quite a few are items of clothing that I would actually make and wear... ALAS, i found, after trying it multiple times and not being able to get beyond two rows past the bottom ribbing, that the instructions for the pattern were completely incorrect. Even the 'errata' that was posted on the Interweave site was inadequate, as even the instructions for the cable pattern symbols were wrong as well. I've now had to go on to purchase that pattern separately from another website (and spent another $5.50). I know, the amount is not much to cry over but it's the principle of the thing! Fact checkers, PLEASE do your work properly.

The book is very well photographed and pleasing to leaf through, but it would have gotten a higher rating had this not occurred. Kinda disappointing and frustrating. I have not yet tried any other patterns so I don't know if they have errors as well, but I really felt compelled to write this review to save someone else from the frustration I experienced.
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on March 17, 2012
Feeling thoroughly frustrated and annoyed with this book. I bought it for the Heather Hoodie Vest pattern but having spent about 5 hours today trying to execute the first 22 rows of the cable, I'm going to rip it out and look for something else to knit with my bulky yarn.
There are errata on the publisher's website, but these refer to only one error - it's in the set-up row. The good folks on Ravelry helped me identify more errors in the chart key: one of the 'hold in FRONT' directions should actually read 'hold in BACK', and k3 or p3 should read k2 or p2 respectively throughout the chart.
I learned also from Ravelry that the original magazine pattern or the pdf you can buy from the site only contains the first, set-up row error, but not the chart errors, so possibly that could work out a better deal.
I'm an experienced knitter but even having identified all these errors and written in my corrections, I couldn't get the cables to look like the ones in the pictures.
Maybe other patterns in the book will work out okay and I'll end up getting some sort of value out of it, but there's no excuse for the sloppiness of this particular pattern. Save your money.
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The Best of Knitscene is dedicated to the best patterns in the last five years of this knitting magazine. There is a short section on trends, one on fair isle and one on yarn weights. The rest of the book is primarily dedicated to patterns. The patterns appear to be carefully selected and are lovely. The instructions appear easy to follow and I can't wait to dig in and start knitting some of these patterns right away.

My favorites abound. The Central Park Hoodie is a cardigan in a nice rose color with, of course, a hood, knit with a worsted weight yarn. To assist the knitter with this pattern, there is an article on cables with drawings and directions that are very helpful. I love the Geodesic Design Sweater, knit in a loden green in lace weight yarn. "This light-as-air jacket, with its military-inspired bodice tucks, was worked up in the yarn du jour at the time - Malabrigo Lace. It does require some advanced skills, but it's so appealing that knitters of every stripe have taken a go at it, with fine results." The Ocsilloscope Shawl is actually a shawlette. It is knit in a worsted weight in a rich blue. The Freshman Cable Socks are a twist on the basic ribbed sock. It 'features an inventive cable design that spirals around the leg and foot. The visually spare design allows for use of handpainted and variegated yarns." The Kenobi Jacket is utilitarian and lovely. 'Varying texture patterns, asymmetry, and clean edges make a great casual jacket.' This is one of the patterns I'd like to get started on first. The Phiaro Scarf is a delight to the eyes. 'A wide scarf earns its luxurious drape- and wrapability - from columns of dropped stitches. The openwork ladders lend fluidity and interest to an otherwise simple stockinette project. Braided fringe finishes the luxe look.' I was drawn right away to the Emily Shawl. 'This sideways-knit shawlette is inlaid with a sweet leaf motif. Pointed edges and hand-painted yarn make for delicate appeal, while the knitting itself is not so intricate.'

Throughout the book are articles about different designers, skills, and spotlighted items. I find this book intriguing with its varied patterns and wonderful selection. I know I'll be knitting from it and referring to it as a resource.
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on August 29, 2012
Too bad- this book has left me so disappointed in Interweave Knits for publishing so many errors in patterns that have been already published in their magazine! The book is beautiful and the projects gorgeous. The first pattern I knit was the Heather Hoodie Vest and it frustrated me so much, I most likely won't attempt anything else. It wouldn't have been difficult if the pattern was correct.
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on February 9, 2013
You'll love this collection. Full disclosure: I love Knitscene. It consistently features knitting projects that I want to wear or give. It focuses on knits with simple style, that rely on great lines and fit rather than gimmicky details. This collection offers patterns for knitwear that highlight the magazine's strengths, together with excellent knitting tips and techniques. An advanced knitter will appreciate the handsome patterns, while a less-experienced knitter will find the clear instructions and tutorials a big encouragement to start (and finish!) a project that might have seemed too much to try.

I can't say enough in praise of the photography, particularly. Each project includes lots of photos from all angles, so you can see both the overall lines of the item and the details of assembly and finishing. And there are schematics, which make a knitter's life so much easier!
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on December 30, 2011
Excellent book for those looking to knit something with style but close enough to classic that the end product won't be a complete waste of time (can you tell I'm not a fast knitter?) I have all the Knitscene CD's offered by Interweave, but sometimes a book is the only way to go.
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on March 29, 2013
I bought this gift for my wife and she loved it. She is on her second project and wants more books.... what have I done.
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on October 14, 2012
One of the best pattern books I have ever found. Love the variety of patterns. And of course, my all time favorite, the CPH is in there! Well written and understandable patterns. These guys are the pros.
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on November 28, 2011
I had already knit the CPH, so I had high hopes for the others. As soon as my grandson-to-be has a wardrobe of handknits, there are several I'm hoping to cast on for myself.
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on November 10, 2015
Great combination of stories of designs and tools for new knitters to experienced knitters. Good selection of contemporary projects makes is a book most anyone could find a fun project to start!
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