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Customer Review

on December 16, 2008
Socksters, this is a no-brainer. You NEED this book. Even if you haven't (yet) drunk the sock-knitting Kool-Aid, this book is worth your while for how it breaks down the world of handpainted yarns. She classifies them two ways--by contrast colors and by dye-run length--and explains how they work with different patterns and how to grapple with that bugbear of handpainted yarns--pooling.

The bad news is: part of the answer is, ya gotta swatch. Errrrgh. I know. But her advice is sound, and she offers a number of ways to cope, everything from directional knitting to knitting with two skeins to certain stitch patterns.

Each of the 21 patterns in this book is rated according to which brightness of yarn you have to work with, everything from almost solid (those luscious kettle dyes), to moderate to brightly painted (which she at one point jokingly calls 'clown barf'). That means once you identify what type of yarn you've yanked out of your stash, you can find a pattern to work.

The patterns are from well known designers (Ann Budd, Charlene Schurch, etc) and look challenging enough to be interesting, but not too intimidating. (Maybe don't knit while watching your favorite TV show, but when it's not your own personal Must See TV, you can knit away with confidence). The patterns feature everything from directional knitting (but, strangely, no mitered squares) to color stranding to a teeny bit of intarsia to lace. It presumes basic knitting knowledge and a good bit of the basics of sock construction as well, but I wouldn't put it above an 'intermediate' knitter. Beginners might hold off to get a sock or two under their needles first, but none of these patterns have complicated massive charts or anything else too intimdating.

If, like me, you've bought a bucket of handpaints but dread knitting them up into a pattern where either the stitch pattern gets lost in the color, the colors muddy up, or you're plagued with pooling, this book is just what you need. Do NOT have any socks on your needles when this book arrives.
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