Tuesday, March 31, 2009

REVIEW: Iris Schreier's Reversible Knits

Iris Schreier's Reversible Knits: Creative Techniques for Knitting Both Sides Right
by Iris Schreier
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Lark Books (April 7, 2009)

ReversibleKnits

Are you sick of picking up new knitting books, only to realize there's really nothing new or exciting in them? Are you interested in trying new techniques, but don't want completely off-the-wall projects that would only suit your pre-teen niece? Do you want to create hand-knits that look amazing on both sides? Iris Schreier's Reversible Knits: Creative Techniques for Knitting Both Sides Right is for you!

I hate to gush, but I am already in love with this book - both for projects and techniques! I've been wanting to get my needles clicking with some "reversible" knitting for awhile now, and even took a double knitting class in August, 2007 (for those of you snooping my Ravelry projects, you'll see that I have still not completed that project). In my previous search for patterns and technique books, there really wasn't much excitement to be found. Now, thanks to Iris Schreier, we have an entire book devoted to six different techniques in reversible knitting!

Reversible Knits features 24 beauteous projects, as well as dozens of tips and techniques, making it a fantastic reference book for your knitting library. The photography throughout is stunning - and extremely helpful in learning the stitching methods. Every technique is described with clearly written instructions and large photos of swatches, showing both sides. You'll find Iris' take on the usual knitting book essentials - tools, yarn, glossary and basic stitches - however when it comes to casting on, Iris takes Reversible Knits to a whole new level. Casting on how-to's include the basics (knitted, long tail and provisional), as well as some not-so-basic (casting on to a belt ring, mobius cast on, and casting on for both double and modular knitting). There are also extra techniques associated with double knitting including methods (two-strand and slip stitch), how to change colors, fix mistakes and decrease. While all of the patterns in the book were knit using Artyarns, Iris was thoughtful enough to include the best yarn substitution chart I have seen in any knitting book!

Reversible Knits presents the 24 patterns in six chapters, each showcasing a key technique in reversible knitting: One-Yarn Knit/Purl, Multi-Yarn Knit/Purl, Lace, Cable, Double Knitting and Modular. For good measure, Iris also tossed in six additional techniques for readers to dabble in at the back of the book. The patterns include scarves, shawls, hats, socks, shrugs, mitts and more.

While flipping through Reversible Knits, I found myself continually marking pages with post-its for future projects... so I've decided to pick one personal favorite from each section to spotlight...

One-Yarn Knit/Purl French Cap, as the name would suggest, a cute little French-cafe inspired fitted beret using ribbing to give a lovely look

Multi-Yarn Knit/Purl Riff Belt, perfect for jeans or belting your favorite dress, one side results in a solid color while the other side results in a woven 2-color look

Lace La Parisienne Collar, using five different colors of mohair and an alternating center double decrease pattern, this collar is simply divine and makes a great "necklace"

Cable Tiger's Paw Scarf, one of my most favorite patterns in the book, it is knit with a variegated and a solid color yarn, featuring a cable pattern on one side and a rib pattern on the other

Double Knitting Ribbon Candy Scarf, another favorite, this scarf is made with two different colors, resulting in a beautiful checkered effect that is similar on both sides

Modular Shoji Wrap, a delicate seamless modular piece knit with laceweight and trimmed with a beaded cashmere/silk blend - simply stunning

Pick up your copy of Reversible Knits - if you have ever been interested in any of the reversible techniques described above, you won't be disappointed. This will surely be one of those knitting books that you reference many times in the future for the techniques, but its also one that you'll find plenty of gift-able knits to make as well (even if gifting to yourself)!

About The Author: Iris Schreier is the author of Lacy Little Knits, Modular Knits and co-author of Exquisite Little Knits. Her original, innovative techniques are used in knitting workshops around the world, and her patterns have been translated into multiple languages. The luxurious handpainted fibers featured in her designs were developed by Iris herself and are available through her company,
Artyarns. Iris lives and works in White Plains, NY.

2 comments:

Anita said...

Hmmm... that one sounds good. I'll have to check out the books store to see if they have it & give it a loook through. :)

Channon said...

Hmmm... Definitely looks good!