Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog, photography by Karen Pearson, pub. STC Craft, 2015.
I can't say enough good things about this book. Amy Herzog is one of my favorite knitting voices. I enjoy her non-judgmental word choices and straightforward message: we are all beautiful.
That said, when I first saw this book I looked at the cover and wondered what the publisher was thinking. the sweaters weren't attractive to me, the styling seemed off, the camera angles were unflattering...
The clouds cleared from my attitude when I opened the book and saw what it was. Of course it's not just a collection of patterns! That's not what Amy's about.
She opens with a chapter on identifying your personal style. Proposing no fewer than eight categories, complete with descriptions of fiber, fabric, and color, she gives five exercises to help label your tastes.
This is important because if we articulate what we like to wear, we are less likely to choose to knit something that attracts us for other reasons (for instance, the setting it's worn in).
Chapter Two is a crash course in sweater choice and customization which will guide us through eight meta-patterns, each with three samples worked up in different styles and yarn weights.
Each meta-pattern is written for twelve sizes from 30" to 54" bust. The patterns are brilliantly laid out in chart form, resulting in a surprising clarity, given that there are mix-and-match instructions for three radically different sweaters on the same page. It's like a cross between a knitting book and a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Novel.
The bolero below (in bulky weight yarn) is written with the worsted-weight Avant Garde Bolero and the fingering-weight Romantic Bolero. All three patterns are given in all three weights, with caveats about yarn suitability for special features such as puffed sleeves. They are only broken out by specific styles when necessary (as for the lower edge or the sleeves) otherwise they are written as one pattern. It works.
Knitters can choose to use a different stitch patterns or yarn weights or even change the increase and decrease rates following Amy's instructions. It's liberating, and the possibilities are endless.
I highly recommend this book for knitters who want to be able to customize their sweaters for fit or for style. Also for those who'd like their knitting to fit better (some important information about measuring gauge in Chapter Two), those who want to choose a sweater that flatters their body type, those who are hesitant to knit a sweater in pieces or have trouble with seaming, and those who just plain like Amy Herzog patterns.
Disclosure: The publisher sent Kangath a review copy of this book. Kangath was not otherwise compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in Kangath's reviews are her own.
Hi! I'm Kangath---
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Amy Herzog Designs
Knit and Tonic
The Sexy Knitter
Sheep to Shawl
Trappings and Trinkets
Two Sides of the Same Stitch