Book Review: 100 Knits: Interweave's Ultimate Pattern Collection

I was so excited when I got the email from Jodi at Interweave asking if we wanted to review their new 100 Knits book. As I read the message I realized this book was going to be huge; both in popularity and in size! So, I opted for a digital version, because I live in a tiny apartment and have way too many things. I’ve since seen a physical copy and I might be a little jealous, and seriously considering buying one, because it’s just that pretty.

If you’re interested in winning a print copy of this book, read on! Interweave has generously offered a copy as a giveaway to one of our lucky readers.

This book is filled with a huge variety of patterns: hats, cowls, socks, scarves, sweaters, cardigans, pullovers, shawl, wraps, tees, I could go on. There are patterns for all kinds of knitters, texture fabrics, colorwork, elegantly simple, and stunningly complex.

Here are a few of my favorite patterns from the book and which yarns I would use:

Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer

I’ve actually had this hat on my to-do list for a long time. I’ve just been waiting for my niece to get big enough to actually wear it. I plan to use For Better or Worsted in Black and Peacock because I think that combo will look amazing with her red hair.

Cuff-to-Cuff Socks by Courtney Spainhower

There are several beautiful and clever sock patterns in this book, however these are the ones that are probably perfect for me. I’m a not much of a sock knitter, and when I do knit socks, 2-at-a-time is the only way to ensure I actually finish a pair. So, while this isn’t quite 2-at-a-time, it’s an ingenious way to get 2 socks instead of one. Bonus, you get to skip a bunch of the fiddly-ness that comes with knitting 2-at-a-time and can use DPNs if that’s your thing. My favorite sock yarn lately is Gerty, so I will probably use that for this pattern. You could also use Squishy, Haiku, Nebula, or Lunaris, all are great for socks.

Atol Cowl by Jenn Emerson

This is just so simple, and so lovely at the same time. I think it’s one of those knits I would wear all the time. I actually have some of Jade Sapphire’s Khata in my stash, but it’s earmarked for a shawl. Being in the Central Valley of California, I think I would opt for a cool blend like Breeze. The silk and linen will be comfortable and soft, and much cooler than the yak/silk blend of Khata.

Confession time! I love knitting cowls and would literally knit every cowl in this book if I had the time. They are all so different, and so wearable.

Potter’s Shawl by Jen Lucas

It’s simple, and elegant, with that garter squish to make it cozy too. What more do you need in a shawl? (Lot’s of lace? Beads? Keep scrolling, they’ve got you covered). Both Dreamy and Squishy would work perfectly for this pattern. If you wanted a little sparkle you could also try Nebula or Lunaris.

Waxwing Shawl by Susanna IC

For those of you more interested in delicate lace and shimmering beads, this is definitely for you. I see this with wedding dresses, evening gowns, romantic walks, date night, dressing up because you feel like it… Seriously, it’s gorgeous and you can wear it anywhere. Wash My Lace or Meridian would be perfect for this.

Dahlia Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti

This cardigan has been on my favorites list for. ev. er. I really should just cast on and get it done. It’s so pretty and would definitely stay with me through quite a few size changes (I tend to fluctuate in weight). Vera is one of my favorites for cardigans and I think that’s what I’ll use to make this.

Chamei Pullover by Bristol Ivy

This sweater is both fashionable and flattering for a lot of shapes. I love the diagonal texture and cowl neck. I would probably do For Better or Worsted for this. Depending on gauge swatches, I might also give Katara a try, because I think it would be seriously amazing in that yarn. I think it’s always worth a swatch or two if you’re really in love with an idea. Plus, if it doesn’t work, I’ll still know my gauge for Katara.

Mount Robson Pullover by Jessie McKitrick

This sweater is so classic. I think to get a nice fit you will want something bouncy and woolly so I would use Gerty or Squishy for this. Dreamy would have the bounce too, however it has a little silky shine, so that would work too depending on how you like the look of the fabric.

Biscotti Sweater by Kiyomi Burgin

This looks so cozy and cute! I think Burly would work for this, however a swatch is definitely in order to make sure. It’s a casual enough fit that a little difference would be okay, so long as it’s only a little.

Venice Top by Amy Gunderson

This tank is gorgeous! I love tanks and love this flow-y a-line shaping. I really like the close fit for the arm holes. I’m a little self conscious of that area and the way this fits the model is really nice, in my opinion. This is another one I will make in Vera. It would be the perfect summer top.

Whew, that’s a lot to love and I barely scratched the surface. I’m pretty sure I didn’t show you any of the gorgeous colorwork items, oops!

What this book doesn’t have is a section on technique. I think that’s totally reasonable. First, it’s already 512 pages. Second, you either already know how to do things, have a yarn shop or friend who will help you, or you know how to use YouTube. I think it was a great cost savings to the purchaser not to use materials to make this book any larger. There would have been so many techniques to cover it would have been three times the size! I appreciate that they take a couple pages at the end of the book to introduce the designers who’s works are included, and to give a brief, and effective, stitch abbreviation key.

Literally every page is filled with gorgeous photos, patterns, and charts. Interweave really has put together a truly lovely collection for knitters.

So, you’re probably wondering where you can get it! Pre-orders are open now at the Interweave online store.

And what I know you’re really wondering, is how to enter in our giveaway! Leave a comment below and tell us the pattern you want to make from the book and which yarn you would use.

We’ll choose a random commenter on October 5, 2018 and Interweave will send you a copy of the book.

Update - Congratulations to Cristina Pederson!

Book Report: The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting

The Backstory

A few weeks ago I was lamenting that grown-ups never get to do book reports after my 8 year old got to make a campaign poster for Peter Parker/Spider-Man after reading a book about him. That was easily my favorite part of school and jealousies were high as he put the finishing touches on the poster- a dab of gold glitter on the radioactive spider.

Thank goodness for friends like Sabrina (the queen of Anzula, in case you didn't know) who always have my back. It was less than 24 hours before I had a shiny new book in my hands to read and review. 

The Book

After fruitlessly searching for slip-stitch patterns to rival those that The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting authors Faina Goberstein and Simona Merchant-Dest remembered from their childhoods in Eastern Europe, the two set out to create new stitch patterns. 

These patterns challenge everything you've ever thought about slip-stitch knitting. Gorgeous yarn and the right needle can create divine garment that you'll simply love to put on again and again.

—That's what I'd write if I were leaving an Amazon review or something. But I'm not. So here's my real review book report on The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting.

Charlie, the glue that keeps all of the behind-the-scenes day to day business together at Anzula, basically is gonna have to pry this book out of my cold, dead hands to get it back. I'm not a strong knitter, and my pattern reading skills are seriously lacking and I usually have to pry a knitting needle out of the couch cushion that I've stabbed it in after ripping all of the stitches. That said, I was able to follow along and swatch several of the stitch patterns with (relative) ease—a big deal for me. There's a lot of background information on slip-stitch knitting in the introduction, which talks beginners or knitters with crummy pattern reading comprehension down from the ledge. I have a feeling that amazing knitters (like my sister, UGH.) would be able to breeze through and get right to creating the knits themselves without tarrying too long on the swatches. 

Swatched with  Cricket  in Arizona

Swatched with Cricket in Arizona

I got all swatchy with my bad self and experimented with floats. To my surprise, it actually looked almost like the picture. Guys, I can never do this on the first try. 

The Patterns

Textures and color combos are plentiful in this book, with patterns to emulate fair isle colorwork, textures galore, and garments that are timelessly classic. Each pattern has a Russian or Czech name, which I love about this book. My absolute favorite is the Koketka Sweater, Russian for Yoke. 

This one uses a DK weight and I can just imagine how cozy it would feel in Croquet, especially if you don't live somewhere that ever gets cold enough for alpaca sweaters like the pattern calls for. (Even so, let's all let out a purr of appreciation for how amazing alpaca feels. Mmmmm.)

Second favorite, and one that I could totally do without even having to frog and start over a billion times, is the Zlatý DéštˇCowl. Even better, it calls for For Better or Worsted. If you've never cast this one on, this is a good pattern to experience it on. Beautful zig-zags in super close shades (here in Temperence and Butter, but I'd love to see it in Denim and Elephant, or Shiitake and RootBeer and  a two-tone depth 

I mean, c'mon, right? It's gorgeous and most importantly, it looks super warm and comfortable without lapsing into A Christmas Story amounts of layers. 

And speaking of A Christmas Story, gift giving season is drawing near. There are, of course, smaller projects in the book, like the classic šiška Hat and , which would make beautiful gifts, or in my case, if you don't have time to knit for everyone on your list, you can always buy them a copy of The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting. I'm pretty much crossing my fingers that my sister won't see this blog and she'll be surprised when she unwraps her very own copy, along with the perfect skeins of Anzula yarn to complete her first slip-stitched project!

PS— Faina Goberstein is currently in the middle of a blog tour promoting all of her slip-stitch prowess. Follow along here.

Pattern Spotlight: Trillium Shawl by Manda Shah

We've been waiting to tell you until it was released, but now that the secret's out, we are so happy to share! Manda Shah's lovely Trillium Shawl is in the Summer 2015 issue of Interweave Knits that was just released online on Saturday. 

© Harper Point Photography

© Harper Point Photography

This elegant shawl is knit from two skeins of Squishy, and is shown in Madam. Pick up a copy of the magazine now (in print or digital format), or wait until next month when the shawl will be available as a kit from Interweave. 

© Harper Point Photography

© Harper Point Photography

Once you get your hands on a copy of the magazine, you can also flip just a few pages in to see Vera in the "Linen the Dream" segment.