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.