Today’s book review: the new Noro book from Sixth & Spring. It’s called Knit Noro 1 2 3 Skeins, and as the title suggests, all the patterns in the book can be made with either one, two or three skeins of Noro yarn. Noro yarns come in all gauges, and this book takes advantage of that, featuring yarns as fine as laceweight (Taiyo Lace)all the way through chunky (Kama, Taiyo, Mossa, Nadeshiko).
Like all the Noro books in this series, this is a hardback with lots of color. The models are photographed against vivid backdrops, they are styled to the nines, and close-up photos of the yarn and models are everywhere. If you’re a die-hard fan of Noro yarns like me, then books like this are coffee table books; even non-knitter Mr. Black Bunny Fibers leafed through this book a few days ago and was impressed with how beautiful and colorful it was.
As you might expect from a book that allows a maximum of three skeins of yarn per pattern, patterns are mainly accessories, although some smaller garments are featured. Since I’m a little bit anal, let’s look at the patterns based on how many skeins they take. Among the one-skein projects, my favorites include these twisted stitch fingerless mitts, by Tammy Eigeman Thompson:
this cute collared shawl, by Marin Melchior,
and a darling chunky cabled hat — love the way the angora content of Nadeshiko makes this one look like it’s been dusted with snow:
From the two-skein projects,check out the cover garment, a flowing lace jacket, with a chevron lace pattern, knit in Taiyo Lace (designed by my friend Brooke Nico!). The stitch pattern perfectly shows off the color changes in the yarn:
Tweedy yarn Mossa was used for this cabled bag:
only two skeins of Koromo (chunky weight) were needed for this elegant picot-edged shawlette;
Jacqueline Jewett used deliberate geometric cutouts to spice up her scarf:
and Barb Brown used two colorways of Takeuma (another chunky weight yarn) to create this cute colorwork cowl with button closure.
From the 3 skein projects, I love Mari Tobita’s empire waist top:
and Cheryl Murray’s long scarf/shawlette (the relatively muted colorway of Shiro contrasts nicely with some of the other, more vivid shades used in the book);
and Therese Chynoweth’s chevron cape plays up the warm rich tones of Silk Garden Sock.
I’m pleased to say that I have three projects featured in this book: this chunky capelet:
a lace scarf, using two skeins of Silk Garden Lite:
and (inspired by Charcoal) this stuffed bunny rabbit:
Quick summary: a total of 30 projects, all shown in Noro self-striping yarns; tons of color photos of yarns and projects; schematics for the garments and charts where necessary; most items are one size fits all (although the top and jacket come in three sizes); yarn weight ranges from laceweight to chunky. All the garments are for women; there are a few home dec patterns, too. The patterns aren’t arranged in chapters, but are randomly arranged. MRSP is $24.95; the book is available through the link above for $19.68 at the time of this writing.
I sometimes wonder why knitters seem hesitant to purchase books, when they are usually such a good value. A single pattern download can cost anywhere from five to ten dollars, sometimes more; here you’ve got 30 patterns, which breaks down to about 65 cents a pattern. There are plenty of lovely items that would make great gifts, like the cowls, hats and wristers. Given the gorgeous production values of the book, the number of patterns, and the different techniques included (lace, cables, colorwork and more), I’d say this book is well worth the investment. And if you’ve got a stash of self-striping yarns, or even odds and ends of balls in your yarn basket, this book will give you lots of inspiration and many patterns to show those stripes off perfectly.
All photographs copyright 2014 by Rose Callahan, used for review purposes and with permission.