Sunday, 31 January 2016

Knockout Knits review

Knockout Knits by Laura Nelkin



Interesting collection of knitwear accessories under three basic themes; wrapped stitches, lace and beading.  I'm not sure why I'm not more impressed with this, it's possibly because it's not quite me.  They're nice but I was looking at it and I wouldn't buy it for me.

It's filled with interesting information, detailed advice on techniques and on swatching and in many ways it's an excellent book, but it's just not me.

Each project has a feature to it to lift it out of the ordinary, several clever ideas and designs.

Wrapped Stitches at Play has several interesting projects:
Wave Cuff - basically an exercise in how to work with wrapped stitches. Done in DK weight yarn on 4.5mm needles.

Prolix Mitts - worsted weight with 4 and 5mm needles, fingerless mitts with a long cuff, the wrapped stitches provide a rouching.

Folly Cloche crossed wrapped stitches pull the band in, very Downton. Knit in worsted yarn with 4 & 4.5mm needles

Laxo Hat - faux cable using wrapped stitches, a fairly unisex beanie hat.  Made in fingering weight yarn on 2.75 & 3.25mm needles.

Bootsy Boot Toppers - knit in bulky yarn with 8mm needles. A good test of the cross stitch method.

Las Cruces Shawl - two mirrored panels with a centre panel knit in a light fingering weight yarn with 4mm needles, sadly the only apparent photograph in the book is of it worn wrapped round someone's neck.

Traversus Socks - top down socks with a crossed stitch pattern down to the heel and along the edge, interesting for very busy variagated sock yarns. Knit in fingering weight yarn with 2.25mm needles.

Crux Cowl - dropped stitches and criss-cross stitch in a DK weight yarn with 4mm needles. Way to open a cowl for me.


Get your lace on features tips and tricks on lace knitting, including lifelines.
Gateway Cuff - something small to learn how to start into lace knitting useful for playing with some laceweight and 2.75mm needles.

Juego Cowl worked flat in a plain and patterned yarn using both slipped stiches and lace, worked flat and then joined. It's worked in sport-weight yarns on 4.5mm needles. With the right yarns this could be spectacular, the designer here uses a Noro yarn and something like that where the yarn play with each other would be amazing.

Fornido Shawlette worked from the bottom in an aran-weight yarn first making the border and then the body with short-rows.  Knit with 5mm needles.

Techo Hooded Scarf a hood with a scarf attached in sport-weight yarn and using 4mm needles.

Quadro Convertable Shrug interesting construction to this sport-weight shrug and shawl/scarf. Buttons enable the arms to be closed or left opened, it works from the centre with a square and then becomes a rectangle. Worked with 4mm needles.

Gyrus Tam - nupps and lace every round, this one would need care and attention.  Worked in fingering weight yarn with 3.5 and 3.25mm needles.

Loco Shawl - top-down lace shawl in laceweight yarn with 3.75mm needles. A central panel with two increasing triangles, somewhat unusual construction again here.


Beaded beauties details several methods of adding beads to a piece.
Bulb Cuff and necklace - again starting with a piece to learn the technique, the necklace fastens with a sew-on snap. Uses fingering weight yarn, size 8 beads and 2.75mm needles.

Hibisco Necklace A more complicated neck-piece this is in laceweight yarn with size 8 beads and 2.75mm needles.

Cha-Ching Tam - coin stitch with an attached bead. Interesting and looks warm uses light fingering-weight yarn and 3.25 an 3.5mm needles.

Cha-Ching Mitts - the gloves that decorate the cover of this edition, to match the tam, if you want, again with light fingering-weight yarn and 2.5 and 2.25mm needles.

Halli Shawl - garter tab shawl worked in lackweight yarn this is an interesting use of an ombre yarn.

Laden Fauxbius - worked flat and then twisted, grafted and anded to hide the seam.  Optional beads here, worked in fingering-weight yarn with 3.75 and 3.5mm needles.

Trapese Scarf - centre out both sides this is in light-fingering weight yarn with 3.5mm needles and size 8 beads.

Reversible Undulating Waves Scarf- a double sided lace that almost looks like entrelac in a fingering-weight yarn and with 6 and 8 beads and 3.75mm needles.

Forza Scarf is a free teaser from the book, included on the Ravelry page, but I don't recall it in the book.

The book closes with basic how-tos and abbreviations etc which is always useful if you need to check something that could be ambivalent. 

It's a book that I probably would have bought earlier in my knitting career but the projects aren't standout enough against the rest of the library for me to get it.  Nice stuff but the book isn't different enough for me to add it to my collection.  I'd say many people I know would really love it.

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