I am not much of a sweater knitter – I’ve only knit a few sweaters, in my 10+ years of knitting – but I am slowly trying to change that, trying to learn more about garment shaping and design, and making myself some awesome wardrobe additions, with the limited for-fun knitting time that I have here and there between work projects. So, when the publisher (STC Craft) offered to send me a copy of this book for review, I was super excited – seems like a perfect book for learning more about different types of knit sweaters!
Knit Wear Love: Foolproof Instructions for Knitting Your Best-Fitting Sweaters Ever in Styles You Love to Wear is a book of super customizable basic sweater patterns, or “meta-patterns” – I love the illustrations showing the different versions of each pattern in simple line drawings, shown here on the back cover:
There are 8 basic meta-patterns – pullover, cardigan, vest, cowl (neck), tunic, wrap, tank, and bolero/shrug. Each pattern is written for 3 different gauges, each gauge being a different style version, and they are all written for 12 sizes. The patterns are all given in kind of spreadsheet format, neatly organizing all the numbers by gauge and size, and then each meta-pattern has a fill-in-the-blank worksheet version, where you can fill in all your specifics for the sweater you want to knit. Great way to present these customizable patterns!
Each meta-pattern has three styles (each in a different weight/gauge), but there are a total of 8 different styles represented, so each style is only used in a few of the meta-patterns. The styles are: vintage, casual, sporty, bohemian, modern, romantic, classic, and avant-garde. Here are the three pullovers, in romantic, modern, and classic:
A big part of the point of this book is to learn which styles/elements you like best, so you can make your perfect sweaters that you’ll love to wear the most. And I learned something about myself! Based on style elements, the styles I love the most in theory, or that I love the most to look at and think about design and stuff, would be avant-garde first, and elements of modern and bohemian. But in the reality of the actual sweaters, thinking about what I’d most love to actually have and wear, the versions I felt an instant I-want-that! connection with while flipping through the pages were actually classic, casual, and sporty! I would wear the crap out of this texture-tastic classic pullover:
And, oh man, this casual cardigan, yes! So comfy!! (I also gravitate towards browns…)
And the sporty version of the tunic pattern – love it!!
I like a lot of the other styles too, but I’d want to mix and match elements probably. Here’s the vest in avant-garde and modern styles – I really like the switching stripes in the modern one:
One of my favorite things in the book is the pages explaining the different styles – mood boards for each one, and detailed descriptions, including fibers, fabrics, colors, and examples. Since all the meta-patterns don’t include versions in all the styles, these notes can help you to actually create a version of any meta-pattern in any of the styles! Or a mixture of a few styles. Like, using the weight/gauge from one style, but making adjustments to the fit, texture, fibers, etc, to add elements of another style, for a totally personalized version.
There’s lots of great technical info too, about fit, sweater knitting generally, using stitch patterns, changing up necklines, sleeves, etc. Overall, totally my kind of knitting book, with all the customization and personalization, excellent stuff!
So yay sweater knitting! Now I just need a bunch more hours in the day so I can find the time to knit some of them. Someday… There are several versions in bulky and aran weights, so maybe I’ll start with one of those so it’ll go more quickly! Anyway, I’m glad to have the book in my library now so it’s there when I want it :)