Greetings from Knit Cafe Review
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In a small shop on West Hollywood’s trendy Melrose Avenue, former CBS vice president turned desperate housewife Suzan Mischer decided to create her own little paradise—a place where people like her could come and knit and gossip and listen to music and sip coffee and be creative, all while shopping for yarn and other supplies.

Thousands of miles away, in my local yarn shop in Ohio (a shop that, by the way, is still pretty cozy—though, despite my constant not-so-subtle hinting, there’s still no coffee bar), I sat down with a friend and eagerly flipped through the gorgeous knitwear designed by Mischer and her West Hollywood clientele.

The first thing you’ll notice about Greetings from Knit Cafe is just the beauty of it all. The book’s design, along with its projects and its pictures, are what I imagine the shop to be: cozy yet hip and even a little bit elegant. The pictures feel like a layout in a glossy fashion magazine—the one that you flip through over and over again until the pages are worn.

The designs in this book are, in a word, thrilling. As my friend and I looked through the book, page by page, there were plenty of oohs and aahs—and perhaps even a few giddy squeals. It contains a good mix of projects that you’ll instantly want to make and projects that you just want to admire over and over again. There are classic patterns like hats and a sweater for men—but the best patterns are the ones that give the same old pattern just the slightest of twists. I can easily see myself in the short-sleeved polo or the slouchy hooded cardigan (made in each of my favorite colors). I love the cotton denim messenger bag—and I can’t wait to cast on the wrap baby sweater. I can see the girls in my kids’ knitting group going crazy over the bright and colorful skirt. And the tweedy Chanel-style is just plain stunning.

Of course, there are also the other patterns—the ones that are gorgeous to look at but, unless you’re Hollywood-thin with a Hollywood lifestyle, you probably wouldn’t dream of wearing. The vintage lace-edged skirt is beautiful in the pictures, but I know it would cling to my larger-than-a-2 form in all the wrong places. And the lace paneled red-carpet gown is breathtaking, but, well, we don’t have a lot of use for red-carpet gowns in Central Ohio (though my friend told me that I can wear it to her wedding, when the time comes).

The attention to detail—from the choice of yarns to a stripe pattern to a special edging—makes the designs fun. But the patterns are all pretty straight-forward (probably around an advanced-beginner level and up), with schematics and charts where needed and detailed notes for further explanation. In addition to the patterns, there are a bunch of little extras to add personality to the book—like tips and tricks, anecdotes, poetry, and even a couple of tempting recipes. There are even a few pages of knitters’ exercises in the back, to stretch your knitting muscles after a night of marathon knitting with the girls at the store.

I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t find yourself making every pattern in this book. Some just won’t suit you (or your non-red-carpet-walking lifestyle). But there are plenty of wonderful designs to keep hip younger (20-to-40-something) knitters busy for quite some time—and you’ll just love looking at the rest.

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