Beyond the Scarf Review
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I remember back when I first learned to knit—when, for about a year, I made scarves for everyone I knew. Lots and lots of scarves. But scarves were easy—and everything else seemed so much more difficult. As it turns out, knitting things other than scarves isn’t nearly as difficult as it looks—as Kathleen and Nick Greco show in their book Beyond the Scarf: 15 Simple and Fun Fashions You Can Knit.

Beyond the Scarf is broken up into three chapters. In the first, the authors go through a little refresher course in case you need a little help brushing up on the basics. In the second chapter, they discuss novelty yarns (which they use often for the projects in the book). They give recommendations for pairing novelty yarns with various standard yarns for different looks and textures—and they give plenty of swatch close-ups to illustrate.

But let’s get to the good stuff. Chapter three is where the patterns come in. There are sixteen of them—starting with projects that are great for beginners and working up to a few advanced-beginner projects. The patterns are simple, detailed, and straightforward—with an abundance of pictures (from all different angles), close-ups, and drawings to help the most timid beginner through the projects. And, like the patterns in their kids’ book, Girl’s Guide to Fun & Funky Knitting, most patterns suggest yarn substitutions, too. So if you’re not all that confident about substituting yarn, you’ll have a few different options—often both a yarn shop option and a less expensive craft store option for knitters on a tight budget.

The patterns in Beyond the Scarf aren’t just the same old patterns either. They use fun textures and deceptively easy techniques—like knitting with beads and simple lace patterns—to create up-to-date designs. Here, you’ll find a stylish purse for a night out on the town, simple shrugs and sweaters, a fancy fringed wrap, and a cute capelet with a matching skirt. The stylish designs paired with fun and out of the ordinary textures make this a good book for building up your knitting confidence. You’ll learn a few new techniques—and you’ll actually wear the finished projects.

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