One-Skein Wonders Review
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Show me a knitter who claims to have never made an impulse yarn buy, and I will show you a big fat liar. Because it’s impossible. Every once in a while, you run across a skein of yarn that you just must have. Maybe it’s just the perfect color. Maybe it’s so gorgeous that you just can’t help yourself. Maybe it’s so cheap that you can’t pass it by. I, for one, have a gigantic hank of lime green boucle hanging over a chair in my knitting corner. I have no clue what I’ll do with it, but it was cheap, and it was lime green, and I had to have it. I have orphan skeins in all shapes and sizes and colors—so thank goodness for Judith Durant’s One-Skein Wonders.

One-Skein Wonders includes more than a hundred patterns that require just one skein of yarn. The book is organized by the weight of yarn required—from bulky all the way down to fingering, with a little bit of novelty thrown in for good measure. You’ll find patterns for socks and baby sweaters and scarves and napkin rings and cell phone cases and hats (and even a tea cozy), most of which were designed by people who work in yarn stores—the people who (and I know this from experience) often have customers show them one skein of yarn and ask, “What can I make with just one of these?” And while some of the patterns take a little bit of explanation, most of them are simple and straightforward—stuff you can knit (or crochet) while watching TV or having coffee with your friends.

First, the bad news (because I like to get it over with): not every pattern in this book is perfect. There are some that will make you laugh. Or shudder. But when’s the last time you picked up a book in which every single pattern was perfect? And with 101 patterns to choose from in this book, your odds are still pretty good.

And, yes, there are a lot of patterns for scarves and hats in this book. But scarves and hats are pretty standard one-skein projects—and some of the hats and scarves aren’t all that bad. For instance, I can see myself making Hannah Fettig’s ribbed cap in every color of the rainbow—and I’m going to need at least a couple of Cirilia Rose’s Stirling Cloches. But you’ll also find a pattern for an ice scraper mitt. And some barrettes. And some really cute bags. And that basic adult worsted-weight mitten pattern that I haven’t been able to find anywhere.

Now let’s talk a little more about the good news: there are tons of one-skein patterns in this book. Most of them are also fabulously quick to knit. So by knitting one of them, you’ll not only be using up one of those orphan skeins you’ve got lying around, but you’ll also get the instant gratification of a quick one-skein project. And talk about the perfect last-minute gifts!

So while One-Skein Wonders isn’t without its flaws, the flaws are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. And though there are probably a few patterns that you’ll never make, do the math with me: more than 100 patterns at a cover price of $18.95. If you don’t like a pattern, you’re out less than 19 cents (or 13 cents if you order from Amazon). And some of the other patterns will more than make up for it—because you’re sure to find at least a few that you’ll knit more than once.

Whether you need a quick gift for a friend, or you want a little instant gratification, or you need something to do with that one gorgeous skein that you couldn’t resist, you’ll find yourself reaching for One-Skein Wonders over and over again.

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