Hollywood Knits Style Review
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In her second knitting book, Hollywood Knits Style—which was originally published in 2004 and recently re-released as a paperback—knit designer and knit shop owner Suss Cousins outdoes herself. I’ve always loved her first book, Hollywood Knits—but I was blown away by the follow-up.

Hollywood Knits Style is the perfect book for the well-rounded knitter. At its core, there are 30 more great patterns—from blankets and bags to sweaters for you, your husband, your kids, and even your dog. Cousins is a wonderful designer, whose Hollywood style makes for some hip, stylish designs—and this book is filled with all kinds of designs that I’d love to make for myself (or for other people, too—but let’s be honest here…mostly for myself). The patterns are pretty easy to follow, and many of them are simple to knit, too (though, to help readers select the right project, Cousins rates her patterns by level of difficulty—from Cinchy for Starters to Hot Knitters). Be warned, however, that many of the garments in the book aren’t just Hollywood Style—they’re also Hollywood Size (on the skirt, for example, a “large” fits someone with a 33” hip).

The book isn’t just about the cute patterns, though. Cousins also includes plenty of suggestions for hosting knitting get-togethers. She includes full party plans and menus (even the recipes!) for several themed knitting parties—from a mother-daughter get-together to a knitting-themed bridal shower—with suggestions for the time of year, the menu, and the projects to work on. She even provides a list of some of her favorite songs to knit by.

Hollywood Knits Style is chock-full of ideas—from knitting patterns to lists of things to do with all your leftover gauge swatches or leftover yarn. Cousins gives tips for finding time to knit, forming a knitting circle, and getting kids to knit. The last chapter, in fact, features a bunch of helpful (and sometimes just plain brilliant) tips—everything from making up your own yarn combinations to decorating your home with yarn to avoiding “knitter’s block.”

Of course, Cousins once again dives into the same old Hollywood name-dropping that she did in her first book, but it’s actually interesting to hear about all the celebrities who stop by her store—and all the movies she’s knit for. And it’s pretty cool to have the pattern for the cape J. Lo wore in Shall We Dance or the hat Russell Crowe wore in Master and Commander or the turtleneck that Debra Messing wore on Will & Grace.

If you’ve never knit before, you won’t be able to learn from this book—because there’s no how-to section. Cousins encourages readers who don’t already know how to knit to head to their local knit shop instead, to sign up for a class. But Hollywood Knits Style has great patterns and tips for even the newest of knitters. In fact, it has something for every knitter—whatever your age or level of experience—which is why it’s one of my favorite knitting books.

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