Wrapped in Comfort Review
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It’s no secret that I love knitting lace—so I’m always on the lookout for new knitting books that will inspire me to pick up my needles and make myself something lacy. While I’ve been less than thrilled with recent lace-knitting offerings, though, I was pleasantly surprised by Wrapped in Comfort: Knitted Lace Shawls by designer and voracious lace knitter Alison Jeppson Hyde—because the patterns are unlike any lace I’ve knit before.

In Wrapped in Comfort, Hyde provides beautiful lace patterns for 12 lace shawls and four lace scarves. All of the shawls are knit from the top down, on circular needles—in the circle and half-circle shape that currently seems to be growing in popularity. And I can see why. The shawls are actually more of a U-shape—one that fits perfectly around your shoulders, so you won’t have to constantly fight to keep your shawl from slipping (as is usually the case with rectangular stoles). The design is intriguing—adding stitches and growing in width as you work your way down—and the result looks stunning, whether with a tank and jeans or a little black dress.

Wrapped in Comfort offers lace patterns for all kinds of knitters. If you’ve never knit lace before, there are some basic, beginner-level patterns that are sure to get you hooked. And for more experienced knitters, there are more challenging patterns. The patterns also use a variety of different weights and gauges, as well as different fibers. Most of the patterns will also knit up quickly (at least as far as lace shawls go) on big needles (usually on 9s or larger).

Ms. Hyde makes sure that you have plenty of options when it comes to knitting the patterns in this book. For each pattern, she provides both written directions and charts. And, for many, she suggests other variations. On one scarf pattern, she shows it knit up in two different yarns. For one shawl, she explains how to use the lace pattern to make a stole. And, for others, she offers both short and long shawl patterns. No matter how you want to change the pattern, Hyde offers plenty of suggestions.

And as far as pictures go, there’s no guessing whether or not you’ll like a pattern. Each design is photographed flat, on a model, and close up—so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting when you start knitting.

Before each pattern, Hyde also tells its story. She talks about whom she knitted the shawl for—and why. She explains the circumstances surrounding the pattern—and why she chose the stitch patterns that she did. Her stories may not be crucial to the patterns, but they do add life and personality to each pattern. In fact, the stories make the patterns even more beautiful.

If you’re as hooked on lace knitting as I am—or if you’ve been meaning to give it a shot—Wrapped in Comfort will make a great addition to your collection (and, eventually, to your wardrobe). The designs are beautiful, and the stories give each design in the book its own personality. The only problem you’ll have is trying to decide which one to knit first.

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