Ocean Breezes Review
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When I started knitting, I (like most other beginning knitters) made tons of scarves. It’s the perfect beginning project—just a whole bunch of knitting (and, for the more adventurous beginner, maybe a little bit of purling) without having to worry about shaping. Most beginners end up knitting so many scarves that they—and all of their friends and family members—eventually run out of places to store them all. Then, once they get sick of knitting scarves, they decide that it’s time to move on—determined never to knit a long, boring scarf ever again.

But the scarves in Sheryl Thies’s book, Ocean Breezes: Knitted Scarves Inspired by the Sea, are anything but boring. Inspired by the colors, textures, and shapes found in and around the ocean, the 25 projects in the book are designed to evoke warm, tropical thoughts on the coldest winter day.

Though you may expect a book of scarves inspired by the sea to be just a bunch of wavy patterns, knit in shades of blue, the designs in Ocean Breezes are widely varied. They come in everything from delicate lace to heavy cables, and the imaginative designs take their inspiration from everything from waves to plants to sea creatures—so they use all kinds of patterns, textures, and colors.

Although I’m not one of those knitters who refuse to knit scarves ever again (in fact, I’m working on one right now), I was a bit skeptical about a book full of just scarves. But Ocean Breezes surprised me. The designs—though they’re not all my style—are, for the most part, quite beautiful. The colors are vibrant, and the patterns are so varied that you’re sure to find something suitable for everyone on your holiday knitting list (the Nautical Twisted Rope for Uncle Joe, the lacy Sea Foam for Mom). And they’re designs that you’ll actually want to make. They’re not just a bunch of garter stitch scarves in various yarns. In fact, there isn’t a single pattern in the book for a plain old garter stitch scarf. These patterns use gorgeous stitch patterns—all of which are written out in the clearest way possible (though there aren’t any charts, which might disappoint more visual knitters).

Even if you’ve taken a no-scarf vow, I still recommend checking out Ocean Breezes. The designs are warm and inspiring—and no matter how adamant you may be about never knitting another scarf, these patterns are beautiful enough to make you start clearing out a little bit of closet space for just one or two more.

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