Knit One, Stripe Too Review
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I’ll never forget the first time I worked with self-striping yarn. It was just like magic—all those stripes and checks and fancy patterns just appearing in my knitting, without all the hassles of colorwork (like the nightmare of weaving in all those ends). Whoever invented self-striping yarn was, quite simply, a genius.

Although self-striping yarn was originally used primarily for knitting socks (and maybe the occasional scarf), yarn companies have recently started making more and more self-striping yarns—and they’re not just for socks anymore. So, in her new book, Knit One, Stripe Too, knitwear designer Candace Eisner Strick takes the various colors and textures and weights of self-striping yarn and uses them to create 27 self-striping projects.

After a quick tutorial to help readers get the most out of their self-striping yarn, Strick gets right down to the patterns. The designs in Knit One, Stripe Too offer a wide variety of options. You’ll find patterns ranging from easy to advanced (but none for beginners), using everything from fingering weight to bulky yarn. There are hats and sweaters, wraps and bags, baby blankets, and more. The patterns are presented in a clear, straightforward manner—with helpful diagrams.

Despite the great variety of patterns—as well as the book’s technical merits—though, there just aren’t many patterns that I can actually see myself making. Some of the wraps are beautifully done, and there are a couple of cute sweaters—but the majority of the book is made up of patterns that are just so-so. There are also a number of designs that actually look handmade (which, let’s face it, isn’t really a good thing). Others (especially the two skirts and a couple of the sleeveless tops) look terribly unflattering—and if they make the model look frumpy, I can only imagine what they’d do for a normal person. And, just for the record, no one—and I mean no one—should be forced to wear a top made out of rainbow-striped fun fur. Not ever. I just hope the model was paid well.

Some of the problems in this book can be blamed on bad yarn choices. The cardigan on the cover, for instance, would look great in a less garish colorway. Others, however, seem to be experiments gone wrong. Strick does a wonderful job of experimenting with textures and shaping to boost the effects of the self-striping yarn—but sometimes those experiments just don’t work. For example, on its own, the striping basket weave pattern looks interesting, but the resulting Basket Weave Pullover looks like something that may have been fashionable in the ‘70s.

Knit One, Stripe Too is a creative collection of self-striping knit designs. Strick’s artistic use of shapes and patterns makes it worth a flip-through at the library—but there just aren’t enough standout patterns to make it worth adding to your collection.

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