Kristin Knits Review
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Kristin Nicholas and I definitely have one thing in common (besides our name, that is): we both love color. As far as I’m concerned, the brighter (and, some might say, more obnoxious) the better—whether it’s my bright orange basement, my lemon yellow bathroom, or my beloved Obnoxious Pink Sweater. And as far as knitting goes, my motto has always been “Buy neutral, knit color.”

When it comes to knitting in color, Kristin Nicholas doesn’t mess around. The designs in Kristin Knits are creative and daring—splashed with bright, vibrant colors, all running through one another in stripes, diamonds, checks, and flowers. They’re not for the faint of heart—or the bland of color—but if you love color as much as I do, just flipping through the book will brighten up the dreariest of days.

  
 
The whole point of Kristin Knits is to encourage knitters to play with color—so Nicholas begins by showing readers how to think for themselves when it comes to their color palette. She explains the color selection process and encourages readers to use color wheels and swatches—and even nature—to find what works best. Then she jumps right into patterns.

Using just her own line of yarn (Rowan’s Julia), Nicholas presents 27 daring, colorful designs. From scarves and hats to socks and sweaters, there’s nothing dull or drab here. Every design features at least two colors—using stripes, embroidery, or Fair Isle (or, often, a combination of the three). She uses bobbles and pompoms and overstitching and stranding to produce all kinds of playful patterns. But she places an emphasis on creativity and personalization. Don’t like bobbles and embroidered flowers? Just leave that part of the pattern out. Not comfortable with Fair Isle? Try stripes instead. Don’t like the colors? By all means—pick your own!

To help her readers work their way through each project, Nicholas provides exceptionally detailed patterns. If you’re relatively new to colorwork (as I am), they may look pretty overwhelming at first, but Nicholas makes the whole process relatively painless. Each project begins with an overview, so you can get an idea of where you’ll start and what you’ll have to do to finish. She then takes you through the pattern step-by-step and line-by-line, providing precise instructions—as well as charts, illustrations, and sidebars. It may seem a little intimidating, but, really, it’s just extremely (and mercifully) thorough.

Despite my love of color, I’ve taken baby steps in experimenting with colorwork. I’ve done plenty of overstitching, and I’ve played with two-color mosaic designs (which I was surprised not to find in Nicholas’s designs), but I always shied away from Fair Isle. After reading Kristin Knits and studying the tips, tricks, and illustrations that Nicholas provides in the back of the book, though, I can’t wait to try it out. So whether you’re a fearless knitter or a hesitant knitter, if you love color, pick up a copy of Kristin Knits—because it’s sure to inspire you to become a bright and bold knitter.

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