I love knitwear designer Amy Herzog’s style. Her garments have a classic, streamlined design with details that make even the most basic patterns pretty and wearable.
But I have wondered if her previous books, Knit to Flatter and Knit Wear Love, were approachable enough. They have great designs in them, but rely a lot on the savvy and moxie of the knitter to alter patterns to make them fit themselves or the person they are knitting for.
While surely there are a lot of knitters out there up to those tasks, the books might have been a little alienating for knitters who weren’t up to the task. Herzog’s latest, You Can Knit That: Foolproof Instructions for Fabulous Sweaters, answers those concerns by offering more information on the basics of successful sweater knitting as well as lots of options for different kinds of sweaters that knitters might want to make.
The book starts with a lengthy section meant to help set knitters up for success, calling on them to knit large swatches and investigate them to determine if they are using the right needle size, fiber content and color for the sort of sweater they want to make.
Mini exercises encourage knitters to learn about their yarn, preferences for design options and finishing techniques before they cast on for a sweater, and this section includes lots of great information that will give knitters comfort and courage that they are making the best choices.
The patterns are arranged by sweater type and include vests, sweaters with integrated sleeves, drop shoulders, raglans, yokes and set-in sleeves. Each chapter opens with a pattern for kids, so if you’re still worried about any of the techniques you can practice them on a smaller scale.
This is definitely a learning book, but the projects are pretty and things you will want to make regardless of your skill level. Some of my favorites include the Shoreside Tunic, a sleeveless shell with a bit of lacy patterning at the hem; the Blaze Cardigan, worked sideways from cuff to cuff, mostly in Stockinette; the super-classic V-neck Cushy Pullover; the Entangled Raglan, a swingy cardigan with cable details; the snowflake-sprinkled circular yoke, turtleneck Snowdrift Pullover; and the Downy Cardigan, worked in cozy alpaca/silk/merino with cuffs that work as fingerless gloves with built-in thumbs. (Check out all the patterns on Ravelry.)
The adult patterns offer a whopping 12 different sizes to choose from (and six for the kids), so there are a lot of options for finding the right fit, no math required.
This book is lovely, fun and offers a bevvy of great sweaters for those who haven’t made one yet and skilled sweater stitchers alike.
About the book: 176 pages, paperback with interior flaps, 24 patterns (on a scale of 1 to 5, two patterns are 1, nine are 2, eight are 3, two are 4 and 3 are 5). Published September 2016 by Abrams Books, suggested retail $24.95.