Yarn companies typically put out a lot of patterns in support of their yarns, both to show what can be done with their products and to induce people to buy their yarns to knit those projects.
Classic Elite has published probably thousands of patterns in its history -- the company has been around as a manufacturer since the 1940s and the Classic Elite label has existed since the 1980s -- and 100 of those are collected in Classic Elite Quick Knits: 100 Fabulous Patterns for Wraps, Socks, Hats, and More.
About the Book
- Pages: 224
- Format: paperback
- Number of patterns: 100
- Skill level: 9 patterns are rated easy, 87 for intermediate knitters and 4 for experienced knitters; 1 pattern is for crochet
- Illustrations: 120 full-color photographs; lots of large charts and skematics, some of which are in color
- Knitting lessons: three pages of general pattern instructions cover abbreviations and yarn substitutions
- Publication date:October 2011
There's nothing to this book other than the patterns and about a half-page introduction. The patterns don't even have head notes to describe what the project is or the inspiration behind it (I would have liked to see the designer credits on the patterns, too, but they're in the back of the book).
The projects are all for accessories, which is what makes them quick knits, and they're divided by project type: hats, mittens and gloves; socks; scarves, cowls, wraps, shrugs and capelets; and blankets, bags and toys.
There are a variety of projects in each section, and its not clear what, if any, organizing method was used to place the patterns in each section. There are patterns for kids and men, but mostly these projects will appeal to women.
The book offers lots of variety, form plain Stockinette to cables, lace, Fair Isle and textured knitting. Some of these patterns would make nice gifts or fun, easy and quick projects for yourself.
In a collection this big, there are sure to be pieces that suit most tastes, just as there will be pieces that are not hits to other knitters. There are certainly more than a couple projects here I don't like, but there are also quite a few I'd take the time to knit.
A few of the standouts to me include:
- the Harriet Tam, a multicolored, slouchy beret sized for kids and adults
- the Lacy Hat, which features an easy, allover eyelet rib pattern
- the Quincy Hat, formed by knitting a strip flat, twisting it and grafting it to itself, then picking up stitches for the crown
- the simple Charmed Fingerless Mitts, worked mostly in single-color Stockinette with a ruffled edge of a different color
- the elbow-length Ann Mitts, with their pretty wavy lace pattern
- Twisted Lace Socks, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know
- Fresco Legwarmers, featuring stripes and snowflakes
- the Button-Up Shrug, with an allover lace pattern and buttons that allow it to be a shawl or jacket
- the Wavy Scarf, worked with a bulky yarn and short row shaping for a dramatic effect
- the Silky Alpaca Lacy Scarf, with panels of lace and cables
- Paintbox Frog, worked in Seed Stitch and a mottled yarn
The patterns are all basically the same as when they were first published, meaning they still call for yarns that may be discontinued. The book does offer suggestions for substitutions, but it might have been nice if the patterns had been reworked in yarns that are more widely available.
A book of the magnitude of Classic Elite Quick Knits is sure to have some patterns you would like to knit in it and would serve as a good reference when you need inspiration and can't decide what you'd like to knit next. Because these projects will work up pretty quickly, it would also be a good book to have on hand for last-minute gift knitting.
If you're a huge fan of Classic Elite Yarns, by all means get this book, which does offer a lot of great patterns that fans are sure to love knitting. I don't know that there are any must knits in this book, but it's still a nice overview of what the folks at Classic Elite have been up to for the past few years.