Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, and women are five times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer. But there are still a lot of women who don't know the facts about their risk and how to prevent heart disease, and a majority say they would call 911 if they thought someone else was having a heart attack but wouldn't do the same for themselves.
To help raise awareness of the risks and healthy habits we can all adopt, Laura Zander of Jimmy Beans Wool enlisted 30 knitwear designers to make something red -- the heart disease awareness color -- and share those patterns in her book Knit Red: Stitching for Women's Heart Health.
About the Book
- Pages: 130
- Format: hardcover
- Number of patterns: 30
- Skill level: three are rated easy, 19 intermediate and eight for more advanced knitters
- Sizing: all garments are for women and range from three to six sizes
- Illustrations: full-color photographs
- Knitting lessons: eight pages of "knitting know-how" cover cast ons, circular knitting, cables, yarn overs, grafting and crochet
- Publication date: June 2012
Knit Red features a nice range of patterns for cardigans and sweaters, socks, hats, shawls, mitts and more, by notable designers such as Jared Flood, Debbie Stoller, Martin Storey, Debbie Bliss, Deborah Newton, Ysolda Teague, Norah Gaughan and Nicky Epstein, to name just a few.
Each pattern comes with a little story about how heart disease has affected that designer (many have lost loved ones to heart disease and one featured designer, Barbara Venishnick, actually died of a heart attack in 2005). They also offer tips based on things they do to keep healthy in their lives. None of these are particularly revelatory but it's an interesting addition that ties the book to the theme.
In the back of the book there are also some facts and information about heart health and a few heart-healthy recipes to try.
But this is primarily a knitting book, and other than all the projects being worked with red yarn and the prevalence of hearts in the designs, it looks like any other fashionable knitting book you'd want to work from. There are many lovely designs here, and some of my favorites include the Ruffled Pullover by Kim Hargreaves, an easy tunic-length design with ruffled cuffs and neckline; Daine Soucy's A-Line Hoodie with wide Seed Stitch button bands; the Cabled Knee Higsh from Deborah Norville and the Premier Yarns Design Team; the multi-yarned, colorful Graphic Tunic from Daniela Johannsenova; and Cecily Glowick MacDonald's easy but lovely Cowl-neck Vest. You can even knit a version of the iconic red dress that symbolizes heart disease awareness.
Knit Red is a pretty book full of great designs that you will love to knit in red or any color you like. It's rare to find this many great designers in one collection, and that they came together for a good cause that you can support as well is even better.
A portion of the proceeds from sales of the book will go to The Heart Truth, an initiative of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.
If you're a fan of good knitting and good causes, this one belongs on your bookshelf.