Winter is a troublesome season because you want to be outside taking walks in the snow, building snowmen and having snowball fights with the kids, but it's cold, so you really want to stay inside by the fire, drinking hot chocolate (or hot toddies).
The good news is, we're knitters, and we can be comfortable even in cold weather by knitting ourselves and our family members warm sweaters, hats, mittens and other accessories. And we can do it with the help of Knitting the Chill Away: 39 Cozy Patterns for the Whole Family.
About the Book
- Pages: 112
- Format: paperback
- Number of patterns: 39 (I counted 32, but some have more than one component)
- Skill level: 12 are rated easy, 14 intermediate and 6 for experienced knitters
- Sizing: there are patterns for men, women and children, and most of the garments have three sizes, though a few of the patterns for women only have two
- Illustrations: full-color photographs
- Knitting lessons: six pages of basic and special knitting techniques
- Publication date: May 2012
The book is divided into theme sections such as let's go sledding and well-dressed to brave the cold, but really all of these patterns are great for wearing indoors or out in the cold months. There are sweaters for everyone in the family (well, not quite, because the kids' patterns range from sizes 4 to 8 for the girls and 6 to 10 for the boys) as well as adult hats, mittens, socks, scarves, pillows, a wrap, a bag and a bolero.
Most of the projects are for women, though there are a fair number of projects for men, too. These projects are heavy on cables and textured stitches for a classic winter look.
One thing that always annoys me when I see it in knitting books is when the patterns don't say specifically what kind of yarn was used. Sure, I can choose my own 100 percent alpaca light weight yarn, but I'm always curious about the actual yarn that was used and many knitters want to buy the same yarn that was used in a pattern if they can. (In this book's defense, it was originally published in Germany, so it is possible those yarns aren't available in the United States. But still.)
Some of the standout projects for me include the Color in the Snow pullover pictured on the cover, it's a cabled classic with a cozy turtleneck, though from the look of the picture it could stand to be a bit longer to really keep you warm; the textured stitch Heart-Warming Cardigan, worked to be roomy and warm; the pretty Northern Greetings Sock, which feature a two-color pattern on the leg and alternating stitches of two colors all around the foot for extra warmth; the Cables on Cables vest, a hooded cardigan top with complex cables across the front; Messenger Bag, another stranded knitting project that looks like it was made out of an old Nordic sweater; the Classic Ribbed Raglan, which is exactly as it sounds; and the Textured Tunic, a long, nubby V-neck pullover perfect for layering.
Knitting the Chill Away has plenty of pretty projects that will warm you up in the winter months. There's nothing here that particularly stunned me or made me want to pick up my knitting needles immediately, but there are lots of basics dressed up with cables and textured stitches.
If you've knit a couple of garments before and are looking for some new projects for men, women and younger kids to enjoy, this book has lots of great ideas.