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The Best of Knitscene

Classic, Simple Patterns

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The Best of Knitscene

The Best of Knitscene by Lisa Shroyer.

Interweave Press.

Knitscene magazine is built on the premise that good-looking, fashionable knits that people will want to make and wear do not have to be difficult or incredibly detailed. The right little touch, whether it's a textured band, the perfect cable or lace in an unexpected heavy weight yarn, the magazine focuses on projects that are approachable for a wide variety of knitters as well as attractive and classic projects knitters will want to make and wear year after year.

After five years of publication, the magazine's editor, Lisa Shroyer, put together a book of 20 of the most popular patterns from Knitscene, together with essays on technique and profiles of some favorite designers. The result is The Best of Knitscene: A Collection of Simple, Stylish and Spirited Knits.

About the Book

  • Number of pages: 144
  • Format: paperback
  • Number of patterns: 20
  • Skill level: none given, but necessary skills range from beginner to intermediate
  • Sizes:: most of the garments offer five sizes, though one has just four (it's a rather slouchy jacket) and several have many more than five
  • Illustrations: full-color photographs; techniques are illustrated with line drawings
  • Knitting lessons: essays on technique can be found throughout the book; a section in the back of the book covers special techniques you might need in the projects
  • Publication date: November 2011

Popular Patterns Galore

The most popular pattern ever published in Knitscene was the Central Park Hoodie by Heather Lodinsky. The pattern is in more than 6,000 queues on Ravelry and has been cast on or knit by more than 4,000 people there. The book says Lodinsky has hinted that royalties from the sale of that pattern put her daughter through college.

So of course that pattern is here, and it's actually the first pattern in the book after a look at some timeless trends in knitting and an essay on yarn from Clara Parkes. This time around the pattern is worked in a pretty fuchsia yarn for an updated look.

In fact, many of the patterns here have been tweaked a bit from the original, incorporating errata, using a new yarn if the old one was discontinued, or just showing the project off in a different color. That means even fans of Knitscene from way back will see some of their favorite patterns in a new way.

Other perennial favorites found in The Best of Knitscene include Connie Chang Chinchio's Geodesic Cardigan, a simple Stockinette pattern save for tucks worked into the fronts; Debbie O'Neill's gorgeous Equinox Raglan, a simple design made special by the use of Noro Silk Garden; the easy and striking Freshman Cable Socks from Star Athena; and the Opulent Raglan from Wendy Bernard, with its bell sleeve cuffs and fabulous cable running down the center.

Other standouts include the crazy simple Phiaro Scarf form Katie Himmelberg, which uses dropped stitches to make a luxurious wrap; Cecliy Glowik MacDonald's Garter Stitch Pinch Hat, which uses a gathering stitch to make this beginner's hat into a statement; the pretty leaf lace Emily Shawl by Mandy Moore; and Riding to Avalon, also by Chang Chinchio and pictured on the cover, a true classic that has just the right amount of detail to make it fun to knit and wear.

Bottom Line

The Best of Knitsence also includes some basic technique essays on subjects such as counting rows in cables and reading lace patterns.

Whether you're a longtime fan of the magazine, a new devotee or someone who has never picked this magazine off the shelf before, this well-curated look at the publication's first five years should draw new fans and provide old fans with a bunch of their favorite classic patterns together in one place.

I could easily see myself knitting a bunch of these patterns, and the good news is I actually could, because they're all relatively quick, straightforward knits that will nonetheless make a great impact.

Isn't that the kind of knitting we're all looking for?

Publisher's website

Pattern corrections

Projects on Ravelry

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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