Knitting at Home: 60 Classics from Ella Rae Designs by Leanne Prouse is centered around the idea of different "rooms" that are populated with knitting: a room for living, relaxing, sharing, retreating, a room for little ones and weekend knits.
The patterns, from Australian knitwear designer and founder of the Ella Rae yarn line Prouse, feature classic stitch patterns and basic shapes you'll want to knit to relax, and to relax in.
Knitting at Home contains 60 patterns, which range in skill level from basic to advanced. Some of the projects end up looking more complicated than they are; for instance, a felted ottoman cover is made by knitting and felting rectangles that are cut into wedge shapes and sewn together.
There are lots of pillow covers, afghans, baby blankets and similar projects in the book, most of which are suitable to newer knitters. There are good basic projects incorporating cables and a simple sock pattern that would be good first projects using those skills.
Most of the projects are for the home or one-sized projects (fingerless gloves, a felted hat, a wrap), but there are also a couple of women's sweater patterns (one long sleeved and one short sleeved) and a hooded house coat that offer a range of sizes. There are also a couple of garments for children, including a cabled sweater.
At first glance a lot of these projects may seem kind of plain, like the series of pillow covers in different stitch patterns, or like something you've seen before, like the throw that looks like something right out of a Nicky Epstein book. But on closer inspection there are some real standouts here.
Some of my favorites are the Felted Bird Mobile, another project where felted fabric is cut into shapes and embellished with embroidery; the pretty Floor Pillow with bold intarsia flowers and embroidery; the chunky textured Basketweave Throw; sweet little dolls called Jacqueline, Madeleine and Molly the Dolly; and a cool Twisted Scarf made with short rows.
My absolute favorite pattern in the book is for a big felted hat that's sort of like an enlarged fedora. When I saw it I wanted to drop everything and knit it immediately.
Knitting at Home is a great book for knitters who want to fill their homes with knit items but aren't sure where to start. The collection of pillows and throws in this book should have something to suit most tastes, from classic to romantic.
In addition there are some nice basics for kids and women that you might want to knit, especially if you're looking to build your knitting skills and want to start with, say, an easy first sock or sweater pattern.
Fans of tea and hot water bottles will love all the cozies, and those who want to explore felting with some low-pressure projects will find a few good things to try as well.
This is the kind of book you want to curl up with (and knit from) on a cold, rainy or snowy day. If you want to cover your world in knitting, this book is a good place to start.
Publication date: October 2010