Cascade 220 is a perennial favorite yarn among knitters. It's a good-looking, hard-wearing, value-priced yarn that comes in more colors and styles than a knitter could possibly use in her lifetime.
Although the yarn could be used for just about any project you like, it really shines in quick, easy, everyday pieces that you really can use and enjoy. Sixth & Spring Books has put out a collection of great patterns for accessories using Cascade 220, 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 Mittens in Cascade 220.
The patterns were developed by a range of designers, and are appropriate for a range of skill levels. One pattern is rated for beginning knitters, 15 are easy, 32 are for intermediate knitters and 12 for those with plenty of experience. The patterns are for men, women and children, though most of them are for women. Most of the patterns are one size only.
The patterns use a range of techniques, from simple textures and ribbing to cables, bobbles, lace and colorwork. There are your requisite cutesy patterns, including a child's hats that looks like a monkey and a scarf with a lion's face.
But there are also some really lovely patterns, like the fun Wave Scarf, which uses increases and decreases to form a scalloped shape; the Slip-Stitch Hat, which uses yarn strands to form a diamond pattern; and the Leaf-Lace Gauntlets, covered with a pretty undulating lace pattern.
Other favorites include the super-cute Octopus Mittens for kids; the two-toned Tweed Mittens; in which the colors shift on the cuff and hand to produce a cool shadow effect; the colorful Mitered Scarf, using some of the beautiful variegated versions of 220; the basic but beautiful Cabled-Cuff Mittens, which use a cabled panel for the cuff of a simple Stockinette mitten; and the Spotted Fair Isle Mittens, which look a lot more complicated than they are because they use a variegated yarn for the colorwork.
60 Quick Knits offers knitters a lot great basics and a few fancier patterns, all of which are a great use for great yarn. Fans of Cascade 220 will want to get their hands on this book and start using it right away to make accessories for themselves and for gifts. Because 220 comes in regular and superwash versions, it's great to use for kids and anyone else you can't trust to hand wash a gift.
If you're not already a fan of this workhorse yarn, taking a look at this book might just get you interested (though of course you can work these projects with any worsted-weight yarn you like). This book is sure to get you thinking about winter accessories in a new way and get you excited about making up a mess of hats, scarves and mittens for everyone on your gift list.
Publication date: April 2010