Judith Durant's Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Small Indulgences offers a range of patterns for scarves, hats, gloves, baby clothes and more made with traditional luxury fibers like cashmere, alpaca and silk to less well-known fibers like bison and eco-friendlier choices such as organic cotton and bamboo.
These projects cover a range of skills and offer knitters a lot of luxury from a single skein to make the perfect gift for themselves or someone they love.
While there is a brief techniques section at the back of the book, like the other books in this series the emphasis is on the patterns. The 101 projects in Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders are arranged by yarn weight (lace, super-fine, lightweight, medium and bulky), allowing knitters to more easily swap out a fabulous fiber they already have in their stash.
The projects range from scarves and shawls to gloves and mittens, socks to purses, toys to pillows, jewelry to hats and neck warmers. The pattern section of the book is printed in two colors and there are no pictures of the projects with the patterns. Instead, they are featured in a full-color section at the front of the book.
My main criticism of the book is that the pictures aren't in the same order as the patterns, so if you're looking through the pattern instructions you have to do a lot of flipping to find the corresponding photo. But most people probably look at the photos first and then find the pattern, so it's not a major problem.
In a book with so many patterns it's hard to pick favorites, but some that stood out to me include the Silk Merino Twisted Gloves, with a mock cable rib and cool twisted motif on the back of the hand; the Qiviut Neck Muff in a zigzag lace; the Alpaca Gator Socks for kids, which have eyes on the top to make them look like alligators; the Baby's Cables Milk-Silk Cap with adorable earflaps; the Silk Delight Scarf, knit in the domino technique; and the Cashmere Neck Warmer featuring a cool slip stitch pattern.
If you love one-skein projects, you're sure to enjoy this book. Focusing on luxury yarns is a great concept because these yarns are often so expensive, it's really nice to be able to buy just one skein and make a really lovely project with it.
These patterns are great for special gifts for friends, new babies and yourself, and the gorgeous yarns make them as much fun to knit as they are to use on a regular basis in your life.
Publication date: October 2008.