If you think there's no way a scarf pattern could make your head spin, check out Knitting New Scarves: 27 Distinctly Modern Designs by Lynne Barr. This book takes scarves on a twisting, turning, folding, shifting, pleating ride that's likely to ensure you'll never look at scarves the same way again.
Thinking Outside of the Rectangle
Barr says she is particularly inspired by architecture when it comes to scarf construction, and several of the patterns in this book were inspired by buildings from around the world, particularly the Infinity Tower in Dubai, which has a twist built into the structure.
The projects use all sorts of interesting techniques, including dividing knits and purls onto different needles to be ribbed, combining stitches back onto one needle and attaching live knitting still on a needle onto a finished piece.
While these patterns are plenty to keep a knitter busy and thinking for quite some time, Barr hopes they will serve as further inspiration to knitters who want to come up with their own completely unique designs
"It is my hope that knitters who use this book will be inspired to take chances, and will use these patterns as a leaping off point for their own exciting creations," Barr writes.
The book includes instructions for 27 different (and different is the key word here) scarves that knitters of all skill levels can enjoy. Some are as simple as just knitting a stripe with fringe down one side or making short row wedges, while others involve feats of knitting that will give even experienced knitters a little pause.
There's a knit string of pearls, a somewhat shawl-like scarf, a couple of optical illusion projects and many pieced and shaped scarves that produce ridges, rings, flanges, waves and hourglass shapes.
There are patterns here that any skill level of knitter could pull off, and seeing the more complex designs will inspire knitters with less experience to try new techniques.
After working through a couple of the projects or at least practicing some of the unfamiliar techniques, you'll be ready to venture out on your own and make a completely new and unique scarf of your own. And that's what the best knitting books give us: inspiration and confidence to try something we've never tried before and to make our own way in the knitting world.
Publication date: October 2007.