Nicky Epstein is known for her innovative and fun designs full of embellishments and add-ons. Her book Nicky Epstein's Signature Scarves: Dazzling Designs to Knit certainly carries on that tradition with scarves that are felted, include tons of colorwork, have added I-cords and embroidery and are full of texture, color and fun techniques.
The book contains 33 scarf patterns, as well as all the basic instructions needed to complete them. They range from the pretty basic to the quite advanced and use many of the techniques that Epstein's fans are familiar with, such as securing nuts to a piece of fabric before felting it, making individual pieces and sewing them together, and using I-cord as fringe or a clasp, often with a leaf motif at one end.
One interesting thing about the book is that includes various ways to tie a scarf, so once you've knit one of these wonders you'll know how to wear it as well.
And as you might expect from Epstein, there's a section in the back on scarf edgings, which can be worked on to a scarf as you knit or added after it's finished for an extra bit of flair.
These patterns are really classic Epstein, and if you've read some of her other books these patterns will feel familiar to you. Some of them are in fact greatest hits, like the silver scarf that graced the cover of Vogue Knitting's 25th anniversary issue last year and the Heathered Leaf Wrap, which has a basketweave base and is embellished with appliquéd knit leaves.
There are a couple of scarves that are felted with nuts secured onto the fabric for a shibori effect, and a couple that are felted and then have shapes cut out of them. There are felted leaves stitched together in a scarf, and unfelted knit yo-yos stitched together.
There are circular shapes stitched together, and giant knit furballs that are stitched together. There's a lace scarf and several scarves with dramatic colorwork, including a fun mosaic knit scarf with skeleton shapes knit into the fabric.
For newer knitters there are patterns that mostly rely on the stitch pattern to make a pretty scarf. Though many of the patterns would be somewhat intimidating to new knitters because of the amount of construction or finishing involved, this book does a good job of speaking to all skill levels.
If you're one of those people who can't get enough of scarves (or Nicky Epstein) this is the book for you. And if you prefer scarves that are more about warmth than a fashion statement, you'll still find some scarves to like in this book.
Publication date: July 2008.