Suss Cousins is known as a knitwear designer who couples straightforward designs with lovely yarns and fun details that elevate them to classic status. Her Suss Design Essentials: The Ultimate Collection for a Classic Handknit Wardrobe offers 30 patterns for sweaters, separates, coats, capes and accessories that are among her favorites and the most popular patterns from her off-the-rack clothing line.
Note: as of this writing Suss Design Essentials appeared to be out of print, but copies were available for resale on Amazon and direct from the author's website.
Suss Design Essentials is meant to be for intermediate knitters, those who have knit a sweater or two and are ready to take on a bigger, more tailored project. It's not that these patterns are difficult, they just include more shaping and detailing than you might find in a typical knit sweater pattern.
For example, her Dolman-Sleeve Open-Neck Pullover looks simple enough, given that it's just Stockinette Stitch, but the sideways knitting and drawstring waistband make the pattern a little more involved than something knit in pieces.
The sleek A-line Embroidered Dress is all Stockinette other than the ribbed V-neck, but it rates as for experienced knitters because of the time commitment involved in knitting a 50-inch-long dress (that's for the small size) and the embroidered flowers stitched on when the knitting is done.
Just one pattern, a scarf, ranks for beginning knitters, while 12 are for intermediate knitters and 17 are for experienced knitters. Patterns with sizes have three options, and most of the projects are relatively fitted.
All of the patterns call for Suss yarns, but there's a yarn substitution guide in the back of the book that offers suggestions for other yarns you might try.
Some of my favorite patterns include the Deep V-Neck Cable Vest, a tunic-length chunky vest adorned with cables and ribs; the Golden Evening Top, a sleek Stockinette shell with eyelet details and ruching at the sides so you can adjust the length; the Off-the-Shoulder Dress, a classic A-line number with contrasting, slightly fuzzy cuffs and collar; the Sleeveless Turtleneck Dress, a tunic-style sleeveless turtleneck with a long belt; and the Half-Moon Bag with flowers, an easy Reverse Stockinette Bag embellished with a purchased felt and crochet flower (you could easily make your own embellishments).
Publication date: October 2007.