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Stitch New York

A New York State of Knit

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Stitch New York

Stitch New York by Lauren O'Farrell.

David and Charles.

New York City is known for so many iconic things, from the Statue of Liberty to dirty water hot dogs to Woody Allen and a ton of taxis. Lauren O'Farrell has captured some of what makes the city special in knit form in her book Stitch New York: 20 Kooky Ways to Knit the City and More.

Like her previous book Stitch London, this book takes larger-than-life aspects of the city and makes them tiny -- though in a couple of cases it also takes little things the city is known for and makes them huge. It's a fun combination sure to charm Gothamites and others who love the city.

About the Book

  • Pages: 128
  • Format: paperback with flaps
  • Number of patterns: 18, but several have multiple variations shown
  • Skill level: patterns are rated -- from easiest to more difficult -- 7 for tourists, 6 for Gothamites and 5 for yellow taxicab drivers
  • Illustrations: full-color photographs
  • Knitting lessons: 12 pages at the back of the book cover all the basics and other skills you'll need to tackle the projects
  • Publication date: December 2012

The Patterns

Patterns are divided up into general themes inspired by the people, places, things and inhabitants of New York City. The section of Knit New Yorkers, for instance, features Woody Allen, Holly Golightly and a couple of New York's finest firefighters.

Icons of the city like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are worked small, while burgers and hot dogs are made supersized for extra whimsy. You'll also find patterns for an angry ape, an alley cat and a sewer alligator, among other critters.

And if you like your knitting books to come with projects you can actually wear, there are patterns for leg warmers and a hat, as well as a dog sweater, all of which show several variations to fit your mood and favorite part of the city (or holiday, in the case of the dog sweater).

There's also a section that combines guerrilla gardening and guerrilla knitting, with a bag knit from plastic bags that you can put a plant in and a knit flower you can plant wherever you like.

These patterns are cute and sure to be enjoyed by knitters in the city and those beyond who hold a special place in their wooly hearts for the big apple (speaking of, why is there no big apple in this collection?).

Bottom Line

I wouldn't call Stitch New York an essential addition to anyone's knitting library, but it certainly is a lot of fun, especially if you happen to live and knit in or around the city or are enamored with the city but don't live nearby or get to visit as often as you like.

A knit skyscraper might not replace the real thing, but it's a more interesting souvenir or knick-knack to have on display than something you bought at a tourist shop.

The pictures in this book are really whimsical as well and may inspire you to take your knitted versions along on your next sightseeing trip so you can take pictures of your wee taxi next to a real-life one, for instance.

The additional suggestions for pattern alterations mean this isn't just a book that will help you knit a few limited icons of one major city -- you can take these basic shapes and tailor them to your favorite places, or just knit up a city completely of your own devising. That's part of the fun of yarn!

Author's website

Projects on Ravelry

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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