Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Graphic Knits by Alexis Winslow

By Alexis Winslow
Interweave/F+W; $24.99
When I was asked if I wanted to review Alexis Winslow's new book, Graphic Knits: 20 Designs in Bold, Beautiful Color, I leapt at the chance. I had already been admiring many of the patterns on Ravelry, and to be honest, I was planning on buying the book for myself if I didn't get it as a holiday gift this year. Then, of course, a copy shows up on my doorstep courtesy of the kind people at Interweave!

The projects which first caught my eye were several of the designs featuring all-over bold geometric elements: the Rook Pullover, Orly Cardigan, and the cover project, the Trilogy Cardigan all have that "punch" you would expect from a book called Graphic Knits. However, there are many other interpretations of "Graphic Knits" explored throughout the book as the author plays with color and stitch patterns to create a graphic mood.

The designs featuring smaller elements of colorwork such as the Sweetness Pullover and Rockling Cardigan are great examples of this interplay, and incorporating colorblocks within designs is another concept I particularly enjoyed, such as in the Barbet Turtleneck and the Bowerbird Wrap. A third way graphic knits is interpreted is through textured stitches and lace, such as in the Germander Shrug and Minnow Top.

Barbet Turtleneck - Image © Joe Hancock
There are plenty of designs which are suitable for adventurous beginners, but those with intermediate and advanced skills will also find plenty to keep their needles busy: interesting construction abounds, and most designs have notes included to describe the unusual design or construction elements thoroughly, along with a schematic. Up until this point, I've mostly been mentioning the sweater patterns, but there are also some accessory designs included in the collection: a few hats, mittens, and a chevron belt round out the mix.

Patterns, from top to bottom: Woodstar Beret & Mitts, Tanager Shrug, and Danae Mitts.
Throughout the book, there are tips and tutorials specific to a particular pattern aimed at helping the knitter successfully make each design. Flipping thought the pages, I spied a quick tutorial on how to knit jogless stripes in the round, notes about weaving in chunky ends, and how to create twisted-cord fringe - and that's just the tip of the iceberg!
Rockling Cardigan - Image © Joe Hancock
For those of you who are curious about how the donuts get made, Alexis has been sharing fascinating behind-the-scenes looks on her blog for various designs from this book - click here to visit her website!
Bowerbird Wrap - Image © Joe Hancock
I am totally in love with this book and can't wait to make myself something from it (you know, after I finish all that holiday gift knitting first...coughcough). The hardest thing for me will be deciding which project to knit first from this excellent collection!

Click here to purchase on the Interweave website.

You might like to know: I was given a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for my review. I assure you, the love-fest is genuine, however!

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