Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: Curls by Hunter Hammersen

It's true, I live in something of a fiber arts bubble: my world is 24/7 yarn and fiber. So when someone tells me they aren't familiar with the work of Hunter Hammersen, I am a bit shocked - especially now, with the huge success of her new book, Curls. Since its release near the end of last year, Curls has entered its third printing, and it hit the number-one spot on Amazon in the knitting books category. It's been mentioned on tons of blogs and podcasts, and we all pretty much agree: Curls is awesome and we want to knit every single one.

The concept is both simple and amazing: easy-to-wear wraps which can be knit at any gauge. Whether you prefer a sock weight shawl or want to whip up a quick bulky wrap, all you have to do is grab your needles, pick a pattern, and cast on (I'm especially looking forward to putting some of my skeins of handspun yarn to good use). As Hunter explains in the introduction, she came across an interesting shape while swatching and quickly realized just how versatile it could be - not only when it comes to knitting, but also when you're wearing it! The books shows tons of inspiring styling ideas throughout to help you wear your Curl with pride.
In addition to the 14 patterns, there is a wealth of information at the beginning of the book. The detailed explanation of the "Anatomy of a Curl" is something I wouldn't recommend skipping, especially if you have knit several more traditional-shaped shawls. As I cast on for my first Curl, I found my only issue was reminding myself that I am knitting a totally different shape than what I'm used to; referring back to this section (which includes a color-coded diagram and detailed explanations) was really helpful to get me back on track.

Hunter also includes information on how to modify your Curl as you knit, a page of helpful hints, an explanation of gauge and sizing for the patterns, a thorough explanation of how to read the charts, and finishes off with a section on blocking. The eBook version also includes a section explaining Stitch Maps, which are basically knitting charts, minus the grid. They're a relatively new development from JC Briar, and the eBook version includes Stitch Maps for each pattern, conveniently located next to the chart (more detail on that here).

The rest of the book is filled with the patterns: there are 14 patterns in all, and each one includes full-color photographs, written instructions and charts. They are all concise and easy to follow, and to me, it appears as though they are arranged in order of difficulty - some of the charts for the final few Curls look quite complex! I can't think of the last time I picked up a knitting book and truly loved each and every pattern within it, but I can totally see myself knitting all 14 designs, hopefully before the next Curls book comes out!

There is a currently an informal KAL for the first design in the book, Caesious (more on that here), and each subsequent design will have their day in the sun as well (you can see the full KAL schedule here).

Ready to join in? You can order PDF or print copies via the links below; print copies ordered through the Pantsville Press website will also receive a PDF version for immediate download .

Purchase Curls from the Pantsville Press Website (PDF & Print).
Purchase Curls here on Ravelry (PDF only).
Purchase Curls from Amazon.

All images © Hunter Hammersen.

You may like to know: I was gifted a copy of this book, although I would have bought it anyway! Also, I was not asked to write a review in exchange for the free book.

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