Book reviews on the Marly Bird site are written by team member Kathryn unless otherwise noted. This is her review of Stephanie Lotven’s book “Knit Happy with Self-Striping Yarn: Bright, Fun and Colorful Sweaters and Accessories Made Easy.”
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The Joy of Self-Striping Yarn
Many knitters love to play with color. And, of course, there are plenty of different ways to do that. That’s half the fun of knitting. However, you aren’t always in the mood to do complex colorwork yourself. Perhaps you want a more meditative, but still colorful, project. Or, maybe you’re a new knitter who wants to see the joy of color without having to get into advanced knitting skills quite yet. This is where self-striping yarn comes in.
Self-striping yarn allows you to knit (or crochet) from one end of the yarn ball to the other. You don’t have to stop to pick out new colors. The colors change like magic as you craft. And, just like magic, you get stripes of color as you do simple knit stitches. It’s pretty amazing, whether you’re a newbie or an advanced knitter. In “Knit Happy,” Stephanie Lotven has really celebrated this magic with twenty different patterns that use self-striping yarn to create knit accessories and garments.
Self-Striping Yarn Isn’t Just For Knitting Socks
Lotven explains in her introduction why she was inspired to create Knit Happy. She had been working away on a pair of self-striping knit socks, thoroughly immersed in the joy of the color unfolding. And she did love those socks. But then, as she puts it, “I popped my toes into my new favorite socks, skipped done the stairs, put on my shoes, and just like that, my beautiful socks disappeared.” She was immediately inspired to use colorful self-striping yarn to knit accessories and garments that the world around her could see when she wore them.
Self-Striping Knit Accessories and Sweaters
This book contains 4-6 patterns in each of five different categories:
- Knit mittens (including one that is a fingerless pair)
- Hats (including one that is a bonnet)
When she had seen her socks disappear, she immediately thought about creating “sock arms” which led to some of the knit sweater designs in this book. All in all there are twenty different super colorful knit patterns in this book.
Knit Patterns for Different Skill Levels
One of the things that I love about this book, although it is seemingly simple, is that it includes information about the skill levels of each pattern at the very start of the book. Sure many knit pattern books list the skill levels on the pattern. However, this actually tells you more about what each of the four levels (from beginner to advanced are). Moreover, the author lists which patterns in the book are best for each skill level. Therefore, you can go right here and see that if you’re an adventurous beginner, for example, there are nine patterns best to start with.
Additional Information In Knit Happy
Knit Happy is one of those books that provides with a lot of information. You’ll learn about self-striping yarn, including working with different stripe widths. You’ll learn about color repeats, why swatching is especially important with self-striping yarn, and get tips for combining solid colors with your colorful yarn in projects.
Each knit pattern in this book includes all of the information you would expect (sizing, construction notes, written instructions, abbreviations, diagrams, charts where appropriate, bonus tips, and clear photos. Furthermore, each pattern begins with a fun introduction. This gives you insight into the designer as well as the pattern, making it a more personable book to work with than many on the market.
5 Beautiful Self-Striping Yarn Knit Patterns
It’s really hard to pick favorites from this book. Honestly, if you love color, then you’re going to like all twenty patterns. But here are five patterns from the book, as found on Ravelry, one from each category:
1. Leap Frog Mittens
2. Everyday Magic Bonnet
3. Slippery Cowl
4. For The Thrill Knit Shawl
5. Little Sock Arms Cardigan
Get This Self-Striping Yarn Knitting Book
Knit Happy is available for sale through Amazon. You can get it as a paperback or as a spiral bound book. Alternatively, you can also get it on Kindle.
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