Quick and fabulous

I love to pre-order books. Just love it. First of all, if I spot a book that I’m bound to love, pre-ordering circumvents my sometimes faulty memory: no wish lists, or making a note on the calendar about when a certain book is due to come out. Second, the book is delivered as soon as the supplier receives it, sometimes weeks before the official release date. Third, often months go by between placing the order and receiving the book, so it’s a most pleasant surprise to come home to a package, and remember all over again why the book caught my interest.

 

Meet 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats*20 Scarves*20 Mittens in Cascade 220. I pre-ordered it approximately 1.6 seconds after seeing the children’s Octopus Mittens on Elli’s blog. THERE ARE SUCKERS ON THE PALMS, PEOPLE! I didn’t care if the rest of the book was filled with leopard-print sombreros and mohair bikinis, the Octopus Mittens had to be mine!

Several weeks went by. I had forgotten all about my order, and estimated date of delivery. Then one day, the book arrived, and imagine my delight when I discovered that the book was filled cover to cover with absolutely amazing patterns!

The concept is simple: 20 hats, 20 mittens, and 20 scarves, all knit out of Cascade 220. Yes, the ubiquitous Cascade, available in just about any yarn shop, superwash and not, in hundreds of colors, at an amazingly affordable price, especially considering how little is needed to knit up a small accessory. The book itself is not too expensive, either!

The patterns are, in a word, winners. And if you may kindly allow me two words, I would say “color” and “texture.” I felt that this collection of accessories, more than others I’ve seen, utilized Cascade’s spectrum of colors and ability to showcase stitch patterns to their fullest. You know how sometimes you leaf through a book and get that “meh” feeling? Yeah, not here, and I’m a picky customer. Certainly I like some patterns better than others, but with 60 to choose from, I think everyone can find something to his or her liking. I see great potential in this book as a source of knitted gifts, too.

From a technical standpoint, the patterns are organized, include clear charts and finished measurements, and contain beautiful and demonstrative photographs: no complaints at first glance. They span a range of skills, from basic stockinette for beginners, to fancy cables for advanced knitters. There are items for men, women, and children.

Take a look in the extended entry at some of my absolute favorites. It was hard to choose!


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36 thoughts on “Quick and fabulous

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  1. JJ

    Ah, so this is why you were looking for Cascade 220 at Windsor Button. I am curious about this book as well as the other Cascade 220 pattern book. Cascade 220 is my BF’s favorite yarn (he refers to it as “the best yarn in the world”), and I do like its versatility.

    It was really nice meeting you in person!

  2. cedarstrings

    I also pre-ordered it … at least 55 of the patterns are now my favorites. As soon as I leafed through the book, I recognized it as a true treasure, and I have ordered another copy to have on hand as a “gift” to whichever knitter friend happens to need a lift one day.

  3. Meg McG

    I don’t comment nearly enough and for that I sincerely apologize, I read EVERY. SINGLE. POST. You are an excellent, reliable, intelligent source of information and if you are bestowing this much praise on a book then well, I’m gonna buy it. I love that lion scarf and it might convince my 5 year old to wear one!

    Tell me this, is there a book out there that explains hats really well? Not just patterns, but why some are flattering to certain faces, what kinds of cast ons and decrease patterns work well and why? I would love properly technical book on hat construction.

  4. Sarah

    Sold! I always love your book reviews (so detailed & thoughtful!) but I don’t always buy the books. This one jumped into my cart really fast. The octopus mittens and monkey hat totally did it for me. :)

  5. Alice

    Elli’s patterns are gorgeous, and there are so many others too! I just popped over to Amazon and ordered, unfortunately looks like I’ll have to wait until April for it to arrive but gives me time to finish up some WIPs!

    Thanks for the review and giving us a glimpse at some of the other great patterns in this book. :)

  6. Megan

    I’m glad you like this book; I found it to be reaching in some areas. My LYS got some samples in for a trunk show, and they weren’t super impressive. However I’m sure the individual creativity of knitters will really make them shine.

  7. Dawn in NL

    One of your commenters Meg McG just asked how to pick a hat shape that suits you and todays Knitting Daily post talks about that very thing.

  8. lauren

    Okay so I’m totally going to need a copy of this book. On the wish list it goes! Also I’m half cracking up half shuddering at the idea of a mohair bikini. YIKES.

  9. Seanna Lea

    I love the monkey hat. I think I would have to upsize it for my husband’s godzilla head, but it would be worth it. He would wear it!

    For me, I love the minaret-styled hat. It has cables and texture without looking overblown.

  10. janjan

    I’ve been lurking for a while… this book may be at cross purposes for my plans on moving back to sunny California, but gosh darn it! I must have octopus mittens too!!

  11. del

    I really want a new book, too…just that first scarf pic alone makes me want to get it. This was a really helpful review.

  12. Kristin

    Thanks for the heads-up on this book! I’ve got a bit left on a Christmas gift card from Barnes & Noble, so as soon as a coupon turns up in my inbox, I think I’ll dash out to get it!

  13. Melissa

    Thanks so much for the review of this book. I love Cascade 220 but I’m always skeptical of pattern books. I always fret that they won’t be as great as I think they are. This proves that this book is a must have!

  14. Carolyn

    Dang it! Now I have to go get this book as well. I’m already picking up a pre-ordered book from my semi-LYS that and now I’ve got to get this one. Sigh….life is so hard! Tee hee! Thank you for enabling me again.

  15. Marie

    You enabler, you. I have now ordered this book (and a couple others to get free shipping) from Amazon. And I had just told myself I was going to wait until next month for any new craft-related purchases.

  16. Kristin

    Love the book. Thanks so much for putting it on your blog. I went out and bought it at Barnes and Noble and I’m so glad I did. It will keep me busy for a very long time!

  17. Tanis

    Wow, thanks for the great review, doll!

    This 220 book was my first solo editing stint after leaving VK and your comments mean TONS to me. Thanks for making a meh kind of day into a fabulous one!

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