One of my very favorite things about knitting is how it will let you be as exacting (or as mellow) as you want. Want to dive into the nuances of increases and decreases? Pull up a chair, we can talk about that all day. Want to stick staunchly to ‘I increase with yarn overs and decrease by jamming the needle in two stitches instead of one’? Well that’s cool too, you can make just about anything that way. Want to talk about the finer details of how to get stitches on and off your needles? There are literally entire books about nothing else. Want to stick to the one cast on and bind off you can do in your sleep? More power to you. There’s room for everyone!
So when I heard that Jen was doing a book on helical knitting, my first thought was “Oh yeah, isn’t that the really exacting way to deal with skinny stripes? I probably should know more about that.” And I mean it is…helical knitting is pretty much the tidiest ever way to handle one row stripes when you’re knitting in the round. But, as with most things in knitting, it turns out there’s rather a lot more too it if you want to dive in!
And Jen is totally the person to explain it to you. She’s done books on Lace and Cables (those are links to the delightful free video tutorials she’s done to support each of those books…they’re fabulous and you should watch them…you will absolutely come away knowing something new). She does a consistently excellent job of walking you through techniques in a clear way (lots and lots and lots of step by step photos) that makes them feel approachable, even if they’re new to you (and you’ll probably learn something that makes your knitting easier or more efficient or more fun, even if the technique isn’t new). And she does it all again in this book, this time for helical knitting.
As in Jen’s other books, the focus is on skill building. And the best (and most fun) way to do that is with projects. So as soon as she’s laid the groundwork, she gives you a pattern to put your new skills to work on. Then she introduces something new (garter stitch instead of stockinette, how to do shaping while maintaining your helix, how to make thicker stripes or use more colors) and gives you patterns to practice those skills on too. The result is something that provides a huge amount of information in a very practical way without ever leaving you feeling overwhelmed.
There are seven patterns officially in the book (pictures of them above). But because it’s an ebook (and because Jen is awesome) it’s easy to tuck in some extras. When you buy the book, you’ll also get access to four other fabulous helical patterns that use the skills you’ve learned with the book (photos of them below). And, if you happen to get it during the ebook release period (that’s between now and November 27 UK time), you’ll get a code for 10% off the lovely yarn used in the book.
The ebook is available both on ravelry, and on Jen’s site (if you buy it there, you’ll get the ravelry version too, don’t worry!). Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m feeling the itch to knit up some of the stars or hearts from earlier this year with stripes because how ridiculously cute would that be? What would you knit first?
Pssst…the pictures in this post are Jen’s and are used with permission!