Saturday, January 14, 2012

No-Bull Book Review: Sweet Shawlettes by Jean Moss

I am very pleased to be part of the official book tour for Jean Moss's new book, Sweet Shawlettes: 25 Irresistible Patterns for Knitting Cowls, Capelets, and More (Taunton 2012).  Jean Moss is a British designer who has created garments for such well-known companies as Ralph Lauren, Laura Ashley and Benetton; she is the author of several previous books and she frequently teaches in the US and UK. Her latest book is devoted to those charming small shawls, cowls and other accessories that have become so popular. Let's take a No-Bull look.

The patterns are divided into four sections: Country, Couture, Folk and Vintage. Country begins with six patterns, ranging from a shawl with colorwork edging

to a necklace-like leaf cravat

and a buttoned tweedy cowl.

The Couture section includes an entrelac capelette

and a bulky twisted cabled scarf:

In the Folk section, you'll find a cowl with charming stranded colorwork:

as well as cables

and graceful stitchwork.

Vintage includes goodies like multicolored lace

oodles of ruffles

and a mohair-blend mantilla:

Perhaps because of the lighter color choices and the styling, many of these patterns look particularly suited for springtime. (I love the look of the apricot lace shawl over a summer dress, above). Clear, attractive photographs of the patterns, both close-up and overall, were skillfully done by Alexandra Grablewski.

The pattern section is followed by an appendix, with techniques, yarn information, and other reference information.

For those of you who like the numbers, you'll find four full-size shawls, four small shawls/scarves, two necklace-type scarves, five capelets, one hat with scarf tails to wrap, one longer cowl and eight shorter cowls and neckwarmers (some are loosely fitted while others sit closer to the neck). Yarn weights are all over the place:  3 fingering weight, 9 DK weight, 1 worsted, 1 denim yarn, 3 aran weight, 2 chunky weight, 3 in KidSilk Haze, and 3 polar/superchunky -- so no matter what's in your stash, you'll have choices. Most of the patterns come in one size, since they're accessories, but a few are given in multiple sizes. You'll find schematics and charts, too. Difficulty levels range from easy to experienced, again providing a good mix depending on your mood.

To sum up, you'll find a variety of styles, difficulty levels and yarn gauges in this book full of accessories, including scarves, cowls, shawls and capelets, as well as a few very decorative necklace-like pieces. It's well worth a look, particularly if you are looking for smaller projects that will help you use up stash. By the time spring rolls around, you'll have a new wardrobe full of accessories.

Next stop on the blog tour: Redshirt Knitting tomorrow. And you can find the full blog tour schedule here, on Jean Moss's website.

1 comment:

trillium said...

Every design is charming and begs to be made. I want to get this book.