Posted in Knitting
November 16, 2005

Book review: SimpleChic by Jil Eaton

Last time I reviewed Jil Eaton’s PuppyKnits book…now it’s time for SimpleChic: Designer Knits, SuperQuick! — it has fun knits for humans and dogs!

As a designer, and as a reader of more knitting books and patterns than I can count, I appreciate simplicity. There are times when you don’t necessarily want to follow some appallingly complex, changes-every-row chart. I call it “TV knitting” — can you watch an episode of Buffy or take it to a dark movie theatre and just knit, without dropping stitches or missing some crucial shaping?

This book has a lot of good TV knitting patterns, but the thing is, they’re also attractive. Cute, felted pillbox-style hats, oversized funnel-necked pullovers (mmm, I love funnel necks in winter — they’ve got that nice pocket of body-warmed air below your chin instead of a tight turtleneck! but I digress…), lacy yet warm mohair wraps… There are also a few “ok, it’s cute, but I’m never knitting that unless I want to torture someone” patterns, such as a hat designed to make the poor baby wearing it look like a Christmas tree, but compared to other books, they’re not that bad.

(Your mileage may vary, but the only “purposefully cute” baby hats I like are the Viking Chicken and devil or kitty horns…that’s just me, though).

The photography is well done, and there’s a smidge of elementary knitting instruction in the front, though not enough to get a new knitter up and running. I like that there are patterns for all ages (including sweaters for children): you could crank out gifts for a lot of people with this book! All in all, SimpleChic is a good source for basic patterns that aren’t too basic, and that have plenty of opportunity for customization. Check it out!

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