Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The finer things in life

Knit So Fine has had very mixed reviews on Amazon, so I thought I'd chip in my two (Euro) cents. First, the not-so-good: I found most of the (26 page long!) introduction supremely irritating. Maybe it's just that in my case the authors were preaching to the converted, but honestly, does anyone need to be told that, "thin yarns weigh less than thick ones", or require visual proof that, "a lace pattern looks better when knitted in a fine yarn"? Their definition of fine yarn seems a bit off to me anyway; they consider anything knitting up at more than 5 stitches per inch to be fine, which means that DK is, according to them, thin. Hmmm.

Some of the reasoning is a little wonky as well - at one point they provide a rather entertaining picture of a Barbie doll dressed first in a bulky knitted dress (3 stitches/inch) and then in a lightweight one (7 stitches/inch). "Even the fashion doll," they enthuse, "looks better in the clingy, thin, curve-hugging fine-guage yarn. If the difference in gauge makes a doll look better, imagine what it will do for real bodies!" Erm, surely it's the other way round? At three stitches per inch, each stitch is a very significant percentage of Barbie's itty-bitty measurements, and she'll look proportionally chunkier wearing a garment knit at this gauge than a human adult would. Or have I grossly misunderstood some basic principle of physics? (It wouldn't be the first time; I've occasionally counted on the laws of gravity charitably overlooking me.)

My final niggle with the introduction is that some of the advantages of fine yarns which the authors wax so lyrical about aren't represented in the patterns. Colour work, for example - zilch! Unless you consider stripes to be colour work, which I have been known to do in unambitious moments.

But, that grumble aside, on with the patterns! There are, I think it's fair to say, some exceptionally iffy ones, but I'm very taken with others. Three of the four in the mini collage above are already sitting impatiently in my Ravelry queue (the fourth - the Bohus jumper in the top left corner - looks gorgeous there but is, in fact, disappointingly frumpy when seen in full). I'm also smitten with the wrap dress, which I'll never have the patience to make, unless perhaps I resurrect my mum's knitting machine from wherever it's currently collecting dust. Or acquire a troupe of dexterous child slaves.

In other news, in the last three weeks I've knit exactly eleven rows of the Drawstring Chemise. A new slothfulness record! And to think that I was seriously toying with the idea of entering the Ravelympics...

1 comment:

Anushka said...

very funny review. i don't think i'll be buying this one, since personally none of the patterns are appealing to me, but then i never buy knitting books anyway, i just read millions of reviews, go on about them for ages, and trawl the internet for the cheapest deal possible. then i add them to my shopping cart on amazon and stare at them every time i log on to buy schoolbooks.
i take it you have better luck!