Thursday, December 18, 2008

Luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders Book Review by ChristineMM

Title: Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Small Indulgences
Edited by: Judith Durant
Genre: Nonfiction, Knitting
Publication: Storey Publishing, 2008
Format: Softcover Book
ISBN: 9781603420792
Full Retail Price: $18.95

My Rating: 5 stars out of 5 (I love it!)

Summary Statement: Inspirational, Lovely Projects, Mostly for Intermediate or Advanced Knitters

This is the third in the “one skein wonder” series, featuring 101 projects made of luxury yarns. As with all books in this series the finished projects are shown in full-color photographs in a gallery in the front of the book. The chapters that follow are divided by yarn weight. This format allows for two options of skimming: you can browse through all projects with a certain weight yarn that you may want to work with, or you can skim through the photographs to find a project that catches your eye as the starting point.

The yarns featured in this book are: silk and silk blends, cashmere, alpaca and alpaca blends, soy, qiviut (arctic musk ox), bison, and corn. Some ‘ecofriendly fibers’ are featured: bamboo, flax, linen, organic cotton and organic wool.

Since luxury yarns are expensive, it is a great idea to have access to projects that can be made with just one skein. It is apparent that the designers tried to get the most and best use from each yarn, giving luxury yarns a project that would show off their unique beauty, or take advantage of the softest fibers to use it in ways that we can appreciate the sensual nature against our skin, such as a very soft scarf or a hat for a baby or an adult. The super fine weight yarns have been made into lovely lacey objects.

It seems to me that most of the projects are for the intermediate or advanced knitter. I feel this is due to the types of complex stitching used to either make a lovely lacey shawl or scarf or perhaps to make the one skein stretch to the largest size thing possible, as with the case with some of the scarves made more for show than warmth, and with an airy baby cap. There are gloves, socks, vests and baby sweaters which are projects or stitches for knitters with more skill than a beginner has.

While at first I was a bit disappointed there were not more easy projects for beginners, after reading through the book a few times I came to realize that this is probably due to wanting to use an expensive and luxurious yarn in the most appropriate way to ‘honor it’, if you will, by matching its cost and level of luxuriousness to a finished project that will really show it off. One would not want to waste an expensive and fancy yarn on a basic garter stitch scarf or a simple ribbed hat, typical beginner knitting projects. Also some of the yarns are delicate and would not hold up to some of the easier to knit projects that might get hard wear and be ruined in a short amount of time.

I love the book because the designers have provided a variety of projects ranging from wearable items for babies to adults to home decor that make good and an appropriate use of the expensive luxury yarns. I am a beginner knitter and feel I’m not yet ready to knit most of these projects. I am inspired by this book to continue learning new knitting techniques and to try knitting with more delicate yarns. This book let me see that I have a lot of options for types of yarn to work with in the future.

As a beginner knitter for one-skein projects I can, for now, use the two other books in this series as I continue to learn. I have skimmed through those two books and highly recommend them too.

Knitters who love to fill their shelves with books that inspire them would like to own this book. Knitters who like to do small projects or who are looking for good projects to make gifts would like this. This is also a good book for a public library to have in their collection.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program for the purpose of writing a review for Amazon Vine at

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