Friday, July 10, 2009

One-Skein Wonders

There have now been multiple editions of One-Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant. In this post, I will take a look at three of the books (my library fun begins!)

101 Designer One-Skein Wonders: A world of possibilities inspired by just one skein edited by Judith Durant.

I know that I always have left over yarn, and I never have a good idea of what to do with it. Hopefully this book will have some great ideas!

The patterns in the book are organized by yarn weight with pictures of each project in the table of contents (so you do not need to flip through the entire book for inspirations). There are no photos with the patterns, all of the photos are in the table of contents.

The patterns include:
  • Lace Weight (8): Wraps, Vest, Dresser Scarf, Fingerless gloves
  • Fingering weight (16): Magic Loop Minis (like Christmas ornaments), socks, baby bonnet, jumper, neck warmer, baby jumper, scarves, bag, checkbook cover, tie, mittens, and warmers
  • Sport (6): lacy beanie (Beautiful!), belt, loop through scarf (sooo cute, great way for a short scarf!), Ring Bearer Pillow, socks, baby sweater
  • DK/Light Worsted (8): Squash hat (I have no idea why you would need to dress up your food, but this hat would be cute for a doll), vest, hat, sachets, necklace, tie, baby hat
  • Mohair (4): Lace spiral scarf, lace cowl, beaded scarf, broadway hat
  • Worsted (33): Hats, Ruffle Scarf (Crochet), washcloths, mini messenger bag, socks, baby basket hat, belt, headband, His 'n' Hers Show Soap Holders, Bath Rug, Amulet Purse, Mittens, Scarves, Egg-cozy-hats, notebook cover, headband and matching hand warmers, minipurse, Hat that looks like a kitty-cat, Little Monster Bear (sooo cute!), slippers, shruglet
  • Heavy Worsted (19): blanket buddy, Mitered square belt, Felted bag, cross stitch scarf, other Scarves, Square hole hat and wristlets (crochet), felted flowers, Stuffed Centipede, Baby Sweater, Beret, Kids Socks, I-pod cozy, misc bags
  • Novelty (7): scarves, belts, shrug, catnip pillow, purses
These projects are all very cute, and do not require very much yarn. But the "One Skein" is a little generous? Some of the yarn used for projects have 125, 227, even 250 g per skein. Most of the skeins I have are 50-100 g per skein.

It would have been nice if the projects had knit/crochet labels in the introduction... but it is nice to have both kinds of projects in one book. Overall impression: There are patterns in here that I will photocopy and keep on hand for gifts ideas. It is definitely worth looking at, but I would not recommend purchasing it.

Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Small Indulgences edited by Judith Durant

I was excited to take a look at this book. I love luxury yarns, but since they are expensive, I cannot afford to use them in a large project. Most skeins used in this book are actually 50-100g (versus the previous one-skein book), and accordingly the patterns are more "one skein" friendly.

The Patterns Include:
  • Lace weight/superfine (24): Scarves (lacy and non... many many scarves and stoles), Cashmere Bangles, socks, babyhats, mitts, baby vests
  • Fine Weight (15): Lacy Grey Alpaca Scarf (This is why I must learn to crochet. It is stunning and modern.), purses, tams, wristlets, starfish, muffs, angora bridal garter, booties necklaces, table runner, Elephant hat (so cute)
  • Light Weight (29): VASE (I am sure that you need glass or plastic to put inside it, the effect is not too attractive), vest, scarves, bags, hats, necklace, pillow, bunnies, napkin rings, bear sweater, bath cloth (WHY would you use a luxury cloth for a wash cloth?), baby leg warmers (I doubt they would stay on long), gloves, doll clothing
  • Medium Weight (30): More of the same as above, cotton baby cardigan (the opening is off center, makes the garter stitch pattern more unusual), necktie, spa sets
  • Bulky (4): Scarf, hats and a vest
Overall, the patterns are nothing fantastic. The materials used make them fantastic. Many of the projects require finishing (bag handles, beads etc), which ends up making them unique. I would not purchase this book. (For 101 patterns, I should crave to make more than 2!)

101 Yarn Shop Favorites - One-Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant.

My complaint for the first 101 one-skein books was that there were no pictures around the patterns. This version contains sketch version of the projects, so at least you can have an idea of the shape as you're flipping through.

The projects are separated by weight and include Bulky (21), Worsted (20), heavy worsted (4), worsted-mohair (5), sport (4), Fingering (11), and novelty (13). They include (see many repeats of categories from the above books): many bags, hats, some embroidered & felted coasters, a hair clip, curtain tiebacks.

Of note: A darling felted gift bag, ice scraper mitts (what a unique idea.. might help keep your hand dry as you scrape off your car... if you have a car!)

Maybe 303 patterns selected by Durant are too many for one day, but I stopped feeling excited.
I was really surprised that I did not love these books. They will not make a permanent addition to my knitting library.

I will note that I love looking at knitting books for inspiration. I would never be unhappy with any knitting book received as a gift, but there are certain books that I would not go out of my way to purchase.