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Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I'm not sure who this book is intended to attract, but it has a lot to offer, anyway.

Lara's Libary: Hot Knits: 30 Cool, Fun Designs to Knit and Wear

Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
The charts in Hot Knits are epic in scale and clear to read. This one really needed a whole page and I'm glad the designers gave it one.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
Diagrams for garments are simple and clear.
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
This is a great way to create an index. The knitter can see, at a glance, where they might want to take a closer look.

Hot Knits: 30 Cool, Fun Designs to Knit and Wear, by Melissa Leapman, is an interesting book, stuffed with patterns. It is styled on the idea that (from the introduction), "Trend watchers have finally proclaimed what many of us have known all along: Knitting is HOT!"

The focus is primarily on sweaters and sweater-variants (think duster coat, dress, or tunic). Also, each pattern is marked by skill level from advanced beginner to advanced.

Sections in the back of the book quickly cover sweater assembly techniques and choosing and substituting yarns. There is a list of other titles that would be helpful to a beginner knitter who is not ready to tackle this book unassisted.

All of the garments in the book are seamed and feature either raglan, square indented (a modified drop shoulder) or set-in sleeve construction. Most of them are bottom-up, too.

Photographs are clear and pretty, although the styling is a bit strange to me. Perhaps a 30-something woman in the Midwest is not the audience the publisher had in mind, but I can only feel pity for the model wearing a mohair duster coat and, apparently, little else. The urge to ramp up the sex appeal, in this case, seems misguided, as the designs are perfectly nice without that.

All of the designs are aimed at adult women. There are no patterns for children, dogs or men. The level of focus is admirable. Sizing is a bit limited, but not terrible. Most sweaters are given in either 4 or 5 sizes, from about 35 inches to about 54 inches in the chest. So, about the range you would expect in a department store.

Patterns are generally cute and wearable, with something to interest almost any knitter. Cables, lace and colorwork are represented, as are several different neckline shapes and sleeve lengths.

Overall, a nice book if you can get beyond the photo of that poor girl who is probably still itching like crazy.

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