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Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
This is really too cute, guys.

Lara's Library: Knit Accessories: Essentials and Variations

Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
The humble garter stitch scarf, demystified. Also: how much yarn do you need to bind off?
Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I swoon: the charts. Packing the information in while keeping it all very clear.

Knit Accessories: Essentials and Variations is 64 pages of simple, workhorse knitting accessory patterns that are perfect for both beginners and experienced knitters. It's really another example of Kate Atherley doing what she does best: remove knitters' stumbling blocks.

Who doesn't need more basic patterns for legwarmers, scarves , cowls, hats, mitts and socks?

Beginners will love Kate's helpful tone, and knitters with a few socks under their belt will have fun trying different gauges, colors or techniques. Most of the sock knitters I know have foresworn either top-down or toe-up socks at some point. This is the book that could get everyone knitting socks from both directions.

Each of the 13 patterns is given in two gauges, and shown in both solid and variegated yarn. So, you can see what kind might appeal to you most. Kate also gives complete details on each yarn used, to make substituting easier. Variations for each pattern are offered in chart form, so you can choose the gauge, size, and yarn you want to create a project that is uniquely yours.

She opens with a (totally normal) rhapsody about wool, but also offers information about knitting without wool for people who have allergies.

Kate explains that some patterns are really simple (and flexible) enough for the knitter to avoid making a gauge swatch, which will be music to some people's ears. But, she also talks about when you can't do that, how to make, wash, and measure a gauge swatch carefully, and what to do if you don't "get gauge" the first time.

Her usual humor and good grace comes through, too. On gift knitting: "I love orange, but that doesn't mean everyone else does," she writes. For those of us who are clueless about what to knit people, she points out that paying attention to things like the color of a person's car, glasses or shoes can offer help to get the knitter beyond (somewhat boring) neutral colors.

The digital copy is $16.95, as of this moment. I read mine on an iPad and found it very easy to read, even in the horizontal direction.

Overall, the perfect gift for any knitter on your list.

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