Connie Chiang Chinchio is known for her textured stitches, fine gauge yarn (she loves a good fingering and dk weight), and simple, elegant shapes. Ms Chinchio's patterns are defined by neat, elegant shapes - a hoodie that's more like a fashion accessory than something to shrug into before walking the dog- or inspired twists- like folds in lace weight to create a cardigan with a singular aesthetic.
This book shows off Ms Chinchio's strengths - the afore mentioned elegant shapes, interesting stitches that look like etchings in stocking stitch, and an affinity for working in fine weight yarn. Compared to a fair few of her peers who pretty much work in aran and chunky as a given, Chinchio stands out for eschewing that path. The weaknesses are there too, I think, in that the flair and detail for garments in jewelled semi solid garments don't really stand out as much when it comes to accessories. There's a sweet knitted headband, and a cute hat. But the design for the shawl doesn't really work (it's not outstanding, it's just there ), and the gloves aren't distinct enough to warrant me breaking out the needles.
A few of the garments are standouts, like the Intaglio top (on the cover, amazing), the tulip henley (so sweet) and the raindrop cardigan. The other garments - I'll have to wait how they fit other people before I can even comment.
The patterns are clearly written (I don't know about errors), and the book is nicely presented. I can't say I've come away with any specific insights re tension for textured stitches, but perhaps I've missed it. Yarn wise, there's a lot of tightly spun wool yarns (madelinetosh, lorna's laces), and yarn substitutions for us on this side of the pond is a given. For example, the henley top is a cotton/linen blend, I might just use a bamboo/woolen blend (80/20) or see what transpires.
Technique wise, she knits her sleeves (even inset ones) topdown, and tends to like seaming, for the structure when it comes to certain yarns.
I'd say, get this book if you like Ms Chinchio's work if you like working in fine gauge fabrics with a bit of a twist. Avoid if you like chunky aesthetics and work to be finished immediately. Buy it because in certain circles she's seen as Norah Gaughan's successor ((blasphemy, I say), but avoid it if you prefer cute to the cunning understatement.
Overall, I give it a 4 because the designs are a tad uneven, but the presentation is quality.
on 25 January 2012
It's not that often that you get your hands on a book with more than a couple of useful patterns in it. I've already knitted two cardigans and am midway up a third with a fourth, a pair of gloves and a lovely shoulder shawl which is going to come in handy for reading in bed. At last, someone who knows that people don't always want to button up their cardigans and come in all different shapes and sizes.
The patterns are very wearable - nice twists of travelling stitches, baby cables, sleeves constructed with short rows from the shoulders downwards - very few (if any) seams - sleeves that actually fit into the armholes, front borders knitted-as-you-go, collars that sit like collars should .. OK. I love the book. Go and buy it!
20 great patterns for the contemporary knitter. I love texture and would knit several of these - the favourites being the Gioielli gloves, Raindrop cardigan and Tulip Henley. Two niggles - one there are no patterns for overall texture - the texture is confined to certain areas of the item. Two, I found the shapes a little boring, it's all classic straight up and down, no innovative shaping or anything. Good everyday knitwear that everyone can knit and wear. This review first appeared on yarnsandfabrics website.