Lars Rains is a multi-talented friend, designer, knitter and teacher -- and that's naming just a few of his talents. He is also a friend to Knitty City, and when we heard about his new book, "Presto", we were excited by its subject matter, as well as its timing. The sub-title, "10 Accessory Projects You can Knit in a Weekend", made it perfect for this busy season.
We always enjoy being in his company, so we asked him to come on in for a book signing. He took us up on it, and he will be here on Saturday, December 3, from 2:00-4:00PM for a meet, greet and signing. We also know him to be a good poster person for knitting and its rewards, and we asked him to consider a little guest blogging with us. He complied, and the result follows:
People often tell me that they could never learn how to knit because they just don’t have the patience. I respond by saying that I learned how to be patient because I learned how to knit. I look forward to having to wait at the doctor’s office because it means that I can fit in a few more rows of knitting into my busy day. I also prefer to knit sweaters, which means that I may have to wait a couple of months before I end up with a finished object.
That’s not to say that we also can’t appreciate instant gratification. Indeed, there is nothing better than buying a skein of yarn (or ten) on the spur of the moment, simply because we have to have it now. Quick projects are a joy to work on, as well, because we can almost immediately enjoy the fruits of our labor. The fastest projects for me to knit are small accessories made out of bulky yarn.
I recently published a book of ten accessory patterns that feature Madelinetosh’s A.S.A.P. yarn. With these simple designs, I wanted to take advantage of the vivid colors that are available while also exploring new construction techniques. Just as the great masters would produce smaller studies in advance of their masterpieces, these patterns are a great opportunity to learn new skills that can be applied to larger projects in the future. Here's a look at a few of them, all featured in my new book, and all beautifully photographed by my colleague, Gail Zucker.
Crimson Horror is named after an episode of Dr. Who. It is also a cowl that is the perfect introduction to cables and lace.
Longbottom Leaf takes a simple rectangular scarf construction and elevates it with a symmetrical lace pattern.
Pinstripes is a scarf that alternates between seed stitch rows and garter stitch rows with offset color changes.
Super Gay celebrates life by combining any two colors in a geometric cowl that makes use of stranded colorwork.
Southern Gothic is a crescent shawl with stacked eyelets and an unusual approach to shaping at the end.
Polar Coordinates hides its crown decreases in its pebble stitches to create a hat without any observable decrease lines on top.
Corduroy is a cowl that is knit vertically but which features horizontal lines through the use of tuck stitches.
Titania expands on the idea of tuck stitches to produce a stunning cowl that looks more like an Elizabethan collar.
Threesome is a hat that uses helix knitting to demonstrate how easy it is to produce stripes in three colors.
Dark Mithral features a cable pattern that requires the use of two cable needles and results in a pair of fingerless mitts.
With the holiday season upon us, the patterns in my new book, "Presto", will make your gift knitting go by quickly (and painlessly). Not only is it fulfilling to get projects off the needles in no time at all, you may also learn some new techniques along the way. Don’t forget to knit something for yourself this month! You deserve it!