by Hunter Hammersen
Available from Pantsville Press for $21.95
(Both a digital and physical copy are available.)
Curls is a book of 14 patterns. These patterns are for what the author has named "curls," as their unique construction gives them an interesting curved shape. The truly awesome thing about the designs in this book is that it allows you, the knitter, to use any yarn at any gauge for a project of any size. Take a moment to let the sink in...the stash busting possibilities alone are breathtaking. The end project can be as tiny as a cuff, grow larger into a cowl or scarf, or be as large as a full blown shawl. The freedom makes these delightful to knit, as you can knit the same pattern more than once and still be creative. That is my biggest problem with socks...I knit the first sock and it's exciting, I knit the second sock and I'm bored.
I purchased my copy of this book at my local yarn shop. There was a trunk show to accompany the book, so I was able to see the finished products of many of the curls in this book as well as the second volume. It really was amazing to see the affects of all the different yarn choices right there in person. And you know what, none of them looked bad. Of course there are a few patterns that stand out as my favorites, but I am confident any of these patterns would make me happy. I will not divulge any of the secrets of curl making here, you should buy the book for that, but I will say that Hammersen did an excellent job explaining how to create these flexible, versatile delights. There are detailed, color coded charts that show you exactly how to increase the blocks of lace that create the curl as well as a whole section with helpful hints and tips for a successful project.
The beautiful shape really does lend itself well to any body type and can be worn in such a variety of ways with a natural looking drape. Just imagine coupling a curl with a shawl pin or adding some decorative clasps and you would have an absolutely stunning gift. I have one of these curls on needles now, I am working it in a solid color, but I imagine it could be very fun to play with tonals or even use more than one color. Even better, these patterns can be the savior of that lonely ball of yarn you just had to buy that is patiently waiting for you at the back of your stash. And that leads me to my bottom line...
Bottom Line: This book is worth the money if you enjoy making shawls, scarves or cowls. The wonderful thing about each design is that its inherent versatility means you can use the pattern over and over and get vastly different (yet still beautiful and satisfying) results. Having seen many of these curls completed in the trunk show, I can attest to their lovely shape and appealing drape first hand. This was an imaginative idea that is fun in its simplicity and flexibility. You can have a single skein you need to use up, or you can have three skeins you want to apply to this endeavor, the freedom to stop when you need to and knit the gauge that you want is very nice.