If you’re Rhinebeck bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night. Details here.

Sunday Is for Scarves, Shrugs, Shawls & Stashbusting

Dear Ann,
The 15 minute format is perfect for sharing a new book.
This one is Scarves, Shrugs & Shawls: 22 Knitted Designs with Their Special Techniques, by Sarah Hatton, a member of Rowan’s design team. The publisher, St. Martin’s Press, sent me an advance copy; the on-sale date is February 26.
Leafing through it, I wasn’t wowed at first. I asked myself, why aren’t you wowed, Kay? Is your wower busted? Is reduced-wowing yet another one of those tiresome “normal age-related changes” you keep hearing about?
Upon further leafing, I discovered at least two patterns that I want to cast on right away. I also figured out that my issue was with the book’s design, not the knitwear. Knitters are spoiled by beautifully designed knitting books these days; the tried and true mid-shot photo against a blank background just isn’t visually rich enough for “wow.”
On the upside: these are good patterns, a whole wrappy wardrobe of them.
I’m knitting the Bold Stripe Scarf as soon as I can get it cast on. FINALLY, a use for those single balls of Kid Silk Haze that have been slowly compacting themselves into my stash. It’s simple, but effective.
And this Chevron Scarf is the faux Missoni (Miss Phony!) I’ve had in mind for my many Madtosh remnants, left over from Honey Cowls. (Which I’m still knitting.)
My favorite feature of the book, which in my mind makes it well worth owning if you knit a lot of scarves, is the section called “How To Wear.” This is the key to all mysteries when it comes to wearing scarves, shawls & shrugs, including the clever convertible ones with buttons, but also covering different ways to tie them so they don’t dangle haplessly–they look chic. It’s a portable version of the videos they show in Eileen Fisher stores, which I like to think of as “How To Make Your Overpriced Shmatta Look Less Shmattaish.” Judging by the number of times I just tie a square knot and hope for the best, I need this.

Tags: ,



  1. That color-block one looks like perfect Super Bowl knitting!

  2. You mean, we don’t function like the models in the Eileen Fisher videos?

  3. I’d much rather see garment photos that highlight details and fit than artsy settings.

  4. Wow! I like that wavy deal. It reminds me of another wavy thingie that I can’t recall the name of.
    Isn’t knitting great?

  5. I was just thinking of making a scarf like the wavy feather and fan one, using the Kid Silk Haze that’s been marinating in my stash since, um, forever.

  6. Ha! I always think that schmattas – oh, right, scarves – always look best on skinny six-foot models who are holding an elegant pose. And even the models look thick-necked. Is my wower busted? Nah, it just doesn’t vibrate to the scarf wavelength.
    And I demand artsy photos AND highlights of details and fit!

  7. Hmmm. It seems like that book would be better if it were exclusively about infinity scarves. I am obsessed with infinity scarves. But I suppose I could graft the ends of all them together….

  8. i like the colorblock if one knits for charity
    the designs would be helpful i would think
    thank you for the book review

  9. Gobsmacked by the phrase “MadTosh remnants, left over from Honey Cowls.” What are those? I just knit until I have the 15 yards or so left to do those purl rows and bind off. One of the joys of the Honey Cowl – no little wads of yarn looking for a home.

  10. Since I spent my beginning knitting years just knitting scarf after scarf, I still have a soft spot for them. I will look for this title.
    You are so right about uninspired photography. I hadn’t realized it either, but the “tried and true mid-shot photo against a blank background” makes me expect synthetic yarns and unimaginative patterns. Good for you for persevering and finding patterns you like.
    And on a sort of related note: I think that neither of you has mentioned knitting MayLin Tricoterie’s Wingspan. I don’t want to put you on the spot, but I would have thought it would have been right up in the alley of your wheelhouses! : ) You know what with the garter stitch, and easy-but-impressive results. I’m knitting my second one now.

  11. And a Sunday post. Woo hoo! And thanks for the reminder that I will need something to knit for during the TV Takeover tonight!

  12. Oh boy! Once again MDK has captured my imagination! I can hardly wait to see this book. So much of my kniting life (99 and 44/100%) has been taken up by my work obligations, for MONTHS. Today, i am finally starting a project that i wanted for Me–Noro a scarf. Yes, there are other projects pending forthe lovlies in my life, but Mason Doxon spirit has been pushing me along today (“no project is too ambitious if you crave the outcome enough). Now on your blog there is a whole new book of scarves! (among my favorite projects).
    Thanks for the 15 (wonderful) minutes, Kay. It does not matter how long you guys take to post. It’s that you’re There. What you guys do to stimulate that knitting spark, re-kindle that knitting desire, stimulate creativity, promote excitement for the next project, not to mention promoting civic mindedness/concern for community, all goes far beyond, the number of minutes it takes to blog. In a split second, you touch our lives, reminding us of the endless possibility in our own creativity. For this, I am ever grateful. I know I am not alone.
    God bless.

  13. LoveDiane, you said it perfectly.

  14. LoveDiane, you said it perfectly.

  15. LoveDiane, you said it perfectly.

  16. Thanks for the review. Looks very interesting. I have some KSH skeins destined for the Moderne Quilt Wrap and even have that aspic (jelly) colour. I might use some for that scarf. Thanks for posting!

  17. Size L bummer – Amazon says the book won’t be til MARCH! 26th!!

  18. I can understand why the wower was busted. The photos are just not as awesome as many of the ones I have in knitting books already in my stash, and on the surface the title doesn’t make me feel wowed with glamor (or glamour) either.

  19. Been a Missoni fan since w-a-a-a-y back. But it looks like it takes fortitude to knit that baby. Alas, I may have to settle for the Color Block KSH which is not a bad fall back plan. This was a fun review, Kay.

  20. Still snickering over “How To Make Your Overpriced Shmatta Look Less Shmattaish”….
    (What, this old shmatta? 🙂

  21. I see what you’re saying about the plain layout of the photography, but for me it’s refreshing not to see a bunch of models in some sort of faux fantasy of knit wear. Somebody give me a photo of a scarf-wearin’ mom with a coupla messy toddlers and I WILL buy that book, patterns or not.

  22. They need Gale

  23. Hello,
    I take this opportunity to introduce my self I am a small vendor in some export house and this is my family business and it has been running from last 40 years.
    Do u know hand crochet or hand knitted items. We generally do cushion covers, throws, scarfs or stoles and garments.
    If you have any query then please send me your id or contact detail then i contact u.
    Thanks & Regards
    Ridhim Gupta
    Contact – +919717008473


A bit of news from us, every now and again.

(Your email is safe with us.)