Book Review: Textured Stitches by Connie Chang Chinchio
Sometimes, in my quiet moments, I feel as if Connie Chang Chinchio is the only designer ... who understands me as a knitter.
You may laugh, but we're living in a world where super-complicated lacework and double-digit bobbin-count intarsia dominate. I feel like CCC (that's what I call her in my diary) is the only person who feels my rage, as I have to lock myself in the loo of a speeding commuter train in order to salvage a particularly complicated cable pattern - AGAIN.
As readers of Interweave Knits Magazine and other fine publications already know, Chinchio's patterns combine unfussiness - by which I mean healthy servings of stockinette stitch, and a minimum of crazy new techniques - with classic styling that makes me want to dash to the finish of each project. For a subway-and-television knitter like myself, CCC's heaven-sent.
What's it about?: Spreading Chinchio's message that you can knit a great-looking sweater without losing your sanity in the process. Complex stitches and other details are added judiciously and effectively, and the designs are flattering and wearable.
It's knitting as a route to classy clothing for the modern lady. Refreshingly, her designs are made for women of many sizes (depending on the pattern, there are choices from a 32" to a 53" bust.)
The projects: Everything from gloves to shawls to knockout sweaters.
Highlights include the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-esque geometrics of the Raindrop cardigan. This project looks extremely simple from the front - but turn it around and the gorgeous streaking diamonds of the pattern's title take this design to the limit and beyond.
I think my next project might be her Tulip henley, with a lovely horizontal lace placket and dainty short sleeves.
What else is there? There are some quick but informative asides on skills, like reading a chart, and a basic guide to techniques like that found in Interweave's magazines.
Craft type? Knitting all the way. And gorgeous knitting it is, too. There is no colorwork in this book - it's full of projects that put the focus on a single beautiful yarn.
Unfortunately there's nothing in here for men or kids - apparently CCC mostly gets her kicks designing for beautiful ladies. But check out her blog for goodies for a slightly wider demographic, including an adorbs kids' hoodie!
To get your copy of Textured Stitches , visit your local yarn store or order direct from Interweave.