A little while ago Sarah posted a link to Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Small Indulgences for the low-low price of $2.51 and I was all “Gimme dis.” Then I asked Sarah if she wanted a review of the book, and since she more or less feeds me Pixie Stix and sets me loose to create mayhem, she said sure.
This is a review for knitters and non-knitters alike because there is shit you should know about this book.
So, first of all, I would describe my knitting skillz as “Advanced Beginner, Lazy.” I can follow a pattern, but if it involves a lot of counting or using a chart, I'm not going to do it. Basically, if I can't knit it after taking my nighttime meds and while watching the Craig Ferguson Show, it's not going to happen. And I am really lazy. Two years ago I knit my husband a really nice double-knit wool mitten. Then I forgot about the second mitten and by the time I picked it up again, I'd lost the pattern and notes I'd used to make the first one. And he still reminds me that the only thing I've EVER made him is ONE SINGLE MITTEN. And I'm like, well, you can survive perfectly well with one-hand, pal, so suck it up. Look at that guy from 127 Hours. He's fine!
This book has lots of patterns for people like me. It also has two nice mitten patterns which my husband made a point of looking at when I had the book open on his Ipad. It's also got hats, and scarves, fingerless gloves and sweet little bags, and of course, lots of baby shit. Cuz you can' t make a one-skein knitting book without baby shit.
I really liked the pattern for the Siostra Mohair-Wool Hat designed by Tina McElmoyl. I went to my stash, grabbed some leftover wool, and got to business. What's a stash, you non-knitters ask? It's basically a collection of Rubbermaid Totes in your basement/closet/attic where your all fun money goes whenever you pass a yarn store. I probably own enough yarn to knit a wardrobe for my entire family and the cat. And I just spent $115 on yarn today anyway. My husband, still bitter about his fucking mitten, sometimes looks at my stash and asks when I'm going use all that. I just tell him that it's my stockpile, so if the zombie apocalypse happens, I have plenty of wool and I can trade precious hand-knit socks for canned goods and Twinkies. I mean, it's that or prostitution really, and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the hubs working the corner, to be honest.
So anyway, I knitted the hat in the course of a weekend more or less. The pattern was easy to follow and the hat turned out nicely, I think. I cheated a little bit and used two different colors of wool because I made it for my niece and I wanted it to resemble a strawberry.
The patterns in this book are almost all knit, with a few crochet thrown in, and suit a variety of skill levels. There's some lacework, some cabling, some beading, some knitting in the round. There are also a couple of super easy scarves and baby sweaters.
Then there are the WTF patterns.
There is a pattern for a cozy for a vase. Like a vase that holds flowers. Why would a vase need a cozy, you ask? I don't fucking know. The vase isn't likely to get chilled, is it? I sincerely hope all the inanimate objects in my house don't need cozies because I'm not willing to make that kind of commitment.
There is a pattern for a knitted starfish made out of yak hair. No really. Because when I've got extra yak hair lying around I automatically think, starfish. Who the fuck wants or needs a knitted starfish? WHAT IS THE POINT OF A KNITTED STARFISH? The only possible use I think of for that pattern is to knit your favorite erotica author a chocolate starfish, but even that's pushing it.
And if you're going “yak hair?” Yeah, yak hair. If it has hair, people knit with it. People knit with hair from their cats and dogs and their own heads. People probably knit with their own pubic hair (do NOT send me pictures of things knit with your pubes. I am happy for you, but I don't need examples, please).
And then there was my personal favorite. The pattern for cashmere legwarmers for a baby. I cannot think of a bigger fuck-you gift to new parents that cashmere baby legwarmers. Babies are like tiny bundles of volcanic vomit and diarrhea. You can't put anything on a baby that cannot withstand being coated in explosive diarrhea. If I knit anything for a baby that shit is machine washable and dryable. Giving new parents something that has to be hand washed and air dried when they are likely so tired they can barely find the start button on the washer with their bleary eyes? Yeah, that's a big fuck-you. Especially since it serves like zero purpose. I'll grant you a cashmere christening outfit or something, but when the fuck does the baby need legwarmers? Does little Austin just not feel dressed up enough in his onsie? Does he need the cashmere legwarmers to make the outfit pop?
Since the author was clearly comfortable with yak hair starfish, I was a little disappointed this book didn't contain other less conventional projects. I personally would have included:
1. Sweaters for hairless cats
2. An angora jock strap (I'd call it a Junk Snuggler)
3. A cozy for my Keurig, which is now staring jealously at my vase. Maybe appliances shouldn't have cozies. That's probably a fire hazard.
I felt this book was definitely worth the $2.50, but I would honestly have preferred the print version. You can't print off patterns or charts from the digital book, obviously, and all the pictures are in the very beginning. So if you want to refer back to the picture, you need to do some flipping around which annoyed me. Nonetheless, it was money well spent and it reduced my stash by one skein.
I will probably have to knit my husband that second mitten now, since he let me make fun of him in this review. Right after I knit the cat a sweater.