Refined Knits: Knit Lace Stitches and more!

Refined Knits, Jennifer Wood

I’m surrounded by knitting beauty all day long: luscious yarns, fabulous patterns, designers’ sample garments—it’s a feast for my knitterly soul. But as with any feast, I began to worry about overdoing. What if I become so saturated with the good stuff, I can no longer see it? Fortunately, my concerns were overblown. When proofs for Refined Knits crossed my desktop, this book’s beauty made me gasp. Jennifer Wood was on my radar before, but now she’s sort of taken over my Ravelry queue. Rarely do I come across a book where I simply have to make every design inside, from sweaters to accessories.

Ada pullover--it's actually a cable pattern!

Ada pullover–it’s actually a cable pattern!

Jennifer’s first chapter provided some incredible cable patterns, including reversibles which I haven’t tried before. Her scarf pattern is the perfect place to start. Since I’m always a sucker for cabled sweaters, my list of “must make this! NOW!” grew extensively. Sinuous twining and intertwining; depth of texture added to rich colors; plus the sheer fun of knitting cables—what’s not to love? (I also like to imagine that long vertical lines make me look taller. Hey, it’s nice to dream.) Jennifer’s garments frame the face, flatter the torso, and add an elegant note to the wardrobe. I’ll be wearing these sweaters for years to come and will have to think carefully about bequeathing them in my will. Her cable-but-not-obviously, totally reversible Ada pullover shouldn’t go to just anybody.

The flowing neckline and lace remind me of an Art Deco gown.

Vivian Pullover’s flowing neckline and lace remind me of a 1930s gown.

Then I hit the second chapter, focusing on lace. Again I gasped and frantically added every project to my list. (I’m also a sucker for lace.) Choosing just one to reveal here was no easy task. The Vivian Sleeveless pullover, with its drapey cowl and delicate knit lace stitches at waist, won but only by a hair.

By the third chapter, I was a goner. Cables PLUS lace? Be still my beating heart! Here Jennifer’s gift for sophisticated silhouettes and delightful stitch combinations really shone. Out of all these show-stopping designs, her Corinne Oval Pullover shot to the top of my list. One dramatic line of cables on the front becomes a set of three on the back. People will notice me coming and going when I’m wearing it.

So I’d like to thank Jennifer Wood for reminding me that, even in the midst of all this knitting beauty, I haven’t become jaded and cynical. There are still designs out there that will grab me. Plus now I get to stir up trouble among my potential heirs. (Because honestly, the financial side of my estate isn’t going to do it. The knitwear, though—totally different story. Promises of these items will keep my young relatives on my side!)

I love the Corinne Oval Pullover from the front. I also love it from the back.

I love the Corinne Oval Pullover from the front. I also love it from the back.

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