Knitting little works of art

Two Ribs Infinity Scarf, from Interweave Knits Accessories 2011

A note from Kathleen: It's time to accessorize! The new issue of Interweave Knits Accessories is here, and it's full of lovely little projects to knit for yourself or for the people on your holiday gift list. I'm really taken with the Two Ribs Infinity Scarf by Susan Pierce Lawrence (pictured at left). It can be worn as a long loop or twisted into a cowl. Very clever, Susan.

Here's editor Lisa Shroyer to tell you more!

Elegance is described as the attribute of being unusually effective and simple at the same time. In other words, to make the biggest impact with the least material, to remove all excess, to hone. To make a statement without babbling.

A key part of being "effective" is the use of parts to make a whole, to transition artfully between one element and the next. This is the kind of elegance that a knitted sock, a lace beret require. Shaping and pattern have to coexist in a small, precisely sized and constructed object. I think in a lot of ways, it's easier to design a sweater than a sock.

When a design is successful, it's also really fun to knit. Working in the round, trying out stitch patterns, playing with shapes, and getting a finished object in short order make accessories so fulfilling. And they can add so much to your wardrobe and your style-throw on a red scarf one day, a slouchy gray hat the next. Plus, of course, there's the utilitarian aspect-mittens keep your hands warm when it's freezing.

For this issue of Interweave Knits Accessories, we looked for simply striking and effective knits that make the most of yarn, stitch, and style. Knits have the power to affect the everyday and the extraordinary—from a favorite hat to an exquisite bridal shawl. I think about the battered, threadbare Calorimetry (from I knitted years ago—a wedge-shaped accessory that ties at the back of the head, somewhere between a headband and a do-rag.


The design is simple, almost unremarkable, especially in the charcoal merino I used. But I wear the thing all the time! At some point, it became part of my look and part of my approach to getting dressed-don't want to do my hair today, so I'll wear Calorimetry, which looks great with my torn jeans and waffle Henley and leather necklace and . . . you get my point.

A small knit isn't necessarily a quick one. Nor is a simple-looking knit always easy to execute. But at this scale, with small stitches, streamlined details, and pretty patterning, a knitted accessory can be a work of art. And at the same time, it can be the most-loved item in your wardrobe.

Get your copy of Accessories now and knit for your everyday and every other day, too.


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