Thursday, January 7, 2016

Book Review: Twinkle's Big City Knits & Twinkle's Weekend Knits

Both Twinkle's Big City Knits and Twinkle's Weekend Knits are by designer Wenlan Chia. I bought Big City Knits in 2007 when my knitting was really picking up speed - it is beautiful, the photography is stellar, and the items have a really fresh, boutique-style feel to them.



All 31 designs in Big City Knits call for Twinkle yarns, which is quite pricey, but there is enough information for yarn substitution (weight and yardage required - hidden at the end of the book are a few notes from the designer about suggested substitutes). The schematics are exceptionally well done and the items with unique construction are described very clearly. Sizing a garment, however, is eternally an issue if you are a bigger gal like myself - I knit several patterns out of this book and most required significant recalculation to get a garment that actually fit. Part of the issue is that the patterns provide the knitted measurements but not the to-fit measurements, so you have no idea how much ease (or lack thereof) to expect. The book is also riddled with errata. Overall, though, I was happy with the garments I made from this book - but it took me a ton of extra work.


I bought Weekend Knits as soon as it came out in 2008 because I enjoyed Big City Knits so much. I was a little disappointed in the pattern selection, even though this book has the same high end feel as the first. This book also has a number of errata and is also silent on to-fit sizing information. An addition in this book is "Knit Bits," little tidbits of information peppered throughout the pattern section. For a newer knitter like myself, these were nuggets of wisdom.

Generally, these are pretty books and could spiff up any coffee table. For a person rather focused on making garments - these are great for people who are very slender, but bigger ladies be warned that you'll probably have to do some math (and mind your gauge swatch!). 

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