When I was a teenager, I treated my body like an artist’s canvas. I dressed in gypsy skirts, flamboyant jewelry and colorful, hand-dyed dresses. I crocheted my own freeform hats and vests and knitted my own multicolored shawls. I even occasionally wore costumes as everyday attire, accenting them with purple lipstick and sparkly eye shadow.
When I started working in the textile industry, my fashion identity changed. Then, like most of my colleagues, I began dressing in black, white and beige. That colorless uniform seemed like the easiest way to ensure I wasn’t caught wearing last season’s colors — the kiss of death when the customers you’re trying to impress are all savvy fashion designers.
But you know what?
Seeing Frida Ponten’s enchanting new knitting book has reawakened a longing in my soul for those colorful, experimental ensembles I used to concoct.
How do you feel about colorful clothes?
Did you experience a “growing up” phase where you abandoned them?
If so, do you regret it?
Whether you dress in vibrant colors or your wardrobe’s palette is more subdued, I’m betting you’ll find bunches of projects in Frida’s book that you’ll be excited to add to your wardrobe. I can’t wait to show you a few of my favorites!
Check this out:
More Shawls, Wraps and Ponchos From Knitting for the Fun of It!
The Boho Knit Shawl Pattern:
- The Easy Poncho — This is a monochoromatic poncho with a cowl neck, tassel fringe, armholes and a comfortable, stylish tube shape.
- The Chevron Poncho — This luxurious poncho features colorful undulating stripes that culminate in a cowl-neck design at the top. The suggested yarn for the pattern is an elastic alpaca featuring a lovely color palette. Some of the predominant colors in the design include beige, mustard, greenish-gray, pink and purple. Of course, you can feel free to use other colors if you prefer. This is an advanced project that looks like it would be worth the effort (one of the few advanced projects included in the book — most are easy or intermediate level knitting patterns).
- The Hexagon Shawl Pattern — This colorful shawl is knitted in a hexagon shape. It’s made using a hodgepodge of different fibers and blends including alpaca, merino wool, silk and mohair. The color changes are random, so you’ll end up with a shawl that is uniquely yours — no one else will have one quite like it.
Scarf Knitting Patterns
- Diagonal striped scarf (not pictured on this page) — This is one of my favorite designs in the book. It’s remarkable because it is SO EASY, yet it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s knit in simple garter stitch; but to keep things interesting, it’s knit on the diagonal. It’s a genius design — I think you’re going to LOVE it!
- Block knit scarf
- Chevron scarf (pictured above)
- Skull scarf design (pictured further down this page — keep reading and you’ll see it soon).
All together, I counted 4 ideas and patterns for knitting scarves. The triangle shawl could also function as a scarf, as pictured in the project photo shown above.
Knitting Patterns for Sweaters and Tops
Lovely Jacket in Silk, Mohair and Alpaca
The team at Trafalgar Square Books has assigned this jacket a knitting skill level rating of “intermediate”. Without having knitted the jacket myself, I’m puzzled as to why this project isn’t rated as “easy” or maybe even “beginner”.
Each of the pieces is knit in either stockinette stitch or seed stitch, both of which are beginner knitting stitches. The pieces of the sweater are all simple rectangles; there’s zero shaping required. Sewing the pieces together looks reasonably straightforward. Looks to me like one of the easiest sweaters on the planet, yet it’s GORGEOUS! Many readers will find it to be suitable as either work attire or weekend wear. It also looks super comfy.
Glittery Gold Top— This is another easy knitting project that looks like it would be well worth the investments of time and yarn. The top is simple and chic. The design features ties at the shoulders, a reverse stockinette stitch lower edge and a body that’s knit in stockinette stitch.
The result is a top you can dress either up or down. Wear it with a froofy skirt to a party; pair it with jeans for a casual look; or wear it to work under a blazer. It’s one of the most versatile wardrobe pieces you could imagine.
Knitting Patterns for Wrist Warmers, Fingerless Gloves and Mittens
Got cold hands or wrists? If you need patterns for making mittens, fingerless gloves or wrist warmers, definitely grab yourself a copy of this book. There are some super creative ideas and patterns for warming up your wrists and hands in style.
- Easy embroidered wrist warmers with triangles
- Easy embroidered wrist warmers with duplicate stitch
- Entrelac wrist warmers and long arm warmers
- Easy striped wrist warmers
- Half gloves (fingerless gloves)
- Party pretty wrist warmers featuring a colorful zigzag pattern
- Easy boho wristwarmers with duplicate stitch embroidery
- Cable-knitted wristwarmers
- Simple, basic knitted mittens
- Simple striped knitted mittens
- Knitted skull mittens (pictured further down this page)
- Block pattern mittens
- Knitted mittens with stripes and chevrons
This book includes a chart for knitting a skull motif. You could also use the chart for embroidering the skull in duplicate stitch. I’d also be interested in trying to crochet this design — perhaps in Tunisian knit stitch or afghan stitch. I am not 100% sure how it would work out, but it seems to me like perhaps it could work well.
You can use this skull design to dress up just about any bit of plain stockinette stitch knitting where a bit more drama would be beneficial. Frida has used it on mittens and a scarf (see photos below), but it would also be an interesting inclusion on many other sorts of projects — perhaps coffee cup cozies, hats, sweaters, blankets and more.
I’m guessing the skull fad will probably soar to new heights when the Pirates of the Caribbean 6 movie, the Return of Davy Jones, is released in May of 2019 — and this pattern would be fantastic for knitting yourself some new pirate duds to wear at that time.
Skull motifs are also a perpetual favorite for making Halloween projects. If your little ones are going to be outside on Halloween, some skull mittens and scarves might be just the thing you need to ensure their little hands stay warm. Check these out:
Baby Knitting Patterns
- Classic baby hat — This cute hat features ties you can use for securing the hat on baby’s head.
- Triangular scarf for little ones
- Easy striped knit baby vest with crocheted flowers
- Triangluar coverlet-style baby blanket
- Sweet children’s sweater with stripes and glitter (sized for babies / toddlers aged 1-2 years old)
- Multicolored baby’s / child’s hat — One size fits ages 2-7; instructions are also included for knitting an adult size of this hat.
Miscellaneous Knitting Patterns
- Double-Layered Quilted Hexagon Cushion — This could be used as a chair cushion, dog bed or cat bed. It’s also possible to make it much bigger, perhaps to use as a cushion for a wooden bench or for cozyfying a cot for unexpected guests who come to visit.
- Pretty striped knit socks
- Felted and embroidered pincushion
- Easy striped knit cell phone cozy
- Patterned knit cell phone cozy
Grandmother’s Crochet Granny Square Blanket
If you want to learn how to crochet a classic granny square blanket, this pattern might be exactly what you’re looking for. Step-by-step instructions are included for crocheting granny squares. You also get text instructions plus photo tutorial instructions for joining your squares using the join-as-you-go technique and adding a simple edging to complete your blanket.
SPECTACULAR Hexagon Crochet Blanket Pattern
More Book Details:
Author: Frida Ponten
Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books
Copyright Date: This book was originally published in the Norwegian language. I’m reviewing the brand new English translation of the book, which has a copyright date of 2018.
ISBN 13: 978-1-57076-882-8
Book Format: Hardcover without dust jacket
Number of Pages: 136 pages
Topics Covered in This Book:
- How to Dye Multi-Shaded Yarn
- How to Felt Wool
- How to Make Pompoms
- How to Make Dip-Dyed Tassels
- How to Make Tassels for a Sewn Pillow Cover
- Choosing Yarn Colors for Your Projects
- How to Do Duplicate Stitch
- How to Embroider French Knots
- Basic Knitting Instructions: Casting on, binding off, knitting, purling
- How to Decrease in Knitting: Invisible Decreases; Left-Leaning Decreases
- How to Knit Thumb Gussets for Mittens
- How to Knit Entrelac
- How to Knit Seed Stitch
- How to Knit Cable Braids
- Basic Crochet Stitch Instructions
- How to Do the Magic Loop
- How to Crochet Granny Squares — Step-By-Step Photo Tutorial
- How to Crochet Hexagons — Step-By-Step Photo Tutorial
- How to Sew Invisible Seams
- Knitting Gauge — How to Knit and Measure a Gauge Swatch
The Best Things About This Book
Quite a few of the projects in this book utilize scrap yarn — so if you do a lot of knitting, and you find yourself with zillions of little leftover balls of yarn, this book is likely to be an excellent investment for you. There are numerous stash-buster patterns and projects in the book.
Even better, the stash busters could all result in gift-worthy items: cell phone cozies, one-of-a-kind wrist warmers, cozy and colorful blankets, etc. If you have a decent sized yarn stash, you could probably get a bunch of your holiday gifts knitted without investing in a lot of yarn to do it. BIG WIN!
As I’ve mentioned already, quite a few of the patterns in this book are really easy — which is a huge selling point with a majority of this website’s readers.
There is a TON of valuable information in this book, and it’s all organized in an easily accessible format. In the back of the book is a 25-page section of the book called “Craft School” that gives you bunches of technical information about how to make the projects in this book (and the info will also help you with your other knitting, crochet, yarn crafting and yarn dyeing projects; all of this knowledge transfers easily to other projects).
Other Observations About This Book
Overall, this is a book I highly recommend. It’s an inspiring book that I think most knitters will really enjoy. But I’d be a bad reviewer if I didn’t mention the ONE less-than-ideal thing I noticed about this book.
The one thing that stuck out to me most is that yarn yardage amounts are not included for some of the projects. Some DO include yardage amounts and others do not. The author does include notes about the actual weight of each finished project, especially in cases where she’s used scrap yarn. This is helpful information to have. However, yardages would be more helpful, especially since the yarns she’s used are European brands and may not be easily available to all North American knitters. Many knitters will need to make yarn substitutions.
For many of these projects, running out of one color of yarn wouldn’t be a big deal at all. Quite a few of the projects utilize scrap yarn, and so lots of different random yarns would work beautifully; if you run out of one yarn, another yarn would work just as well. And in the case of the solid-colored projects, many of those do have yardage amounts noted — so you can easily see how much yarn to buy if you need to make substitutions.
The main takeaway: For the projects where yardage amounts are not listed, before you start knitting, consider your backup plan for what to do if you run out of yarn. The smart move is just to make sure you have a good amount of yarn on hand to start with. Buy a bit more than you think you’ll need and then save the receipt in case you don’t use it all. This is a prudent approach to take with your projects in any case, even when you know how much yardage was required to make the designer’s original project sample.
I highly recommend this book! Whether you’re a new knitter who knows the basics or an expert, you’re likely to find projects in this book that you’ll LOVE.
Where to Buy This Book:
- Click here to shop for this book at Knitpicks.
- Click here to shop for this book at Amazon.com.
- Click here to shop for this book at the publisher’s website.
Similar Knitting Books and Related Resources
This book is actually in a class all by itself. I’m sitting here, trying to think of other comparable books to recommend to you — and drawing a blank. I know of LOTS more knitting books that feature colorful, beautiful projects — but none that I can think of offer you this many colorful yet easy projects.
For example, I’d definitely recommend all of Kaffe Fasset’s amazing, classic knitting books. But the majority of those patterns require more advanced knitting skills than the projects in this book do. If you’re a new knitter, or you like to relax with your knitting, I’d recommend this book over Kaffe’s as you’re getting started; first, work your way through the easy projects in this book. Then you’ll be better prepared to move onto Kaffe’s seriously impressive color knitting patterns as well as the more advanced projects in this book.
Beastly Crochet — If skull patterns are your thing, be sure to check out Beastly Crochet by Brenda K.B. Anderson. The book includes multiple skull patterns plus bunches of other quirky, offbeat projects. Another bonus: It’s a funny, witty book that made me laugh out loud when I read it. It’s definitely a fun read.
We invite you to sign up for our FREE knitting and crochet newsletter if you’d like to receive updates about all our latest knitting book reviews, crochet book reviews, free patterns and other knitting and crochet news. Our newsletter subscribers are usually the first to know when we post new patterns, book reviews and author interviews online.
Knitting Tools and Supplies
This page was last updated on 3-26-2019.