Book Review – Strange Brew by Alexa Ludeman and Emily Wessel of Tin Can Knits.

Alexa Ludeman and Emily Wessel, the Canadian duo behind Tin Can Knits, have been working together since 2011. One living in Canada and one living in Scotland, they work together producing knitting patterns, from the very simple, to the challenging. All with their trademark clarity, making them easily accessible for anyone from novice to expert. With a great database of knitting techniques and tutorials they help demystify that tricky knitting jargon, giving you the skills to tackle any project.

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They have done it again with this great book: Strange Brew. Inspired by a family trip to Iceland they have gone all out colour work yokes. But this is more than a collection of patterns, it’ is a tool for you to create yoke sweaters in any combinations. Yarn weight, colour, pattern, they have calculated it all. Also, what Tin Can Knits does well is there are 25 sizes! Thats right, 25 sizes over 3 different gauges, there is something here for the whole family, from newborn to 4XL.

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The idea for Strange Brew was to give you the tools to produce any yoked sweater. The instructions are simple: Choose a Size, Choose a Yarn, Choose Top Down or Bottom Up, Choose a Motif and get knitting! You are taken through every stage of construction from yoke shaping, pattern placement, increases and decreases, swatching, steeking with all the numbers worked out. I can’t tell you how clever it is.

There are also patterns worked out for you, with projects that are good to go, exploring various patterns over different yarn weights. From hats, cowls and plenty of jumpers. Here is a selection of what you can find inside.

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Marshland is a fun jumper with an exaggerated yoke pattern. A jumper like this gives you endless possibilities to play with colour and pattern.

strangebrew04Fleet is a great project for the first timer in colour work. It also acts as the perfect swatch or a test run for colour ideas.
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This is the Compass Cowl. Another great one for a colour work novice who is intimidated by a larger project. Use this one to test Ideas or swatch for the Compass Sweater which is also in the book.

With such a great selection of patterns you need some great yarn ideas. We have a great range of yarns that have a wide range of colours, making them perfect for colour work. Here are a few examples to get you started:

Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk in Sølje, Tinde and Blåne for an earthy 4ply, Dk and Aran weight.

John Arbon Knit by Numbers for a soft Dk weight Merino in lots of dreamy shades.

Lopi Lettlopi for the classic Icelandic feel. With a great range of colours that love colour work.

I hope that has given you the colour work bug. I can’t recommend this book enough, it’s an exciting combination of all the colour work possibilities you have ever imagined.

 

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