Book Review: 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders

Like many knitters, I’m unable to resist the temptations of yarns that catch my eye, but at least I usually manage to limit myself to a single skein when I’m buying a yarn without a specific project in mind. This habit leads me to a second addiction—knitting books that promise to show me amazing things I can do with just one ball of yarn. The latest of these is a follow-up to last year’s One-Skein Wonders—
One Skein Wonders
—101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. Both of these books come from Storey Press, and both are edited by Judith Durant, who also authored Never Knit Your Man a Sweater.

First off, a project tally. Six of the projects are crocheted; the rest are knit. This book offers patterns for…
Shawls/Scarves/Wraps: 22
Hats: 20
Bags/Bowls/Containers: 18
Kids: 14
Socks/Slippers: 8
Gloves/Wrist Warmers: 7
Belts: 4
Toys: 3
Bath Items: 3
Vest/Shrug: 4
Jewelry: 3
Ties: 2
Plus a cat toy, a set of egg cozies, and a pillow.
(If my numbers don’t add up—and I just know there’s someone out there who will do the math for sheer perversity’s sake—it’s because some projects fall into more than one category.)

Like the first volume in the pair, 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders is organized by yarn weight, which makes it convenient for browsing. Go to the stash, choose a skein, flip open the book, consider the possibilities.

Of course, not all skeins are the same size. In the laceweight category, three patterns call for four-hundred-and-something-yard skeins, which are pretty typical. KnitPicks‘ laceweight yarns come in 440 yard skeins, for example. But the remaining projects in this section require skeins measuring anywhere from 875 to 1736 yards, which strikes me as a bit of a cheat, given the one-skein claim.

One Skein Wonders spread

There’s enough variety in these patterns that every knitter will find something to love—and something to roll her eyes at, too, no doubt. Leslie Barbazette‘s Wave Jumper for infant girls, makes wonderful use of a single skein of sock yarn. The photo of this piece in the book uses a dark yarn, but I’d love to see it knit up in a really loud self-striping yarn that would make any baby the center of attention (as if babies aren’t that already). The Little Green Wristlets by Therese Chynoweth are charming, simple and decorative at the same time, with just a bit of shaping to ensure a good fit. The eggs in my house will have to make do without Miriam G. Briggs’s Egg-Cozy Hats—but these might be just the thing for a wee friend’s dolls.

You may also want to visit the One Skein Wonders web site and sign up for their Skein-of-the-Month Sweepstakes. What a great way to put the book to use!

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