After reading a lot of good (more) and some bad (less) reviews re: Sally Melville’s knitting books, I decided to give Book 1, the Knit Stitch, a try.
I liked the concept of the book. Easy but (mainly) stylish designs EXCEPT for a couple of patterns that ‘jumped out’ right from the start as just plain weird!!
Weird example 1- page 66, Best Friend Jacket (wow, I wouldn’t give this to my worst enemy!), example 2- page 70, Asymmetical Vest, same idea, sans sleeves. Let’s get real Sally! Would someone actually spend the time and money to make a sweater/vest with one side 2-3″ shorter than the other? If you haven’t actually seen these patterns, they are quite a surprise, at first glance.
I digress…Back to my own Sally story. Decided to give the Shape-it Scarf – page 46 a try. The finished scarf in photo looked great: drapeable and pretty in a soft variegated yarn. What I found strange was the pattern called for a bulky (5) weight yarn and 6 MM needles, even though the photo scarf looked anything but heavy or bulky. Oh well, what the hay, I’m no expert. I went with what Sally suggested, picked a suitable yarn that produced the correct gauge EXACTLY, picked from my (took years to accumulate) stash. Cast on and began……
And I knit and I knit and I knit…..What did I end up with? A very bulky, chunky-looking scarf, definitely not what I wanted and a far cry from the beautiful photo scarf. This one landed in the Sally ANN bag; not a scarf I would wear, even in the worst Prairie snowstorm!!! Rats, strike 1.
Next (and still pending from 05, explanation to follow) Sally project to tackle was Sally’s Summer Sweater (hereafter known as SSS). A good looking, cotton summer tunic, again at this point, judging by the photo.
Purchased a lovely (Patons Grace) lilac cotton yarn, luckily found in the discontinued bin for a mere .99 a ball. And although I had PROMISED myself never to go below a size 4MM needle again (just too slow), here I was again knitting endlessly with 3.5 MM needles (for the opaque parts) and one of each 3.5 and 6.5 MM (for the sheer parts). Strange but true. And with every passing day, my blissful intentions of wearing my SSS with jaunty linen capri pants by August 1st at the latest, was fading fast.
Update: Sept. 05- Leaves starting to fall, days getting shorter, summer fading fast along with my patience. Me, still garter-stitching my way through SSS. Back, front, one sleeve-yikes!!! Enough already, I was ready to break out the warm woolies of winter. SSS was safely stored to be again brought out today, to resume again. ETF (Estimated time to finish) no later than July 06!!! As for those jaunty capris, still a piece of beautiful fabric at this point (from another long-standing, took years to accumulate stash) but that’s another story. Strike 2 Sally.
So, have I had enough adventures with Sally? Not quite yet. A thoughtful and much appreciated gift of enough Lopi yarn in a beautiful deep crimson still waits to be transformed, this time, Jen’s Poncho (same book, page 33). I will give Sally’s patterns one more try. Again, looks great in the photo, an easy take- along project and size 8 MM needles. Three times the charm they say- I just hope this time, it is.