Posts from the Yarnologue

Book Review: Debbie Bliss Yarn Collection Creative Cables

I love cables. Oh, sure, I admire a stunning lace shawl along with everyone else, but the patterns that make my heart race and have me reaching for my needles usually feature cables.

You can imagine how excited I was to hear about the new book “Debbie Bliss Yarn Collection: Creative Cables” (Sixth & Spring).

Photo by Carmel King

Photo by Carmel King

The book is a collection of 25 patterns for men, women, and children designed by “leading and up-and-coming knitwear designers from around the world.” Debbie selected the patterns for the book and writes and introduction.

As you can guess by the name, all the patterns use the Rialto family of yarns from Debbie Bliss.

Rialto 4ply is a 100% ExtraFine Merino with approximately 198 yards per 50g that knits to 7.5 sts per inch on a US 4 needle.

Rialto DK is a 100% Extrafine Merino with approximately 116 yards per 50g that knits to 5.5 sts per inch on a US 5 needle.

Rialto Chunky is a 100% ExtraFine Merino Wool with approx 66 yards per 50g that knits to 3.75 sts per inch on a US 10.5 needle.

I love to create texture with cables—by simply crossing knit or purl stitches over one another in different ways, you can create an infinite variety of three-dimensional fabric landscapes.—Debbie Bliss, introduction to “Creative Cables”

The introduction gives a brief discussion of designing and knitting with cables, along with some interesting pictures that show how small changes can alter the look of a swatch.

The back of the book includes a glossary, picture (drawn) tutorials of some of the techniques used in the book, and info on blocking and garment care. (Sixth & Spring is the book division of SoHo publishing, which is Vogue Knitting’s parent company, so you’ll recognize the technique images from any VK books you own.)

While all those sections are nice, what we really came here for is the patterns!

To bring some focus to my review, I managed to narrow the 25 patterns down to a few of my favorites.

XS to XXL

Garments for women predominate, with 14 designs from which to select.

Photo by Carmel King Courtesy Sixth & Spring Design by Melody Griffiths

Photo by Carmel King
Courtesy Sixth & Spring
Design by Melody Griffiths

One of my favorites is the “Cable Yoke Cardigan” by Melody Griffiths. Add it to your Ravelry queue.

It is knit in different directions to accommodate the cable circling the yoke, but the majority of the sweater will be smooth sailing with wide stockinette stitch bands offsetting the bold cables up the front and arms.

This sweater is knit using Rialto DK, which is available in 33 colors.

This cardigan is sized from Small (35 1/2″ bust) to XL (39 1/2″ bust).

I think you’ll be pleased with the sizing in this book. Eleven of the 14 women’s patterns include XL or 2XL at the top of their size range.

Manly Sweaters

Photo by Carmel King Courtesy Sixth & Spring  Design by Katharine Hunt

Photo by Carmel King
Courtesy Sixth & Spring
Design by Katharine Hunt

There are three men’s sweaters, which are all sized from Small to 2XL.

The “Zippered Hoodie” by Katharine Hunt was my favorite of the men’s patterns. Perhaps because it strikes me as a uni-sex design? Add it to your Ravelry queue.

This pattern is knit using Rialto Chunky, which has four new colors for a total of 30. Surely the man in your life will be able to find one he likes.

For a daring man you can consider the “Colorblock Panel Pullover” by Sarah Cox. (See a picture on Ravelry.) This drop shoulder pullover has a lovely shawl collar. Of course, if the multiple colors are too much, it would be easy to tone it down by knitting it in one color.

Little Ones

The young ones in your life aren’t forgotten with five patterns included; two for girls, two for boys, and a poncho.

Photo by Carmel King Courtesy Sixth & Spring Design by Galina Carroll

Photo by Carmel King
Courtesy Sixth & Spring
Design by Galina Carroll

I thought this “Embroidered Dress” by Galina Carroll was just enchanting. Add it to your Ravelry queue. It’s actually a smock that ties in the back, which should reduce knitting time!

The stepped cables, eyelet hem and picot trim combine for a swoon-worthy top for the little girl in your life.

This pattern is knit using Rialto 4ply, which has six new colors for a total of 40.

Accessories, too

Rounding out the book are three patterns for accessories (gift knitting, anyone?).

Photo by Carmel King Courtesy Sixth & Spring Design by Charlotte Walford

Photo by Carmel King
Courtesy Sixth & Spring
Design by Charlotte Walford

This “Reversible Mobius Cowl” by Charlotte Walford looks so cozy! Add it to your Ravelry queue.

Knit using Rialto Chunky, this cowl will probably work up quickly on US 10.5 needles. It is long enough to wear loose, or doubled up for extra warmth.

At the other extreme are these fabulous socks.

Photo by Carmel King Courtesy Sixth & Spring Design by Manuela Burkhardt

Photo by Carmel King
Courtesy Sixth & Spring
Design by Manuela Burkhardt

The “Twisted Stitch Socks” by Manuela Burkhardt use two balls of Rialto 4ply. Add it to your Ravelry queue.

I like the detail of the cable growing from the ribbing on the cuff then dissolving into the toe.

If you think they’d be too textured to wear in your shoes, I bet they’d make wonderful bed-socks. After all, “Winter is coming!”

Which pattern is your favorite?

You can preview the rest of the book on Ravelry.

The book arrived in the Knitting Fever warehouse last week, which means it will be hitting local yarn store shelves any day now. If your LYS doesn’t have it in stock yet be sure to preorder it to reserve your copy!


Posted in: Debbie Bliss

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