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Fiber Arts Books and Bamboo Needles: The Knitter's Guide to Combining Yarns - 300 Combinations To Keep You Busy

Updated on June 8, 2012
Knitting with ribbon blends.
Knitting with ribbon blends. | Source

The Knitter's Guide to Combining Yarns: 300 Foolproof Pairings * 8 Cool Projects

Kathleen and Nick Greco

C&T Publishing: 96 Pages

This book may make you want to start knitting. It contains flowing words and eye-catching photos of numerous types, textures, and colors in yarns and fibers.


Knitting With Color

A related book is The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe.At 320 pages in a hardback edition, this book has amassed 53 user reviews on - 46 of them are full 5-star reviews. Knitters applaud the book for giving clear step-by-step instructions for projects and an outstanding section about how to use hand-painted yarns.

Others feel that is contains much more than the asking price, and some of this edition are available at discounts in the used book section. Some knitters like the paperback edition of this book better than the hardback, because the paper is thicker and photos of a better quality.

Yarn Techniques

The authors Kathleen and Nick Greco have provided a high-quality and very colorful book filled with projects and swatches. All of their work shows the reader clearly how to combine different yarns of different fibers and types into eye-catching art pieces. Some of this artwork is actually clothing or accessories that can be used as art between wearings.

The Grecos consistently employ clear language and brilliant photograph throughout their book in order to illustrate harmony among shapes, colors, and textures They use and provide us with a Color Wheel tool that is easy to master. Many knitters keep it in their work basket for easy access.

The authors explain how to mix colors, shades, and textures of different yarns for the best possible look. In doing so, they use a total of five fibers and five textures. The fibers include cotton, wool, an innovative bamboo, silk, and mohair, while the textures are ribbon, bouclé, chenille, slubbed, and multi-strand.

It was particularly interesting to read about slubbed yarns and to see accomplishments in bamboo fibers.Some people have thought that slub yarn is defective, but with its soft lumps at intervals in parts of the skein. it is actually high fashion. Bamboo is being used in everything from flooring to thread these days.

The color relationships, called harmonies, that the Grecos explain make sense and are visually attractive, so knitters want to use them. Colors are arranged according to seasons of the solar year - Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring. We hear a lot about seasons in fashion colors, so this makes sense.

From a total of ten basic yarns, Kathleen and Nick Greco create at least 300 of their color pairing possibilities, all unusual. All are visually attractive in the color swatches presented in the book.

The combination of text and graphics make the book look more like a scientific yarn manual that is fun to read, rather than the usual knitting books.

Even if you crochet instead of knit, you can use this book for its color and texture combinations and pick up some ideas for your own projects.


Knitting Projects

In addition to all this, the Grecos have included eight separate knitting projects arranged by Color Seasons, including two handbags, two scarves, a sleeveless top, a summer sarong, a fall wrap, and a winter sweater. All of the patterns are readily understandable and designated as Beginner, Easy, or Intermediate. Each pattern includes a graphic block illustration of the project pieces as they look before they go together, a very helpful tool. The book also includes a chapter on substituting yarns one for another when a particular yarn is not available or beyond reach in price.

The Grecos work through Dimensional Illustrators and have produced nearly two dozen craft and graphic arts books, such as Beyond the Scarf. Living scenic Pennsylvania with Nick, Kathleen also owns and has applied for patents on yarns of her own creation from plastics.


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I agree! Each winter I make a new hat with different yarns. I should make some more mittens as well. Thanks for visiting, DigbyAdams.

    • profile image

      DigbyAdams 5 years ago

      I always love to see the color combinations that professionals use. The illustrations on the cover were inspiring. Wearing a colorful and warm pair of mittens and a hat in the winter always perks up my spirits. It's even better in my mind, when they are handmade.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      You are right in that, Z! Use the wrong texture or type and a sweeter will be three sizes too small or too large.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      It looks like a great book. Most people don't realize that for projects to work out right, it's really important to use the right yarns and supplies.

      great HUB regards Zsuzsy

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks highwaystar. I know a lot of men and women that made their own hats this year, because the prices were too high and they could find inepexenise natural fibers in certain shops. It's a great movement of culture.

    • profile image

      highwaystar 10 years ago

      Thanks Patty for sharing, great hub and another exciting adventure into the arts and crafts of knitting...