Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Book Review Week! Day 3: Power Cables

Power Cables: The Ultimate Guide to Knitting Inventive Cables

Title: Power Cables: The Ultimate Guide to Knitting Inventive Cables
Author: Lily M. Chin
Publisher: Interweave Press
Approx. Retail Value: $24.95
Release Date: June 1, 2010

When I first learned to knit years ago, all I wanted to do was learn to knit cables.  I was scared and excited.  I remember thinking, I can't do this.  I've only knit rectangles.  How am I going to learn this difficult technique?  Then I decided to knit up Silver's Palindrome Scarf and was hooked on cables immediately.  I had never imagined how easy it was to knit cables.  And then something happened.  Cables were my new thing.  I wanted everything I knit to have cables in them.  Then after a while, not so much..  ;p

So when Interweave Press sent me Power Cables, I thought, Hmmmm.. another book of cable patterns. This should be nice.  Well when I saw the book was by master designer, Lily Chin, I knew I was in for a creative and innovative book.  And let me just say, Lily did not disappoint. Even if you think you've read/seen everything there is about cables, I guarantee this book will teach you something new or at the very least, inspire you to try something new.

Power Cables is truly a book that should be read cover to cover as each chapter builds on the previous one.  And as Lily says in her book, even those who are proficient at cables should not skip Chapter 1: Understanding Cables.  Chapter 1 is a treasure trove of cable knowledge.  From a basic primer to cable math to charting to cabling without cable needles to various swatches to learning how to vary cables, Lily covers it all!  Each pattern in the book is a lesson in a particular type of cable technique.  With full color photos, detailed notes about each project, extensive written and charted patterns, and illustrated pattern details, even the newer cable knitter will feel confident in attempting one of these patterns.

What really impressed me about Power Cables was Lily's thorough explanations throughout each chapter.  For example, she explains Identical vs. Fraternal Reversibility, Stitch Multiples, Keeping Track of Rows, Crossings, Seen & Unseen, and Cable Integration.  But perhaps the most eye opening part of this book was seeing her colorful and textured cables.  Lily demonstrates intarsia, pinstripped, mosaic, mirrored pinstripe, and multi-colored pinstripe cables.  She even explores techniques for making these colorful cables reversible!  I was amazed and dazzled to see these cables.  I had never seen someone use colorwork in knitted cables.  And not just colorwork.  Lily combines texture and colorwork in some of her cables to induce a whole new sensory experience in cable knitting.

And finally, Lily explains how to put it all together to design a pattern that will not only create a marvelous garment, but will provide the knitter with a terrific experience.

Chapters included in this book:
  1. Understanding Cables
  2. Wide Rib Cables
  3. Ribbed Reversible Cables
  4. Textural Cables
  5. Traveling Stitch Cables
  6. Colorful Cables
  7. Raised Wale Cables
  8. Phony Cables
  9. Cable Integration
Projects: Honeycomb V-Neck Pullover, Widening-Rib Cabled Scarf, Reversible Honeycomb Scarf, Reversible-Cuff Cabled Socks, XOX Raglan Turtleneck, Textured Totebag, Staghorn Cabled Coat, Background Stitches Cable Vest, Five-Way Cabled Shrug, Pinstriped Cable Pullover, Bi-Color Brioche Stole, Reversible Cuffs Hat & Mittens, Two-Colored Handbag, Turnaround Stole, and Three-Fakes Hoodie.

A big thanks to the lovely Jaime over at Interweave Press for sending me a FREE review copy of Power CablesKnitPurlGurl Disclosure Policy applies.



  1. I'm not much of a knitter but this post almost makes me want to learn how to knit cable. Very interesting review but my head started to spin when I saw the words 'cable math'. That's what I meant by almost... ;)

  2. Ooo, I LOVE multi-color cable knitting! It's challenging, but so worth the work! I may have to go find this book!


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