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Sweet Shawlettes
25 Irresistible Patterns for Knitting Cowls, Capelets, and More
Jeanne Moss

Taunton Press
January 3, 2012 / 978-1600854002
How-to: Knitting

Reviewed by Beth E. McKenzie

I picked up this book because I was curious. A shawlette should be a small shawl, right? That's what the sumptuous entrelac Harlequin Cape on the cover leads us to believe. But the title says "…Cowls, Capelets and More". The "More" kept poking at me. What "More"? It turns out that a shawlette is any comfortable little thing you wrap around your neck; the ultimate in luxury goods, a piece with no real purpose except to be pretty and make you feel special.

The book itself reflects this in the photography and pattern layout. The colors, the backgrounds, and the poses are all just pretty. While I won't make most of the bulky or tiny patterns in the book, the ones I do make will be a source of pleasure for me and I hope for the friends that receive them. I plan to make colorful variations of the Treasure Jabot and the Arabesque Scarf for friends for Christmas and eventually will make the Madame Alfred Shawlette and Vintage Mantilla for me!

I usually try patterns before I review a book like this, but as I have not done so in this case, I can't speak to their accuracy. Most of the patterns appear to run to medium effort, with a few for only experienced and patient knitters. Many of the patterns are open to new interpretations. For example the Evergreen Scarf is a thin band of green ending in a spray of multicolored leaves. You could incorporate seasonal colors and create additional scarves for the spring, fall and winter. You could change the base color to pink and attach a variety of red and white hearts, or a blue band with gold and silver stars, or yellow with a variety of fresh fruits, or puppies and kitties for your favorite shelter manager. Where ever your imagination leads you!

Reviewed 2012