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Summer reading for fall fashion

Even though warm-weather days are upon us, it's not too early to think about fall knitting. What better way to spend your lazy summer days than perusing a book of knitting patterns?

One such book, Knitting the New Classics, is edited by Kristin Nicholas, director of Marketing and Product Development for Classic Elite Yarns. Classic Elite is especially noted for its beautiful American mohair yarns and other natural fibers.

I've known Kristin for many years and can attest to her talents _ many of which you'll find on the pages of her book. Kristin is influenced by ethnic and historic textiles, and her love of color is evident throughout the book.

The full-color work includes 60 knitting patterns for the whole family by American designers. Many of the styles are unisex. Some styles are shown in adult as well as in child versions. Some of the styles are shown in both pullover and cardigan variations. While there is a mix of graphic sweaters and stitch-patterned designs, I think some of the best designs in the book are the one-color textural sweaters decked with amazing cable and other dimensional stitches. Whether you're a rank beginner or a seasoned novice, there is something for every skill level.

The book is neatly broken down into five sections: Quick & Simple (great for beginners), Decorative Stitchery (includes Aran and Guernsey designs), Designing With Color (both traditional and unusal sweaters), Cardigans (some are coatlike), and Warm Weather Knits (cotton sweaters).

The introduction spells out the concept of the book, including how the Classic Elite Yarn Co. puts together its design collection each season. It ends with a section called Tips for Knitters. This section has some valuable information about sizes and styles, as well as historical information and knitting pointers. The cost is $27.95, and the company is offering free shipping to NeedleWorks readers. Call (800) 343-0308.

Nancy welcomes your comments or questions about the column or any needleworking subject. However, because of the volume of mail, she cannot answer every letter individually. Hints or questions of general interest will be used in the column when possible. Please send them to Nancy, c/o the Times, Dept. 123200, P.O. Box 1131, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.

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