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Book Review: Knitstrips: The World's First Comic-Strip Knitting Book

Book Review: Knitstrips: The World's First Comic-Strip Knitting Book

You're probably in one of two categories when it comes to the cover of Knitstrips. Are you...

  • Person A: "I love a comic book and I love knitting, so it seems like a neat idea!"
  • Person B: "Looks like a gimmick — is this supposed to be for kids?! I don't need a basic knitting book."

I was Person B. 

Comic books are fine, but I assumed Knitstrips was some publisher’s idea of how to make knitting seem cool. (I know knitting is most definitely cool, and even if it wasn’t I wouldn’t care.) After thumbing through the introduction by the authors, I knew I had to own this book — and I told my two best knitting friends about it, too.

“Welcome to Interactive Knitting!”

This book’s physical format as a comic makes for an interactive reading experience, as you take in visual and text-based information. Not just a gimmick, but an intentional choice that mirrors the knitting philosophy of authors Alice and Karen.

Interactive knitting, or “IK” (pronounced eye-KAY), “gives the knitter abundant creative control when working a pattern.” The patterns in this book are “yarn-neutral”, written so that the knitter selects the yarn that matches their vision for the fabric and garment. Each pattern has a suggestion for the type of fabric the design might want, but again, this is up to the knitter. Fabrics are described as “chewy,” “airy”, “stiff”, “soft”, etc.

IK designs are also meant to fit bodies of all shapes, with patterns based on the wearer’s measurements with suggestions for ease. You’ll be guided through the basic math to attain your perfect fit.

Yes, there are illustrations in this book. Does that mean it’s for kids?

Though suitable for beginner knitters, nothing in this book says “just for kids.” This is a book for creative thinkers and knitters who want to explore the ways we can customize our knits to really make them our own. 

If it’s been awhile since you’ve read a comic book, or if you’re worried about reading an informational book in a comic format, the authors include a handy “How to read Knitstrips” section right at the beginning!

OK but what about the patterns?

There’s a little bit of everything in here, from a simple brioche cowl (perfect project for a beginner to brioche!), a tunic, simple but customizable hat, toe-up socks, a “Special Skein Sweater” to highlight a really precious single skein of yarn, fingerless mitts, and more. 

The one I had to make immediately was the NOCOSHOCO (nuh-KAH-shuh-koh), short for No Cold Shoulders Cozy, a.k.a. a pajama sweater. This is the garment I’ve needed my whole life — something to wear when I’m reading in bed! 

“Say goodbye to cold shoulders!” YES. PLEASE.

“Measure the following while wearing your favorite PJs.”

As soon as I read the first sentence on how to calculate my size, I was in.

The construction was also intriguing to me because it’s knit sideways, starting at one sleeve, across the back, then front, and finally finishing on the other sleeve. And there’s a super sweet little scalloped edging that I’d never tried before. 

I used mostly Malabrigo from my stash, mixing up pinks and purples in Worsted, Washted, and Mecha. (See how I was unconcerned about having a mix of bulky and worsted?)

It’s the absolute coziest. And you may have even spotted me in the shop wearing it over a dress, because why not?!

Give IK a try!

This book is an encouraging and supportive guide to learning new knitting techniques and gaining the confidence to make your knitting your own. And there’s even a recipe for chocolate chip cookies — because knitters need sustenance in the form of chocolate!

Ready to get interactive with your knitting? Grab a copy here!

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Alice O Beltran - December 12, 2023

Thank you for the terrific review! Your Nocoshoco turned out GORGEOUS. Love it!

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