Book Review: The Alchemy of Color Knitting

I’ve always emphasized color theory as a great tool for using up leftovers. I was so excited to see this book on Amazon and even more delighted when I realized my local library had it on its shelves. I picked it up last Thursday and read the whole section on color work in knitting.

I really enjoyed the author’s perspective on color theory, though for me it was appreciation vs. new knowledge. She goes over the basics of the color wheel and the different ways colors relate to each other.

I love the examples she gives. They used vibrantly dyed yarns to illustrate the points made. I would say that you will find this part of the book really helpful IF you are not already familiar with color theory. It’s a nice summary. It is definitely helpful to your knitting if you often find yourself at the yarn shop staring at the rainbow of colors thinking, “How do I choose colors that will match?”

The book then has three sections following the Color Theory for Knitting section: Monochromatic, Working the Color Wheel, and Hue, Value and Intensity

There is a really nice range of sweaters, shawls, and cardigans with sprinkling of a scarves, baby clothing, accessories, and home decor.

From reading through it, the patterns seem to be pretty well written, but you never know until you really dig in and actually knit the thing. I plan on doing that with some hand-dyed yarn for the Peacock Cardigan–which is stunning. Granted I’ll be working in greens vs. blues, but I think it will look lovely all the same.

Overall I enjoyed the book quite a bit. Will I buy it? Most likely not anytime soon. Not because I don’t think it’s worth it, but more because I have a pile of books and patterns I want to get to first. I’ll check it out again from the library for the Peacock Pattern and if I end up wanting to make a second pattern from it, then I pick it up for keeps.

If you are interested in how to better approach color selection and you aren’t familiar with the basics of color theory + you find a few of the patterns enticing and worth a try, it’s definitely a good book to add to your library.

One last thing about this book you need to know right upfront is that “Alchemy” is actually the name of the yarn brand that put this book together (the author is, I believe, the co-owner/founder). It’s a fine line of yarns, but they may be out of some of our price ranges (like mine). Don’t let that discourage you from trying out the patterns in this book. Check out this post I wrote about getting your needles/hooks/yarn just right.

Happy crafting and knitting!