“In Luxe Knits I wanted to show how design evolves: from an initial inspiration to an interpretation of technique; from technique to fashion sketches; and from sketches to an actual garment.”
So begins the introduction to Laura Zukaite’s new book, a collection of 26 sweaters and accessories. The ‘luxe’ part has to do with the fibers she chose to work with—silks, cashmeres, handpainted linen, etc. But even if you can’t afford to treat yourself to an expensive skein of yarn, Laura’s garments are well worth working up in more affordable fibers. And her creative exploration of tried and true knitting moves make this book well worth investing in.
For example, the first chapter explores knitted folds in stockinette stitch—the technique in which you knit a few rows then pick up a previous row of stitches to create a horizontal tuck. Laura uses delicate rings of sculpted tucks to trim the cuffs on sleek cashmere gloves and to embellish a simple striped hat. In other projects, tuck-folds help an attached scarf fold and drape and on a simple rectangular shrug, they make a striking design element
In subsequent chapters, Laura explores the possibilities in smocking, cables, combining yarns of different colors to create tonal effects, honeycomb patterns, and freeform crochet. (A perfectly plain stockinette sweater with a crocheted butterfly to fill in the cut-out back is one of several truly knockout pieces.) Bags, gloves, mitts, even jewelry find a place in Luxe Knits, as well as sweaters, wraps, and two very wearable skirts.
Not least of the pleasures in Luxe Knits are Laura Zukaite’s fashion illustrations. It’s fun to see the imagined piece in counterpoint to the photo of the final, realized sweater. And knitters will appreciate the book's layout. Instructions for each design are shown with multiple photos of the garment. As you knit, you can check the instructions against the pictureS.