Opening Greetings from Knit Café is like receiving a big, warm, woolly hug.
Author Suzan Mischer first learned to knit when she was seven. Her grandmother gave her a long pair of needles and some bright pink scratchy wool and very soon, Mischer’s first knitted creation lay before her – a holey pink headband.
It wasn’t until she had children of her own, and after leaving her role at CBS Television to stay home fulltime with her kids, that knitting became a more central part of her life.
Each morning, after driving her kids to school, Mischer would stop at Starbucks for a coffee and a knit.
“I kept thinking how perfect it would be if Starbucks had a yarn department,” she writes, “And then it struck me that I could create such a place – with great yarn, coffee and tea, music and books, and comfortable, welcoming chairs where people could relax.
In July 2002, Knit Café was born, located in West Hollywood on Melrose Avenue, the café soon became the place-to-be for anyone creative, social and in love with all things soft and beautiful.
It’s a delight to read about the origins of Knit Café in Mischer’s book, but what’s even better is taking a peek inside this divinely colourful, cosy and totally retro store. Featuring chairs upholstered in lime green fur and benches covered in crazy quilts, the décor is put together in the most delectable way – with whimsical items nesting deep in the balls of yarn.
But perusing the shop is not the only delight. Knit Café features 30 gorgeous, original and very unique projects, from beginner to less-beginner. I have a kabillion knitting books and spend much time reading them, but rarely dig out the needles. With Knit Café, I am ready to dig . . . and cast on, and knit up a storm.
What I love about the projects is the introduction for each one, revealing a story behind its creation. From the architect scarf (complete with blueprint instructions for the knitter!) to the baby matinée jacket inspired by a knitter’s grandmother’s creations, the warmth and candour behind each piece is a joy.
Many of the pieces are quite Bohemian, others more modern, but all absolutely charming. I am hankering majorly to knit the stunning alpaca shawl, messenger bag, complete with adjustable strap – and that Chanel-inspired knit jacket – I mean – it’s a must-have! And the absolutely divine lacy skirt had be breathless. There’s even a knitted red carpet gown, for goodness sake (and yes, it’s beautiful).
Scattered with recipes, anecodotes, even a CD play list, this is a book you’ll dip into time and time again. The love, warmth and friendship in this updated edition of a classic STC book is palpable and toasty warm. And it’s not bad to look at, either.
Title: Greetings from Knit Café
Author: Suzan Mischer
Publisher: Stewart Tabori Chang
Publication Date: Feb 2009