The allure of the Swirl is multifaceted. One piece, one seam construction certainly gets my attention. Having witnessed for myself the way that a single jacket can flatter so many figures, the "miracle sweater" moniker certainly fits. Sandra asks the knitter the throw away the notion that body circumference measurement dictates size, presenting instead a simple measurement that determines one's Swirl size. In addition, she gives styling options whereby a single figure may well fit all three sizes of a given Swirl jacket. Swirls are separated into four silhouette categories based on their structural characteristics. Within each silhouette, she gives multiple variations on trim, fiber type, yarn weight and shaping. While overwhelming to pick a single favourite, the silhouette overview is an excellent starting point to assist you choosing your own perfect Swirl. With eighteen designs in all, it's a pretty safe bet there's one for all of us.
One gets the sense these garments have not been designed, but engineered. For those who see the circular form and assume these are more of those "circle with armholes" sweaters to which we've become accustomed, think again. Sandra has devoted years of study to bring us well past the "target sweater", and the improvement is nothing short of monumental. Designs are presented in an array of yarns, some of them very decidedly on the high-end side. With a book of this style, it seems only fitting. Numerous notes are given on yarn substitution, which should help those on a more restrictive budget, but I feel more inclined to save up some stash cash and spring for something really special in a few months' time.
Designers beware: this book is not a springboard to guide you in designing your own Swirl, nor does it claim to be. As an incorrigible tinkerer, I am guilty of modifying patterns to the point that the finished product is barely recognizable. Given the unique fabric produced by Swirl shaping, this has the potential to yield very unpredictable results. I think I'll let Sandra, the veteran, design my first Swirl on my behalf. I continue to thumb through my copy of the book almost nightly, and have still not determined which design that will be. Swirl knitting is not about instant gratification. The initial cast-on of 500+ stitches alone guarantees that. As the knitting takes shape and the sweater grows inward, it begins to move more quickly. The reward for patience and trust will be a unique, stunning and inspiring garment. With incredibly detailed schematics, visually arresting photography and notes on wearing variations, you'll feel Sandra is with you every step of the way.