Book Review: Knitting Outside The Swatch by Kristin Omdahl

A swatch is a great way to combine shapes to create visually stunning fabrics. Who doesn’t love to knit a swatch?

This is exactly what Kristin Omdahl has done with Knitting Outside the Swatch.

Paperback: 144 pages 
Publisher: Interweave  (October 31, 2013)
Language: English 

It sells for $24.95 US

The first thing I do when reviewing a book is page through it. Not read it. Just look, page by page. I have to tell you, I had more Ooh’s and Aah’s going through her book than I’ve had in a long time. The textures created with all the round motifs, the flowers and square motifs, became quite the eye candy for me.

Kristin explains that they are “small and quick to make.” She also mentions in the introduction that these are great for experimenting with different stitch patterns.


This book has 40 motifs, 10 beautiful projects, and she even gives you ideas on how you can use these motifs in your own creations. The photography is stunning. A photographer myself, I can always spot amazing photos.


I’d love to paint a picture for you as we go through this book together:

Kristin starts out  with her introduction explaining what this book is about, how the motifs are constructed, and how you can be your own designer. She loves to knit a swatch. Don’t you? I know I do!

She goes on to explain how to use the motifs she’s created. From allover fabric to edging to embellishments, and more. Some of the various stitch patterns included in the book are cables, lace, short-rows, as well as others…

There are 4 motif sections:
~ Flowers & Stars – 11 stitch patterns
~ Circles, Squares & Rectangles – 19 stitch patterns
~ Join-as-You-Go – 4 stitch patterns
~ Unusual Shapes – 10 stitch patterns

Then…The Projects! 10 Projects…Accessories and Garments.

Kristin has done an amazing job! She gives us the tools to design our own accessories or garments by creating fun motifs. There’s a designer in all of us, I’m sure of that. Or maybe you prefer to knit the projects in this book. I know I will! I love everything about this book.

I highly recommend Knitting Outside the Swatch. Whether a novice or advanced knitter, there’s something for everyone!

I decided to knit a couple swatches. Here’s mine…

Large Ribbed Circle Swatch

Round Flower Medallion

Okay friends, please leave a comment below and let us know how you would use this book. 

Interweave  has mailed me a FREE copy to giveaway to one lucky winner. I’ll pick the lucky winner this Friday, November 8th. Please make sure I have a good email address for you. That gives you one week…Good Luck!

So, as Kristin says,

“Grab your needles and start Knitting Outside the Swatch!


20 thoughts on “Book Review: Knitting Outside The Swatch by Kristin Omdahl

  1. Unknown says:

    I love Kristin Omdahl. I have her Seamless Crochet book, which is fantastic. I'd love to get one of her knit books to compare it with her crochet. Plus, now that my Christmas knit/crocheting is almost done, I can concentrate on making things just for fun!

    Meagan Thompson (I'm on the Knitwits FB group if you can't see my email)

  2. Diane Kohn says:

    I've admired Kristin Omdahl's crochet and teaching skills since I first saw her on Knitting Daily TV. My crochet skills have been pushed to the back burner, due to my love of knitting. However, this review reminded me how much enjoyment there can be from motifs and how easy they are to carry around (always a plus for my projects). I'd love to receive a copy of this book.

  3. Francine says:

    This book looks amazing. I would love to knit a shawl or cowl using the shapes in this book. I love that some of the designs look like crochet but are actually knit. sweetangel_vip (at) hotmail (dot) com or francine on ravelry.

  4. Lynne Phelps says:

    Most motif pattern books are crochet so it is very exciting to see this for knitters! I would love to make a sampler vest from various samples in this book. I also adore the hat on the cover and would love to make several for my nieces as Christmas gifts, what a great use of variegated yarn! lynne.phelps (at)

  5. Kelly Miller says:

    I do the same thing you do! I always thumb through the book and look page by page to see what catches my eye and what I want to go back to and actually read and make. Would love to see where my mind would go with all these different swatches!

  6. Nancy (spacecoastknitter- ravelry) says:

    Kristin Omdahl does such fantastic work! I've been knitting hats and shawls for charity and I bet there would be some beautiful patterns here that would bring delight to the recipients. I have my fingers crossed. Thanks.

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