Thursday 10 December 2015

Take Heart - Review of Pom Pom Press' First Pattern Book

Image courtesy of Pom Pom Press
Pom Pom Quarterly magazine has built a reputation for being a cutting-edge indie knitting magazine with a luxurious paper feel. Now Pom Pom has expanded its activities to launch Pom Pom Press. Their first pattern book, Take Heart - A Transatlantic Knitting Journey, has been published in time for Christmas.

The accessory patterns, all 11 of them, are the brainchild of designer Fiona Alice. Fiona is originally from Canada but has since crossed the Atlantic herself to live in London.

At first glance at my review copy I was delighted to see that each pattern uses an indie yarn from Canada and the UK. As this blog celebrates British yarn it's these designs I'm most interested in. The Take Heart beanie uses Toft Alpaca Aran silver yarn, whilst the Lunenberg Harbour socks are knitted in Toft Alpaca Silk Extra Fine. I'm a great fan of Toft's quality British yarn. Toft Alpaca itself seems to be concentrated on the crochet side of the business, with its Edward's Menagerie crochet patterns of animals and birds, so I was particularly pleased to see new knitting patterns using their yarn.

The Chester Basin Mittens, which match the Chester Basin Hat, are knitted with Border Mill Alpaca Tweed, a brand I was previously unaware with but now am keen to take a closer look at. If a wrap/shawl is more your thing in Winter weather then Three Cliffs, knitted with John Arbon Textiles Viola, is a cosy-looking pattern. The Uncommon Thread BFL Fingering yarn is used for the Pennard Castle legwarmers. It's a beautiful pattern but my legwarmer-wearing days ended as a child in the 1980s.

Patterns using Canadian yarn are also work more than a look, my favourite being the Martinique Beach Cowl using SweetGeorgia Yarns Trinity Worsted.

Take Hart includes stunning photography, shot on the Gower Coast in South Wales, of the finished garments. Alice has also added her schematic sketches of her designs. Clearly a lot of care has been taken in the production of the book.

The digital book is available on Ravelry for £14.40. Alternatively buy a print and digital copy from Pom Pom Press for £14.50 plus £1.80 post and packaging within the UK.

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