Friday, 30 December 2016

Three Knitting Books To Look Forward To In 2017

At this time of the year TV and radio channels are awash with reviews of the year. Like a lot of people I'll be quite glad to see the back of 2016, what with Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the tragic early death of George Michael on Christmas Day, so instead I've decided to look forward and concentrate on three exciting British pattern books to be published in 2017.

1. Susan Crawford's Vintage Shetland Project

Image courtesy of Susan Crawford
Sadly, due to Susan undergoing cancer treatment, she had to put completion of her The Vintage Shetland Project book on the back burner, as described in a blog post back in November. The anticipated publication date for this milestone book is now early 2017.

Susan's website says: "The Vintage Shetland Project is the culmination of the several years Susan has spent researching early 20th century knitting in Shetland. With the help and support of Carol Christiansen, textile curator at the Shetland Museum, Susan has studied hand-knitted garments and accessories from the 1920s to 1960s, which are held in the Museum's archives. She has chosen 25 pieces, recording their construction stitch for stitch, the recreated them for the Vintage Shetland Project. These pieces - all with their own unique story to tell - have been developed into comprehensive multi-sized knitting patterns, complete with instructions, technical advice and illustrated with colour photography shot on Shetland. With an essay reflecting on the story of each hand-knit item this book is a treasury of Shetland knitting patterns and an insight into Shetland's rich textile traditions."

I'm sure I speak for many knitters around the world when I wish Susan a speedy recovery and a happy and healthy new year, and can't wait to see her book when it's published.

2. Kate Davies' Inspired By Islay collection

Image courtesy of Kate Davies
Subscribers to Kate's club have already received the first patterns from her new book Inspired by Islay, as detailed in her blog post today. Subscribers receive a pattern a week for 12 weeks, the 120 page book in late February, and other goodies. Those of us who haven't subscribed will be able to buy Kate's patterns when the book is released on general sale.

The image on the right is of Kate wearing the Finlaggan cardigan, one of the designs in the book, which is based on the cardigan she designed for her own wedding.

Kate's describes her new collection on her website thus: "Islay, the "Queen of the Hebrides', is one of the most beautiful and beloved of Scotland's Western Isles. Drawing on the island's intriguing combination of Gaelic and Nordic cultural influences, and taking inspiration from Islay's distinctive Hebridean landscape, Kate Davies has created a collection of twelve stunning new designs in her own Buachaille yarn. Taking you on a journey around this unique island, Inspired by Islay also contains essays, interviews and beautiful photography, offering a wealth of inspiration for the knitter and general reader alike."

3. Karie Westermann's This Thing of Paper

Image courtesy of Karie Westermann
Glasgow-based designer Karie crowdfunded in 2016 to publish This Thing of Paper. On her website she describes the project: "As both a knitter and a bibliophile, I have been yearning to do a project that combines my two loves. So many of you have been asking for a physical book ... I want to produce a book that is as beautiful to hold and read as the patterns themselves will be to knit and wear.

This Thing of Paper is a book of ten knitting projects with accompanying essays. The project is inspired by the age of Johan Gutenberg and his invention of the printing press. Gutenberg's work meant that books change form being rare objects reserved for the elite to something that ordinary folk could access. I have always been fascinated by how one invention could change the course of history."

As one of the crowdfunders I'm very much looking forward to seeing Karie's end result. She recently blogged that the Gutenburg museum has requested a copy of This Thing of Paper for their archives, which sounds very promising!

And finally ...

I'll be taking a little break from blogging, partly because I have a holiday booked and also due to my laying down my knitting needles for a while and getting stuck into cross stitch instead. I'm currently completing this mini eggs cross stitch tapestry pattern from Jacqui P.

Have a wonderfully knitty 2017. Mine is going to be the year of the stash buster - the piles of yarn around my house have become too high and it's time to hunker down and knit what I already have before I splash out on the new yarns 2017 will have to offer!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

My Own Hut 8 Cardigan For Christmas

Whilst I took part in Christmas Jumper Day 2016 (see my previous post for my own homemade-looking design) it's a different woolly that I've worn constantly this month and am sure to carry on doing so throughout the cold, if usually mild for the season, weather.

I finally finished my Hut 8 cardigan from Eden Cottage Yarns' Bletchley Collection and am very pleased with the result. My chosen yarn was three skeins of Blacker Yarns' limited edition Cornish Tin II in turquoise. The vibrancy of the colour doesn't really show in my photo but it's a deep hue verging on the green - a really rich colour for the season.

At just over £16 per skein the yarn wasn't cheap and finding three skeins wasn't easy either. The turquoise shade sold out super quickly. I managed to find one online and my godmother kindly found two for me at Yarndale. Due to the price I didn't buy a bit extra 'just in case' and I nearly came a cropper! I'm used to changing patterns a bit to fit me, being short in body.  It looked, however, like I wouldn't have enough yarn to complete the final sleeve but, having contemplated having to knit the sleeve and bottom ribs in a different colour to eke out the final bit of turquoise, it turned out I had just enough for the whole cardigan.

It's warm, sturdy, stylish and already it has become a workhorse in my wardrobe, looking great with jeans.

There are just a few Cornish Tin II DK skeins left at Blacker Yarns' website in purple, pink and two shades of grey if you want to knit your own Hut 8.
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