Knitting in the Sun

Thursday, June 11, 2009
As I posted about briefly before, I have a pattern in the new book Knitting in the Sun (Amazon link; Rav link). As is becoming fashionable, Kristi Porter decided to do a blog tour to promote the book. Several of the other pattern designers (and maybe some friends) agreed to write up something about the book on their blogs, and I am apparently the last one to go. I was very tempted to do an interview with some of the other designers, or maybe start a project and do a solo KAL-type posting, but of course I neglected to plan ahead for those. Instead I'll treat you to a totally self-serving and uncritical review of the book.

Honestly, it would be hard for me to do a critical review of this book. For the first time in a long time, I have a book in my hands that has a lot of patterns in it that I either want to knit (nearly) exactly as they are or that open up new ideas for me. So many project knitting books are boring for the truly creative knitter - they're just more variations on the themes of hat, glove, scarf, sweater, sock. This one is not. In addition, there are 32 projects total in the book - and given that the book is only $30 at full price, that's a pretty good deal!

I have to admit that my own contribution to the book, the Monaco driving scarf, isn't all that inspired. The cool things about it are a: the material (bamboo, very light and breathable), b: the shape (knit lengthwise with increases/decreases to make it a parallelogram shape), and c: the stitch pattern (reversible!). But this pales compared to some of the other projects.

Here are my favorites:

Windansea. This is a knit hat with wire in the brim to make it stiff. The yarn used is very light, and knit at a loose gauge to allow for more airiness. I'm totally entranced with the idea of brimmed knit hats, rather than beanies and slouch hats, and will make this. Plus, bonus! It's available online as a free teaser pattern!

Cinnamon Bay. You should have seen the excitement on the faces of my knitting group friends today when I was describing this: "It's a blanket, right, but with eyelets around the outside and a really long I-cord, and when you're ready to go in from the beach you just, like, pile all your crap in the middle and, ZIP! pull up the I-cord, and voila! beach bag!" Again, will make.

Bordeaux. Lace shawl with patterning at the ends but not in the middle. Somehow it just never occurs to me that I don't have to do lace all the way from one end to the other. This one is really pretty, easy, and would go pretty fast!

I am not a sleeveless type of girl - I dislike the look of my upper arms, plus who wants to shave that closely? - but in knitting group we all agreed that someone (probably Libbet) would have to make the Anna Maria tank with the Quimper capelet. I may make Quimper without Anna Maria - it uses one of my favorite hourglass lace stitches (the one Barbara Walker thinks looks like baby elephants on the reverse) and has a really interesting construction.

Aviara. I love Marnie MacLean's patterns anyway, and this one is another winner. The surplice top is forgiving to varying shapes, and given that I'm hoping that my shape will change (for the better) over then next months, this may be the short-sleeve top that I've been hoping for. Plus the ruffled sleeves and hemline are great. I'll probably have to up the neckline a bit. Also, nursing friendly!

Montague. I really like the stitch pattern - sort of like the drop-stitch snowshoe one, but more manageable - and it strongly reminds me of my mother in law (this is a good thing). I may make two - one for me and one for her. But not in pink. See, I can be critical!

I like all the cardigans, but particularly Yehliu. It's a very Asian construction, but with cables and lace that are more traditionally European. Also the color is one of my faves (normally I can see past color, but apparently not tonight). My only change would be to graft the sleeves/back rather than seam them. Keep in mind that I will do almost anything to keep from seaming something!

The Ravelry pattern page for Vernazza shows someone (I assume the designer) wearing it while very pregnant. This caught my eye! It's a sleep set, and I've been looking for something like it for a long while. I am not inclined to knit pants or shorts for myself for public wear, but it seems like they'd be great for lounging and sleeping. Plus, clearly this pattern has a lot of give. It's very cute, with a little lace detail at the hem and picot at the bust bindoff. Must make.

So that's eight patterns - plus mine - that I really love and can remember without the book nearby. As a resident of a hot climate - it was over 90F today in North Carolina - it's so refreshing to have a collection of wearable and knitable items designed specifically with warm weather in mind. Plus the photos are wonderful (all shot in California) and the layout is easy to read and follow. This is one of my favorite books in my whole knitting collection, and is sure to get worn out very quickly!


  • ponyknit

    Ooooh lovely stuff. Yes, the Vernazza knitter was super pregnant when it came time to take pics. She just posted a pic of someone else modeling it on her blog yesterday. It seems to have a lot of give.

  • lettuce

    no no no i can't justify buying any more knitting books!

    I found you via Leah at Yarn Ends
    hope you don't mind if I shamelessly promote my latest blog post which is shamelessly promoting a new crafty charity project - please read it and if you feel able help advertise (or contribute in any other way) that would be FAB

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    All content in this blog, including patterns and photos, is the intellectual property of Katherine Vaughan. All rights under US Copyright Law are reserved. Teachers, please direct your students to download/print out their own copies of patterns used in class. You are, of course, welcome to use items knit from any pattern for charity or sale, with the statement "design by Katherine Vaughan" appreciated.