Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Contemporary Cables

I'm a passionate knitter.  I love the process and the structure of building up a fabric stitch by stitch.  I'm also a sewist (sewer?) and enjoy that also, but one thing I enjoy very much about knitting is that you can and do shape the pattern pieces as you make them.  That's awesome.

Anyhow, these patterns really exploit all of the positive things about knitted structure and shaping. Almost all of them are really classic and well fitted (there are a few loose and flowing items, like the oversized wrap (p.40 in my copy) and the buttonless chunky cardigan (p. 72), but most are fitted.  There are only a couple of them which I can imagine looking really dated in 20 years and that's really high praise from me.  As a contrast, I'm addicted to Rowan magazines and basically buy every book they put out and a LOT of them look, well, quite dated 20 years on.

About this book.  The patterns are truly creative and use the cables as important structural elements. The cover pullover for example (called Rapunzel! <3 )has a soft peplum (it flares outwards over the top of the hips) and the outward lines are emphasized by the braided cable which splits in two.  There's a vent (slit) in the back of this sweater  (*swoon*) and it, also, has a cable running along it. There are so many more rich variations than the standard 4 or 6 stitch cable which an awful lot of magazines call 'aran' these days (Vogue Knitting, I'm looking at you!)

There are so many of these which are well fitted (no shapeless sacks which, let's face it, make anyone over 80 pounds (about 36kg) look like a bag of lumpy potatoes).  That's an exaggeration of course.. but seriously... these pieces are beautifully fitted, with shaped set in sleeves and diagrams. There are also raglan shaped sweaters and a project with a shawl collar. There are some smaller projects as well, a market bag, some shrugs and a beret which flew to the top of my 'next project' list. I will have it before the snow flies, yes I will!  The knitting instructions are complete and streamlined and the cabling patterns are both described in the text -and- diagrammed.

I've noticed with a lot of project photography that it's devilishly difficult to get a proper picture of projects showing off the entire project whilst it's being worn by an actual human without making it painfully obvious that the model was being posed to the Nth degree ("Ok, I know you're freezing to death and you stopped being able to feel your toes about an hour ago, but move your left arm forward a half inch and your chin up, no down, no up, now HOLD THAT POSE"!).  That being said, the photography and models are fine and show off the projects well.

The instructions and introductory text aren't overly hand-holding or coddling.  I would say if you're a true straight up newbie knitter (good for you!) then have a friend/mentor/LocalYarnShop to help if you get stuck. If you're a bit more experienced, you'll have enough here to get you through.  One thing I really loved about this book was that they gave a good explanation of substituting yarns and figuring yardages and skeins needed.

All in all, a wonderful book of projects which really called to me.

Four and a half stars.  Love so many of these projects <3

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.

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