Friday, June 5, 2009

Knitting in the Sun Blog Tour

When Kristi Porter's new book, Knitting in the Sun, arrived at the studio everyone stopped what they were doing to take a look. As is our habit, the first thing we did was flip through to see how the garments using Lorna's Laces yarns turned out. We were not disappointed. There are two fantastic designs using our yarns in the book.

The first is Janine Le Cras's Bordeaux. It's a beautiful shawl knit from our Helen's Lace and named after a beach on the isle of Guernsey. I thought that was particularly interesting since most of us associate Bordeaux with the wine country in France rather than an island in the English Channel. Isn't it great when you get to learn an obscure factoid like that? I mean really, who knew?

The second design is from Anne Kuo Lukito called Yehliu. Anne drew her inspiration for the design from the divets and textures in some of the rock formations in the geological wonders at Yehliu Park in Taiwan. She's put lots of great information about that on her blog. The sweater is a gorgeous lacy, cabled, openwork cardigan made from our Lion and Lamb. Yummy.

This book deserves more than a quick flip and it got it. There are so many things to love about it. Great designs, first rate photography, high production values. But my favorite thing has to be the execution of the concept. It elevated summer knitting to its rightful place in the universe. It's not about small projects, cotton and lace. Just because it's warm outside doesn't mean we need to put down our needles or knit from a limited menu of garments. I have always knit year 'round without much consideration of the seasons. I knit what I want when I want. This book embraces that idea.

Now, I'm not totally unrealistic. I understand that a lap full of mohair on a sweltering day might not be your idea of paradise. But, that doesn't mean that there isn't a place for it at the table when it gets warm. Another of Anne Kuo Lukito's designs, Alishan, balances that mohair with linen and open stitches to make a great lightweight hoody that will keep out those cool nighttime breezes.

And even though Kristi's Coronado is a full length shawl collored cardigan, the use of openwork and a fine gauge soysilk and alpaca blend make this a versatile garment that could be worn on all but the hottest days. Most of us live with air condidtioning and appreciate having a little something to put over our shoulders when we get a chill.

The classic summer knits are by no means ignored. There are plenty of shawls, short sleeves, tanks and even a pair of pajamas. And of course a swimming suit! After all the book is about warm weather.

All the designs were executed with great attention to detail. Creative shaping abounds. A wide variety of body types were considered. This is the kind of book that provides more than just a collection of patterns. It is a springboard of inspiration. It's a way of thinking about why you make certain choices about fibers and textures. A book to go back to again and again.

Next up on the tour is Faina Goberstein.

You'll have to excuse me while I go cast on Bridgetown.


Allyson said...

What a great book review! Everything I want to know before picking up a new pattern book was addressed. I can't wait to take a look through this book myself.

Suna Kendall said...

Thank you SO much for sharing this information! I now want the book for myself! All those projects are quite inspirational.

Also love the knit-along, and if I had any rogue single skeins of your sock yarn, I'd do that pattern in one. But, they are all little pairs.

monica said...

Thanks so much for the review of the new book, I think I need to head to the yarn shop this week and buy it.

Moan said...

Just gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mentions of my 2 designs in the book. Thanks also for the wonderful opportunity to work with Lion & Lamb. It was so yummy that I wanted to eat and sleep with it all day.