Thursday, May 14, 2009

Knitting in the Sun

When the snow starts to melt, the days grow longer and May FlowersFlowersFlowersFlowers splashing colour across the land a knitters fancy turns towards lighter wares. Not just lighter to knit while catching a few rays on the deck with a drinkie that has an umbrella in it (oops - maybe that's just me), but lighter to wear as well. Said knitter could be caught unawares, scrambling through the latest spring & summer mags, hoping against hope, looking for just the right _________ to go with their summer wardrobe. I know, my heart races at the panic of it!!

to the rescue!!

The patterns are sorted to make your summer/warm weather knitting selection easy - accessories, sleeveless, short sleeves, long sleeves, cardigans and odds & ends. It helps even the most indecisive knitter narrow down the choices. From sun hats to a funky leaf scarf, sweet bathing suits to a beach bag blanket, shoulder-baring tops and calf-skimming skirts, lacy stoles to chill-chasing cover-ups I dare say that no sun-warmed stone has been left unturned to put at our fingertips the perfect summer project.
The projects lend themselves to warmer climes in the fibers chosen - traditionals like linen, silk, cotton are obvious, but then warmer fibers like mohair & alpaca are seasonally appropriate by being blended with soy, silk and linen. When using warmer fibers the garment constructions are looser and airier with lace details that keep them from being heavy while still be excellent chill-chasers for cooler evenings.
I "met" Kristi worked with her on Knitting Patterns for Dummies, so I asked her about the challenges of putting together a compilation of patterns; here's what she said:

"While I've been involved in various guises with collaborative projects, pulling together a collection of patterns from a group of designers was new territory for me, and I was definitely a bit nervous about it at the outset. But I couldn't be more pleased with the results!

Each designer approached the goal of creating something they'd want to wear in warm weather with her own point of view and design aesthetic. I think this makes each piece distinctive and the collection broadly appealing. There are a variety of styles to appeal to women of all ages and body types; there are some projects that adventurous beginners will be able to tackle as well as some that will still bring excitement to seasoned knitters. And there are projects knit in pieces, but also quite a number that feature one-piece construction. Come to think of it, there're pieces that are knit top-down, side-to-side, and even inside-out! That said, one of the things I like best about the collection is how wearable the garments are. I think they're really appealing knits, but also things you'll actually find yourself wearing regularly.

I feel very lucky in that everyone that was involved with Knitting in the Sun was so pleasant to work with. Now that the book is done I don't have to run around knocking wood about it, but, man, what a conscientious, creative, professional bunch! They brought strong ideas to the table, but accepted feedback with grace and were great communicators throughout. I feel like I learned a lot in the process of creating the book, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat."

I love flipping through the pages of Knitting in the Sun; each picture evokes a feeling of summertime, carefree days and a desire to start knitting your way into the new season. The photographs are well shot - casual and easy but giving us what we want, a clear look at the finished project. Nothing appears to be hidden - to the contrary there are plenty of close-ups to get a good look at the shaping and stitches.
The patterns are also supported by clear schematics and charts. Oh - the charts!!! They're not just in the book - they are online & downloadable so that if the cats use your charts for bedding, you lose your chart to the tide at the beach or mark it up beyond usefulness you're just a click away from not being S.O.L.. Good on ya Kristi!!!

I am totally going to knit Anacapa
- the cover stole - by Kendra Nitta, Hollyhock, a sweet scoop-neck top by Jairlyn Mason and Anna Maria, a sleeveless form-fitting shell by Carol Feller. I dare you not to find at least one perfect summer project - go ahead, knit in the sun!!

Up next up on the blog tour is Marnie MacLean. Marnie designed the lovely surplice top Aviara, featured in the book.

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