Monday, May 21, 2012

A book review: The Knitters Curiosity Cabinet

After loving everything in Silk Road Socks by Hunter Hammersen and really enjoying knitting two of the patterns already, of course I had to get her newest volume of patterns, The Knitters Curiosity Cabinet in spite of not being even close to finishing the patterns in her first book.  Taking her inspiration from the collections of the Victorian era middle class that inspired vintage botanical prints, she created 10 different paired patterns for socks and a coordinating accessory piece.  As of right now all I have is the e-book, with the physical book due to arrive in another month or two, but what I have is beautiful and impressive in and of itself.

I love how she begins the book with a history of curiosity cabinets detailing their evolution along with photographic examples of them.  It serves as giving a sense of how she came about with the creation of the patterns and explains how the patterns in the book relate to one another resulting in a very cohesive selection of knitting patterns.  The photos of the patterns are all charmingly taken in the location a library from the looks of it.  Each pattern is photographed beautifully with both close up images of the stitch pattern and a full shot of the knitted piece being worn.

As to the patterns themselves, they are well laid out and easy to follow.  Each pair of patterns are accompanied by an inspirational botanical print and a brief description of the plant in the image along with describing what exactly served as the inspiration for the stitch patterns created.  The patterns are charted, which I prefer, and if you don't know how to follow charts I strongly suggest you learn as it is so much easier to work then following written instructions!  An improvement over Silk Road Socks layout was that as opposed to just having a a master stitch key at the beginning of the book, there is also a stitch key included with each pattern listing just the stitches used for that pattern.  This will make using the book while knitting each pattern much easier as all relevant information is right there on one page, instead of forcing the knitter to flip back and forth to check the chart symbols.

In closing, I am delighted with this book as not only does it have a wide selection of patterns I can't wait to cast on, but it is a lovely book in and of itself.  Available in e-book form now through or it's own site The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet, available in print form late spring or summer of this year, 2012.  There will also be Knit-A-Longs for the book in her group on Ravelry beginning in July 2012.

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