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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Coastal Knits Review

I preordered this wee book based on the pictures I saw on Alana's website; that and the fact that I've knit designs by both ladies before and been quite happy with the end result.
I really do like it too, there are only a small selection of patterns that I don't like and even those it's more a case of they're not my style rather then me actively disliking them.   What I'm going to do is post photo's I've taken of the booklet; no instructions will appear; if you like them you need to buy the book and support the hard work of these very talented designers.   After having done a wee bit of designing myself I have an appreciation as to how much work is involved; and mine were only small accessories!

Bayside Pullover
This is a nice, fairly basic looking jersey which has the advantage that it will go with anything.   It's knit in fingering weight (4-ply for kiwi's) yarn; this version is a linen yarn.  I think this would look great with a skirt as well as the jeans they've styled it with here.  I love basic items if they fit well and this definitely does.

Gnarled Oak Cardigan
I really like this one, a nice shape but still basic enough to go with most things.  With such a lovely design on the yoke you want to use a yarn that doesn't compete so that the pattern does the talking.  One of the best things about this pattern is that it uses DK yarn which is easy to come by in New Zealand; so many are done in worsted or aran weight and it's so hard to find nice yarn that wears well in those weights here.   I have a thing for oak leaves, I have Alana's oak mitts to knit at some point too; I see a matching set here somehow.

Rocky Coast Cardigan
This was one of the patterns released early to those of us who preordered and I've seen some lovely examples.  Somehow it speaks to me of evenings by an open fire with hot toddies and a loving partner.  This despite it being an open front, it just has that easy look to it.  This is knit in worsted weight, so not quite to easy to find here; though there is some here but we call it 10-ply.

Rocky Coast Cardign Front
Wildflower Cardigan
This is one of the patterns that persuaded me I had to have this book.  I love the shape, though I'll have to order yarn to make it as sportweight (5-ply) is even harder to find here than worsted and aran.  It's knit in one of my favourite yarns; Madelinetosh Pashmina.   I've used this yarn before once for a shawl and it's divine!  I can see this pattern in a nice maroon or a violet.  Madelinetosh do wonderful semi-solid yarns which work brilliantly with this sort of pattern.   Just enough detail to be memorable, and I'm pretty sure you could button it all the way down if you wanted.   I do love my cardi's with the top buttons, but full buttons are so much warmer.

Water's Edge Cardigan
I think this is gorgeous, but I can't see it on me.  There's a part of me wants to knit it to see if I'm right, but in general I'm not the frilly sort.  I think I'll wait to see a few more completed to get some idea of how it looks on someone similar to me (the real me, not the one in my head).   It's done in Aran weight yarn so would be a fairly quick knit; problem is I don't have anything suitable in the stash and being on a yarn diet.....
I do think that 3/4 sleeves would work better as the current ones end at the waist detail which makes the proportions look slightly off to me.  I wonder if some of the reason I keep looking at it and wondering is the colour they've used, it's one of my favourites.

Rustling Leaves Beret
I really like this, but I do have a weakness for the beret shape.  This is the other pattern that was released to preorders.  Love the leaf shapes on it and being a fingering weight yarn there's no shortage of suitable yarn in my stash.  I think that beret's are flattering to many face shapes; it's one of the best shapes on my face, the width helps to balance the length of my face.

Panoramic Stole
This is one of the few patterns that I just have no desire to knit.  To me a stole should be lacy, however I do know people who would probably feel happier with this type of knit than a lacy stole.   If I knit it it won't be for me, maybe one of my In-Laws though; the more architectural styling might suit them.  At least it's fingering weight so won't take as long as laceweight would.

Cambrian Cowl
While plain this cowl has the opportunity to show off some spectacular buttons and for that reason I think I'll be knitting it.  It requires a bulky yarn and I think I might just have something suitable for it; some stash diving might be required.  This would look amazing with a nice wool coat.

Branching Out Mitts
This is another one that doesn't speak to me, somehow the colourwork isn't delicate enough for me.  I can see it on a guy though.  It uses a sportweight yarn.  Mitts are incredibly useful though; I barely used my Merino Possum mittens last winter, but I did use my fingerless mitts a lot.

Sand and Sea Shawlette
What can I say, I'm a sucker for a lovely shawlette and this one fits the bill perfectly.  It uses both laceweight and fingering to complete and I think the fingering on the edge will add a nice weight to it.  As you know I'm going a wee bit on the vintage side and I can just see this with a Jane Austen inspired outfit.

In summary, I think this is well worth getting and it fits in nicely with my library.  I am definitely going to knit at least one of the cardigans as soon as I can fit it in the queue; something else might get bumped off.  I think there might be a hat too, I do need another winter hat after all.

All the opinions here are my own, I bought the book, it was not given to me and I have no affiliation with the authors or their publishing companies or associates.


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