When Shannon asked me if I’d like to review Island, the new book that she’s put together with knitwear designer Jane Richmond, I think I “whooped!”. Of course I would!! This collection of five fabulous patterns first caught my eye when it was promoted with this video. (Watch that and tell me knitting isn’t cool. It is so cool. And isn’t the knitwear beautiful?) After seeing it, I wanted to knit every pattern.
Jane Richmond has been producing stylish hand-knitting patterns since 2009. Her latest collection, Island, inspired by Vancouver Island where she lives, is a fresh and exciting step in her design career. We’re used to seeing Jane modelling her own (mostly) self-published patterns against her trade mark white backdrop. This time, Jane has used a model, a great photographer (Nicholas Kupiak) and the gorgeous backdrop of Vancouver Island. Island is also her first collection and her first book. Exciting!
Five patterns make up this beautiful collection:
Grace is a gorgeous fingering/4ply raglan cardigan knit from the top down featuring a simple but super pretty lace panel on the front and back of the yoke. Knit at a slightly looser gauge it has great drape and would be a perfect layering piece all year round; Rathtrevor are cute long DK fingerless mitts with a beaded rib pattern that ends just below the thumb gusset (I love these little touches). Designed for an average woman’s hand, they can be knit bigger or smaller by changing needle sizes; Renfrew is a modern twist on a classic worsted weight hat designed to showcase hand-dyed yarn. It has the funkiest swirled crown and comes with instructions to knit it slouchy or as a shorter beanie, depending on what you prefer (don’t panic, it’s knit inside out and turned at the end to reveal the reverse stockinette); Strathcona is a stunning, elongated V-shaped scarf knit with 100% linen. Isn’t it lovely? This one caught my eye straight away. The V shape is produced by alternating the order of the bias stitch pattern and the sloped garter ends are a nice touch, mirroring the directional stitch of the scarf. Strathcona is all season pattern and would be great handbag knitting; Arbutus is clever. It’s a wonderful DK cowl knit in the round from the top down, shaped with short rows so that it looks like it’s looped over your head a couple of times, but actually it’s not. It is in fact three stacked rings, joined along a narrow spine which runs up the back. Knit at a loose gauge it’s got lots of bounce and uses just one skein of yarn. What’s not to love?
I can’t decide which is my favourite. So far I’ve got plans (and a swatch!!) for the cardigan, and yarn for the cowl. But, since they are all so very lovely, no doubt you’ll eventually see me making every pattern.
I love this book. The photos are divine, the designs are classics with fantastic details and the patterns are very clearly written. If you’d like a copy of your own you can purchase print copies through amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Digital copies of the book are available through Ravelry and you can buy each of the patterns individually there too.
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