They’ve done it again! Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook have created another beautiful book of knitting patterns. Only this time, they have both designed pieces for the collection.
Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to be asked to review their first book, Island, a collection of fabulous knitting patterns designed by Jane Richmond. From the moment I saw the video for Journey I crossed my fingers they’d ask me to review this book too. And they did! Yippee!
It’s gorgeous. The photography is gentle, the colours subtle and yet the mood is both lighthearted and inspiring. Can you tell I love the combined aesthetic of Shannon and Jane? I really do. Jane tells us at the beginning of the book that her style is very minimalist and Shannon’s is edgy and colourful – opposites of one another – yet the book flows beautifully. Jane and Shannon have a wonderful synergy that has resulted in a collection that will appeal to a broad range of tastes and ages; it is both refreshingly modern and gracefully romantic all at the same time. I LOVE it.
I’ll take a breath now. I’m quite excited.
The Antrorse sweater is my hands-down favourite of the collection. It’s aran weight, perfect for my impending New Zealand winter and I can just see myself wearing it with a pair of tight trousers like the ones I made for Outfit 2 in February and a pair of boots. It’s the neckline that really caught my eye. Gorgeous open or closed, I think it’s funky and a great way to showcase three rather fabulous buttons. I love the contrast of the garter stitch with the stockinette of the body, even the way it takes on a looser gauge. If it weren’t so hot here right now, I’d be casting it on and whipping it up before Christmas.
The collection is entitled “Journey” and although I’d ideally be reminded of a journey that I’m on, or I have taken when I flip through the pages, I’m struck instead by the amazing journeys that Shannon and Jane are on themselves. I live miles away from these women but I can see even from here how hard they work at their respective businesses and how talented they both are. It looks like they’re having such a good time :)
This sweater was designed by Shannon. She’s designed accessories before but this is her first big garment and I’m so excited for her that she’s done it and it’s such a goodie. I can’t wait to see what other sweaters (and cardigans!) are lying in wait in the pages of her sketchbooks …
The next things that caught my eye were these cute socks. What a great way to use up those last bits of gorgeous sock yarn? You already know I’m a sucker for stripes but did you know I’m a big fan of coloured toes too? Yip. Jane designed the Climb socks and I’m pretty sure they’re her first socks too. Don’t they just encapsulate her stylish, clean look? Lovely.
The Onward shawl by Shannon is also a favourite of mine. It uses a worsted weight yarn and has a long wingspan so it’d be super cosy. I love Shannon’s use of contrasting textures and she’s done it again so well here, with the flat geometric shapes in the body of the shawl and the airy yarn-overs up the centre. I bet the pattern would be a breeze to remember and I can just see this growing over my knee, keeping me warm inch by inch.
This is how I’d wear it. Side poncho style, maybe with a big brooch or pin to hold it in place on my shoulder. Although I love the pale colour of the shawl in the sample, I can also see it in a darker jewel tone – it’d be a striking piece to finish an outfit and would work dressed up or down, daytime or night-time.
Quite aside from the groovy styling and super toning of colours, I love these mitts. They are the Spate mitts by Jane and they’re full of scrummy texture and look like they’d be warm without being too bulky. I’m envisioning that I’m going to need fingerless mitts in my New Zealand winters on the side of the rugby field and these might be perfect for the job, especially with the ends flipped down for chillier mornings. Jane says they are deceivingly simple to knit, they don’t need any cable needles. Imagine, you could have these too – just one skein of your favourite soft worsted weight yarn, a couple of evenings work …
But that’s not all! There are a couple of other patterns in the book too – a lovely long cardigan from Jane and a cute wee hat from Shannon, do go check them out!
And, it really isn’t all. Jane and Shannon have generously donated an ebook copy of Journey for one lucky reader! Fancy a copy for yourself? Just leave me a comment below by Midnight Sunday 8th December 2013, NZ time and tell me how you’d wear your favourite design from the collection. I’ll draw a winner and let you know next week who you are. Just one entry each please and don’t forget to include your Ravelry name or email address!
In the meantime, if you can’t wait, feel free to nip over to the Marian Rae website (Jane & Shannon’s publishing company) or Ravelry to buy a print copy or ebook version of Journey. The individual pdf patterns are also available for sale.
(By the way, all the photos were taken by the very talented Nicholas Kupiak and are used with permission)
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