Friday, February 15, 2013

Episode 39: We pretty much love everything in it

Download | Duration: 01:15:33
Book Talk starts at 53:37

Botanical Knits – Twelve Designs Inspired by  Trees and Foliage by Alana Dakos  - to win a copy of the ebook, comment here!  ONE POST per person please!!

Botanical Knits

The knitting world is all abuzz with the news that Alana Dakos' new book of designs, Botanical Knits: Twelve Designs Inspired by Trees and Foliage, is available!   Although you won't be able to hold the softcover book in your hands until May, you can still get started knitting these beautiful patterns by getting the ebook now.

The book is lovely.  It reflects Alana's signature style with soft, feminine aspects.  The graphic design is done by Mary Joy Gumaygay, who worked with Alana and Hannah Fettig on their book Coastal Knits.  It is illustrated by Neesha Hudson, who also did the illustrations in one of Alana's previous books, Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf.

Let's take a look at the patterns!  Many of these are already in our Ravelry queues.  The book is divided into two sections of patterns - Sweaters and Accessories.

The first sweater is also pictured on the cover - it's the Autumn's End:

Autumn's End
 Autumn's End is a boatneck pullover with an openwork allover lacy leaf pattern shown in a sportweight yarn - show here in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light.  It is constucted bottom-up, and in-the-round.  The waist-shaping is accomplished by the the interesting construction of the stockinette portion starting under the arms.

Sizes for this pattern range from 34.5" - 58.5" (87.5 - 148.5 cm).

Buds and Blooms
The next sweater is the cardigan, Buds and Blooms:

This is a worsted to aran weight cardigan with a rounded neck framed by a foldover collar.  There are also cute diagonal pockets with the buds and stems motif.  This pattern is constructed bottom-up and seamed.  It is pictured here in Quince & Co. Osprey.

Sizes for this pattern range from 34" - 62" (86.4 - 157 cm).

Twigs and Willows
Another cardigan - Twigs and Willows:

This is a simple buttoned long-sleeve cardigan worked in worsted weight with a round neck.  The sample here was knit in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter.  Two leafy branches frame the neckline.  This design is constructed bottom-up and seamed.

Sizes for this pattern range from 35" - 57.5" (89 - 146 cm).

Entangled Vines
The final cardigan in the collection is Entangled Vines:

This top-down, raglan sleeved sweater has 3/4 length sleeves and a buttonband.  The cable and leaf design cascades down the sleeves.  It is knit in a worsted weight yarn.

Sizes for this pattern range from 31 3/4" to 58 3/4" (80.5 to 149.5 cm).

ACCESSORIES include 3 hats, 1 pair of matching socks and mittens, 1 pair of fingerless mitts, 1 infinity scarf/cowl, and 1 shawl.

Forest Floor
Forest Floor is a beautiful slouchy hat featuring a layered leaf stitch pattern.  It utilizes a drapey dk weight yarn - pictured here in Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino.

Oak Trail
The Oak Trail Cloche sits low and frames the face with a lovely embossed oak leaf on one side.  The brim is knit flat and then stitches are picked up along one side and knit up in the round to create the body of the hat.  It is shown here Madelinetosh Vintage.

Pressed Leaves
The Pressed Leaves beret is shown here in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK.  Alana's inspiration for this hat was pressed leaves between the pages of a book.

Ivy Trellis Socks
The Ivy Trellis Socks are beautiful!  They have a graceful climbing cable and leaf pattern and pair beautifully with the Ivy Trellis Mittens.  Shown here in Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Sock Yarn, they will keep your tootsies warm and cozy!

Ivy Trellis Mittens
The Ivy Trellis Mittens have the same cabling and leaf pattern as the socks.  Shown here in Miss Babs Yummy 2-ply Sock Yarn, your hands will be as warm as your feet.

Spring Foliage
The Spring Foliage fingerless mitts are done in a sportweight yarn - Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light.  The body of the mitt is reverse stockinette with a leafy motif growing up the thumb gusset.  There is also added wrist shaping.

The Twin Leaf Loop is a long lacy loop of leaves that looks great doubled around your meck and worn as a a cowl.  Shown here, knitted in a bulky weight yarn The Fibre Company Tundra, it would be a perfect addition to any wardrobe.

So many of us have knit Alana's Cedar Leaf Shawlette.  As of the writing of this blogpost, there are 1505 projects of this pattern in Ravelry! is the Cedar Leaf Shawlette's big sister - Wrapped in Leaves!  A larger semi-circular shawl version to wrap around your shoulders.  The scalloped leafy border is knit on conce the body of the shawl is complete.  Shown here in Classic Elite Yarns Magnolia, it can be knit up in a DK or worsted weight yarn.

I think it's safe to say that we love everything in this collection!  With great attention to detail, other highlights of the book include:

  • beautiful photography throughout
  • each pattern has several pictures, so you really know what the item looks like
  • alternative yarn suggestions are given with each pattern
  • the sweaters have a great range of sizes
  • many links to outside websites, including the Ravelry pattern page for each design
  • schematics - are done with an actual photograph of the garment
  • very complete "Techniques" and "Abbreviations" sections at the end of the book
  • samples of the yarns used throughout the book are knitted up into little leaves.  The little leaf pattern is also in the book!

How to order:  Through the Botanical Knits Website, you can preorder the printed copy for $22 + shipping.  As a special thank you for preordering the printed copy, you will get the ebook for free immediately!  The printed book will ship mid-May.  If you pre-order, you will also receive an exclusive extra botanically inspired garment pattern with the copy of your printed book as a thankyou from Alana for preordering.


You can just order the ebook by itself for $18.  This is a great option for those knitters who live outside the U.S. and do not want to pay the high cost of shipping.

After the preorder period ends in May...the book will be available EITHER in print for $22, or ebook for $18.  There will be no digital and print bundle offered after May.

And wait - there's more!!  We have 2 ebooks to give away!!  Alana has kindly donated one ebook, and we have another to give to 2 lucky entrants.  

  1. Please comment on this post and tell us which pattern you want to knit first - ONE POST per person please!
  2. Tell us how to get ahold of you - either your Ravelry name, or your email address - VERY IMPORTANT!!
  3. The contest will close on March 7th.

In the meantime, enjoy gazing fondly on all of Alana's wonderful designs!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Episode 38: Finishing Frenzy!

Download | Duration: 01:13:19
book talk starts at 39:35

Our Kardigan KAL is on!
RAL: Voting for our book selection is open till Feb 9. RAL will begin March 1st and go for a month, with a new thread for the next section of the book starting each week.  Threads will remain open as long as there is discussion!
Mother Bear KAL/CAL on CogKNITive
Mother Bear will be at Stitches West – you may bring up to 3 bears to the booth. 
Remembering Remy KAL/CAL with Knitting Brooklyn – starting 2/23 and going until 5/29 – to honor the 95 days of Remy’s life in the NICU

Tracie’s Finished Objects:

Barb’s Finished Objects:

                                        Ellison Bay Shawl by Paula of Knitting Pipeline

Rock of Ages, the musical play, NOT the crappy movie