Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fresh Designs Mitten and Gloves

Sure, I'm biased because my pattern is in it,

but this is a great book.

Buy from Cooperative Press

Buy from Ravelry

My ten-fold rationale:

1. It's small - just ten designs. This is important in a house like mine where knitting bookshelf space is at a premium. I could probably start grabbing corners of other bookshelves, but the yarn raths are outgrabe-ing enough as it is without the knitting books going all mimsy.  If you are truly desolate of space, or a child of the digital age, you can get the book as a download, for a little less money.  But I think it's worth buying the print version, which also includes the download.

2. Small also means less expensive. Since one rarely makes more than a couple of designs from a book anyway, a small book with a high make:not-make ratio is an excellent value.

3. Out of ten designs, four are full-fingered gloves (Bangles pictured below). This is a crazy-high ratio. The ubiquity of patterns for fingerless gloves has always puzzled me. Surely, it's easier for the uncertain glove knitter to figure out how to omit the fingers than to figure out how to add them when they're not in the pattern?

4. Sex sells. For example, what could be more homely than fliptop mittens? Not if you make them in flaming orange and promise to take them off.

5. Did I mention, sex sells? I wantwantwantwantwant to make the Bella gloves.

But since I'm neither a society matron nor a stripper, I'm not sure when I'd ever get to wear them.  Matt would be upset if I became a society matron, so I remain baffled.  I've never had the least interest in Polyvore before now, but if someone could style these gloves for me, I would be most grateful.

6. The Kelly gloves are gorgeously understated. The meticulous shaping (possibly even more meticulous than mine, and that’s saying something) is a big part of their success.

7. The book has a nice range of techniques and skill levels, leaning toward the experienced side. Not one of the patterns would be boring to make, although some of the colorwork mittens might make me cross-eyed. 

The black and white mittens are double-knit and the other two pairs are stranded.

8. Okay, I think we’re far enough down the list that I can gloat about my pattern.  I designed what I wanted to wear, which is generally how I do my best work.  The Empyrean gloves have lots of zazz, with beads, twisted stitches and picots.  Some of the zazz is functional, too, like using the ribbed diamond pattern as part of the hand/gusset shaping .

Even the beads are useful for distinguishing the right and left gloves.  One of my fit fetishes is to set the thumb just a scosh toward the palm, so the gloves are handed.

Super secret designer note: I imagined these as driving gloves with the beads on the back of the hands, but I sure wouldn’t want to argue with the model!

9. The book is finally here!

Buy from Cooperative Press

Buy from Ravelry

10. So Fresh Designs Kids is that much closer. Given the styling of the first six books, I remain avidly curious to see what the Kids pictures will be like.  In the meantime, there have been enough family babies that I’ve been my own test knitter more than once on the baby booties I designed for the book, so the instructions are pretty thoroughly vetted.