A New Muse

It is all Amy’s fault. I subscribe to the Knitty blog. The entry for Friday Jan 21st is one of Knitty’s instant competition blogs… or “Ninja-bonus Giveaways.”

These quick draws are a regular feature of the Knitty blog, and worth keeping an eye open for. This latest one featured this wonderful book:

I checked it out.

Today’s Monday Muse, Hunter Hammerson, is a new-to-me designer — she had not impinged on my consciousness previously. I wonder why. Looking at her designs on Ravelry — and there are many — how could I have missed spotting them previously. Why have I not stumbled over her most excellent blog?

Well, to cut a long story short (I spent a lot of time this weekend just drooling), the book has 14 sock patterns, all based on Oriental rug designs. There is an introductory section of History and Background to rugs and the Silk Road (pp 9/10) and a more detailed  history of Rugs and their construction and design (pp 12 – 19). A section of very clear Instructions follows (pp 20 – 26) — Hunter takes an approach of detailing the basic instructions applying to all the socks first, meaning that the patterns themselves deal only with specifics and are therefore a model of clarity. This section offers some sterling advice on gauge/tension and how to resize the socks by use of such.  It is also home to the Symbol Key – and this is very comprehensive and understandable. A section at the back of the book offers Additional Information on the yarns used, Acknowledgements etc. (pp 90 – 93.)

Fourteen of The Patterns occupy pages 29 – 87. The photography of each sock is excellent, offering several views of each design. A brief introduction explains the naming of the sock – its source of rug inspiration and some information about the origins of the rug.

Yarn specifics follow, then a simple and very clear table giving the number of stitches and their distribution and the gauge needed in stitches per inch to achieve the “mythical average woman’s foot size.” Use this together with the section on resizing to achieve a perfectly fitting sock.

Directions on shaping follow, and there  are clear charts following the information on how to repeat them. As the key is detailed earlier, along with all fundamental instruction, the patterns themselves are short and punchy and extremely easy to follow. To this knitter at least, this seems an exemplary way of presenting a book of knitting patterns.

The designs themselves are gorgeous.

Hunter’s inspiration in using historical rug designs and translating them to sock scale works exceptionally well. Unlike all other pattern books that I have in my possession, this little book has no so-so designs and no “I wouldn’t go there” designs at all.

How do I know so much about such a recently released book? Well, I so fell in love with all 14 designs on the spot that I bought it right there and then!

The book is available in either hard copy or electronically, as a PDF download or in ebook format, — should you be lucky enough to have a Kindle or similar. Hard copy price is $26.95 and for that price you may also include a PDF download FOC. Electronic versions will set you back just $16.95.

From amount £24.98 GBP
To amount $38.95 USD
Exchange rate: 1 GBP = 1.55924 USD

I decided that such a beautiful book had to be owned in a physical form, so I bought the book and look forward to its arrival. Being of an impatient nature, I took the free download option with it. Postage costs $12 to the UK. At this weekend’s exchange rate, the delivered book and the download cost me £24.98

I will be knitting all 14 sock designs at some point, so that comes in at under £2 a pair, for some very lovely socks… plus some education in the matter of Oriental rugs.

I am inspired to begin straightaway, with the first pattern in the book — Gördes.

(c) Cooperative Press

Happily, this is one of the first socks chosen for the KAL. I shall be joining in on Februray 1st — perhaps this will give me time to do my “finish 2” before starting a new “1”

The KAL schedule looks like this:

Feb 1, Gordes or Khotan
Mar 1, Kazak or Mood
Apr 1, Heriz or Afshari
May 1, Serab or Nain
June 1, Yomut orJoshaqan
July 1, Mashad or Senneh
Aug 1, Salor or Usak

and then they plan to go around again for those who wish to knit the remaining socks later.

I doubt very much  that I shall keep up with the KAL for 14 months (too many knitterly distractions), but I do plan to make all the socks at some time or other. Who knows, I may even get ahead of the KAL  *snort*

For the remainder of today I shall be matching stash to patterns, and making up project bags 🙂

One Comment

  1. January 24, 2011

    I saw that too and thought it was lovely. I shall look forward to seeing how they knit up and maybe I will be tempted to invest…

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