Warm Days, Cool Knits by Corrina Ferguson, photography by Joe Hancock, pub. Interweave Press, 2015.
This book contains 20 "Lighter Designs for Every Season." All yarns are DK weight or lighter. There are roughly three sweaters and two accessories for each of the four seasons. Most of the sweaters are worked from the bottom up. About half of those are done in flat pieces and the other half circularly in one piece to the underarms. Garment sizes span 29 - 60" with most falling in the 34 - 50" range. The sock and hat patterns each come in two sizes.
This is purely a pattern book, with no additional content to speak of. The design titles are old-fashioned Southern names, "most of which have passed into history." She calls the names "storied," but we have to imagine their stories as they are not provided.
The cover pattern, Leora, is a linen tank with fetching side detailing. Corrina designed the straps to be wide enough to cover bra straps. Recently I haven't noticed women of any age being shy about showing their bra straps. Often they sport bra and cami straps of different colors under their tanks.
Corrina begins the collection with Winter: Denford is a wool-silk raglan cardigan in argyle cables with a wide short-row collar; Zolena is a lovely pullover with matching cowl done partly in a yarn with Stellina content; Weldon is a whimsical slouch hat; Williston is a lovely lace sock pattern; and Lochlan (left) is a hoodie in textured chevron stitch.
I admire many aspects of this thoughtfully constructed piece. Corrina's yarn choice is a luxurious merino-cashmere-silk blend which is both soft against the skin and warm. At only a DK weight, it's also light. The largest size (43" bust) only weighs around 1 1/2 pounds.
The chevron stitch works like rib to cling to curves. I only wish the hood came down a little farther over the head.
The zipper is a nice touch, and I love her color choice.
Living in the South myself, I can attest to the need for books like this. The Spring chapter contains a couple shawl patterns, a couple tee patterns, and a short-sleeve cardi that fastens with one button at the top. However, I am not in love with any of the designs in this section. I guess I'm too much of a Yankee!
Teola (right) is a polo shirt (it might look like a hoodie in this photo) which features a Jewel Cross Cable. Someone decided it would be a good idea to put the instructions for the cable on a different page from the chart so you have to flip back and forth from the chart to the instructions. Unfortunate.
The summer patterns are more to my taste. Leora (the cover tank). Dorthelia is another tank, this time with waist shaping and lace around the bottom edge. Temple looks like the perfect item to wear in the ubiquitous air conditioning---a lace weight cardigan on size 6 needles. Alliemay is an unshaped lace dress which unbelted would hit my ankles. The belt can be tied anywhere, but is shown only in the drop waist position (which I think influences me against it). I think I would wear it at empire waist. Junius is a gorgeous golden shawl, specially shaped to lie across the shoulders without pins or clips.
But my absolute favorite chapter is Fall. Darl is an adorable cardi with 3/4 sleeves and an allover diamond leaf lace pattern. Bayard (left) has a gorgeous wide yoke. Emmylou (below) is a crescent shawl worked up in Braeburn apple-colored yarn. Rhetta is a breezy cardigan with bracelet-length sleeves. And Wiley is a basic shawl with some interesting design features.
Photos are sunny and knit-centered, with natural poses and every desired angle featured. They are attractive and set a cheerful tone for the book.
The patterns seem well written, though little support is given to beginning knitters who may not be sure of the correct way to "dec one st at the neck edge" or "inc one st each side." There appears to be plenty of room to spell out those instructions and still leave a little white space. Schematics and charts are clear, though the schematics do not indicate direction of knitting.
This book is not a resource for designing or adapting warmer-weather garments, but it does contain some helpful hints for working the patterns. I recommend it to knitters who knit for people (perhaps themselves) living in warmer climates---or anyone else who likes the designs.
Disclosure: Kangath reviewed this book from her personal library. She was not compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in the review are her own.
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