AlterKnit – a new necessity for every knitter!
For those of you who haven’t come across her work yet, Andrea Rangel is an awesome knitwear designer – I’m a big fan of her work, and her latest book, AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary - 200 Modern Motifs has officially blown me away. This book contains 200 completely original, unique motifs – from floral print and chevron stripes to sheep, bicycles, and even zombies. I’m not even kidding! These motifs are so incredible, it is truly hard to believe that some of them are possible. The cutest part? Every motif in this book was created by Andrea’s husband Sean. This collaboration produced a book that I, for one, can’t get enough of.
When I was handed this book to look through, I couldn’t even close it long enough to bring it back to my desk. Flipping through the pages in awe and excitement, I made my way through the building picking up a trail of curious coworkers. Everyone found a favorite swatch, be it the mushrooms shown above or the deceptively and cleverly detailed elephants, spiders, dogs, bears, squirrels… My own list of favorites is so long, it’s pretty much just the entire book.
From simple to intricate, these motifs have this lazy knitter wanting to get out the skinny needles. I may be distracted by the overwhelming amount of super awesome motifs, but AlterKnit also has a handful of adorable patterns with which to use these motifs. Not only that, but Rangel tells you everything you need to know about stranded colorwork – from choosing colors and how to hold your yarn to a clear and helpful explanation of why steeks are quite useful and not as scary as you think.
Last but not least, Rangel includes a handful of patterns at the back of the book so you can put all this colorwork knowledge and inspiration to use! I’m especially fond of the Helix Cowl (above), but there are also patterns for a few sweaters, mittens, and even a simple beanie, which serve as great vessels for these lovely motifs.
Wondering what kind of yarn to use for this kind of thing? According to Rangel, the woolier the better. Harrisville Shetland Yarn - Unwashed Cones couldn’t be better – that and the heavier Harrisville Highland - Cones Yarn. I’d love to see Heirloom Romney yarn by Fancy Tiger Crafts used too; I love how it softens and blooms after blocking. Our Victorian 2-Ply Wool Yarn is also perfect for intricate colorwork; this sturdy yarn offers great stitch definition as well.
|Harrisville Shetland Yarn - Unwashed Cones|
|Harrisville Highland - Cones Yarn|
|Heirloom Romney yarn by Fancy Tiger Crafts|
|Victorian 2-Ply Wool Yarn|
As you can probably tell, I’m really excited about this book. With such a broad range of motifs and so much useful information, AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary - 200 Modern Motifs will be a go-to resource for years to come. Thank you, Andrea and Sean!