Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pattern Review: Coastal Knits

One of my favorites of the many recently released pattern books is, hands down, Coastal Knits.  I had seen and loved Hannah Fettig's light, ethereal designs before - I love her easy, elegant use of knitted fabric, and I'm pretty sure I have at least one of her patterns in my queue right now.

I was less familiar with Alana Dakos, mostly because she has released quite a few children's patterns - very cute patterns!  But, since I don't have kids, I'm an unabashedly selfish knitter, and most of my closest friends don't have kids yet either, I didn't pay much attention to her growing pattern library.  A silly oversight on my part, since a second peek at her published designs after buying and enjoying Coastal Knits revealed that she has a ton of cute hats, cowls, and accessories in addition to her children's garments.

Anyhoo - on to Coastal Knits!  These are my favorites of the bunch, which is pretty impressive considering that they comprise 5 of the 10 patterns in the entire booklet.  And these are just my very, very favorites; I would probably knit any of the patterns in this book.

Wildflower Main Pic

Wildflower Cardigan by Alana Dakos

I love this sweater.  I love the little flower details on the pockets and the little scallops at the sleeve and bottom hems (so cute!) and I like that it's a scoop neck, which makes it very wearable for me.  The three-button closure creates a nice waistline for those of us with bigger busts.  Plus it's knit in Madelinetosh Pashmina - an instant bonus for a Madtosh junkie like me!

GO 9

Gnarled Oak Cardigan by Alana Dakos

Another knock-out.  I love the motif around the neckline that adds a little bit of interest to a very classic shape.  One of my favorite vintage sweaters is a similar shape to this, and it's easy to throw over just about anything.  I also like the wooden buttons and the mossy color of the hand-dyed Pigeonroof Studios yarn she chose.  Sometimes stockinette is the best way to make a special yarn sing, and this sweater is a great example of that.

Rocky Coast Cardigan by Hannah Fettig

This cardigan probably looks the most like my favorite comfy sweaters, the ones that I throw over absolutely everything when I need a little extra warmth.  I like the easy shape and the deep ribbing.  I also happen to have 6 skeins of minty-green Malabrigo that would would be awesome in this pattern.  Hmmmmm.

RL 3

Rustling Leaves by Alana Dakos

I love this hat.  I love the sway in the leaves and the cheeky shape and I think it would look gorgeous in any number of yarns, both hand-dyed and commercially dyed.  I've seen a few of these hats in progress already, and I'm itching to cast on.

ss 7

Sand and Sea by Alana Dakos

This little shawlette I wasn't super sold on; at least, until I realized that it only takes about 250 yards of laceweight and 125 yards of fingering weight.  Which means that all of those little odds and ends left over from lace and sock projects can find new life.  It's a cute, functional little piece that could provide endless opportunities for mixing color and fiber with the added bonus of using up the leftover stash.   I already have two yarns in mind to try it out.

Overall, this is a beautifully photographed and laid out book that provides not only knitting patterns, but also interesting information about local dyers and charming anecdotes about the natural spaces that inspired the designers.  I think in general, I was more drawn to the sunny California-inspired pieces, simply because I grew up on the shores of the Pacific.  I have a feeling that once I see a few more of the Maine-inspired designs knit up on Ravelry - and once it starts warming up in my area - I'll warm up to them as well.  For now, Coastal Knits is going to remain a frequently paged-through addition to my library: for the knits, the natural eye-candy, and (let's be real here) for the sun-dappled photographs of California that will help keep the dreary rain of Seattle at bay.

All photographs copyright Alana Dakos and Hannah Fettig.

1 comment:

Ondrea said...

Is that a....*gasp*....fingering weight sweater pattern???? *goes to Ravelry for research even though she should be going to bed*