I learned to knit as a teenager, but had an on-again, off-again relationship with it over the years. It wasn’t until I was recovering from neck surgery, that I reacquainted myself with it and haven’t stopped since.
At that time, I was living in Los Angeles, which lucky for knitters, had a fair amount of yarn shops. My favorite by far was an airy, large beautiful space called Wildfiber, located in Santa Monica, not too far from the beach. Wildfiber was then owned by Mel Clark, who in addition to running the shop, was an incredible knitter and designer.
Every time I’d come into the shop and see Mel wearing one of her creations, I’d want to make it immediately. So did everyone else. Lucky for us, Mel along with her friend and fellow passionate knitter, Tracey Ullman, co-authored, “Knit 2 Together.” It was the first knitting book with a sense a humor and beautiful patterns and encouraged me to become, as the book calls it, “an intrepid knitter.”
Mel left L.A. at around the same time I did. She went back home to New Zealand, where she started an online business and a blog. When Mel announced on her blog that she was writing another book, I was so excited and couldn’t wait to see it.
“Knitting Everyday Finery” has arrived and it’s wonderful. The book is a collection of twenty-six charming patterns that will perk up your wardrobe, are quick to finish and also make great gifts. The designs are elegant, stylish and the beautiful photography makes me want to make almost everything.
Here's the whimsical “H@t”:
Mel also has some nice patterns for guys, including a hat and scarf set that isn't too fussy. I like that even in its simplicity, it's an interesting knit.
The most ambitious project in the book is the "Tangerine Tights" ( Tangerine Tango is Pantone's color for 2012) Inspired by a vintage pair of tights one of the models for the book was wearing, Mel designed and knit up her own version. They're amazing!
"Knitting Everyday Finery" also has some great accessories. There's a quilt-inspired tam, an entrelac purse and lovely gloves that will make you want to go to high tea immediately after making them.
So what do you think? Are you ready to add some finery to your repertoire? I know I am!
Have a great weekend!
Disclaimer: I do know the author and was sent the book from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for this review. My opinions are my own.
Images courtesy of Trafalagar Square Books, Mel Clark, Helen Bankers