BOOK RE­VIEWS

We re­view a new pat­tern col­lec­tion of wardrobe es­sen­tials, of­fer­ing ev­ery­day wear­a­bil­ity and thoughtful de­tails

The Knitter - - Contents - by Pam Allen (£17.20)

Our favourite knit­ting books

PLAIN & SIM­PLE

WHAT MAKES a favourite sweater? That’s the ques­tion Pam Allen pon­dered when de­sign­ing this book of wardrobe es­sen­tials. Her mis­sion was to create clas­sic sweaters that would be straight­for­ward to knit and wear, yet which would be trea­sured and en­joyed by the peo­ple who make them. The ti­tle of her col­lec­tion is Plain &

Sim­ple, but that doesn’t mean the pat­terns are bor­ing! The 11 de­signs do use sim­ple stitches and shapes; there are enough in­ter­est­ing de­tails, how­ever, to keep knit­ters en­ter­tained, and the re­sults will of­fer a wear­able so­phis­ti­ca­tion. As Pam points out in her in­tro­duc­tion, these projects are ideal for work­ing on while watch­ing a movie or lis­ten­ing to a pod­cast!

All the sweater in the book are knit­ted us­ing undyed shades of Quince & Co. Owl, a worsted-weight blend of wool and al­paca. They are de­signed to have a de­cent amount of pos­i­tive ease - at least eight inches, in most cases - and will fit busts of up to 56in com­fort­ably.

The first project cre­ated for the book was ‘Ash’. It’s an ex­tra-wide, al­most square sweater with a mod­i­fied dol­man shape - the body is worked from the bot­tom up, then the sleeves are picked up and knit­ted down. Pock­ets are set into the deep lower bor­der, which is worked in half-brioche stitch, while the grace­ful shoul­der lines are em­pha­sised by ex­posed seams.

The pretty ‘Wil­low’ sweater fea­tures gansey-in­spired knit-and-purl pat­tern­ing around the shoul­ders and sleeve tops, while ‘Birch’ is a colour­work yoked jumper, de­signed for a loose, over­sized fit.

‘Aspen’ is the most fit­ted project in the book; this neat jumper has a slip stitch pat­tern around the yoke, which adds sub­tle tex­ture as well as colour.

The ‘Larch’ sweater, mean­while, has to be the ul­ti­mate cover-up! Its body is a sim­ple rec­tan­gle that’s al­most as wide as it is tall, worked en­tirely in stock­ing stitch ex­cept for the ribbed edges. Fin­ish­ing de­tails in­clude pock­ets and a cowl neck. The size range for this project spans from 33in right up to 70in, so you can make it nar­row for a neater fit, or wide and swingy, de­pend­ing on your pref­er­ence.

Cardi­gans in­clude the slim-fit­ting ‘Maple’, which has wide front bor­ders worked in brioche stitch for tex­tu­ral in­ter­est. ‘Wal­nut’ has a high, round neck­line, slim sleeves, vented side seams for ease of move­ment, and pock­ets. Its cuffs and bor­ders are worked in half-brioche, a vari­a­tion on clas­sic brioche rib.

Com­plet­ing Pam’s col­lec­tion are a striped beanie, and ‘Bal­sam’, a ver­sa­tile ac­ces­sory that can be worn as a cowl or a hood.

Plain & Sim­ple is pub­lished by Quince & Co., priced £17.20. For de­tails, visit www.quince­andco.com Print copies are avail­able in the UK from www.ama­zon.co.uk. PDF ver­sions can be pur­chased from Rav­elry: http://bit.ly/al­lenps

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