Sunday, 15 July 2007

Is simplicity best, or simply the easiest? part 2

My favourite flavour of ice cream is vanilla. Or, if I wish to go wild, grapenut.

It is a choice that makes my husband wonder, especially when we peruse the chilled section at the supermarket. He'll want the rocky road swathed in caramel and studdied with nuts- that mashup of flavours on the tongue- while I'll stick to vanilla.

"Why vanilla?" he asks, passing the shopping cart to me while reaching for a carton of icecream.

"It's simple," I say, "and simplicity is hard to get right."

The more I knit and collect patterns, the more this statement resonates with me.It's easy enough to overwhelm with design features and the rest of it, and I have knitted garments that I do not wear as much as I should do, because I find them too busy. I love knitting the complicated, just to see what I can do.

See the hill, take the hill, right?

But there is a quality to simplicity that I am liking more and more. The use of clean lines to showcase the yarn, or to use colours in such a novel way, it makes knitting new. Hence me being drawn to the phildar patterns as of late, and now picking up Sarah Dallas' Knitting.

I'm of two minds in recommending this book: one is that it's not all knit garments and I bought it for half price. There are the odd pillows, cushions and toiletry bags - stuff that I wouldn't really knit - not with an expensive yarn like Rowan, anyways. The blankets and such would be good to use up your stash of brightly coloured acrylic (and we all have those). The colours are presented quite nicely, and it is nice to get design ideas.

On the other hand, the garments here (cardigans, children's jackets) are really quite sweet, and I'm giving slow, hungry looks at the wrap cardigan on the cover. I do love the fact that the grey breaks up the black and gives the cardigan a sort of form. Yes, it's acres of stocking stitch, but it's something that I could see myself wrapped up in, it's stylish while transcending trends.

Overall, the book is divided into colour themes, and there is a variety of saturated colours to sharpen the simple lines of patterns into something special. The concept is centred around beach holidays in the UK, so there are nods to blankets, hotwater bottles (English summers are rubbish, don't you know?), cushions and clothing (cardigans and a cute moss stitch top).

The patterns are simple, and if anything, you'll be better off waiting to see if the book will be on offer (be it Amazon or any store) before buying it, but it's worth a look, if not a space in your library.


JayJay said...

Thanks for the review! Sounds like something to peruse and see if the patterns appeal.

Sheknits said...

I am clueless as to how I found your blog, but just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading threw some of your latest posts, you have a nice writing style. I looked at the Dallas book (on-line)the blanket cardigan has piqued my interest, wish there was a better pic. to see more detail. Simplicity sounds appealing to me right now....really appealing....really really really appealing.

Sheknits said...

I would love to have that pattern...have you made it or anything from that book?
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