The new Mason-Dixon Field Guide (No. 7 Ease) has landed here at Arnall-Culliford Knitwear Towers! These little books are crammed with joy – joy just oozes out of them! They each contain a few patterns and heaps of reasons to stop what you're doing and cast on. The latest edition, Ease, contains four designs by the wonderful Julia Farwell-Clay, and browsing the book has given me a strong urge to ditch work, amble (not run – it's too hot!) to the local yarn shop in search of cotton and linen, and then cast on all of the patterns! I'm resisting, but only because I owe it to you all to share my enthusiasm... (I'm kindness personified, really I am! :D)
Julia is the brains behind the wonderful Eddy Wrap that was inspired by a catwalk sweater modelled by Eddie Redmayne. She has also designed a number of beautiful patterns that use intarsia in an unfussy way, notably her Metronome, Palindrome and Teeter Totter shawls. Her contributions to the Ease Field Guide follow in this beautiful, but uncomplicated vein...
First up is the Sea Breeze Cowl-Poncho which is cunningly designed to be worn either loose around the neck, or pulled down over the shoulders. The knitting will be calming and satisfying at the same time, since it's a worsted-weight yarn (light aran/heavy DK for UK knitters). Followed by the Sail-Away shawl which comes in a large (pictured) and small size, and is knitted in two colours of Cormo Sport by Sincere Sheep. I love the construction at the point of the large triangle – so clever! For me though, the stand-out winner of the patterns in the collection is the Picket Fence Afghan, which us worked in blocks using Julia's unfussy intarsia trick. The design is for Rowan Denim with highlights in Rowan Handknit Cotton, and I think it's totally STUNNING. I want to dump all my WIPs in a sack and make a blanket now! It really is fantastic, and for me it would come with the added bonus of Belinda memories all tied in too. We have a gorgeous Rowan Denim sweater that Belinda knitted for one of our kids, and that yarn will always be inextricably interwoven with my memories of her. Last up is the Bodhi Leaf washcloth. These are so unbearably cute. They would make fantastic gifts with some pretty soap, or even just as a pretty stack in the bathroom. I don't have any linen in my stash, and I can see that needs rectifying!
On top of the patterns, there are a couple of short essays by Kay and Ann, and an interview with Julia. The essays, and even the introductions to each pattern, brought a grin to my face as I looked through my copy.
Field Guide No. 6 Transparency contains four designs from Amy Christoffers (aka Savoryknitting), and explores a lightness of design that's not just about lace. The patterns are accompanied by articles on visible mending, and the paradox of lace, as well as a short interview with Amy herself. If you're in the mood for some summer knitting, both Ease and Transparency would fit the bill perfectly.
Field Guide No. 5 Sequences is a brilliant little introduction to Cecelia Campochiaro's Sequence Knitting technique. It's perfectly simple and endlessly fascinating – just what I like most in knitting! The Field Guide includes four designs to introduce you to the methods, and will leave you keen to explore further.
If you would like to get your hands on a Field Guide, and share the joy, visit our website and get one while they are hot! Each Field Guide costs £15.00 plus shipping, and newsletter subscribers should check yesterday's message for a special offer.
If you wish to purchase Field Guides Nos. 1–4 as well as yarns to accompany the designs in each Guide, visit Mason-Dixon Knitting's online shop, where you will find MANY delightful goodies.