Texture: Exploring Stitch Patterns in Knitwear
Author: Hannah Fettig
Published: Jan 2017 | Quince & Co.
Length: 103 pages
This is a week of firsts. I started my first knit sweater, my first gauge swatch, and my first skein wound with a yarn swift. What inspired all this experimentation? Knitwear designer Hannah Fettig’s newest book Texture. Fettig’s book is full of advice that makes intimidating concepts approachable, and her clean and elegant designs boosted my confidence that if I put all those hours into knitting something as grand as a sweater, I will actually want to wear the results.
A gauge swatch has always felt so pointless to me–and I know I’m not alone in that–but when thinking of making a whole sweater I knew I had to get over this hump. Fettig’s book broke down the details of gauge in a way that finally clicked in my head, and even appeared a bit fun. Plus, I gave myself a motivational reward in the form of a super cute gauge ruler. This book partners with the gorgeous yarn company Quince & Co. and their sister branch Twig & Horn. This gauge ruler was pictured in the book, and when I received my order in the mail swatching suddenly became something very special. I intend to turn my square into a pair of fingerless mittens.
Other concepts that Fettig addresses include understanding increases and decreases, choosing a sleeve design, why yarn choice makes a difference, and the elements of reading your knitting. All of her pattern choices are intentional, and Hannah walks us through those choices so that we can make our own informed decisions in the future. Her patterns are in large, clear type which works well to keep intimidation at bay. Fettig’s stitch choices are eye catching, and set a mood reminiscent of Maine’s wild, wind-swept coast where she is based. Yet, her stitches are systematic enough to easily memorize and get into a rhythm with, rather than having to keep the pattern always on hand. I chose the West End Cardigan for my first sweater, in a toasty chestnut brown. Cardigans are a staple in my closet, and knit with a fifty-fifty wool/alpaca blend this one is perfect for indoor snuggling on a snowy day.
I already have yarn planned for three of the cardigans in this book–and it was torturous choosing which one to start with!– but Fettig’s two pullover patterns are also alluring. Uniquely, one pullover makes a dashing sweater for a male–an option I don’t always find in knit-pattern books. Three scarfs, and a hat and glove combo also provide an option for smaller projects. I’m particularly intrigued by the Supermoon Kerchief. It is knit in an 100% linen yarn which sounds oh so elegant and fine. It may be a project for summer where woolens no longer seem so essential.
The joy of making something with your own two hands that you will actually wear every day in incomparable. I hope you too have the opportunity to embrace this experience!
Review copy courtesy of Quince & Co.