Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Canary Knits: the Hinderland collection

As a blogger, I have developed into quite a blog enthusiast. One of my favorites is Canary Knits, the blog of knitwear designer Teresa Gregorio. I discovered Canary Knits when I found a copy of a then new-release, Brave New Knits. In it, Teresa's Milk Maiden top made my fingers itch to knit it. Sadly, then as now, I was already working on a project, and being a gift knitter, another project followed that. And another followed that, but I still want to make this adorable sweater. Someday I will.

Teresa has a knack for creating interesting designs that are also utterly wearable. As a bonus, I have won a little something thanks to her giveaways on more than one occasion, including a pattern for an ornate but very stylish bonnet and some Be Sweet yarn.

Recently, Canary Knits has been working on a seasonal series of designs called "Hinterland" that are based on the wilds and wildlife of the Carolinian forest zone (spanning most of the Midwest), the newest of which, "Hinterland: Autumn," was released about two weeks ago. Sadly, given the current incomplete status of my latest year-long knitting project (as well as our current household budget), I can't justify buying yet another book of patterns I won't be able to cast on yet, but I when I finally bind off on my gargantuan blanket, you can bet this little book will be my reward. What I do have now is the first book in the series, "Hinterland: Summer."

"Hinterland: Summer" includes three patterns. The handy ebook form means that you can see it in all its full-color graphic glory on your computer screen but you can also print out simple black and white copies of the pages for any patterns you might be currently working on and you can write all over them without guilt that you are marking up real book pages.

The first pattern is an ingenious blanket/shawl/pillow combination pattern called Raccoon's Home Range. It uses 11 hanks of Knit Picks Billow and looks equally fetching in each of its three incarnations. Moreover, I love the idea of a knit that I could wear to a picnic, use as the picnic blanket, and then roll up to slumber upon in the car on the ride home from the picnic.

The second pattern is a cozy little tank called Ontario Skies. This knit has over-the-shoulder straps that culminate in a behind-the-neck halter tie, making them completely adjustable, and a pleat in the back combined with short-row shaping for a feminine fit that should hug where it needs to and not where you really would rather it didn't.

The third pattern (my favorite!) is a short-sleeved cardigan/summer cover-up called Killdeer. It has a front tie closure and little pockets on each front side with barely-there front coverage that keeps your shoulders modest without hiding the rest of your ensemble, perfect for those hot summer days when a tank top is a must but work dress-code insists no shoulder be exposed.

(My print out of the Killdeer pattern- Love this picture.)

In addition, the book has some breathtaking cover art, numerous pictures of each pattern on a model (Teresa herself) so the knitter can see what their FO should look like, clear schematics of each pattern, an annotated bibliography of references about the Hinterland, and small explanatory essays explaining the Hinterland itself, stewardship, raccoons, and killdeer (a bird and not a directive).

Likewise "Hinterland: Autumn" features three patterns: a cardigan hoodie called Paridae, a sweet little bonnet called Soft Rime, and a unique convertible mitt set called Rustling Ruffles. Of course, I'm sure this book will also include the inspiration, research, and meditation on place that "Autumn" has, so do yourself a favor and go score a copy. While you're at it, buy "Summer" too.

And in the spirit of the season (and things that are Midwestern), you could also mosey over to Midwestern Gothic, were my first short story publication "The Godmother" will be included in their 12th issue, on sale starting January 1, 2014 in print or ebook versions. The story does include knitting, allowing you to satiate your literary and fiber-related fix all at the same time.

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