Knitting books

Kate Davies’ Book of Haps and Yokes

I have been reading Kate Davies blog and following her designs for a while now, but hadn’t quite gotten to buying any of her books, though I have been lusting after Yokes since I saw some of the patterns on Ravelry.

Last week though, Mr. QuiteAYarn surprised me with her Book of Haps and Yokes, just because ūüôā (Yes, he is definitely a keeper!)

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Book of Haps is her most recent production, and is a collection of essays about haps as well patterns for the same. ¬†Haps, for anyone who has not been following the discussion on her blog or the pattern releases on Ravelry, are a variation on shawls. ¬†How exactly they vary from just regular shawls is the subject of a couple of the essays, so I won’t ruin the surprise here. ¬†Davies, who was an academic before she was a designer and yarn producer, puts together a very good book. ¬†The essays are scholarly enough to be interesting, but don’t devolve into minutia. ¬†There is some interesting historical information as well as some sociology on yarn-based topics. ¬†All in all, a great read if you like to think about your knitting. ¬†Then there are the patterns. ¬†There is a variation on a traditional hap, and then quite a few haps for contemporary wearers. ¬†The designs were contributed by a variety of designers, so there are a lot of different looks – something for everyone!

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Then there’s Yokes – the Kate Davies book I have been wanting for a while now. ¬†It does not disappoint! ¬†Like the Book of Haps, Yokes starts with some essays. ¬†In this instance there are essays about yoke sweaters, including lopapeysa, Bohus, and Shetland, as well as a few other places. ¬†After the interesting and well-written essays, there a quite a few patterns for yoke sweaters, and one cape/poncho. Although in this instance the patterns all appear to by designed by Davies, there is a great variety of styles – again, something for everyone!

I haven’t knitted anything from either book yet, though I have my plans. All the patterns appear to be clearly written and with a good variety of sizes for the sweaters. ¬†Both books are of good quality with nice heavy paper and well made. ¬†The photos are especially good. ¬†They manage to both be artistic and to show the knitted items so you can clearly see them. ¬†Sometimes knitting books have beautiful photos, but the sweater is waaaaaaaayyyy over there, so you have no real clear idea of what the darn thing looks like. ¬†Not these – beautiful and helpful photos all around.

 

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