Hi friend, and happy Wednesday!
How’s your week been? Mine’s been pretty exciting, not least because my advanced copy of a new book from Arnall-Culliford Knitwear, Something New to Learn about Cables, has arrived in my mailbox!
My love of AC Knitwear is pretty well-documented here on the blog. I’ve really enjoyed their A Year of Techniques — a book that uses small, manageable projects to help you learn and refine new knitting techniques each month. I help out moderating over in their lively Ravelry group, where I swear I learn something new almost every time I check in — from Jen and Jim and their amazing repository of knowledge and also from the intrepid and talented group of knitters who hang out there. Though I’ve been knitting for years, I feel like my knitting has improved a lot over the last year because of AC Knitwear. Their book and group have taught me loads of concrete techniques, tips, and fixes — just the other day, in fact, Jen blew my mind with a tip for what to do if your backward loop cast on stitches are loose (which I’ve already made use of)! But also the spirit of questioning and improving that Jen and Jim cultivate in their print publication, blog, and the Ravelry group have shown me that any issue you might have with your knitting almost certainly 1) isn’t unique to you and 2) has a variety of fixes! So rather than thinking my [INSERT STITCH or TECHNIQUE HERE] looks bad, ergo I’m just a bad knitter, I’m now much more likely to think this doesn’t look right, but there must be something I can do to fix it.
All of which is to say when I heard Jen and Jim were putting out a new book, focused on delving into cables, I was really excited. I love cable knitting, and consider myself a decent cabler (one who cables?), but by no means advanced. I love that their books give tips and tricks that will help people no matter the skill level — new to cables? It’ll help you get going! Know or thing or two about them already? Well, as their motto goes, there’s always something new to learn! Like A Year of Techniques, Something New to Learn about Cables has lovely patterns that go along with the techniques you’re learning, accompanied by beautifully laid out, clear step-by-step photo tutorials and online video tutorials — making it not just a lovely book of patterns, but a great reference book. And I love the size of it — perfect for sticking in your knitting bag and carrying with you when you’re working on a cable project.
And I had an extra reason to be excited when the book arrived:
See those green mittens?! *whispers* I knit those! Back in the fall, Jen kindly asked if I’d be interested in doing a bit of sample knitting for the book. The Otrera Mittens were designed by Jen for the book and were such fun to knit. They are worked in Socks Yeah DK (as are all the patterns in the book) and the cables just really pop in the yarn — I loved watching them emerge and wrap around each other — the motif looks complicated, but was totally manageable. And they are knit at a relatively dense gauge so you end up with a cozy warm fabric (in fact, I could use them today — we’ve had snow). And I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything I knit professionally photographed and IN A BOOK, so that was pretty exciting.
Along with the mittens, the book includes patterns for fingerless Otrera mitts, a fab hat, lovely cowl, and blanket. I already have plans to start Rachel Coopey’s Areto in that gorgeous rust colored Socks Yeah DK in the first picture (the colorway’s called Chiron) and am also contemplating the fingerless mitts, and perhaps even the cowl! Like with A Year of Techniques, they’ll be cable-y knitalongs over in the Ravelry group, so I’m going to try to hold off casting on til those begin (but it’s going to be hard).
You can read posts about each of the three chapters of the book, and the patterns that go with them, over on the AC Knitwear blog. And the book, along with kits for the projects, are available for preorder from the AC Knitwear Shop and, if you’re based in the US, from Mason-Dixon Knitting. And it’ll officially launch at Edinburgh Yarn Festival — I can’t believe that’s just two weeks away.
Hope your week’s going well — and I should be back tomorrow for some Once Upon a Sock talk — see you then.