Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Review: Botanical Knits by Alana Dakos

 I may not have much time for knitting right now, but it's not stopping me from planning future projects--and looking at new patterns is a key element of that process.

Most readers know I'm a bit of an Alana Dakos/Never Not Knitting fan girl, so it should come as no surprise that I pre-ordered her latest pattern collection, Botantical Knits, pretty much the instant it became available. Really, it was that very morning.

My pre-order of a hard copy of the collection, to be shipped in May, included a complimentary e-book download for instant gratification; you can order the e-book solo for $18, but the hard copy + e-book is only a few dollars more, so why not?

As the name implies, the 12 designs in this collection were inspired by trees and foliage, and as usual, Alana has put together a stunning collection of nature-inspired knitwear, featuring gorgeous yarns and styled beautifully. The photography, graphics and layout really draw you in--I'm pretty sure even a non-knitter would be eager to cast on after perusing this collection!

The very first thing I'll be knitting is the Twigs and Willows cardigan:

I love the simplicity of the design and the rustic yarn. I have some less-rustic Madelinetosh in my stash that I hope will work for this.

And yet another gorgeous sweater from this collection has already hit my queue:

A adore the big, sweeping collar on the Creeping Vines jacket, and the sweet, flowered pockets. I'm imagining it in an autumn-y red-orange.

This cloche is so different than your typical knit beret or watch cap. I can't wait to knit this one, just to see how it's constructed.

The collection features 2 more sweaters, as well as 2 additional hats, 2 pair of mitts/mittens, a pair of socks, a shawl/scarf and a cowl. I suspect I'll eventually knit all 3 hats, as well as the mittens and socks, in addition to my 2 favorite sweaters, so that's easily 7 must-knit patterns from a single collection, which would run about $35 sold individually--quite a steal!

And a final word on the e-book design: Alana has placed direct links to Ravelry right in the book, so you just click, and it whisks you over to the Ravelry page. You can also click to move directly to specific patterns in the book from the table of contents. Flipping through pdfs and e-books page by page is a great annoyance, so I think these features are nothing short of brilliant!

An overview of all the patterns from the collection can be seen here, and you can order your copy here. Enjoy!

All photos courtesy of Alana Dakos/Never Not Knitting

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