There is almost nothing I love better than to get a book in the mail. In its first printing, if it’s out of print; new or used–it doesn’t really matter. And if it’s a knitting book … Well, let us just say that there might be a tiny bit more enthusiasm.
I also must make another disclosure: I am a great admirer of Hunter Hammersen, the knitwear designer that can wield the word “marvelous” just as good as she can knitting needles.
So, naturally, I was quite excited when she released the details of her newest book, Fine Things for Plain Occasions, a collection of fifteen patterns inspired by vintage guides to proper behavior. (I’m not crazy, either, but confession is good for the soul: I preordered it the first day it was available for preorder.)
So, about the book. It is hardbacked. It has a ribbon to mark your place. It is stunningly designed, in every aspect. It is, in short, a book that not only wants a place on your shelf, but needs to be on your shelf.
There are a few patterns that I know will be knit as soon as the zoo that is Christmas Preparation is over. (I mean, I love Christmas, but it can be so hard to take a moment and enjoy it, you know?)
One is a lovely pair of socks, that goes by the name of “Knowledge of What was Sensible.”
I like the sample so much, I think I’m going to get the recommended yarn from Shibui, Staccato (which I’ve worked with before and is an absolute luxury) in the recommend colorway, Caffeine. And maybe a new pair of boots, too?
Another pattern which looks really fun to knit, but wouldn’t be intended for my use is “Distinct Moral Support.”
I’m feeling the lack of Downton Abbey episodes right now, and one can only cure that by watching Downton Abbey. But it might be sated for a few moments by knitting a hat in the style of those worn in the 20s.
It is very difficult choosing another pattern to be a favorite, as I admire them all, but the next on my list would have to be “Essential To Perfection.” This is another one that I’d want to knit in the same yarn and color, which in this case would be one of my favorite yarns in one of my favorite colors, Quince and Co. Finch in Iceland.
Don’t they just look squishy and warm? I know exactly the person to give them to once they are completed.
The last one I want to mention is “By Naughty Design.” It would seem that long ago, ladies would only show their ankles “by accident, or naughty design,” which, although sort of funny, makes for an interesting design, pun absolutely not intended. (I think.)
If you are in need of a new project to procrastinate to, or have miraculously planned out your Christmas knitting over the year and have already finished, you will want to be inspired by this marvelous book. You can find it on Amazon, Hunter’s website, and Ravelry.
[All photos, except for the one at the top (c) Zoe Lonergan. Used with permission.]
I like your review style, Josiah. Very authentic :). Would love to feature your reviews in our weekly curated email digest that goes out to thousands of people.
You flatter me. 🙂 Unfortunately, I do not do many book reviews. Thank you for thinking of me, however! 🙂
Nice to see you blogging again after the silence of November!
I am just wondering, is there something wrong with my RSS reader? Every time you blog, the feed gets the post twice: there’s usually 3 to 6 hours between the posts. Or do you just make small modifications to details and I don’t pick them up in the second post?
And last but least, thanks for an excellent blog, I enjoy reading it a lot (although I don’t usually comment) 🙂
Thank you for your comment! It is nice to meet you. 🙂 I’ll check that out; it shouldn’t be doing that. I’ve never had that happen before, and I usually don’t make any mods after I’ve finished the post. What reader do you use?
Thank you! I hope that you’ll chime in more in the future; I love getting to know new folks. 🙂
I am sorry, I somehow forgot to respond earlier.
Good point that the problem might be reader related! I use Inoreader. Your newest posts came also in double (the Winter insp and Taj). I’ll try another reader; I’ve been thinking about changing anyway, too many adds and now a crappy Inoreader’s own mobile browser.
Sounds like a good book, I like the various projects you highlighted (highlit?), specially that Essential to Perfection.
(Highlighted, I believe. ^-^) That pattern may be my New Years’ knit. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful book! I’m inspired by the patterns and have it in my Wish List on Amazon for Christmas 🙂
Yay! It is just amazing. I can’t say enough good things about it. 🙂
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Looks as if it’s not released here in the UK until May 2016 – this must be revenge because we get to see Downton before you do! Looking forward to it, though – it sounds like it deserves to be bought in hardback.
That’s awful! How is the new season? No spoilers, please. 🙂
The costumes are AMAZING.
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I was thinking just this morning about writing Hunter a note to tell her how wonderful the new book is and then I find that you said everything I would have said about this book. So I may just cut and paste YOUR words into MY note!!? 🙂 I must also admit that I did the pre-order on the first day because I really wanted the extra pattern Hunter included with the pre-orders. It’s going to be a lot of fun to knit each version. And that Christmas and other life craziness? It’s been interfering with my getting your Curry socks finished. I WILL finish them after the new year.
Goodness, Rea! This made me laugh! That pattern is wonderful, isn’t it? I’m seriously thinking about knitting the grey version in … grey … 🙂 Thanks! I’m getting the new pattern ready for publication as we speak. 🙂