When Larissa Brown's first book Knitalong came out I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. The book was beautiful and there were quite a few patterns in it that I wanted to knit. So naturally, I was thrilled when Larissa contacted me to be a part of her second book, My Grandmother's Knitting. I was even more excited when she told me her concept; she was writing a book filled with family stories about crafting and knitting. And she wanted to interview me. About my family. And have me contribute a design. Oh, yes please!
The family I was lucky enough to be raised in had such and enormous impact on my creative life that this book is a treasure to me. When I first got my hands on a copy I savored it. Reading a few chapters each night.
There are stories from all of our favorite designers. Among them are Teva Durham, Meg Swanson, Pam Allen, Kay Gardiner, Anne Hanson, Norah Gaughan, Ysolda Teague, Jared Flood - I am humbled to even be included in this book.
Each designer also contributed a pattern to the book. Larissa asked me to create an easy pattern that a brand new knitter could take on. As anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows, I love to work with color, so I suggested a simple two color cowl - The Crayon Cowls.
I created two variations on the pattern - one very simple stockinette broken up by a purl ridge, and one for a more adventurous beginner with eyelets thrown in. Both have buttons for added interest. The simple stitch patterns lend themselves very well to experimentation with yarns, so even the more experienced knitter will enjoy knitting these patterns.
When I got my copy of the book, it occured to me how well this pattern would work for some of my precious hand-spun yarn stash. I pulled out two skeins of hand-spun, each with a healthy cashmere content, that I'd been hoarding for a special project - and set to work. The knitting on this cowl is very, very quick. It is easily adapted to a longer cowl if you want something you can loop around several times.
My Aunt Dorothy knitting.
The book contains much more challenging projects too. Among them are a gorgeous cabled pillow from Chrissy Gardiner, the spectacular colorwork sweater seen on the cover by Kristin Spurkland (oh how I wish I could drop everything and knit that sweater) and a pair of Cookie A's intricately patterned socks.
If you want to see all of the gorgeous patterns in this book and find out more about the individual patterns, check out the pattern pages on Ravelry. Then go out and buy yourself a copy of the book, brew a cup of tea, and imerse yourself in the stories of inspiring, creative families.
*All of the photos in this post are my own, or my old family photos. To see the photos in the book follow the link above to the pattern pages on Ravelry.