Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Book Review: Tudor Roses by Alice Starmore

This is so brilliant; so vibrant and so beautiful I am in awe. The genius and intensity of Alice Starmore has entered my life.

What an awakening! Aimed at the deluxe side of knitting, Alice has her own collection of yarns to go along with the collection of Tudor-inspired designs. The book is exquisitely presented with a truly artistic look and feel. It is a possession I will treasure.

If you have been interested in knitting longer than I have you will probably have heard of Alice Starmore. She is a Scottish textile designer, author, artist and photographer. She was born on the Hebridean island of Lewis into a family of Gaelic-speaking crofter-fishermen. The book tells the story of fourteen women connected with the Tudor dynasty. There is a guide to the dynasty at the beginning of the book with Shakespeare quotations galore to get you fully in the mood before the knitting is unveiled. If you have the first 'Tudor Roses' book released in 1998 then this will add to your collection with three additional Tudors and well as three new clothing designs. Also, many of the designs have been revised and updated.

It goes without saying (but I thought I would say it anyway) that there are no knitting guides or help pages in this book. The garments look quite advanced to me but would still be worth a buy if you are a beginner looking to be inspired and love history and the look and feel of this book. However, the patterns are clearly set out and the garments are photographed from many angles.

The book is well researched and I loved to read about what inspired Alice's designs. The relationships, affairs and the different dispositions of the women were so fascinating.

You can order Tudor Roses from this week on the virtual yarns website.

Thanks to Dover Publications Inc for sending me this book to review.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Five knitting patterns for men from Ravelry, Brooklyn Tweed and Etsy

In the (almost) six years since I started this blog I have had a fair few comments about the assumed sexism of the blog name. I say assumed as it's not implied, it's more of a sarcastic repetition of the derogatory comments towards girls and women for sewing and knitting.

Beer gloves by Kurt Fausset (Available from here) (£10.79 with 44 other patterns) (Or Kindle for £1.92)

However, I am happily noticing more of a presence of male knitwear designers doing well on the internet and more of a choice when I look for knitted garments for men. With the Christmas knitting season now upon us I thought I would round up five patterns to knit for the men in your life, whether father, brother, uncle, cousin, brother-in-law or if you are lucky boyfriend or hubby :)

'Chicane' by Cookie A (£4.75)

Doesn't this guy look suave in his knitted cardigan? I bet he loves wearing that. It looks as if it were made just for him. I bet all the girls fancy him in that. Cookie A is a genius.

Highwayman Armwarmers by KnittingPirate (FREE)

I love these - I love grey myself and of course grey goes with any coat he wears.

A scarf Askew by emilyelizabeth (FREE)

This looks amazing and I love the yarn she's chosen and that it's unisex.

Bartek by Woolibear (£3.22)

Again - you can't go wrong with grey. What a gorgeous hat.

I hope you agree that these links will take you onto sites where you can explore the different options and colours for men. I was impressed and I hope you will be too.
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