This is much later than I intended it to be, but better late than never! Back over the summer I was lucky enough to do some test knitting for Stephen West‘s Westknits Book One, which came out last month. Stephen has a distinctive design aesthetic that is always appealing to me, and these new designs are no exception. Clean lines, interesting colorwork, clever shaping, and a lack of extraneous frills characterize these beautiful shawls, hats, and scarves. They’re fun to knit without being frustrating to knit.
I knit Urbana, an interestingly shaped garter scarf/wrap, in the gorgeous Malabrigo Twist in Sealing Wax. Oh my gosh, you guys, squishiest scarf ever! Combining Twist and garter is brilliant, and since the yarn is so thick, it knits up fast before the garter can become tiresome. The shaping is a lot of fun, too. It works into an elongated parallelogram with a keyhole to make wearing easy. I had a hard time deciding on a contrast color for the edging, but eventually settled on Burgundy for a gentle contrast. My husband wears this scarf all the time. My photos don’t show off the shape well, but you can see a lot of great pictures of the shape on Stephen’s site.
I also knit a shawl, Chadwick, in luscious Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! in Beyer’s Jewel Scarab and Shibui Knits Sock in Dragonfly. Picking the colors for this two color shawl was a lot of fun, and knitting it was more fun, especially as it was my first time using Bugga! That is a yarn that is just a pleasure to knit with, and it makes the smoothest knit fabric I’ve ever made. One again, you can see better pictures of Stephen’s clever shaping on his site, but I got a lot of pictures of the shawl on its recipient – my dear friend Christine, who surely deserves a Bugga! shawl if anyone does. I think this design is so great with her style, too – she’s not a frilly person, but she wears a lot of accessories and looks great in them, especially bright colors. The clever shaping and colorwork involves a little more concentration than Urbana does, but Stephen makes intarsia easy, and the different ways the colors meet up and cross keep this project from ever becoming tiresome.