Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sweet Shawlettes

Sweet Shawlettes: 25 Irresistible Patterns for Knitting Cowls, Capelets, and More by Jean Moss

This year I have become obsessed with knitting shawlettes, espeically since I joined the 12 in 2012 club in Ravelry. When I discovered this book, I got really excited. I wonder if there will be anything I need to add to my queue!

The patterns are divided into four sections:
  • Country
    • Madame Alfred Shawlette - Contains some colorwork at the edge
    • Kardamili Shawlette - Triangular, textured pattern with a contrasting crochet edge
    • Garland Necklet - This one is a bit odd, looks like a braided rope with some flower applique. I can see a purpose, but I wouldn't call it a shawl!
    • Green at Heart Collar - A cabled cowl secured with button closures.
    • Evergreen Scarf - A choker* (as displayed on the model) with a bib like cascade of leaves.
    • Frost Chocker - A loose stranded Selbu style colorwork choker secured with buttons.
  • Couture
    • Drift Cowl - A great chunky buttoned cabled cowl. Th huge buttons really make the garment shine.
    • Penumbra Cowl - Illusion knit (zig zag) in black and white, this cowl is striking.
    • Enigma Shawl - A two piece layered shawl - one with a collar and the other without.
    • Harlequin Cape - The entrelac shawlette shown on the cover photo.
    • Twine Cowl - This is super fun, three colors of chunky yarn are knit in different patterns and then are twisted together to form a rope like cowl.
    • Empty Circle Joined Hat and Scarf - As the title suggests, this is a joined hat and scarf with large circular holes around the brim of the hat and some on the scarf.  These holes look really cool, but may make this otherwise super warm looking garment less friendly to the extreme cold.
  • Folk
    • Miss Garricks Cowl - Stranded colorwork
    • Arabesque Scarf - A stunning mobius scarf. The feather and fan lace is knit out from the center in one piece taking advantage of the single edge to a mobius strip. I am not entirely sure how the instructions work by just reading it, so it may require some additional thought when on the needle.
    • Bess Ruff - Fitted to the neck with vertical stripes and tiny buttons.
    • Celidh Shawlette - There is stunning colorwork in this plaid shawl/poncho
    • Purple Patch Shrug - For me, this shawlette doesn't compare to the elegance of many of the other patterns in this book. The pastel garter stitch squares look more like a baby blanket.
    • Polperro Cape - This makes up for the previous design! The cape has a buckle closure and is knit in a brilliant deep blue. The cabled pattern is fantastic!
  • Vintage
    • Kitty Caplet - A leopard print cape with button closure. I like how the ones selected in the photo look almost like claws.
    • Grace Cowl - A fitted cowl that flares out at one end.
    • Bronte Fichu - A romantic classic triangular shawl. The schematic explains how it is knit so if you have never started at the center back before it will help make sense.
    • Mantilla Shawlette - This is by far my favorite project in the book. There is a class beauty to the model when the orange shawl is paired with a green dress with orange and purple flowers on it. I also have not seen many patterns like it.
    • Vamp Boa - A fun, multilayered ruffled scarf
    • Treasure Jabot - As the title suggests, this is a Jabot with cascading ruffles.
    • Fizz Caplet - A subtle beaded capelet.

I would pay attention to to the fiber content used in each of the patterns. In many cases, the fibers chosen are as important as the design itself. The Mantilla Shawlette may look fantastic in other yarn choices, but I think that a lot of the appeal comes from the haze of mohair.

One of the most brilliant aspects of this book are the modeled photos. The shawlettes are incorporated into outfits in ways that really let them shine. The pairings of yarn color to fabrics is incredible. The downside is that there are not pictures of the completed shawls on their own so it is hard to get a sense of their shape. (For example the Empty Circle Joined Hat and Scarf is a little hard to visualize, even with the given schematic.)  Nevertheless, I expect that this will be a book I will come back to in 2013.