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Review: Shades of Winter


First, the facts:

Title: Shades of Winter: Knitting with Natural Wool

Author: Ingalill Johansson & Ewa K. Andinsson

Published by: Interweave Press, 2012

Pages: 159

Type: Patterns


1. Natural White
2. Grey
3. Beige

KS: Shades of Winter

The In-Depth Look:

We’re surrounded by so many gorgeous, remarkable dyed yarns these days. Variegated yarns. Hand-dyed masterpieces. Yarns that transition through rainbow colors as you knit. Colors are everywhere.

It makes it easy to forget how beautiful natural colors can be. So, here, the authors take the natural white, grey and beige of wool and transform it into something both wintry and warm.

The author writes, “Snow and ice were my first sources of inspiration for this knitting book. In my mind I created pictures of woodland spirits and ice princesses in the wintry landscape and icy environment. The garments everyone wore, knitted with wool’s warmth and softnewss, would contrast against the Scandinavian winter’s snow crystals and cold.”

The photographs (many taken at the truly stunning Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden) are amazing. Icy and fantastical and just really beautiful. I would complain a bit about the photo-styling distracting from the actual shape, drape, fall, look of the garments except that (1) the pictures are really gorgeous and (2) each garment has a straight, this-is-what-it-looks-like photo in the pattern section–not to mention full schematics. So, meanwhile, yeah, despite the bizarre hair, the photos are amazing. (And now I want to visit the Ice Hotel.)

The designs are a mix of sweaters, coats, skirts, dresses, leggings, gloves, shawls … pretty much anything you could imagine that ice princess wearing. Some are fanciful, some are simple, but together they make a completely unique collection, though not necessarily for everyone. (Again, I refer you to the author’s vision of ice princesses and woodland spirits.)

One thing to note, all the patterns are made out of the same yarn: Marks & Kattens Eco Wool, in one of two possible weights. This is not a yarn I’ve ever seen, so I’m not sure how accessible it is outside Sweden/Scandinavia, but I imagine it wouldn’t be impossible to find a reasonable substitute (though the author likes their yarn for the texture and its ecological impact).

Really, this book is beautiful. The patterns are unique and full of a pure, monochromatic impact that is refreshing to see.

You can find the book at Amazon.com.

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by Interweave Press. Thank you!

My Gush: Amazing photos

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