First, the facts:
Title: >Green Gables Knits: Patterns for Kindred Spirits
Author: Joanna Johnson
Published by: Slate Falls Press, 2013
Chapters: No chapters, just patterns.
The In-Depth Look:
It no longer surprises me that just about everything that comes out of Joanna and Eric Johnsons’ Slate Falls Press is a treat to look at. The three previous books this husband-and-wife team have produced before this (links below) were wonderful children’s stories supplemented by knitwear and truly gorgeous illustrations, so the fact that this slim book is strictly knitting patterns is new for them.
But that’s all right. Even if the hand-painted characters of earlier books are missing, this collection of eight knitting patterns is still a treat for the eyes. This book is just beautiful to look at. It’s small–just 45 pages and conveniently sized to fit into your knitting bag without weighing you down–but you can tell it was put together with real affection, both for the patterns as well as for the inspiration.
Joanna obviously loved the Anne of Green Gables books as much as I did, because not only does each pattern perform an act of homage to the characters in the book, but the photos are beautifully atmospheric. The models are just enough in character that you can immediately identify them without their being too real (or fake), trying so hard to be authentic that they take away from the patterns. But, really, how often do you find photos in a knitting book so lovely that you’d want to frame them and hang them on the wall? Because, seriously, beautiful photos.
Which isn’t to take away from the patterns. There are eight of them: Anne’s Carpet Bag, Matthew’s Vest, Marilla’s Apron, Diana’s Hat, Rachel’s Table Runner, Miss Stacy’s Shawl, Anne’s Sweater, and Gilbert’s Scarf. I might quibble that Marilla wouldn’t have been likely to wear such a frivolous confection of a lacy apron, but this is a solid collection of patterns that fit. Nothing too fancy or too impractical for the practical inhabitants of Avonlea, but still beautiful enough to satisfy Anne’s craving for lovely things. (And I’m betting the handle of the carpet bag isn’t wonky enough to require a special knack for carrying it, either.)
To round it all out, there are also archival photos to help tie the new patterns to their inspirations–pictures of Lucy Maud Montgomery as a girl, the house she grew up in, and so on. Just enough to remind us of what Anne’s world might have looked like.
Really, for such a slim book, this is filled with a lot of charm. You can find your copy at Amazon.com or your local yarn shop.
This review copy was kindly donated by Slate Falls Press. Thank you!
My Gush: Lovely and now I want to re-read the books for the zillionth time.
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