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Review: Botanical Knits 1 & 2

First, the facts:

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Title: Botanical Knits: Twelve Designs Inspired by Trees and Foliage

Author: Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting

Published by: NNK Press, 2013

Pages: 1112

and

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Title: Botanical Knits 2: Twelve More Inspired Designs to Knit and Love

Author: Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting

Published by: NNK Press, 2014

Pages: 120

KS: Botanical Knits

The In-Depth Look:

It was only as I started writing the review for the new “Botanical Knits 2” that I realized that I’d never actually reviewed the original, “Botanical Knits,” even though it’s graced my shelves for almost a year now.

The fact that I’d neglected that comes as a shock because both these books are lovely, filled with sweaters, shawls, mittens, gloves, hats, and socks that I would love to have.

The patterns in both collections, are replete with natural kinds of motifs–textural leaves knit into a hat, vines twisting up the front of a sweater, lacy wraps that mimic falling leaves. The “extras” are organic and tastefully add interest to a series of garments that are otherwise straight-forward and wearable. The sweater shapes are all, well, normal kind of sweater shapes–nothing outlandish or so “creative” that they’re not recognizable.

I mean this entirely in a good way–some designers make sweaters that almost require a map to decipher, or that have trailing, asymmetrical pieces that make wearing them challenging. I truly like that, in both these collections, the shapes are fairly basic, with all the joy and fun and creativity coming from the texture and added stitch detail.

For the most part, the garments here are knit in single colors, too. And by “most,” I mean 23 out of 24 designs. The cover shawl on the second collection has a border knit in a contrasting color, but otherwise, all the patterns are made out of one color yarn, adding to their simplicity, giving nothing to distract your attention from the cabled and/or textural motifs.

I like these books, both of them. I would wear almost everything in them if I had the time to make them all, and there are several things I’m practically itching to cast on. (It didn’t hurt that I recently saw the trunk show for Botanical Knits 2 and got to actually touch and see some of these in person–it just made me want to knit them even more!)

You can find these books at your local yarn shop, or buy either Volume 1 or Volume 2 at Amazon.com.
Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

My Gush: No, I’m not going to pick a favorite!

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