Brave New KnitsBrave New Knits: 26 Projects and Personalities from the Knitting Blogosphere by Julie Turjoman, Rodale Press, 2010, 242 pp.

This is one of those books that invites both browsing (for the large variety of lovely patterns highlighted by Jared (of BrooklynTweed) Flood’s wonderful photography) and ‘sit with a cup of tea or a cappucino and enjoy’ reading (the multipage profiles of each of the designers.)  As both a knitter & a designer, I found the designer profiles very interesting and engaging. Because of the latter, it’s more than just a pattern book.

Milk Maiden

Milk Maiden Sweater

It’s also a reminder that, with today’s social media, designers are selling themselves as a brand, not just their work.

The book is structured such that each designer’s profile runs before the pattern, as opposed to grouping all the bios and all the patterns together.

The book is divided, however, into Part 1: Garments and Part 2:  Accessories (including socks, mitts, hats, etc.

Of the patterns, there are:

  • 4 pullovers (one of which is a children’s tunic)
  • 6 cardis & jackets
  • 2 vests & camisoles
  • 1 shrug
  • 3 hats
  • 1 flower pin
  • 2 mitts
  • 4 scarves/shawls/neckwarmers
  • 3 socks
  • 1 blanket

Yes, that adds up to 27, not 26;  a tam & a pair of mitts, by Wendy Bernard, were grouped together.

Sizing on the sweaters generally ranges from XXS, XS, or S to XL, 2X or 3x.  The majority are XS/S-2X.  Lace and cable patterns are charted.  Detailed schematics are included for the garments.

Sockstravaganza socks

Sockstravaganza socks by Kirsten Kapur

Yarns chosen for the patterns run the gamut from large companies (Rowan, Berroco) to indie dyers (Sundara, Woolen Rabbit, others).    (An expansion of the designer bio component would’ve been to add indie dyer/yarnie bios.)

Pattern complexity ranges from easy (the blanket pattern) to more advanced (Kristen Kapur’s lovely cabled and stranded Sockstravaganza socks), with the vast majority being considered intermediate (simple lace, cables, knitting in the round).

My personal favorites include Kapur’s socks, mentioned above (they also happen to be the cover pattern) and the Milk Maiden pullover by Teresa Gregorio of Canary Knits.

Would you like to win your very own copy?  Rodale has generously provided a copy for a lucky reader!  Comment on this post by midnight PST Tuesday, Oct 19th, with your favorite blogger/designer.  I’ll use the Random Number Generator to pick a winner. Please leave a way to for me to contact you, should you win!

I received my copy from the publisher;  if you would like to purchase a copy, click on the book cover above.