Last year I was über lucky to be a part of the Marian Rae Publications blog tour for their very first book, ISLAND. This year, the mega talented (and overall lovely) ladies behind Marian Rae, Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook, have decided to team up once again to put together another fabulous knitting book. The only difference this time around is that they decided to join designing forces and have both produced designs that make up the collection that is JOURNEY.
If you don't know Jane or Shannon personally, then you'll find out at the beginning of the book about just how different they are. Jane is all about classic and simple; Shannon is bold and likes to push the envelope. You would think such design styles would clash, or at least stand out from one another. But this is so not the case! Jane and Shannon are so in tune with each other and it definitely shows in this collaboration. Each piece of this collection stays true to each designer's personality and aesthetics and yet they mesh so well with each other so perfectly.
Just like its predecessor, JOURNEY is an absolutely beautiful experience. Notice how I didn't say book there? Simply because I feel like this is more than just a book, more than just a gorgeous collection of knitting patterns, but rather an intimate adventure that we're lucky to share with Jane and Shannon. More specifically, since these ladies are very inspired by island life here on the West Coast, you feel like you're getting a glimpse of what a weekend getaway could possibly look like for either Jane and Shannon. Or any islander for that matter. And once again the stunning photography is by Nicholas Kupiak, who, through the magic that is his camera lens, gives you the ticket that allows you to step into this special odyssey that is JOURNEY.
So why don't I make us a pot of tea and we can sit down and take this JOURNEY together?
:: CLIMB ::
After the introductions at the beginning of the book you come across the first pattern, Climb. It's the quintessential must-have for every knitter...and islander...to have in their wardrobe: classic work socks that are not only hard working but oh-so-comfy for those lazy mornings when all you want to do is pad around the house sipping coffee and enjoying a moment of quiet bliss. I was lucky enough to be one of the test knitters for Climb, which is Jane's first sock pattern, and can I say that they are the fastest socks I have ever knit up? Cause they are. They truly are a great knit for knitters of all levels. The only thing you have to worry about is deciding which colour combination to work with!
I LOVE that the book starts out with these socks. The photography depicts a beautiful Sunday morning in which we wake up and decide to go on a little adventure. Maybe up island?
:: ONWARD ::
But not before we make a quick stop at the farmer's market for some eats to take with us on the road!
Onward is Shannon's first shawl pattern that features a textured and reversible easy-to-memorize pattern. Knit up in worsted weight yarn, this shawl is sure to keep you cozy throughout the fall and winter months, and yet will still be light enough to drape over your shoulders for those breezy walks along the beach during the spring and summer. This shawl is definitely a piece that can be worn year round.
:: SPATE ::
In true laid back island life, our journey has decided to go a little further up island than planned because darn it, the West Coast is just so beautiful that you don't want the trip to end!
No worries though, keep your hands warm as you thumb your way to Renfrew with Jane's squishy fingerless mitts, Spate, that features a folded cuff that can be flipped up for when the windchill sets in. Requiring only 1 skein of yummy worsted weight yarn, no need for a cable needle for the raindrop-like textured pattern, and maybe a couple of evenings, these mitts will knit up quickly and cannot go wrong in anyone's wardrobe!
:: SWIFT ::
We found a ride! And now we're cruising up island through the lush greenery that is the canopy of the rainforest, with peeks of the ocean between the trees. You can almost feel the fresh wind blowing through your hair!
Although you can keep your head warm with Swift, a slouchy hat that showcases Shannon's love of texture and geometric patterns perfectly. The lacey pattern is simple enough to memorize to make this hat an easy knit, but is broken up enough with the garter stitch chevron details to keep you on your toes.
:: ANTRORSE ::
I think it's time to take a little stop to stretch our legs and maybe explore the rainforest. After all, we're not in a hurry. There's so much to see, so much to enjoy, it's definitely worth the time to stop for a moment to enjoy the warmth of the sun on our face.
But any West Coaster can tell you, it's just smart to dress in layers. Just because the sun is out doesn't necessarily mean it's warm enough to traipse through the trees or beach comb in a simple t-shirt and shorts. So why not layer with Antrorse? This cozy pullover is Shannon's first garment design! It features a reversible funnel neck line that can be worn either buttoned up for those chilly morning walks with the dog, or open for when you arrive home a little warmer and a little out of breath! Knit top-down using aran weight yarn, Antrorse is a wonderful and balanced mix of simple stockinette and textured stitches to make this knit fun and interesting!
:: INLAND ::
We're finally here! We made it to our own private heaven. It is here where we feel at peace and like we're the only people on Earth. We can sit on the beach and watch the sun set over the ocean. We can close our eyes and feel and smell the ocean breeze whilst listening to the water gently lap up against the shore. Ahhh...what a journey.
Of course, no journey is complete without a perfectly cozy cardigan to wrap around you while you reflect back on the paths you have taken to get to where you are now, and that cardigan is Inland. Like any Jane Richmond cardigan pattern, Inland is a simple top-down knit that you'll want in every colour because you know you're going to want to live in this one garment. Also in true Jane fashion, Inland is slim fitting yet flattering, is knit almost seamlessly (you do have to sew the sides of the pockets down but hey, even I can handle that!), and is practically guaranteed to meld well with your wardrobe season after season.
Phew! What an adventure!! I think it's time for me to take a dive into my stash and see what I can come up with so that I can knit one of each pattern! As I've mentioned on Instagram, screw gift knitting! My selfish "to-knit" list is incredibly long and now I'm adding six more patterns to the list!! And now that you've seen what JOURNEY has to offer, how many patterns will you be adding to your queue?
For the hard copy book, eBook, and individual patterns go to:
:: Website :: Ravelry ::
Want a chance to WIN a copy of the JOURNEY eBook? Of course you do!! Well look no further! Jane and Shannon have generously donated a copy of the eBook to give away to one lucky reader, and that reader can be you!! Yay!!! Thank you SO much Jane and Shannon for having me on your JOURNEY blog tour and for giving me the chance to host a giveaway for your fabulous eBook!! ♥
** Giveaway is now closed! **
** Thank you to all who have entered! **
** The Winner :: Jenn2Marie **
One lucky reader will receive an e-book copy of JOURNEY
:: THE RULES ::
:: Giveaway is open to everyone (yay!)
:: Giveaway is open until Thursday, December 12, 2012 at 12:00 midnight PST
:: All comments must include a valid email address or Ravelry ID so that I can contact you if you are the winner
:: Winner will be chosen via random number generator and will be contacted within 48 hours after giveaway ends
:: HOW TO ENTER ::
Leave a comment telling me what kind of knitterly journey are you planning on taking in the new year? Will it be to learn how to knit fair Isle? To master steeking? Or will you journey into the world of knitting garments? Don't forget to also include your email or Ravelry ID with your comment, because how else can I get a hold of you if you are the lucky winner?
Please check out the other fabulous stops on the JOURNEY blog tour:
Dec 2nd :: Celtic Cast On
Dec 3rd :: Truly Myrtle & The Yarniad
Dec 4th :: Tanis Fiber Arts
Dec 5th :: Hey Porkchop & Noodlehead & Skirt As Top
Dec 6th :: In Color Order & A Playful Day
♥ Happy Knitting! ♥
* Please note: all photos in this post are © Nicholas Kupiak and are used with permission.
:: Disclaimer ::
I am not affiliated with the publishing company mentioned in this post. I received no monetary compensation from said company for my review. I was sent a copy of the eBook for review purposes in exchange for posting the review. The opinions I've written are my own and I will not be receiving any commissions from this post.