midwest is best

Posted on Posted in Bare Naked Wools, book reviews/events


there’s a new book in town—midwestern knits, a 13 pattern collection, curated and edited by knitwear designers Carina Spencer and Allyson Dykhuizen.


the book—available in both digital-only and print + digital format (use the first link if you want it in your ravelry library), features original designs from Adrienne Larsen, Ann Weaver, Emily Ringelman, Hope Vickman, Jennifer Waterbury Beaumont, Laura Hulslander, Laura Ricketts, Melynda Bernardi, Sara Gresbach, as well as Allyson and Carina.


and was i ever pleased and honored to see that the first design featured—midtown, by carina spencer—is the one knit in three shades of BNWs kent DK  (white sand, driftwood, and coconut husk)—woo-hoo!


worked in both stockinette and a beautiful slip-stitch texture, this easy to wear cardigan, dressed up or dressed down, is emblematic of all the pieces included in the collection.


i can see this sweater knit in several of our yarn selections, including our new ginny DK—we’ve got two more shades—mississippi (top left) and georgia (bottom left) due to arrive in about three weeks.


how comfy does that sound??


in addition to this beautiful cardigan, the book includes six more sweaters and a variety of accessories—hats, mittens, cowls, and such, all with squishy textural interest.


each design is inspired by the designers’ personal connections to the heartland of america, the places where they were born and raised and the places where they live now. essays written by each designer accompany their contributions as a tribute to their inspiration.


besides the designs themselves, these writings are what i love most about this book; they tell a story of how a designer’s life and knitting are intertwined, influenced by a sense of place and a keen eye for interpreting their surroundings—a goal i can relate to as a designer and writer (my blog is a peek into all of my life, whether exceptional or ho-hum on any given day).


i was very touched by seeing the work each designers attached to her story, by seeing the weather and architecture and cultural traditions that sparked a certain idea for them.


for some, texture and pattern were lifted from the natural world—from grand forests and lakes to back yard microclimates.


for others a certain cultural vibe or architectural structure, unique to their town or state was the jumping off place for a design.


even the overly large and violent weather events famous to the midwest were commemorated—and more than once.


in addition to the midwest design inspiration, the yarns featured throughout the book are midwest-sourced and include contributions from Bare Naked Wools, Brown Sheep, Knits in Class, Lorna’s Laces, Mrs. Crosby Plays, Nerd Girl Yarns, The Plucky Knitter, Stonehedge Fiber Mill, and Three Irish Girls.


interested to learn more about the project, purchase a copy, or join in a KAL for one of the projects (hopefully one with our yarns!)? click here to purchase a digital-only copy and click here to purchase a print/digital combination.

5 thoughts on “midwest is best

  1. The hat is terrific! When someone says “Midwest”, I am always curious about what area they are referencing. I grew up in Lincoln, NE and always consider it as Midwest. However, that’s not everyone’s definition.

  2. And people in Ohio often refer to themselves as being from the Midwest when they’re only two states away from the east coast (Pennsylvania and New Jersey). Go figure.

    Lovely textured work in these pieces.

  3. Thanks for sharing the book info (and I love how you sneaked in the preview of the next colorways of Ginny due to arrive!)

  4. Do you have any information for the sweater pattern that the knitter on the left (in the first photo) is wearing? It really caught my eye!

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