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Refined Knits: book review and yarn give-away

by Debbie Sullivan March 04, 2016 118 Comments

Refined Knits: book review and yarn give-away

Refined Knits: Sophisticated Lace, Cable, and Aran Lace Knitwear is a new book by Jennifer Wood (recently published by Interweave), which includes our Messa di Voce as the suggested yarn for one of the sweater projects. Jennifer was kind enough to arrange for us to receive a review copy of the book, and I've been enjoying having it out on my coffee table the last few weeks (along with a couple of other Interweave publications). It's a beautifully put-together book, full of knitting inspiration.

Elizabeth has been working with Jennifer for several years as a technical editor for her self-published patterns, and we've collaborated on a few projects before. Jennifer designed Morisot for our Sweater Club a few summers ago, and another of her designs is included in our current Shawl Club. Her work is always beautiful, and when she asked us about yarn for this book I happily put a couple of skeins in the mail for her, excited to see what wonderful pattern she would produce with it.

Victoria pattern from Refined Knits

And of course, I was not disappointed! Victoria is a graceful pullover with delicate lace details and a very flattering neckline.

In fact, the whole book is a reflection of Jennifer's thoughtful attention to detail. It is divided into three sections: Enduring Cables, Graceful Lace, and Elegant Aran Lace. Each section includes patterns for beautiful and also very wearable garments and accessories. I love that Jennifer shares her inspiration for each pattern, and even lists stitch dictionaries and other sources of reference at the back of the book.

Louisa cowl pattern

She is also very generous with tips and techniques, from detailed construction diagrams and instructions on cabling without a needle to a whole page of insight into the math needed to modify the Louisa cowl pattern to fit your own yardage or personal style.

Speaking of which, I did find that the outfits and styling chosen for the pattern photos are very far from my own personal style. The models look lovely, but I definitely needed to look past the hair and makeup to see how these garments could work in my wardrobe. One of my favourite pieces in the book, the Keavy sweater, is something that I would love to own - I just might need to knit one for myself. I'm much more likely to pair it with jeans though!

Keavy sweater pattern

One small criticism of the book is that, for all the information that is provided, there isn't much detail about choosing a size or determining fit for the sweater patterns. In fact, the same model is shown wearing three different sweaters, with finished bust measurements of 28 3/4", 36", and 40 3/4". They all look great on her, but were obviously designed to be worn with different amounts of ease. I'm sure many knitters would find it helpful to have a bit more information about the how the garments are intended to fit when picking a size to knit.

I do know that Jennifer has a very active group on Ravelry (Wood House Knits) and will be running KAL's for patterns from the books, so I'm sure that if you have any questions about the fit she would be happy to give guidance.

Willa cardigan from Refined Knits

Overall though, I think this is a gorgeous and very thoughtfully assembled book and we're quite thrilled to have our yarn in it. I'll hopefully find the time to knit at least one or two of the sweaters (Willa is another favourite), but it also serves both as a resource for techniques and as an inspiration for combining shapes, construction, and stitch patterns into beautiful patterns.

Messa di Voce hand-dyed yarn

 

Now that you've read your way through all that, maybe you're wondering about the yarn give-away? Well, we're giving away 3 skeins of Messa di Voce, enough to knit the Victoria pattern in any size. To enter, simply comment below and let us know which colour you would choose if you win! Contest closes at midnight EST on Wednesday March 16.

Contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated, and congratulations to our winner, Mary, who will be receiving three skeins of Cardamom as her prize!





Debbie Sullivan
Debbie Sullivan

Author


18 Responses

Patricia
Patricia

March 05, 2016

Thank you for such a nice giveaway ! I would like Emerald City

Olga
Olga

March 05, 2016

Green or red.

Michelle P.
Michelle P.

March 05, 2016

Moon Shadow is so amazing!

Marisa Flores
Marisa Flores

March 05, 2016

I would choose the Café au lait and Jacaranda colourways. They’re gorgeous ! Thanks for the giveaway :)

Kim
Kim

March 05, 2016

I’d love to knit this one in Chimney Smoke. Congratulations on a great collaboration.

Joanne
Joanne

March 05, 2016

Would knit it in either Steel Rail Blues,Georgian Bay, or Chimney Smoke…or …love so many colours, I can’t decide!
I just received this book and want to make everything in it!

Sylvie
Sylvie

March 05, 2016

Wow!! I don’t know how I would choose a colour :) maybe pink or a nice grey? They are all gorgeous!! Would love to try this!

Joan
Joan

March 05, 2016

Georgian Bay or Moon Shadow!

Francine
Francine

March 05, 2016

Red, always red :)

Tania
Tania

March 04, 2016

For me it would be either Canneberge or Georgian Bay. I pre-ordered the book and it is currently on it’s way. I can’t wait to knit this beauty!

Dana
Dana

March 04, 2016

I would choose Chimney Smoke, such a lovely grey! Thank you for for the chance to win!

Kelly
Kelly

March 04, 2016

I’m torn between graphite and grasshopper! So many lively colors.

Lucie Levac
Lucie Levac

March 04, 2016

On second thought, I think it would look better in Azul. Yes, azul it is.

Carolyn Zewe
Carolyn Zewe

March 04, 2016

I love the Steel Rail Blues and Moon Shadow is a close second.

Marie-Josee
Marie-Josee

March 04, 2016

Gorgeous! I can’t decide between grasshopper and canneberge. They’re all so lovely.

Gen
Gen

March 04, 2016

Oh, I saw that book, and I want to make everything in it! I also love the graphite. Thank you!

Lucie Levac
Lucie Levac

March 04, 2016

I would knit it in Steel rail blues. I love blue and that yarn is such a pleasure to knit. This giveaway is so so nice of you.

Rosemarie
Rosemarie

March 04, 2016

What an amazing giveaway. I would love the Graphite colour. I wish everyone luck to win ?

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