We're all familiar with Anne Hanson and KnitSpot designs, yes? I hope so, 'cos you should be! Anne is a much loved established indie designer, and rightly so. I've met Anne a few times now and she's such a lovely, warm and friendly person; someone you can't fail to like. And that comes across in her design work, too.
If you're not familiar with Bare Naked Knitspot here's a little rundown, in their own words:
Here is an appealingly different yarn and knitting club, in which we explore and knit a variety of yarns in their natural, undyed state. Through the knitting patterns offered and our clubhouse discussion threads, we'll learn to appreciate the unique characteristics each yarn brings to a Knitspot design.
Yarns will include a range of animal and/or vegetable fibers (sheep, goat, camelids, yak, silk, and cotton are some possibilities) in natural shades from cream to khaki to gray to chocolate—as close to the farm as knitting yarns can get. Some yarns will be soft, some will be lustrous, some will have stout, sturdy character that softens over time with long use (like vintage blue jeans). Each month's yarn and pattern is a surprise; yarn weights will vary and designs will focus on knitted accessories, scarves, shawls, and home items that feature fun to knit stitch patterns and/or interesting shaping.
Bare Naked Knitspot premiered in 2012 - it was such a success that there had to be a 2nd year, which starts on February 1st in a few weeks time. All of the forthcoming patterns are secret, and for my slot on the blog tour I thought I'd highlight some of the patterns from the previous year to give a taste of what is to come, and as is my thing, I'm gonna look at the Hat patterns.
March 2012 saw the release of 'Sky Cap' - a wonderful textured beret. The natural colour of the yarn really allows all that detail to stand out - I particularly like the striking crown detail. The cabled brim works well too - my own Sloochie uses a similar idea - the cable/rib stitch adds fresh interest to an area of a Hat which invariably is neglected, whilst still providing a practical edge. Each part of this Hat design has been considered carefully - and there really is so much to see! I imagine this Hat is a fun knit.
One of the things I really like about Anne's Hat designs is the sizing range. Y'all know I harp on about how one size doesn't fit all, and Anne knows this too. Sky Cap comes in a full 8 sizes, covering newborns up to large adults. So many sizes in one pattern guarantees there'll be something for everyone, and it makes it pretty good value, too.
The next Hat release in the 2012 club was the Peu Bourgeons Hat. This slouchy Hat makes the most of the natural drape of the yarn. The subtle detail on this one is a winner - the soft brim edge feeds into the diagonal lace pattern, which enhances the fit of the Hat perfectly. There's a lovely star detail at the crown, incorporating the lace pattern of the body, and you know the crown detail is something that makes or breaks a Hat design in my mind ;) Quite contrasting in style to the Sky Cap, adding variation to the designs from this club. The design of Peu Bourgeons Hat is perfect for the yarn choice here - a perfect combination.
Another winning aspect of Anne's designs - if you're a knitter who loves their accessories to be matching, then you'll be happy here. This Hat comes with matching mitts AND neckwarmer.
The final Hat from the 2012 club will have pleased lovers of stranded knitting! The Apples in Clover Tam is worked up in natural shades of light fingering/3ply and is shown here in opposite colourways. Stranded designs don't always lend themselves to such a full range of sizes, yet here we see Anne include a generous 4 sizes. The motifs on the Hat work with the gentle natural shades of each of the yarns, creating a beautiful, warm Hat.
I'm sure you'll agree that these 3 Hat designs from the 2012 club not only show Anne's design skills to the full, but also show a great variety and skill level across the patterns in the club. We've seen textures and cables, lace and stranded colourwork. Each design is so intrinsically linked with it's yarn, making the most of the properties and natural colours.
The patterns for the 2013 club are top secret - not even those invited to join the blog tour know what Knitspot have planned! That said, we can all be certain that the new club designs will be as rich and as detailed as those we've seen here. One of the great things about clubs like this is the element of surprise from a trusted and favourite designer - each month will bring a special yarn and a unique design to go with it.
All photos copyright © Knitspot, reproduced with kind permission.