Journey..... a book review.

Swatching for Antrorse
This post could/should have been written back in November. Even though time has passed, this news is still timely.  Our Maine Retreat was so influential in the making of friends and trying new ideas, patterns and techniques, and then there was meeting JuniperGrace. (I extend apologies to those of you who did not attend, but encourage you to consider doing a knitting retreat. Please, humor me...).  If I hadn't gone to the Maine retreat, I would not have had the chance to befriend the lovely Grace. She is an enthusiastic and charismatic young woman with innovative ideas and a welcoming heart. She has an eye for looking at things and creating magic from found items, yarn, and needles. She has a magnet that just draws people in.

Grace was the youngest knitter in attendance at the retreat, but that didn't matter. Her warmth and exuberance lit us up; she had us in "Depends" moments of hysterical laughter more times than could be counted. One evening, she shared with a few of us that a couple of the knitters in her Knit Night group had just finished up a collection of patterns (she test knits for them). In fact, the sweater she was wearing was one of the test knits. If you are familiar with the blog LoveIntheMommyHood or the names Shannon Cook or Jane Richmond, then you might register the slight swoon factor that followed!
Grace's Antrorse, sleeve detail
During our Yarn Crawl, Grace was sporting a beautiful, natural colored sweater that she had test knit for Journey, a new book of knitwear patterns. Antrorse is one of the six patterns featured in the book created by Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook. You may be familiar with Island, their other beautifully photographed collection of knitwear. These books are so beautiful that they could be left out for browsing by Muggles (non-knitters). Each pattern book tells a story as the designs are featured. The various Vancouver Island settings are  stunning, as are the patterns.

Journey contains patterns for two sweaters Antrorse and Inland, and four accessories, including Onward, a wrap, Spate, fingerless mitts, Climb, socks and Swift, a hat. I pre-ordered, and got the physical book and the e-book version for one price. You can also buy this on Amazon.com now, though if you are a Ravelry member, it is easier to manage the patterns if you order it there.  Because I loved Grace's sweater so much, I cast that on as my first Journey project.

Onward, photo taken from Ravelry pattern page.
I think Onward, the wrap, will be next in my queue. I received swag from Paula, four skeins of Quince Yarn. My yarn will make a beautiful compliment to the chevron stitches in the pattern. Onward is knit in Lark, a Quince aran weight yarn. The simple triangle construction looks to be one that will flow readily off the needles.

Swift, photo taken from Ravelry pattern page
Swift is a sweet hat knit in Chickadee, a fingering weight, another Quince Yarn.

 
Climb, a pair of socks Photo taken from Ravelry pattern page
I am not a sock knitter, yet but I have read so many comments that these were quick and fun to make.

Spate, fingerless mitts Photo taken from Ravelry pattern page
I have cast on these mitts and the stitch pattern is hypnotizing. The yarn I am using was a gift given to me by Grace, Elderberry Yarns in a muted shade of green.

I urge you consider buying this book but if you only like a few patterns, know that you can order just one or two patterns on there own. I need to confess that I am no longer stung by the sticker price of pay-for patterns. Please venture into this pool with me; consider the efforts that go into translating a design into directions that are well written and logical, consider the styling and photography required to create an inviting image that lures you in. Pattern prices might seem steep, considering the many patterns that are available, but I ask you to support these independent designers with your dollars. Encourage them to continue on this path of design by adding their patterns and books to your library.

If you are inclined to cast on, I want to share that there is a Journey KAL. Go to Shannon's forum thread for details. The contest ends on February 26, there will be prizes. Go to the blog to read more. Use the hashtag #JourneyKAL on your project page.

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