Saturday, February 16, 2013

a late Christmas gift

I received the most wonderful book in the mail yesterday from my friend Lizzie.  This late Christmas present is a perfect gift for me as it combines two of my favorite things:  fiction and knitting.

Literary Knits by Nikol Lohr

Subtitled "30 Patterns Inspired by Favorite Books," Literary Knits is just that: a collection of patterns inspired by novels, specifically the author's favorite literary characters.  The patterns are grouped into four categories:  women's accessories, women's shawls and garments, items for men, and items for children.

I've included a list of the all the patterns contained in Literary Knits below (with links to the Ravelry pattern pages), but first, let's go over the patterns that I find most appealing.

First off, I'm quite taken with the cover-girl Daisy Cloche, though I'd knit it in a different color.  It's referential, but still very wearable.  My other must-knit is also a hat: Edmund Crown/hat.  The "secret" of double-knitting the brim allows a whimsical item to masquerade as a wardrobe staple.  The only way I'd love it more is if Lohr had included different instructions for sizing up (going up a needle size isn't a particularly useful suggestion when one wants to size up two or three sizes).

Another stand-out item is the Lyra Hood.  It's not on my to-knit list unless one of my nieces becomes a His Dark Materials fanatic, but that doesn't mean that I don't adore the pattern.  I love how Lohr incorporates Lyra's daemon into the pattern.  That secretive (not subtle) move makes the hood perfect for someone who truly loves The Golden Compass and its sequels.

I also like the Katie Rommely Gaiters and think they might be something I could incorporate into a steampunk outfit.

In general, I like the sweaters included in the collection. I'm most drawn to Ishmael, though the silhouette wouldn't be flattering on Russell.  I also like Gregor (another show-stopping look), though it's not something Russell would wear.  For me, Lady Brett Ashley (sans horizontal stripes) or Elizabeth Bennet.

As for the shawls, I lean toward Emma Bovary's and Jane Eyre Shawl's.  Emma Shawl is very clever.  I like the concept (it begins with a section referencing arsenic) and the trapezoidal shape, though I don't know that I'd actually knit it.  Jane Eyre Shawl, however, is definitely one for my queue.  It's practical (the recommended worsted-weight merino-alpaca blend would be perfect for my work environment), has a good shape, is pleasing to the eye, and the pattern is simple without being too simple.

Now for the full pattern run-down (with some commentary)...

Literary Knits for women:

Literary Knits for men:

Literary Knits for kids:


  1. Fantastic book! Thank goodness for friends who know our tastes :) I wonder if there is one for crochet as I am a horrible knitter!

    1. Honestly I have no idea because I tend to tune out crochet books/patterns as I am completely hopeless with crochet!

  2. I tried to post, and not sure it stuck - but I'm envious, and those are a lot of patterns in one book. I am drawn to those gaiters!

    1. No sign of the first post, but this one seems to have stuck!