Books : The Wild West Volume 3 – Stranded

The Wild West Volume 3 : Stranded

by Lori Law

The Wild West Volume 3 : StrandedThe Wild West Volume 3 : Stranded
Knitting pattern ebook by Stephannie Tallent
34 pages, 4 designs
© 2014 Stephannie Tallent and
Sunset Cat Designs

This ebook is part of a series of five – The Wild West: Patterns Inspired by the Flora, Fauna, Geology & History of Arizona.  Stephannie is a prolific designer who has built up a selection of 105 designs.  She describes her work-

I strive to create clever, elegant patterns that keep your attention & interest as a knitter.

I’m inspired by a variety of things: places I’ve been, California natural history, the Arts & Crafts movement, Art Deco and Art Nouveau motifs, interesting stitch patterns from around the world, and of course, the yarn and fiber itself.

I love trying new techniques — and old techniques in new ways. Cables, twisted stitches, lace, colorwork, braids…

Think old techniques in modern styles.

In this book, as in the entire Wild West series, the inspiration is the ‘flora, fauna, geology and history of Arizona.’

The two pattern themes in this book are the Ringtail Cat (a small raccoon-like animal, also the state mammal of Arizona and AKA miner’s cats) and the Organ Pipe Cacti.

 

The Wild West Volume 3 : StrandedThe Wild West Volume 3 : Stranded

The Ringtail Hat pattern has a semi-traditional fair isle flowers-type feel to it, but when you have a closer look, you see the cats amidst the flora, adding a bit of fun.  I think the colours chosen for this project and for the Ringtail Mitts (which feature a contrasting cuff and edging at the top, subtle but which really ‘makes’ them, IMO, in addition to the stranded detailing around the wrist) are very illustrative of what Stephannie projects in her opening notes about her desires for the Wild West books, chosing a yarn palette which illustrates the focus of the book.

The Wild West Volume 3 : Stranded

The Wild West Volume 3 : StrandedThe Organ Pipe mitts, however, hit things even more bang on.  One might not necessarily note this if they saw a pair of these mitts in the wild, but seeing them together with the Organ Pipe Cacti in the photo?  They are like mini Organ Pipe Cacti themselves, knitted sculptural works of art for your hands.  The Organ Pipe Beanie is, again, a more traditional-feeling hat, but with sweet details which make it an interesting knit and pretty to wear.

And, despite the desert theme, you know all of these items once knitted will be warm woollies for any climate.

Stephannie’s attention to details and her desire for interpretations really shine in this book (and I will bet they also come through in all of the books in this series).

The book is very-well laid out with notes about techniques peppered through out the patterns, clear concise charts and clearly written text.  The layout is nice to behold with nice clear photos and a muted colour scheme that is professional and easy on the eyes.  There is a techniques section included.  All patterns are written in multiple sizes which will make them appeal to a variety of knitters.  There are also bits about Arizona included, with links to various resources, movies, museums and other information which is tied to the book but also might be of general interest to anyone knitting from the PDF version of the book.

For this book, Stephannie works with Elemental  Affects Shetland Fingering Yarn and Sunday Knits Yarns.  She graciously put together an article for Ennea which tells us more about both of these fine yarns.  Read it here.

Photos © Adam Murphy & Stephannie Tallent.

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