Welcome to the Fyberspates leg of the Hitch Blog Tour! There's been lots of great posts so far and we've been pondering what angle we want to take with our post. While we were flipping though the pages, we were really struck by the number of finer weight yarns that are called for in this book so we decided to stick with what we knows best and talk about yarn.
'Hitch: Patterns Inspired by the Films of Alfred Hitchcock' by Stephannie Tallen is produced by Cooperative Press and contains 29 patterns ranging from men's knits to small accessories to ladies garments. It is available for direct download both on Ravelry as well as directly through Cooperative Press and retails for $16.95 USD or approx £10.87.In this dramatic collection, knitwear designers have taken inspiration from Hitchcock’s films to create some pretty film worthy knit wear. Whether you are planning a train ride to Mount Rushmore, a shopping excursion to a Bodega Bay bird shop, or simply a night peering out your rear window, this collection will keep you in the proper, stunning wardrobe for your Hitchcock adventures.
The Eleven Hundred Dollars Sweater, pictured above, is designed by Elanor King and is typical of the knits you will find in this classic looking book.The sweater is worked from the bottom up then moves on to some interesting construction methods. The waistband is worked in the round to the crossover, then the body is worked flat and splits into back and fronts at the armholes. The sleeves are worked flat, top-down. There is a good range of sizes 30- 54 inches and is knit in Fyberspates Scrumptious 4 Ply / Sport Superwash.Scrumptious 4 ply Sport is a 45% silk, 55% superwash merino base with 400 yds / 365m per 100g skein.
This is where we really started thinking about the yarns called for in this book as there's some fabulous yarn producers featured and it seems quite an honour to be included amongst them. The noticable thing though is that over 2/3rds of the patterns call for fingering weight yarn. This is because when drawing from fashion of this era as inspiration, there are certain design requirements that mean anything heavier than a sport weight yarn starts to look too modern as generally, 20s-50s knitwear was knit at a finer gauge.
Vintage knitwear has many benefits as a result of its lighter fabric: it's much more flattering due to less bulk and lasts longer from the lack of friction in everyday wear. This means that the slightly daunting yardage that is required to knit a whole garment starts to seem much more reasonable as you're doubling your knitting pleasure but also it will last far longer once complete. This durability was particularly important during an era that saw the Great Depression and two world wars that meant frugal garments were essential. Not only that, but knitting such small stitches means our mistakes are much harder to pick up on- hurrah!
This book is full of authentically styled pieces with all the benefits of modern designers creating the patterns. A call for finer weight yarns invariably leads to sock yarns which, like the Scrumptious 4 ply Sport, are machine washable. The designs themselves are updated too as typically waistbands of this era were worn a lot higher and foundation garments created a completely different shape for women compared to what you or I would typically wear now. The garments have been lengthened and sized accordingly and there's good schematics to help you chose the most flattering shape to really carry off such a classic style.
We've really enjoyed thinking about how our modern day expectations for knitting can be combined with classic knitwear and hope you'll enjoy knitting some of the wonderful patterns such as the beautiful colourwork Thorne Hill Cowl or the '3 Second Kiss' Sweater. You can find suitable yarns for these pieces in the Fyberspates shop by clicking on the 'Fingering/ 4ply' Section or 'Sport/ Heavy 4 ply'. You will find colour tones in stock that are particularly well suited to this era like this Rural Charm 4ply BFL Cashmere and Silk in 'Antique Velvet'
We'd like to thank Cooperative Press, Stephanie and Elanor for giving us this opportunity to be part of the blog tour. Here are the next stops:
12/11/2013: Hazel Knits
22/11/2013: A B-ewe-tiful Design