Knitting Maine

I’ve been wanting to blog lately, but between the back-to-back secret projects, life, then a week’s vacation to celebrate our anniversary, Thanksgiving, my birthday, frogging said secret projects, finishing one secret project only to start the third secret project in a row, planning more of them, planning non-secret projects… I just haven’t gotten around to it.

I have help, on the blogging front anyway, by way of a topic presented to me by Kristen TenDyke, an online friend, designer, tech editor, and author. Kristen has just published a new book, Knitting Maine (on Ravelry: Knitting Maine), and gave me a PDF of it to review.

Knitting Maine by Kristen TenDyke

Knitting Maine by Kristen TenDyke

What struck me most when I first saw the book, in addition to the lovely designs, is that Kristen went out of her way to have the smallest carbon footprint possible for her book—from yarn spun from local sheep to the printer she chose, everything was done in the State of Maine where she lives, or at least as close to Maine as possible. I love this.

Kristen has a little something her book for everyone: Sumner, a classic cardigan sweater with cables decorating the sleeves, back, and kangaroo pockets; Allagash, a modern little short-sleeved pullover sporting a fun cable starting on the kangaroo pocket and finishing up at the base of the high scooped neck; Northport, a semi-triangular affair with a wide cable-and-lace border; September Spirit, a lovely all-over lace cardigan with a simple textured yoke top; and Rousabout, a basic little cardigan vest that you can toss over just about anything to help keep warm.

If you’re already familiar with Kristen’s work, you’ll know that she eschews seams, so her sweaters are normally all knit in one piece. The designs in this book are no exception. She also provides a wide range of sizes. Three of the designs are worked with worsted weight yarn, one with bulky, and one with sport weight yarn, so they’ll all knit up relatively quickly.

After each pattern, Kristen provides interesting information about the yarn company who provided the yarn for that design, as well as her reasons for wanting to use each yarn in this project. She notes when yarn is animal friendly, dye free, dye friendly, organic, or has a low carbon footprint. She included photos from the farms or mills, including some wonderful animal shots. All-in-all I think it’s a lovely little book, and well worth the price.