Having consulted that eminent source, the interwebs (Wikipedia to be precise), I discovered that a curiosity cabinet was
an encyclopedic collection in Renaissance Europe of types of objects whose categorical boundaries were yet to be defined. They were also known by various names such as Cabinet of Wonder, and in German Kunstkammer ("art-room") or Wunderkammer ("wonder-room"). Modern terminology would categorize the objects included as belonging to natural history (sometimes faked), geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious or historical relics, works of art (including cabinet paintings) and antiquities.It's a fascinating idea, and a perfect theme for a designer who has collected knitterly things--edgings, lace patterns, twisted stitches and cables--and used them to great effect in her patterns.
Speaking of which, let's take a closer at those patterns. Exactly half (ten) are sock patterns, while the other half are coordinating accessories. It's fun to see the same botanical inspiration used in two slightly different ways. For example,
the Crocus vernus socks use a gently-arching lace motif that echoes the lines of the crocus flower. The Crocus Vernus mitts use a slightly thicker yarn and a lace motif that reflects the shape of the leaves of the plant:
In another example of patterns that coordinate stylistically without appearing matchy-matchy, the Linaria bipartita socks feature a lattice-like petal shape
in a divine handdyed yarn colorway called Chocoberry, while the Linaria shawl is done in petal pink, with long vertical elements and a center motif.
Other lovely socks that caught my eye are the Polypodium vulgare:
the Rubus suberectus (with "erectus" in the name, how could I not love them?):
the Loasa lateritia:
and the Narcissus pseudo-narcissus.
I also was quite taken with the Polypodum cowl (love that handdye, too, with all those subtle gradations of color)
the Rosa mitts:
the Pinus silvestris cap:
and the floaty Loasa cowl:
The book is a softcover, with tons of gorgeous color photos (taken by Brett Yacovella of Making the Moment), and all the amenities one would expect in patterns of this nature -- charts, close-ups of design details, tips, definitions of the stitches/symbols used, and reproductions of the lovely botanical prints that inspired the patterns prefacing them.
It's exciting to see relatively new designers putting out such high quality products, and it's fascinating to see how self-published books like this one are really raising the bar for all of us who publish patterns, regardless of medium. This is a beautiful book full of appealing patterns, and if you are a knitter interested in:
- sock knitting
- accessory knitting
- small portable projects
- great uses for handpainted yarn
- botanical prints and flowers
- lace and lace motifs
And bless Hunter's heart, she's offering a free copy of the book to a reader of this blog! Please leave a comment and make sure that there is a way for me to reach you (either via your Blogger profile or by leaving an email in the comment -- no way for me to get hold of you and I have to disqualify your entry until my psychic address-finding powers develop more fully). Leave a comment no later than midnight, Sunday, August 12th and I'll pick a winner the next day.
Beautiful items! I particularly like the orange hat!
You always know how to reach Willietattoos!
I love these patterns! lisgitt AT gmail.
Oh my. This looks as good as her last book (which was AWESOME!)
Anoush on Ravelry.
I've seen a lot of knitting books, but this one looks like it's in a league of its own!
I have Hunter's Silk Road Socks and love it. This new book is on my wishlist. I'd love to win it! Thanks for the review and giveaway.
Oh, what a lovely idea for a book, and what gorgeous projects. I'm especially fond of the pink shawl.
yarntastic AT gmailDOTcom
What a lovely collection. You're right- I'd love to have that book!
Please enter me in the giveaway! Thanks -
Melanie / teabird on Ravelry
Oooooo I'd love to win the book! My email is littlelixieathot maildotcom
Stunning book. I hope I'm luck enough to win a copy.
missmuffetnz on Ravelry.
THIS little piggy is having palpitations over this book. Wonderful patterns!!! (The review wasn't half bad either.)
Really? You went to Wikipedia to find out what a cabinet of curiosities was, when you know someone who works at the first natural history museum in the Americas??? Sigh.
Looks like a lovely book, btw. :-)
I LOVE this book!!! All of the patterns are so lovely that I can't decide which is my favorite!
I would love to win a copy of this book!
I fantastic idea for a book! I can imagine that the book is even more beautiful than the photos that you shared!
Thanks for the review and giveaway.
That does look like an excellent book.
Sheepinthemeadow at gmail
Wow! Beautiful designs. I really need this book ;) I can't wait to knit the loasa lateritia socks. Thanks for the chance to win.
This looks like an exceptionally interesting and useful book -- I've already seen a couple of pairs of Crocus socks "in the wild," and they're wonderful!
They look lovely patterns! I'm GinevraMakes on Ravelry
I'd love to win this! I'm MaryEllen on Ravelry, and my email is maryellenc AT gmail DOT com.
Gorgeous projects and fascinating topic
I want to knit all those socks! This looks like a great book, please enter me into the drawing. Thanks!
This book sounds amazing! I like that there are a lot of different types of patterns, not just socks--all are gorgeous.
JerseyShoreDeb on Ravelry.
This book looks lovely. I'm Stitched-Together on Ravelry
I have Hunter Hammersen's "Silk Road Socks". I haven't knit one of her patterns yet, but they look to be very well written. Her love of detail and pattern results in very, very lush results. This book is on my wish list.
Thanks for the review and the giveaway! I'm scifiknitter on ravelry.
I've been drooling over this book for months! Count me in for the contest. :)
What beautiful and intricate patterns! I'd love to own a copy of this one.
Thanks for the chance to win this beautiful book. My email is dmw222 AT gmail DOT com.wd
Great review - I really want this book since so many of the patterns are now in the queue.
wow, wow and wow! What an artist!
Holy moly, I hadn't heard about this book. Thanks for reviewing, as always! Wonderful motifs -- PHS should cross-promote it!
I think it looks like a lovely book - and my favorite pattern is the Crocus vernus sock. I even have the right color to make them in!
Well, of course I'd like to win this book!!
Your friend BadInfluence, also available right down the road
And my capcha boxes below are so weird that it appears I really must be a robot!!
Beautiful patterns! I would love a copy of the book! thanks!
gussek at hotmail dot com
This looks like a wonderful book. Can't wait to see it.
I'm tinkarenknit on Ravelry.
These patterns look awesome! I've never seen ones like them.
wil4ds at verizon dot net
I love the cowl too!
Wonderful patterns! I truly love lace knitting.
I love the incredible detail she puts into each of her designs!
culabrat on ravlery
i was predisposed to like hunter when i started reading her blog "Violently Domestic". what a great name! wonderful designs seem to drip off her needles. although i know desgning is not that easy, she makes it seem effortless.
danamary on rav.
What beautiful patterns! Would love to win. I'm Fizbin on Ravelry.
Glorioski, those photos are making me drool ... I'm putting this book on my wishlist right now, in case I'm not the lucky winner - don't want to lose track of it before Giftmas rolls around!
JullesT on Ravelry
Looks like some gorgeous patterns there!
I have been eying this book. very cool stuff.
suenapse on ravelry
I have been stalking the blogs to enter to win this book! It is really beautiful.
(Rhian82 on Rav)
This looks like such a gorgeous book!
ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca
see. This is why I like your no-bull reviews. They review books I want to see, but don't have access too since they are typically self published/ebook. THANKS! I am more in love with this book now.
Would love to win a copy of this book.
Nice! I like most of the socks, especially the suberectus ones! nancyjborn at charter dot net
These are lovely patterns. I am particularly smitten with the Rubus suberectus socks.
I love Hunter's patterns! What a nice giveaway.
The Chrysanthemum socks are Ah-mazing!
I have been wanting to get this book since it came out I am Roseclear99 on Raverly
Beautiful book and her designs are amazing! Thanks for having a giveaway.
Ever since I've learned about cabinets of curiosity in my anthropology classes, I've been fascinated by them, so of course I am attracted to that book. That it contains so many lovely designs doesn't hurt either!
(I'm kimianak on Ravelry)
I always love her patterns. Thanks for the great giveaway!
I love those crocus socks!
I would love a copy of this book! Even if I don't win I'll probably end up buying my own. Hehe. emwall24 on Ravelry.
It's a lovely looking book.
Those Polypodium vulgare socks are amazing. This shade of golden yellow is one of my favorites too : this might just be one of those patterns where I have to do them exactly like the picture. I love Hunter's designs : she really masters intricate designs that are not overtly fussy. Thank you for the giveaway!
Croquette on Ravelry
Fabulous patterns! I want to dive right in!! On Ravelry as tully.
Beautiful patterns - love all he socks! SpinningPhoenix via gmail.
Very pretty I'm knittedhat on Ravelry
the patterns in here are incredible. would love to get a copy of this book
Socks? There are TEN PAIRS OF SOCKS? How could I not want this book? Count me in on your drawing! I assume you still have my email address since I won a signed copy of your book that I'm still waiting for with bated breath (it's getting closer!).
I love the shawl pattern.
What a beautiful book!
Evocative title, delightful patterns. Perhaps a second volume could reference the Victorian notion of a "capacious hold-all."
Virginia Woolf: "What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something looseknit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through."
Happy (sock) knitting.
what beatutiful patterns and what a unique idea for a book - jealous i didnt think of it but really glad someone did!
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