by Jane Gottelier
Jane and Patrick Gottelier, founders of the Artwork knitwear line, are renown for their fashion lines using indigo yarn. In Indigo Knits: The Quintessential Guide to Denim Yarn from the Founders of Artwork they share the techniques they have become known for in trendy designs for knit and crochet. Photographed in Cornwall, England, this is a beautiful book featuring the beach settings that are the perfect backdrop to show off indigo dyes.
Indigo Knits is a great way for beginning knitters to learn to work with cotton. More than half the designs are suitable for beginners and the boxy shapes require minimal shaping. The finished chest range for the adult sweaters (after washing) is 32” – 57.5”, with the average falling in the 36” – 46” range. Children’s sweaters range from 1-2 years up to 9-10 years. For those seeking casual, comfortable items that will develop the patina of well loved denim, there is much here to recommend. My picks are the Newlyn jacket or Abstract Art sweater.
For a book billed as “the quintessential guide to denim yarn,” I was expecting new techniques or unusual designs so I was somewhat disappointed to discover that Indigo Knits is mostly about the embellishments; that is, what is done to the garment after it is knit with bleaching, beads, sequins, weave stitching and distressing. While indigo yarn is by default considered “casual” (so firmly connected with everyone’s favourite jeans), I was disappointed that Gottelier did not push the boundaries of what can be done with this yarn utilizing full-fashioned designs. I wish that there were a few patterns which featured something other than a boxy shape.
Reviewed by Janelle Martin
Janelle is an addicted reader and a book reviewer for Armchair Interviews. A passionate knitter in what remains of her free time, she wonders, "Why can't we knit at work?". Her blog can be viewed at http://antheras.blogspot.com