Do you buy knitting patterns for the articles or the patterns?
Normally I'd say the patterns every time but with this month's The Knitter, it is all about the articles. There are some patterns I'll highlight below (I'm not a fan of sleeveless pullovers and cardies) but there are two feature articles that push all the buttons for me and make up for this not being my favourite pattern-wise.
Stitchlinks is a project I already follow but was pleased to read more about it. Founded by Betsan Corkhill, Stitchlinks is all about the therapeutic aspects of knitting and how it can help people with long term health issues.
As someone whose professional life brings into contact with social workers and the social care system and having an ancestor who was an occupational therapy pioneer this is of particular interest to me but I think most knitters will be interested in what Betsan has to say. Knitting and other crafts can have an impact on how we experience pain, our sense of worth and our mood including how we deal with stress. I for one will say that if I'm having a difficult day at work, spending lunchtime in a coffee shop with my knitting can clear my head and help me find positive solutions. Betsan writes about these many effects and how colour and texture can have an impact on people - the silk wool cable project above makes me feel better - something that all knitters could relate to.
One thing that makes me feel good - perhaps because of the sense of achievement - is lace. So I welcome the opportunity to learn more about the Shetland Fine Lace Project which is about maintaining the craftwoman's skills and heritiage associated with the finest of hand knits.
It is also about educating people about the amount of work and craft knowledge that goes into each lace item. The scarves and shawls (like the one left) are sold through the Shetland Museum if you want to find out more.
Meanwhile I haven't many highlight patterns this month which I suppose balances out those issues where I want to cast on absolutely everything, but there are still highlights.
I have a young niece and I think I can guarantee that at some point she will own a Child's Sweater with a Cat Pattern by Kari Haugen. It's a Norwegian colourwork item in DK that features whole cats on the body and cat faces on the sleeves. Think Sara Lund with cats for a 4-year-old.
I'm also hoping my other half will like the subtly striped Ease man's jumper in cotton/silk DK by Brandon Mably - the stripes will make all that stocking stitch for a man-size garment interesting and I think it would suit him.
For me a simple textured and fitted 4-ply sweater may well prove the answer for some of the summer yarn in my stash. Lilium by Vladmira Cmorejova fits the bill - reverse stocking stitch with lines of twisted rib and beads of leaf design it will make a simple spring/summer top.
Hayworth is classic Sarah Hatton - a simple but effective cropped cardigan with a romantic Jane Austen look, this time in aran. A quick knit simmer cover up and good choice as a first cardigan for a beginner.
And finally a stashbusting gem from Ann Kingstone - long fingerless 4py lacy gauntlets with bobbles that give them their name, Pearl.