Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Bernat Knitting Book and It's a Winner

I learned to knit from Bernat Handicrafter books; still have every one I ever bought. Some of the best vest patterns ever are in 1; my favorite cardi of all time is in another (must have made it 5 times for various folk). Even though the patterns aren't charted, I find them so well-written that as a novice knitter I was making the most complicated Bernat patterns (short rows before I knew they were called short rows). Substituting yarns was easy. Back then Bernat made a lovely wool called Sesame 4; it knitted to the same gauge as Berella 4 and had nearly the same luscious color palette. And Gloucester! Who could forget that cabled cotton, and the peach seashell pattern pull designed for it (I have that booklet still on my shelf)? That was when Emil and Eleanor Bernat owned the company, before it was sold to SpinRite in Canada. Now it is no longer the Bernat I knew and loved. Berella isn't as soft as other acrylics, and unless one is into the fun fur and eyelash scene (I decidedly am not), 'tain't much to get from Bernat.

So I happened upon an ad for Bernat Natural Blend yarns and thought, this deserves at least a brief look via Google. Forget the natural blends themselves (IMHO, bland colors, and the cashmere blend is only 5% cashmere)- take a peak at this book! OK, forget the lousy photography (pale neutral colors against pale neutral backdrops- what were they thinking?? And what happened to the cover model's left eye? It looks like it's nearly swollen shut. Someone get this gal eye drops!). Can you see the beautiful Aran sweater? With shaping yet. A dream of a sweater.

I can't wait to take a better look at this set. Not that I intend to make the mukluk socks, but the hat and scarf set could be tweaked for the Ships Project (they need gaiters and scarves too). And slippers, they need slippers. Maybe the mukluks could become slippers.

And this: Is it Rogue with a zipper or a cross between Rogue and Eris? Add pockets and undulating cable panels at the sides, edit the deep ribbing and I am totally enchanted by the possibilities. I can just see DD#2 in this number now, walking across college campus in a year (G-d willing). But tell me, if the model needs to wear the hood, why is she barefoot? Maybe she should have put on the mukluks.
Would you believe this book is scarce as hens' teeth? I don't know why it's out of stock everywhere I tried (American retailers must have order maybe 1 copy of it). I did find it on a Canadian site and so it's on its way to me (I hope; mail from Canada can be leisurely).

Ah Rogue! I am just a few rows away from joining the pocket front to the body. At this point, it is almost mindless knitting. Almost. I don't think I'll ever have the entire chart memorized; I'm lucky I can figure out the symbolcraft without resorting to spreading all 19 pages all over the place.


fleegle said...

That's a pair of gorgeous sweaters! I saw one like the hoodie in the
Feminin Strik book. I thinkt the hood is just hiding her bald spot.

And no, I won't ever cook dinner for you :) Let's eat out!

BB said...

Will have to look at that book.
And you're on for eating out.