It is several months now since the blog tour for California Revival Knits took place. I had agreed to participate, and to my shame got so busy that I flaked on the promise. Nevertheless, I was determined that I would do the promised review at some point, and have decided that point is now.
The book is a collection of designs inspired by the multiple revival styles to be found in California, Stephannie Tallent’s homeland, all of which hark back to an earlier period in history, especially the history of California and it’s neighbours. The styles include ‘Mission’, ‘Spanish Colonial’, and ‘Tudor’ among others, with some Mexican and Moorish influences too. I knew very little of these styles as they exist in America before reading Steph’s book, and loved learning about them from her.I love the vibrant colours in the wonderful photos featured in he book, showing examples of the styles in Californian architecture, tiles, carpets, and railings.
When I first received my review copy, I was immediately struck by how remarkably similar in style Steph’s designs are to mine. It was like finding a design twin! Fair isle, twisted stitch cables, lace, and intarsia are all used to evoke the revival themes Stephanie explores in this technique-rich collection.
Those of you who are familiar with my own work won’t be surprised to find that the colourwork accessories Steph has designed are my personal favourites from the collection. These include a stunning cowl (which features on the cover) and mitts set with peacock intarsia motifs, inspired by Californian peacock fountains.
There are also some truly delightful twisted stitch cable projects, inspired by wrought iron gates and railings. I especially love these socks:
All in all, Californian Revival Knits is a great little knitting book, with lots of inspiring photography and historical detail to boot. I highly recommend it!
You can buy Californian Revival Knits in either softcover or digital formats from Cooperative Press, details here.
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