Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tallent-ed

Today, my men’s knitting group met up at The Knitting Nest, shortly after a class had concluded. The staff asked the teacher, Stephannie Talent, to hang around and show us some of the samples she had brought. Lucky us – we saw some really amazing designs and knitting.

photo(1)First up, we got to see several of her mittens. She has a pattern booklet out with many of her designs, called, appropriately, Mittens! I tried on these green ones, which amazingly, fit me. I liked the sideways cuff, and although I don’t know about buttons for a guy, I was really drawn to these. They were made with yarn from Blackwater Abbey, which I’ve always liked, but have never ordered. Might have to now. Stephannie uses intricate cables and creative edging in her designs, and I was blown away by several pairs of mittens that incorporated beadwork. They were really quite exquisite, but at the same time, seemed very do-able.

photoIn addition to her book on mittens, Stephannie is about to publish a new book, California Revival Knits. This book features designs based on California Revival décor. Like the mittens, these garments incorporate all kinds of techniques – cabling, beadwork, intarsia, stranded knitting – the whole gamut. I was drawn to these fingerless peacock mittens. Hard to see in this picture, but the peacock has a beautiful red beaded eye. It reminds me of one of those rhinestone-studded purses that my grandmother used to use in the 1960s – but way cooler. Also not visible in this picture, a row of over a dozen little pearl buttons fastening up the side.

sweaterThere were larger garments, too. This beautiful top had really nice beaded work all the way around, and a pretty hemmed picot edging. For some reason, the camera didn’t get the color right – this is actually a beautiful chocolate brown color – which probably goes a long way towards explaining why I liked it.

I’m so glad I got to see all of this. It’s always gratifying to see a range of a designer’s work and get to talk to her about what she loves to do. If you have an interest in beautiful designs that require a wide range of techniques, you’ll want to get your hands on these patterns. Thanks for sharing, Stephannie – we appreciated you hanging around to show us all your beautiful work!

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