My current work in progress:

Moth Cardigan, designed byAmy Christoffers, knit from Rowan SoftYak DK in the Plain colorway, using U.S. size 3 and 5 needles.

Sweet Shawlettes

Happy New Year! What better way to welcome a new year than with a lovely new book?

SweetShawlettes coverLR 187x240 Sweet Shawlettes

This is Sweet Shawlettes by Jean Moss, a collection of 25 patterns for shawlettes, cowls, and other related types of knits. I received a review copy of this book a couple of weeks ago and pronounce it delightful!

The book is divided into 4 sections: Country, Couture, Folk, and Vintage. There is a lovely variety of both types of garments and knitting techniques used. This is not all lace shawls — there is also colorwork, entrelac, texture, and cables. A little something for everyone.

My faves:

From the Country section, I love “Green at Heart,” a button-up cowl.

GREEN AT HEART3 171x240 Sweet Shawlettes

From Couture, here is “Enigma,” a poncho-type garment with an intriguing shape and a cozy turtleneck.

ENIGMA3 171x240 Sweet Shawlettes

From Folk, “Polperro” combines lace and texture.

POLPERRO3 171x240 Sweet Shawlettes

And from Vintage, what I think is my favorite design in the book: “Kitty,” an adorable capelet.

KITTY3 171x240 Sweet Shawlettes

You can preview all the designs in the book’s Design Gallery.

I have long been a fan of Jean Moss’ designs and was delighted to have the opportunity to conduct a brief interview with her.

Wendy: How long have you been knitting and who taught you?

Jean: Originally I learned to knit before I went to school because I wanted to be like my beloved grandmother who spent hours teaching me.  A fallow period ensued but my interest was rekindled in my teens when I started to make my own clothes.  It was the swinging sixties and I loved what I was seeing on the street and in magazines, but had no way of achieving anything similar other than to pick up my needles again.  From then on I was hooked. It never occurred to me that I’d ever be able to make a living out of it, especially as I had no formal training in design, but after getting requests for sweaters I’d made for the kids, I decided that it might be a way of making some extra cash from home.  No-one was more surprised than I was to find that very quickly I was presenting my designs to luminaries such as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein and they were placing orders! It was a meteoric learning curve. The business quickly mushroomed and I developed my own line alongside the design and production I was doing for US stores and designers. We ultimately had two thousand knitters in the UK – all stemming from my need to express myself creatively.

Wendy: Sweet Shawlettes is such a unique collection because there are so many different techniques covered in the patterns — lace, texture, colorwork. Do you have a favorite, or do you enjoy all more or less equally?

Jean: I was asked to write Sweet Shawlettes out of the blue by Erica Sanders-Foege, a senior editor at The Taunton Press. I immediately loved the idea as previously most of my books have concentrated on sweaters, and this gave me the opportunity to explore a totally different form.  Shawls, capes, cowls, furbelows or anything that can be worn around the neck was the brief and I was excited to explore as many ways of interpreting it as I could.

My mind spun with the millions of options, so I knew I would have to edit, edit, edit. I started the task of narrowing them down with a book plan: the skeleton of the four chapters – Country, Couture, Folk and Vintage – what would inspire them and also the yarns, colours, techniques which would be showcased in each. I reasoned that small projects could be fantastic tasters for new skills, without the commitment of a larger piece, either in time or yarn.  So when I started to flesh out the chapters, I had the intention of including various techniques I particularly enjoy. However, the realisation quickly dawned that I’m an absolute technique junkie, as I found it hard to exclude anything, so I decided I’d go for it and include as many as I could, which hopefully would also give the book another dimension.

Not sure whether you’re asking about my favourite technique or project, but these days my knitting is usually restricted to swatches for new designs and no-brainers for winding down, although I do love working with colour, so the odd bit of fair isle often slips in as well as various modular knits.  I have to admit that I’m just as much a product as a process knitter so I always ask myself whether or not I’d like to wear a piece I’m designing and if the answer is no then I lose interest. I’ve loved each project in turn as I’ve designed them. However, the project I chose to knit for friends this Xmas was Drift from the Couture chapter.  I love big cables and this easy cowl has the bonus that it’s quick to knit and fabulously wearable – I’ve rarely had such  positive feedback from everyone who received it!

Wendy: Do you still sing with the Purly Kings? 🙂

Jean: The Purly Kings was an impromptu band, put together to make the CD More Yarn Will Do The Trick, a trio of yarn related songs.  It came about as my friend, Paul Darby, was already in a band called the Dubious Brothers, a man-band with definitely no women, so I asked them to do a one-off recording as session musicians.  Paul and I go back a long way and our musical tastes are fairly similar, so I was confident it would be doable.  Sadly I’m bandless as the moment, but one of my New Year’s resolutions is to get out and play more music, so if you know anyone who wants to join me, do let me know.

Giveaway!

Would you like to win a copy of this lovely book? Leave a comment on this blog post by Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 11:00am eastern time. A winner will be chosen at random at that time.

This review is only one stop on the Sweet Shawlettes blog tour. The full tour schedule is below:

SWEET SHAWLETTES blog tour

Mon 2 Jan More Yarn Will Do The Trick – Jean Moss
Tues 3 Jan  Wendy Knits – Wendy Johnson
Wed 4 Jan Knitgrrl – Shannon Okey
Thurs 5 Jan Yarnagogo – Rachael Herron
Fri 6 Jan The Knitter – Rosee Woodland
Sat 7 Jan Rhythm of the Needles – Joanne Conklin
Sun 8 Jan Knit Purl Gurl – Karrie Steinmetz
Mon 9 Jan CraftSanity – Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood
Tues 10 Jan Planet Purl – Beth Moriarty
Wed 11 Jan Sunset Cat – Stephannie Tallent
Thurs 12 Jan A Really Good Yarn – Julie Schilthuis
Fri 13 Jan knit 1 chicago – Lynn Coe
Sat 14 Jan Go Knit In Your Hat – Carol Sulcoski
Sun 15 Jan Redshirt Knitting – Erika Barcott
Mon 16 Jan In The Loop – Cheryl & Ellen
Tues 17 Jan WEBS – Kathy Elkins
Wed 18 Jan Zeneedle – Margene Smith
Thurs 19 Jan Knitspot – Anne Hanson
Fri 20 Jan Urban Yarns – Alexa Ludeman
Sat 21 Jan A Friend to knit with – Leslie Friend
Mon 23 Jan Tentenknits – Margaux Hufnagel
Tues 24 Jan Fancy Tiger Crafts – Amber Corcoran
Thurs 26 Jan The Panopticon – Franklin Habit
Tbc Chic Knits – Bonne Marie Burns

Lucy sez:

Lucy010212 240x219 Sweet Shawlettes

I’ve always felt that more yarn will do the trick.

Comments

  1. Pam from Kansas says:

    I love to knit cowls and shawls. What fun. count me in.

  2. Book looks wonderful. Love the cowls. Hope you choose me!.

  3. Lovely book that would be right at home at my house.

  4. What a great book! The patterns look like such fun. Thanks for the giveaway – I’d love to win.

  5. This book looks just lovely! And I’m a huge fan of animal prints.

  6. Jennifer Ragan says:

    shawls are kind of my thing. I love them! as useful as sweaters but not as complicated. This book looks so cool.

  7. Heather N says:

    What beautiful shawls~ Happy New Year to you too! 🙂

  8. Lisa Smith says:

    Thanks for the chance to to win!

  9. I’m going to have to read along with the blog tour! And please enter me in your book give-away.
    Beth´s last blog post ..Revamping Underway

  10. I’d love to have this book.
    southparknitter´s last blog post ..Destination Acer, Day 1

  11. Andrea in Tn says:

    that sounds like a very good book to read as well as to knit from!

  12. TooTwistedDonna says:

    I love shawls and shawlettes!!!!

  13. Happy new year Wendy! What a great book to start the year!

  14. I love this book. Please enter me in the give away. Please pick me.

  15. I like the looks of that buttoned cowl, too. Hope I get picked!
    Diane´s last blog post ..Mitting Knittens

  16. Love the book…and interview!

  17. Beautiful book…please enter me in the drawing. Thanks for the interview and Happy New Year.

  18. Jennifer Y says:

    Oooo, yes please!

  19. Any opportunity to win and obtain a new book is a wonderful thing! This book looks very versatile and special! Thanks for the chance to win! Happy New Year Wendy and Lucy!

  20. The title says it all — they are irresistible! Thanks for sharing.

  21. Jean as a note to you, I can not think of anything else I love more than shawlettes and socks. They both offer a challenge and certainly do not take months to knit. If you think of the areas this country has for weather modes, A shawlette is the great piece of clothing to have on hand. In the South, make them of lighter weight yarns for the day and evenings, a DK would be nice. Now for us Minnesotans, we are usually somewhere between 15 and 15 below zero degrees. So on the really cold days wear that heave coat with a heavy little shawlette up near around the neck to put off the windy chills that can go right through you. And talk of fashion, Can you see a really fashionable shawlette on a nice coat. Cool or errr Warm. I would love to win this book more than any others that have come up. I would like to thank those responsible for this chance. Deb from MN COLD Wedy this must feel the same way for you with the Cold Winds freshly off of Lake Michigan.

  22. Alexandra says:

    I cant wait to buy this book..Hope its already available in the bookstore..Its really nice book..Thank you for sharing..
    Alexandra´s last blog post ..Quotes for Remember…

  23. Oh my! I think I would want to knit the whole book! Would really love to get a copy!

    Happy New Year!
    Syd´s last blog post ..Sweet Shawlettes

  24. Pick me!

  25. I love the idea of an entire book about shawls and cowls, my favorite thing to knit. Please enter me to win the “Sweet Shawlettes” book.

  26. Susan from Phoenix says:

    Yay! There are always new and lovely things for each new year of knitting. Thanks for a chance to win!

  27. Oh boy! This book is a must add to my personal library!! Sweet indeed!!!

  28. id love to win..shawlettes are so fun to knit 🙂

  29. Please put me in the drawing!
    Thank you, and Happy New Year!

  30. Looks like an amazing book! I’d love to win one. 🙂

  31. I’m tossing my name in the shawl hat. Hmm, a shawl hat…

  32. I need to make that Kitty caplet! It’s amazing!

  33. Love the Shawlette’s. Perhaps a good name for her next band?

  34. Thanks for the informative interview and the giveaway. I’d love to win a copy.

  35. I would love to win this book.

  36. I love the variety of styles in the book! I think the first ones I would knit are Miss Garricks and Ceilidh. Beautiful!

  37. Tracy Strunk says:

    looks like a really fun book! please enter me in!

  38. Looks like a great book. What a nice way to start the year!

  39. I’d love to win a copy of this book! “Green At Heart” – gorgeous!

    (PS – a belated Happy New Year, and also a belated Happy BIrthday!)

  40. Jean Moss is a fantastic designer. I’m looking forward to checking her new book out.

  41. That would be wonderful! Thanks for the chance. I like the vintage kitty one as well.

    Cheers

  42. This book looks great, and I’d love to win a copy. Cromarty turned out great – the green is a fabulous color – can’t wait to see the next one. Lucy certainly fills out her new toy – cats do the strangest things :).

  43. I like sweet things. I like shawls. I like little shawls. Sounds like this book is up my alley, so to speak. How’s the Henna Hair? You inspired me to henna my hair back when you started. Just checking in on that.

  44. I hope I haven’t already commented. The milage flipped over the 100,000 mark on my brain today.

  45. folksmith says:

    What a beautiful book, Sweet Shawlettes. Would love the chance to win one of your copies. Thanks!

  46. Wow! Lots of comments. I guess I’m not the only one who would like the book.

  47. Looks like a fun book!

  48. thanks for featuring the book. So nice to see small projects. Just up my alley. Think I’ll start something new this week! Thanks for the inspiration.

  49. Jeanette McKinney says:

    great book!

  50. diane tetreault says:

    Lovely– perfect for “selfish” knitting.. many thanks.
    ditetre(at)mac(dot)com
    diane 🙂

  51. would love to have that book!

  52. What a lovely book! I have made several shawlettes and love them. Thank you for sharing.

  53. I would love to win this book and start a new project (s)!

  54. Just my kind of book – it would be “Sweet” to have!

    Thank you

  55. Looks like a fun book – I’ll bite!
    Myriam´s last blog post ..December’s Socks

  56. Lynn Kenny says:

    Am currently knitting your Transverse Shawlette pattern for a friend. What a great pattern! This new book would give me several more ideas for the shawlettes I love to knit and I’d love to win it. Lynn

  57. Maria Neill says:

    OH! Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this give-away….what luscious shawls!!! If you pick me, I will be done with all the gifts for next Christmas! I would make one for each woman in the family, including the very young…the men will receive socks 🙂
    Again, many thanks for the generous offer.
    Maria Neill

  58. Gail Bryant says:

    How perfect. Shawls and shawlettes are my favorite things to knit, next to socks, since I moved to Arizona. They are light and easy. And Jean Moss is wonderful designer. I have knitted many of there designs over the years.

  59. The book inspires New Year’s Knitting Goals. I enjoyed learning about Jean Moss’s evolution into designer recognition. I never realized I subscribed to Lucy’s theory of balance in the universe…but now I recognize it.

  60. I would love to win this one! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  61. I would love this booklet to make a shawlette which will be my next project…

  62. the book looks great! all of the photos are lovely. off to check rav for the rest of the projects!

  63. I especially like the categories for the shawls!

  64. Jane (aka Scarlettcrafty) says:

    The Jean Moss book looks heavenly! please count me as one who would love a copy! And Lucy… her color is just beautiful from any angle. 🙂

  65. Lovely patterns! Liked the interview too. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

  66. I’d love to win the shawlettes book. What an interesting mix of patterns.

  67. Oh my. Kitty got me. Thanks for the opportunity! Happy New Year

  68. dixiestitcher says:

    Pretty Please!!!

  69. Thanks for the reminder about the book giveaway – I’d like to be entered please.

    congrats on a lovely finish and OMG – I can’t imagine doing that complicated cabled pattern in 1 month – you rock !

    Belated happy new year to you and the lovely Lucy
    Mel
    Melody Bryan´s last blog post ..THE SMELL OF PINE

  70. Stephanie Reynolds says:

    Great looking book. Would love to have it!!

  71. Those shawls are so cute!!

  72. NancyN (n2n on ravelry) says:

    Thanks for the chance!
    Nancy (n2n on Rav)

  73. Happy New Year and Happy Birthday! Jean Moss’s book sounds great!

  74. Oh wow! There are some great patterns in this book. Just checked them out on Jean Moss’s site and they’re incredible! Thanks so much for giving us the interview results 😀 and hosting the giveaway. We appreciate the chance to enter! -Peggy aka PickleSoup

  75. Looks like an awesome book. I would love to win. Thanks for the chance

  76. I knitted the Summer Mystery Shawlette and gave it to my daughter for Christmas…thanks for sharing the pattern!

  77. This book is right up my alley. I definitely need a copy!

  78. Enjoyed the interview. Count me in!

  79. My jaw has only just risen back to its usual position: I love that mega-entrelac cover beauty. I want it!
    Thanks for the interesting interview. I’ve mentioned it before, but we seem to be on the same wave length, at least re: knitting. Happy New Year & keep up the good work.

  80. Marylyn Sidle says:

    Looks like a lovely book with a lot of folks hoping to win a copy. Would love to be the one who does!

  81. Leslie Schroeder says:

    There are some great projects in this book. Looks like fun.

  82. This looks like an interesting book. I enjoy your knitting blog and am in awe of how quickly you knit, given that you don’t really have much time for knitting.

  83. This is my first time commenting, but I’ve been following your blog for awhile. 🙂 Thanks for sharing what you do!

    What a fantastic book! I’ll have to see if I can find it locally, if I don’t win it here!

  84. The book is lovely. Your sweater is beautiful with the borders you added. You are so clever. What’s next?

  85. I love the Purple Patch and Kitty patterns!

  86. Oh! This looks like just the perfect book for the shawlette search I am currently conducting for my future DIL!
    Have a wonderful new year!

  87. The book looks quite interesting. My 6 yo niece is now a sucker for shawlettes.
    Emy´s last blog post ..Knitting prep for a baby’s arrival (part 3)

  88. I would love to add this book to my collection. Have already started to think about knitting for next Christmas and cowl and little shawls are in the great scheme of things.

  89. Denise Rodrigue says:

    Lovely website and lovely giveaway. Keeping my fingers crossed. 🙂

  90. That book looks like fine inspiration! Please entry me to win.

  91. Radmeister says:

    The Book is lovely. Happy belated birthday.

  92. Thanks for highlighting this book. It looks like a great book to own. Happy Birthday and Happy New Year!

  93. MMM, I like Kittie. And I like your kitty, too.

  94. beautiful!

  95. Beautiful book and I would love to win it! Thank you, Wendy, for all of your words of wisdom.

  96. Nice book! I would love to win it!!
    SusanB-knits´s last blog post ..WIP Wednesday

  97. This book would be great for my new obsession….cowls! It looks like an awesome book!

  98. Would love the have any book with patterns Jean Moss. Great Interview! Thanks!

  99. I would love a copy! Thank you.

  100. Looks like a great book with more than a few interesting patterns.