I have had the great pleasure of knitting a few of the Alana Dakos’ patterns over the last few years. When I started writing this & looked over my Ravelry projects, I realized a couple are not uploaded yet uploaded onto Ravelry. I thought I was mostly caught up… apparently, cataloging projects is the job that will never end. Can I make a list of the patterns I’ve knit? Just for fun? Why not?
Cedar Leaf Shawlette (I knit this one twice)
Cloudy Day, the Wildflower Cardigan (not to mention the Wee Wildflower for my wee daughter), and the Sand & Sea Shawlette have been on my ‘must-knit’ list for far too long. Despite having patterns from the wonderful Coastal Knits collection as well as stand alone patterns waiting in the wings, when Alana Dakos’ Botanical Knits became available for pre-order months ago and I must admit that I ordered it almost immediately. Adding another of Dakos’ timeless collections to my library was simply too good to pass up.
Like artists, knitwear designers who get ‘big’ tend to have something they do really well. It’s like their signature. With Dakos, it is definitely botanical themes — leaves, flowers, & trees are ever-present in her designs. Obviously, since the book is called ‘Botanical Knits‘ the latest collection continues along this trend. It’s undisputed that the art of her designs is lovely, but what’s almost more important is that she has a talent for making these intricate designs knit-able. Gifted in writing incredibly clear charts, keys, and written instructions, I consider her one of the most skilled pattern writers around. Somehow Alana Dakos always knows how to be crystal clear without using too many words. She gives her knitters exactly what they need to knit her patterns easily with not one character extra. It not only makes knitting these patterns a breeze for seasoned knitters, it makes them accessible to more novice types, too. No designer that I’ve come across takes patterns this complex and writes them this clearly. No one.
While I received the eBook when I placed my pre-order months ago, I didn’t focus much on it until the book arrived in the mail a week or so ago. As I peruse the pages of this beautifully book, more than a few designs catch my eye and are mentally added to that ‘must-knit’ list (fyi — if it isn’t apparent, this list is really long, but everything on it is spectacular). The Twin Leaf Loop has that handspun alpaca written all over it. How do you not just love the Oak Trail cloche? I don’t think it’s possible to not love it. Entangled Vines is a cardigan that has my name written all over it — you can see it, too, right? — so I simply will have to knit that. And then there is the Forest Floor hat for which I am attempting to hone some new spinning skills, hoping to creating my own single for it. It will take me time to get there, but I think we all need to reach for the stars sometimes. Reach for the stars, by way of the leaves, flowers, & trees — now that is something I can relate to and Alana Dakos knows just how to inspire that kind of creativity.