Born and Bred is a book of nine beautiful designs, all showcasing British wool with an emphasis on Yorkshire breeds, produced by Verity Britton of Baa Ram Ewe, who photographed the projects and did the layout, and Ann Kingstone, who created these stunning patterns.
The book starts with Verity and Ann sharing a little insight on what's inspired them to produce Born and Bred, talking about the Yorkshire breeds and Ann's passion for all things Yorkshire and how it served as a great source of inspiration for the designs. But what's caught my eye most, was the first line of Ann's intro where she says:
"As a Yorkshire lass, born and bred, I love all things Yorkshire. So when Verity suggested that we should produce a Yorkshire-themed knitting book, I was instantly enthused. Design ideas flowed! ..... Yorkshire’s wool story is a great history, and I am very proud that it is my history."
And to me, this conveys the idea of the book perfectly, I admire how living and working in Yorkshire they both choose to promote its heritage, beautiful yarns and showcase its history through beautiful design elements. This love shines through Ann's work continually, from a Yorkshire rose in her company's logo to little design elements she embodies into her creations and of course all the pattern names continue the connection. I love that!
All pattern intros are talking about the wool and the sheep it comes from (pictures of the gorgeous animals included), describing how the yarn behaves when knitted up. Knowing how much thought goes into finding just the right yarn for each design, I really appreciate that Ann wants the knitters to make an informed choice when they are substituting the yarn that's based not only on weight and fibre composition but yarn's nature too. Very helpful for those knitter who don't have an easy access to Yorkshire breed yarns.
Diving into the book, you'll see that there are two children's patterns in it and naturally I wanted to talk to Ann about those designs.
Reseberry is a little girls' hooded jacket with cables on its front.
KF I adore some of Roseberry's little details, how its cable pattern echoed in I-cord piping, for example, and those adorable toggles!
AK Thank you!
KF You used closed cables that just pop on the purl ground forming a perfectly braided knot in quite a few designs in the book. Do you have any tips on working them?
AK I wasn't happy with the appearance of any of the methods I have seen for starting these kind of cables, so I swatched a lot to create the method I use in Roseberry and Hild. It's fairly simple in the end:
Round 1: knit 2 sts in the sea of reverse st-st.
Round 2: knit into the purl bumps behind the 2 knit sts.
Round 3: work a purled m1 increase before and after the 4 knit sts.
Round 4: work to 2 sts before the first m1 increase, put 2 sts on cable needle and hold in back, k2, then p2 from cable needle, then cable four forward, put next 2 sts on the cable needle and hold in back, p2, then k2 from cable needle.
And that begins it! Of course, as a perfectionist I then spend a few moments easing up any slack into neighbouring sts... ;o)
KF The second children's pattern in the book is Little Tyke; a boys' waistcoat with its back and the front worked in two different versions of diamond colour-work while the number of stitches in their repeats are kept the same. I'd love to hear the story behind the pattern.
AK It was inspired by traditional Yorkshire Dales gloves, which have different patterns on the palm and back of the hand. I wanted to use that idea in a garment, and following Verity's suggestion we made that garment a boy's tank top. I especially love the stitch pattern on the back which I copied from photos of an antique Yorkshire glove that Penelope Hemingway kindly shared with me from her forthcoming book. It's a version of 'midge n fly' which has the crosses collected into diamonds. I love it!
KF Using different patterns for back and front was on my mind a lot recently and I am thrilled with the amount of options your pattern can offer - the obvious one of working the whole vest in the same pattern for a more traditional look, or for those who feel confident with their colour technique working the pattern in quarters and alternating them in both front and back! I can see why you like it, it's a gorgeous pattern and that border is so cute!
AK Did you know 'Tyke' is slang for somebody from Yorkshire? I loved playing with that in the bottom border! :D
Ann was very kind to offer a book giveaway to go with the review! If you would like a print copy all to yourself, let us know which design from Born and Bred is your favourite together with your Ravelry ID or an email address and the winner will be chosen on Saturday, 23 March!
ETA thank you so much and good luck to everyone who entered. The comments are now closed. The winner will be announced soon.