Giveaway & Book Review: The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet vol II, by Hunter Hammersen

I’m a little embarrassed at how behind I am when it comes to blogging, especially book reviews. One of the books that has been patiently waiting for review finally gets its due today: introducing The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet Volume II, by Hunter Hammersen (Pantsville Press 2013). I loved Hunter’s first Curiosity Cabinet book  and I was excited to hear there would be a foll0w-up. Even better, Hunter asked if she could use some Black Bunny Fibers yarn for a project in the book. That means I was fated to love this book for a lot of reasons.

hunter cover 2

Curiosity Cabinet vol. 2 is, like its predecessor, a handsome paperback book chock-full of beautiful photos. In her previous book, Hunter explained how a Victorian curiosity cabinet was “a collection of wonderful objects brought together to inspire, delight, and inform.” Instead of collecting shells or leaves, though, Hunter “collects” knitted motifs and turns them into gorgeous patterns. The unifying theme for Curiosity Cabinet vol. 2 is vintage butterfly prints which are reproduced alongside the patterns in the book. It’s fun to see how Hunter uses the prints as a jumping-off point.

As I said before, all of the patterns in Curiosity Cabinet vol 2 are for accessories, and they are presented in pairs, with both items inspired by the same vintage print. For example, the first pair of patterns in the book were inspired by a print of a butterfly called Vanessa Antiopa. The curved sections of the butterfly’s wings are echoed in the swirling lines of the Vanessa Antiopa sock,

vanessa socks

while the rich purple color of the wings shows up in the handpainted yarn used for the Vanessa Antiopa cowl.

vanessa cowl

A soft blue species called Polyommatus Argiolus inspires a sock with a columnar lace pattern

hunter poly sock

as well as clever mitts made of a long strip, artfully wrapped and joined.

poly mitts

My favorite pair is obviously the Lycaena Virgaureae; the orange butterfly inspired this lovely shawl, knit in BBF Devon yarn:

hunter ly shawl

as well as socks that echo the dropped stitch with added cables (knit in BBF  BFL Luxe sock yarn):

hunter lyc socks

There are a total of 18 patterns in the book: half are sock patterns, and the other 9 include three hats, three cuffs (i.e., mitts), two cowls and the shawl. Other standouts are the Metopsilus Procellus Cowl;

metro cowl

the Danima Banskiae Sock;

hunter danima

the oh-so-cuddly Erasmia Pulchella Hat, knit in baby alpaca;

hunter erasmia hat

and the Delieas Eucharis Sock.

hunter delia

Things I especially like about the book in addition to the patterns: lots of beautiful, clear and well-lit photos of projects from multiple angles; large charts (no squinting required to see these babies); the abundant use of handpainted yarns; socks that come in multiple sizes (as many as four per pattern, including to fit size 10.5-inch feet — yay for accommodating larger-sized feet!); high quality paper and color; nice layouts.

hunter poly hat

You can order the print book from Amazon for $20. 82 as of the time of this writing (link is here), or go to Hunter’s site (link at the top of the post) to buy direct, or even download individual patterns or the entire collection via Ravelry (PDF of the entire collection is priced at $18.95 — just a smidge over a dollar a pattern).

So if you are a fan of handpainted yarns, especially those luscious semisolids; if you love accessory knitting; if you like to play with different cable and lace motifs; or if you love butterflies, then I’d suggest you check out this book posthaste.

Good news: Hunter was kind enough to provide us with a copy of the printed book for a giveaway. So leave a comment to this post telling me which pattern is your favorite, and make sure you include a way for me to get in touch with you — if I can’t find you, I’ll have to pick another winner (Ravelry name or email is fine). Leave your comments by Friday, October 11th at midnight and I’ll pick a winner.

Photographs copyright 2013 by Hunter Hammersen, used for review purposes and with permission.

Don’t forget:

There’s still another week or so to enter the gigantic Summer Search raffle! For every five dollars you donate directly to Summer Search Philadelphia, you’ll get one chance to win some of the amazing prizes donated by wonderful fiber folk. Details are here.


21 Thoughts

  1. Jill says:

    Gorgeous! I would love to have a copy of her new book! at this moment my two favorites are: Vanessa Antiopa cowl and Delieas Eucharis Sock….but that could change because they are all beautiful!

  2. Tracy says:

    My favourite is the Metopsilus Procellus Cowl (not sure if I’ve spelt it right!). Stunning book.

  3. Anne says:

    Of the patterns you posted out of this book, I like Vanessa Antiopa the best. I loved all of them, though!

  4. Anne Marie says:

    the Delieas Eucharis socks are amazing. Rav amchart

  5. chris says:

    oh, how I love those Vanessa Antiopa socks and the blue mitts; I’m drooling….would love to have a copy of this book. thank you

  6. Laura says:

    It was hard to decide but I really love the Metopsilus porcellus sock.

  7. Andrea says:

    The Antiopa socks intrigue me – make me think art deco alcbrooks on Ravelry

  8. philhellene says:

    Polyommatus! I’ve never seen a hat like that before, it is gorgeous.

  9. aliceq says:

    I am intrigued by the Danima Banskiae Socks. I’m not sure exactly why, but the stitch pattern draws me in.

  10. Marilyn says:

    There are some truly beautiful designs here! I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the opportunity. M.

  11. Toni says:

    I love the hat in the last picture! And I have so many skeins of handpainted yarn already…

  12. Lynn says:

    It is almost too hard to choose!! They are all so beautiful! I love to make socks, but I think I would start with the gorgeous Metopsilus Procellus Cowl!!

  13. Josiane says:

    I love the Lycaena Virgaureae shawl – I love the use of dropped stitches and cables, as well as how the handpainted yarn underlines the chevrons in the upper motif; I also really like how the lower motif complements the upper one. It’s also relatively rare to see the motifs oriented in that way on a stole; I really like it too. In short: unusual and gorgeous!

  14. Ulrika Reinholdsson says:

    I’m totally in love with the Vanessa Antiopa socks! Love the simple but vey elegant design!

  15. Lisa says:

    Ooooooooh, those Delieas Eucharis socks are gorgeous! And it’s hard to pass up a cool shawl like that one!

    SpingirlSpins on Rav.

  16. Elaine in NYC says:

    I love the orange shawl, but if I were going to knit something right now, I’d do the Delieas Eucharis socks.

    Another photo of beautiful Boris, soon, please?

  17. Diane says:

    Lycaena Virgaureae is a beauty and my favorite.

  18. Karen says:

    I love the mitts pictured in blue. Second favorite would be the butterfly wrap.

    Tinkarenknit on Rav

  19. Judy11 says:

    So many beautiful choices. But instant reaction to Delieas Eucharis was,’ooh I’d love a pair of those sox.’ So that is my first choice.

    Judy11 on Rav

  20. Sheila says:

    So many lovely patterns in this book… My favorite is the Lycaena virgaureae socks.

    SheilaOKeefe on Rav

  21. Debra says:

    Love the patterns, would love the book. Particularly the Delieas Eucharis Sock and the green hat (name?) Thank you for the giveaway.

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