And West is West – Stephen West, that is. Don’t know what you may have heard about this talented 22 year old designer, but I find his take on the humble shawl new, simple and fresh. How someone came fashion stockinette, garter stitch and geometry into flattering shape and movement is beyond me. A bit of hyperbole? Maybe. There is, however, no denying the modern beauty of his designs.
One of West’s first designs, the Boneyard Shawl, was my first of his knits as well. Of course, I had to wear it to his recent book signing and trunk show at Chicago’s Loopy Yarns. Lanky, unassuming and a bit shy, West seemed grateful for the welcome home after spending the past few months in Amsterdam. Somehow between studying dance, he published two collections of designs. The first book focuses on shawls and scarves, while book two branches into hats and mitts. I do love a trunk show because you can touch the fabric and see how the choices of color impact the design. You know where I’m going with this. It also tempts you to a) buy the patterns and b) buy the yarn to make them.
Fortunately, my yarn stash is deep so the problem of yarn-to-knits ratio is moot. I did gave in to Book One but just so you know, the patterns can also be purchased individually, either through WestKnits or directly through Ravelry.
These three will make it into my Ravelry queue sometime this year: Akimbo, Daybreak and Pogona. If you like Daybreak or Akimbo, be aware that they were among West’s first design releases and are therefore NOT included in either of his book collections.
There are still one or two things I want to make before any one of these hit the needles. February may be nearing an end but we’re still subject to wet and cold in Chicago.