Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Capitol Knits ~ Review and Giveaway!

Edited to add on Feb. 23rd: The giveaway is closed and entries are no longer being taken! Thanks to everyone who entered.

Hi Knitters,
I am happy to be able to share a book review and giveaway opportunity with you today. I was surprised recently to see a project or two by Tanis Gray pop onto the Top 20 patterns on Ravelry. I knew she had just published Knit Local through Sixth & Spring but I didn't know she had another self-published book in the works, Capitol Knits. I quickly starting looking around for more information.

The book is all Tanis and all Washington, D.C., which is a great combination.
Click here for Tanis' website! Be sure to click on "Covers" on the top menu bar to see all of Tanis' covers from books and magazines, very impressive! I bet you'll recognize a few.
Click here to see all of the projects in Capitol Knits!
Click here to see Tanis' book on Amazon!

The book is thoughtful and informative not only about how to knit the projects but with facts about D.C.'s urban forest, various locations and history, and about taking inspiration from the environment and history around you. Capitol Knits is a salute to Washington, D.C. in a sweet and honorable way. All in all, I find this a charming and enticing small publication.

Tanis Gray  has been a long-time favorite of mine in the knitting world. She has worked in various careers but I first came to know her as an editor for Vogue Knitting and their other magazine publications. She is a smart, clever and super talented designer. She produces knit garments and accessories at lightning quick speed. Her patterns are always interesting, tasteful, and fun.

Here are some of my favorites from Capitol Knits, including the cover shot above which is the Capitol Shawl. There are 12 projects in the book including mitts, hats, a scarf, shawls, and cardigans.

The Union Station Infinity Cowl is a gorgeous understated colorwork project made in Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter. I love this project and the yarn, a winning combination.

I have the yarn set to go to whip up this Library of Congress Hat that is made in Madelinetosh Chunky. I love the twists and turns in this one, such movement. This will be a fast and fun knit.

I love this cable and lace cardigan called, The Lincoln Cardigan. The sample is made in Red Barn Yarn Plied Worsted. This would be a well-loved garment in my wardrobe. I see making one of these in my future.

I love a good scarf and this is a good one. I love the colors, the stripes in different directions and the lace border that pulls it all together. The Constitution Hall Scarf is made in Viola Silky DK.

I think this little shawlette, The National Gallery Shawl, is incredibly sweet. There are two versions shown in the book. The shawl above is made in Knit Collage Stargazer Silk & Sequins (see the sparkle?) and the other is made in KFI Lustrous Extrafine Merino DK.

One thing you can be certain of is that as a former yarn editor for Vogue, Tanis has selected the best yarns to suit each of her designs. This woman has had an incredible access to every yarn available under the sun for years. She knows her stuff. I love to see which yarns she has paired with the projects.

I am so excited to offer you a chance to win a signed copy of Capitol Knits! Please leave one comment on this blog post. Please include your email or your Ravelry ID so I can easily get in touch if you win. I will then collect your mailing address to pass on to Tanis so she can send you your book!

I pulled out this 2007 photo of the first time I met Tanis when I was on a book tour for Itty-Bitty Nursery. This photo was taken (by Jaime Harder Caldwell, my former publicist) at the Vogue offices in NYC (from left to right, Faith Hale, Tanis Gray and yours truly). We are holding the knit tea set from my book. They were both so fun and down to earth. I felt an instant connection with Tanis from that point on. She is an honest, funny, no-nonsense kind of person plus she is a genius knitter. I like all of that about her. We have stayed in touch through different venues ever since.

If you like this book and you don't win I recommend picking up your own copy. I want to make every project in this book and that doesn't happen often.

Tanis recently had a book signing/trunk show at Fibre Space in VA. Click here to see their review of Capitol Knits!
Also, check out this class Tanis is teaching (she's a fantastic instructor) at Fibre Space this Sunday:

Fair Isle Design and Tricks with Tanis Gray

Sunday, February 26, 3 to 6 p.m.

If you’re looking to take your Fair Isle knitting to the next level, this is the class for you! Whether you want to combination knit, learn to color knit with both yarns in one hand Continental or English style, or knit without tangling your yarn, all levels are welcome. We’ll also design our own mittens and begin using techniques we learn in class as well as cover the history of Fair Isle knitting.  Many people dislike Fair Isle because they don’t know the tricks…you’ll be addicted after taking this class.
Take care and good luck! Let the comments begin!
best, susie