Two things are happening on this here blog today that aren't normal. Firstly we are talking penguins because Anna Maltz has written a knitting book about penguins! And secondly, and for once, I have the slightest conflict of interest :)! And that is that I've met Anna and think she is magic, so I am possibly slightly biased, but in a good way. Meeting her made me appreciate her work more as I got to put her amazing work in context and talk knitting philosophy, which you all know I love.
But that isn't why I love this book or why I'm telling you about it. This book stands on it's own two feet as one of the most interesting and innovative knitting books I've seen in a long while. Because it isn't just a knitting book. It is a book that has context and stories and information and lovely illustrations .... as well as beautiful patterns, joyful photos and really interesting (new!) knitting techniques.
Some of you may know Anna from Instagram (@sweaterspotter) and I've featured some of her magic on this here website before in our I Made This series where she talks about her amazing dress. She is an artist and a writer and a knitwear designer. She is interested and interesting; I love that in a human.. She makes patterns that look uniquely like her patterns. That is a quality shared by only a handful of other designers I can think of*. How Anna combines stitch patterns and techniques in new and interesting ways that mean the projects in this book have me looking, and looking again.
One of the things I love about this book - as a seasoned and experienced knitter - is that Anna comes up with her own ways of doing things that keep it interesting. Interesting ways of creating and knitting that lead to beautiful results and fun, like Marlisle, a new technique she introduces in a pattern in the book. She says it best in her quote below, that comes from a great interview she did with Tom of Holland on his blog.
I think the first thing I am going to attempt is the shawl. I love the Rockhopper shawl. Clever construction, and with more subtle colour blocking, it will be right up my alley. Perfect on-the-go school concert knitting or school holiday park visiting knitting. Interesting and boring (in the way only garter stitch can be), at the same time.
Except that maybe I may have to first make a penguin. My kid's have been totally obsessed with this book, with a good but very simple reason. And that is Pinglewin. He is an all white bird with his own black onesie that goes over the top, and makes him into a Penguin. Ingenious. So ingenious that even my oldest says he needs one for his birthday.
Sadly for me they all want their own version. I don't do soft toys very often but when they beg you with their big hopeful eyes ....well I'm a sucker for the eyes. Three penguins it is.
If I've sparked your interest then you can buy it direct from Anna here and you can see the projects on Ravelry here. Penguins is a real knitter's book for knitters who love something new, and really who doesn't love a penguin?