Knitterly Inspiration: Hitch

Alicia Tam and Mitts

Following my recent obsession with patterns from the Unofficial HP Knits book, you may not be surprised to hear that I have got over my phobia of “themed” knitting books.
Too often in the past, they have seemed horribly contrived and irrelevant to me.
Consider how many vampire-themed knitting patterns you have come across… and how often they are for quite unexciting fingerless mitts.
Why do vampires wear fingerless mitts anyway?
The Unofficial HP contains patterns from some stellar designers at the top of their game. The HP-ness is neither here nor there, in my opinion.

Constance shawl

So when I saw the Yarnivore reviewing a new Cooperative Press book “Hitch“, I curbed my instinct to fast-forward, and listened to what she had to say. And – oooh!! I am so glad I did!
I managed to hold out for almost 48 hours before I bought the pdf version of the book.
I almost broke the printer making my copy, because I just can’t give a book proper attention on my laptop screen, and I certainly can’t knit from it. Not for the first time I thought I might be in the market for some kind of e-reader device…

Melanie shawl

But back to Hitch. I am not a particular fan of Alfie (Hitchcock) especially after watching a very creepy documentary about his.. ahem… behavioural issues.  But I admit to enjoying the atmosphere of many of his films, and it is that which comes through in many of these patterns.  Ooh WOW – this is an intriguing collection of vaguely-vintage-inspired knits!
There are 29 patterns in the book, for £10.88 (at today’s exchange rate – it is priced in dollars) which is remarkable value.
“Only if you plan to knit them!” I hear you shout. Well, I do.
You won’t be surprised to hear that I love the Rachel Coopey sock pattern, Wendice (not yet on Ravelry) but I am also besotted with the other sock pattern for some knee-highs with lovely geometric lace and a contrasting rib:  Tippi Toes.

Tippi Toes

Then there are some dashing striped fingerless Stella gloves (ok, ok, I admit it, I DO like fingerless mitts!) which Sadie (Yarnivore) picked out for herself – and she’s right! These would be so striking in black and lime green!

Stella gloves

Oh so many funky accessories!

But there are also full-sized garments in here. Cute cardigans. Neat sweaters. I dare you to look for yourself. Be warned – you may end up pressing “Buy it Now”!
What it took me a while to realise, even though it is blindingly obvious, is that the whole collection is presented in cinematic (dare I say “noir”?) shades of  grey and red.  How clever!
So when Christine and I took a trip out to Oyne the other day, I was on a mission to purchase some Alba Yarn (spun by JC Rennie, and which I used to knit Betty Jean McNeil, Audrey-in-Unst and Bettie’s Pullover) in two shades of grey, and perhaps a pink or red, to knit the Alicia set (mitts and a beret, at the top of this post).
Alas!  Alba Yarn is no more!  But the new owner of the shop formerly known as The Wool Shed stocks a smattering of JC Rennie yarns and I was able to pick up a ball each of Oxford (a deep clerical grey) and Silver Grey (much lighter, almost an off-white) in the Supersoft Lambswool.
At the time, I resigned myself to knitting the Souvenir of a Killing beret which only requires two colours.

Souvenir of a Killing

But the Alicia set continued to haunt me… and so it was that I discovered Wee County Yarns and their sets of 5 x 10g mini-balls of JC Rennie wool for £5.
Be still, my beating heart!
Klaxon klaxon klaxon!!!
“Houston, we have a problem…!”
 Dear.  Sweet.  Heaven.
The prospect of assembling a palette of my favourite Scottish yarn without blowing the budget was just too much for me.

Lismore mini-balls

I made the “sensible” purchase of a set of Lismore (shades of pinky red, grey and cream) for Alicia.
But I also succumbed to some investment purchases.
I might show you when they arrive ;)
So much for stash-busting!