….I knitted Bella by Lene Holme Samsøe, from her book Essentially Feminine Knits -25 Must have Chic Designs.
The original pattern calls for Hjertegarn Alpaca Silk but I made a substitution for something I had in my stash.
The yarn I used, is Shilasdair Luxury 4ply Highland Inspirations. A cashmere, baby camel, angora and merino blend. Lovely to work with and when you wash and block it the characteristics of the fibre blend comes out and the fabric blooms gently.
At first I wasn’t sure about the reverse stocking stitch of the body (reverse stocking stitch not being one of my favourites) but I really didn’t want to loose that effect of the lines coming down from the yoke and continuing into the body. The yoke pattern would have been disjointed from the body which ever way I thought of working it.
Once knitted however, I am pleased that I just trusted the pattern and knitted it as written. Lene’s designs are well thought out and the flow between the yoke and body work perfectly.
I find Lene’s patterns engaging and enjoyable to knit. The designs in this book are all pretty timeless. Let’s face it after putting a great deal of effort into knitting something, it’s a little disappointing for it to loose its appeal and look dated.
The book contains a good mix of warmer weather knitting such as this design and heavier weight cable and garter stitch garments for colder weather along with a few accessories.
Given the time, I would love to knit almost all the designs from Lene’s book, something that you can’t always say about knitting books. I find it unusual to want to knit more than a few patterns from most books, some less – but perhaps I’m picky.
The designs use yarns from companies such as the Hjertegarn, Sandnes Garn, BC Garn, Rowan and Marianne Isager. If you cannot get hold of these where you are, the weight and yardage information is at the back of the book so you can substitute if you want to.
Some of these yarns are easily available in the U.K, Isager yarn is available from Loops knitting shop, SKD yarn stock Sandnes Garn and you will find BC Garn at Love Knitting.com. The only yarn I could not track down in this country was the Hjertegarn.
I recently had a bit of a sort out of my knitting books and sold off some that I have never used or couldn’t see myself knitting anything else from. Essentially Feminine Knits is one book that I will be using again.
This short-sleeve vest will be winging its way to someone soon.