On the shelf - Take Heart by Fiona Alice

Readers of this blog will know how much I love getting cool things in the mail. My Christmas treat to myself was to renew my annual subscription of Pom Pom Quarterly, but I couldn't stop there when I found out the ladies behind the magazine have delved into publishing books. 

I first heard about Fiona Alice when I saw her name next to mine on Pom Pom Quarterly's website, in the contributor list for issue seven in winter 2013. In this issue, Fiona wrote about her design process for a very lovely cabled beanie pattern, called Take Heart. Two years later, Fiona has created a beautiful collection of accessories, naming the collection after the original pattern, and this is the first book published by Pom Pom Press.

Fiona's accessories are inspired by her home in Canada and time spent in the UK. She uses yarn from both countries, and each design is inspired by a special place in either country.

As someone from one side of the world but currently at home in another, I can easily relate to the importance of place and how these influence ideas and designs. Also, what I love about this book is the styling - a lot of the photos were taken on the Welsh coast. As I grew up quite close to the coast in Wales, the landscapes in this book remind me of home and time spent on slightly rugged beaches.

As for the designs themselves, they are lovely. The collection is well rounded with varying degrees of difficulty. There is something in here for beginners and advance knitters, with a good variety of techniques from cables to slip stitch patterns.

I want to knit a lot of what I've seen in this gorgeous book. The Queensland Beach headband on the front cover is enough to make me want to grow out my pixie hair to wear it. And the Pennard Castle leg warmers - love! If only it wasn't summer here right now!

If you're after a Christmas treat for yourself, I'd recommend getting this beauty. Great photos, cool designs and insights about Fiona's experiences of designing and getting inspiration for each piece.


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