This week brought the release of Hunter Hammersen's newest book, The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet: Volume III. This final book in her a series inspired by curiosity cabinets, eclectic collections of natural objects which were popular with rich and powerful men in the 1400s. Her books take inspiration from these elaborate displays and apply it to the art of knitting. The designs she has produced as a result of her research are brimming with natural history, and she describes the history behind the designs great detail. A beautiful story that you might not otherwise ever encounter.
Shown here, Bunodes Crassicornis Sock in Malabrigo Arroyo, color English Rose
In her introduction, she has this to say about her writing journey:
We did it. I've known from the moment the idea for these books occurred to me that there needed to be three of them. Thanks to you and your support for this unlikely endeavor of mine, now there are. I really am tremendously in your debt. Can you imagine if I'd gone to a publisher and said “so, I want to write a book of knitting patterns inspired by this nifty (if somewhat peculiar) moment in the history of science. There will be pictures of plants and bugs and sea life involved. Oh and by the way, the names of the patterns will all be in Latin and will pose some alarming pronunciation difficulties. And did I mention that there actually need to be three books, not one?” I can't imagine that conversation would have ended well. But that's just what I wanted to do, and, with your help, it's just what I have done.
So now, my own knitter's curiosity cabinet (one full of beautiful stitches instead of natural wonders) is complete – or at least as complete as any collection can be. I hope you'll find something here worth adding to your own collection.
Padina Pavonia Sock in Dream in Color's Everlasting Sock, color Bitter
I love to know the details behind someone's artistry. It makes the enjoyment of a book, yarn, or craft so much more complete. And I adore that the detail included in this volume makes me want to knit every pattern. In order. Now.
Padina Pavonia Mitt in Dream in Color's Smooshy, color 450 Pansy Golightly
I'd love for you to experience this book as I have, browse through each page and enjoy the journey of natural history and fiber. So Hunter is offering a free ebook to three lucky winners. All you have to do is tell me which of the patterns shown above/below you would choose to knit first (there are many more in the book), and perhaps also inspire us with a yarn and color you might choose. Leave your one comment by noon EST on Thursday, June 26. I'll randomly choose three winners and Hunter will get the winner's their copy.
Pelagia Noctiluca in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Satsuma
I can't effectivly express how much I'm enjoying this book. Right now, I have just the ebook copy, but as soon as the paper copies are shipped out (I bought the physical + electronic version), I plan on sitting on my white-railed front porch, with the clip-clop of the Amish buggies going by, and flip through the pages slowly and deliberatly. I'm pretty sure there will be an iced tea involved. And it may, or may not, be spiked with something special. Why not join me in this treat?
All photos used with permission of Hunter Hammersen/Pantsville Press.