Yesterday, I spoke briefly about Sherlock Knits, the new book by Joanna Johnson from Slate Falls Press. The collection of ten patterns in this book are inspired by “the world’s most famous consulting detective.” They include garments and accessories for men and women as well as a tea cozy and tablet cozy.

Sherlock Knits

Each pattern is prefaced by an illustration and a quote from one of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes stories. The photos which display the finished pieces continue to tell that story with a few exceptions. This little bit of detail delights me! (The one exception is the photography for the Copper Beeches Cowl which seems a little out of place to me. I think the difference is that the model appears to be modeling instead of being part of the story.)  As well as being engaging, the photos are very clear and display the knitted pieces well.

Overall, the styling of the book is wonderful. Even the font seems to harken back to another time and place. I had a feeling that if I got a printed copy of the book, I would be overwhelmed by that “old book” smell.

The designs continue in the feel of the styling with patterns which are pretty straightforward. By knitting any one of these patterns, you would get a good feel of how to knit a cardigan or pair of socks or tea cozy. I would not hesitate to recommend that a beginning student pick one of these patterns as a second project to expand his/her knitting horizons (with the exception of the Scotland Yard Vest and the Mycroft & Moriarty Casebook Cover).

I do wish that the charts were closer to the first page of the patterns. For example, in the Socks for Mary, I have to scroll to the final page of the pattern to find the chart. Once I finish with the leg, I’ll have to scroll back and skim through the written instructions for the lace pattern to find my place again before moving on to the heel and foot. Some people may find the schematics for the garments a little skimpy with their information as well. However, since the pieces are so simply formed, I don’t mind that lack of extensive detail.

One of my favorite things about the garment patterns is that they are plain and built for very tubular men which means that they have a lovely big blank space for shaping if a lady wishes to knit one of these pieces for herself. Currently, Joanna is doing this as she holds a knitalong for the Scotland Yard Vest, a houndstooth patterned stranded colorwork vest. She’s even created instructions for that shaping with the colorwork (which is tricky!) in her Ravelry group.

Currently, I am working on the Socks for Mary but if I’d not wanted to learn how to design a top-down sweater, I would have knitted up the Sweater for John for myself.

Hmmmm…. I think I see a theme in my pattern choices.

Joanna gifted me with this review copy of Sherlock Knits, but the entire book is a pretty good deal at a price of $10 for the electronic version (available on Ravelry) or $12.95 for the hard copy. (If you are keeping score, that means $1-$1.30 per pattern.) You can find links to purchase both versions here.

If you get the hard copy, let me know if that old book smell permeates your mailbox.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue working the Socks for Mary. I’ve gotten all the way through one repeat of the lace pattern.

Beginning of the Socks for Mary

Notice my new needle nook? How could I resist?