Haze by Kim Hargreaves. RRP £19.25 Our Price £17.35
click on book cover to see full design range and ordering details
A new Kim Hargreaves title is always welcome. Over the years she has established a reputation for designing very wearable modern classics imbued with styling which gives a real couture feel to each item, in fact Kim garments always remind me of the subtle refinement of eighties designers like Marian Foale. The pieces are pretty well all gorgeous but their understated glamour means that you wear them and not vice versa.
This summer collection takes you from beaches at sun-up, through tourist days, to walk home barefoot from the bar nights in yarns which vary from a whisper to wind-cheater. The shades are soft and understated from the palest of the pale through pinks and blues to moody night navies and blacks, and because Kim carefully designs for a whole range of knitting talents there are stunning projects for the novice as well as challenges for the craft knitter. This collection includes cross season sweaters, skimpy but elegant little tops, and modestly covered up but still stylish daytime wear which will make you feel confident whatever country you are in. We have many customers who collect all of Kim Hargreaves titles just because of their sense of timeless modernity without letting fashion trends date them after the 'season' ends.
With 21 designs you'll have to go to the website to see them all, but we are showing a selection below grouped as simple, intermediate and challenging knits to give you a taste, and will point out any particular styling features.
The book has just arrived, you'll find it in our New In section and of course the Kim Hargreaves section. Our price is 10% below RRP as for all our titles (20% below for yarn). So while it may seem a little pricey compared to some design books think of it as investment dressing on the page because you will still be dipping into it many years down the road. And Kim has added some fabulous crochet garments as well to prove that this underrated and easy to acquire skill has many other manifestations beyond boho chic and granny squares.
Lila (above left) is nearly all straight lines and stocking stitch, a big roomy jacket with just a bit of ribbing in the framing to give you a break from knit one row, purl the next. What gives it that extra special something is the yarn choice, a strand each of Kidsilk Haze and Softyak DK both luxurious to the touch and very easy on the eye. Wistful (above right) offers the novice knitter the slightly greater challenge of raglan rather than dropped shoulder-line shaping, thus creating a beautiful fit, but is again predominantly simple stocking stitch and the tiny crochet edgings can easily be replaced with a moss stitch or picot knitted framing if preferred. In Summerlite 4-ply used double throughout it is a go anywhere, dress up or down cotton summer top for any time of day or night.
Glimpse (above left) is a slightly more challenging knit for someone really confident with the basics and ready for something more. This elegant summer cardigan/jacket features garter stitch framing, a tunic style hem and bracelet length sleeves. A subtle peplum with a horizontal eyelet stripe gives way to a mesh style openwork stitch for the body and sleeves, pretty and summery without too much exposure and letting you focus on the shaped armholes and sleeveheads which create a lovely fit at the shoulder. Shown in Summerlite DK shade Silvery Blue. On the right Siran is a sohisticated little top with ribbing to emphasise your waist, a classic chevron stripe to the bust line and a vertical openwork stripe for the yoke and short sleeves. Very chic and South of France, and shown in Summerlite DK shades Black and Pink Powder, a one colour version is easily knitted as well. My favourite thing about this little summer top is how sharp it would look with a smart office skirt, but equally would suit skinny capri pants and high heels for dancing the night away at an upmarket club.
You'll need your wits and your cable needles about you for these two classic pieces, Amara is a summer sweater with openwork lattice to let it breathe and cables to keep out the chill, perfect for early mornings, cool evenings and oh yes, British summers. Exhale is a body conscious cardigan with cables which follow your curves, bracelet length sleeves and a real touch of chic which makes it perfect for dressing up jeans or a long skirt whilst in the evenings it does perfect classy double duty as the perfect little jacket to pop over that outrageous little cocktain frock! Amara is knitted in cool Rowan Creative Linen in shade Stormy, whereas the sculpted cables of Exhale are in the soft sheen of Rowan Cotton Glace in Black.
August (above) is a really jaunty and really simply made crochet top with knitted framing. The striping is subtle and in shades which mean it can be combined with classic navy or white, while the khaki tones would marry well with linen shades. The cutaway armholes set off a tan while the straps are wide enough to wear a proper bra if you are not a fashionable stick insect shape. In shades of Summerlite DK and Handknit DK it is very cool, in every sense of the word. July (above right) is a gorgeous and revealing crochet skirt with bold lacy openwork stitches and eye catching eyelet lacing from waist to hip bone level on both sides. It would even be simple to make into a full length skirt. High drama and sophistication meet here, in black Hk-outandknit DK, and if you don't fancy flashing quite so much leg try opaque black tights or a waist slip!
So there we have it. If you like elegant and sophisticated and chic for both work and leisure time this book is a worthwhile investment whatever your level of expertise, and I love the fact that simple, intermediate and challenging knits are equally well represented in the generous 21 designs. Enjoy. And once you have look at the other Kim Hargreaves titles on the website, they are knock-out bubt in the best possible taste!