In the most recent issue of Simply Knitting, I happened across an advert for an attractive long waistcoat in a rust coloured yarn that advertised itself as being from the Quintessential DK book by West Yorkshire Spinners. I hopped over to Ravelry to check the book out and was so impressed with the variety of patterns that I ordered a copy the same day!
First, the presentation of the book. It’s gorgeously printed on nice strong paper that looks like it can stand up to being used over and over again. I like the little touches such as printing the colour range of Quintessential DK on page 5, which makes it really easy to daydream about which pattern should be made in which colour!
The patterns themselves are stunning and are grouped under design themes. For example the Ariadne sweater pictured below has four variations along the same theme (including the one shown), with two options for the front panel and two for the shaping of the bottom of the sweater. It’s like a choose your own adventure in knitting!
The book contains a wide variety of patterns including patterns for women, men and children. All of them are enticingly presented and I can imagine myself knitting almost all of the women’s garments at some point! The pattern shown below (Copper Crown) is the first pattern I saw from the collection, but when I got hold of the book I was even more impressed by one of the variations which features long sleeves making for an appropriately “swooshy” cardi that would be perfect for cooler summer evenings.
Although I didn’t show it here, the layout of the patterns is clear and easy to follow and the patterns look as though they would be friendly to a lower-intermediate knitter like me, so I don’t feel intimidated by this collection (which is the effect some other pattern books have on me!). What I was most surprised by (pleasantly, I hasten to add) was the affordability of the yarn (West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK), which I can lay my hands on for around £4.99 for a 100g ball, plus it’s machine washable! I won’t name any names here, but the last time I bought a book from a yarn company the price of the yarn nearly made me pass out, so I’m really glad that the yarn is affordable.
So, that wraps it up for Quintessential DK. I am really impressed by the quality of the patterns as well as the overall presentation of the book which features lovely photography that offers a clear view of what it is you’re actually making. The range of patterns was impressive and even though the book features a relatively small number of “base” patterns, the variations given are so distinctive that they feel unique. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants some classic lines in their wardrobe which will stand up to the test of time.
Quintessential DK is published by West Yorkshire Spinners and features designs by Jenny Watson. The book costs £9.95 and is available from a number of online knitting stores in the UK, as well as direct from West Yorkshire Spinners (I got mine from Love Knitting). If you want a taste of the patterns in the book, West Yorkshire Spinners offer the Butterscotch Bolero as a free download here. Errata are available for the patterns in Quintessential DK – you can find them here.