Book Review and Giveaway

Don’t get too lost in your weekend just yet, knitting friends, for I have one more book review and giveaway for you today! (Never fear, though, I do promise a return to regular knitting project chatter ;) ) Today I round out my set of spring book reviews with California Revival Knits, by Stephannie Tallent.

I have gotten to know Steph a little bit over the last several months as a tech editor, and she is just as fastidious and capable as a designer. I knew she’d put together a book of interesting and diverse patterns, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was all about in terms of ‘California Revival.’ And then I opened up the book and saw the pictures of the architectural and stylistic inspiration for the patterns and thought, “Oh! It’s like Hearst Castle!” Which is to say, I visited Hearst Castle two summers ago when I was in California, and I realize now it is one of the clearest approximations of the California Revival style that I’ve seen with my own two eyes – in other words, it is a blend of revivalist European styles (Mediterranean, Spanish) and arts-and-crafts construction. There are lots of mosaics, tile work, organic lines, wrought iron, and so on.

The cowl on the cover (and a similar pair of fingerless mitts) are great examples of this in colour-work form, but there are a variety of techniques on showcase here, along with some instructional support on how to execute them. The beaded ‘Tiles Sweater’ below is one of my favourites, which I would enjoy knitting and wearing for myself (it’s done in fingering weight, which would make it practical for a wider variety of temperatures than a heavier sweater would).

I also quite like the inclusion of twisted stitches (go figure!) in a couple of patterns, such as the Wrought Mitts, below. There is overall a variety of garments as well as a variety of techniques to try out. If you are a knitter who has mastered the basics and are looking for some elegant challenges, there are 14 patterns to choose from that will each offer you something different. The photographs (all by Kathy Cadigan) are all very clear, as is Steph’s description of her creative process.

As with all publications from Co-operative Press, this is available in both electronic and hard copy format. If you’d like to win a PDF copy of this book, leave a comment here telling me, if you only had the choice of one knitting technique for the next week, would you choose cables, colour-work, or knitting with beads?
I’ll draw a winner from among the comments sometime after noon on Monday (EST).

Until then, it promises to be a warm weekend here, so I expect my knitting shall be in the shade with a refreshing (possibly adult) beverage. I hope that yours will be too. Happy knitting this weekend!




Filed under book review

187 responses to “Book Review and Giveaway

  1. Megan

    YES PLEASE! And I think it would have to be cables. :) But that cowl is so gorgeous!

  2. This week I’d choose colorwork, but I think it’s just wrong to have to choose.

  3. marilynr

    Colorwork. I love to watch the pattern work itself out on the needles. It makes any knitting project fly off the needles.

  4. Kathy

    Cables for sure but colour work rates a close second!!!

  5. I’d have to choose knitting with beads. I’ve done cables and some colorwork but no work with beads.

  6. Heavily into my colourwork at the moment so it would have to be that – anything to spread rainbow-like joy around our miserable British summer at the moment! :-)

  7. Arlene

    I’d have to say Cables….I’ve figured out knitting with beads, now just have to perfect Cables….or at least get over my fear of them…

  8. Ivana

    No need to think too long – I’d choose cables. Many, multiple, complex, thick and thin, winding… I simply love cables! Keeping my fingers crossed for this wonderful book (and second the need for a possibly adult beverage this weekend, the work week was long and with no knitting time at all).

  9. If I could choose just one, I think I’d go with the beads. I’m working on the Tibetan Cloud Stole right now, and it’s my first project using beads. They jazz it up just a bit without getting crazy.

  10. Chriscatsknits

    Normally i would say cables but there are some colourwork mittens that have been calling my name.

  11. Gina Z


  12. ClimbingWithYarn

    Still need to knit the wrought iron mitts. Fingers crossed. :)

  13. That would be a hard choice……I think I would narrow it down to cables or beads……and think I would choose cables!

  14. Kay

    Oh, definitely cables. Even though it is supposed to be close to 90F I have been looking at big complex cable projects. Of course, should I be lucky enough to win, the Quatrefoil Mitts look gorgeous and would be such fun to pick colors to use.

  15. Sally

    Awww….thanks for the giveaway! I’d chooooooossee CABLES!

  16. Chloe

    cables. i love cables. one simple, elegant one as a centerpiece on a basic warm sweater, or intricate ones set in lace with bobbles or beads. endless possibilities. i ♥ cables!

  17. Christine M

    fingers crossed… pick me! pick me! ok, so i would pick… hm, i do LOVE colourwork and yet i find cables so fascinating. knitting with beads is on my “to learn” list. ugh, this is too hard! ok, ok, i pick… colourwork!

  18. Cables, cables, cables! Thanks so much for this awesome give-away,

  19. Katt Rogers

    Even though I’ve only done them twice, I really love cables. I’d probably do a pair of cabled socks, since those are my current favorite project.

  20. Karen

    I’d choose colourwork, just waiting for more yarn, since I ran out halfway (epic misjudgement). Though cables would usually be my first choice. Btw its been raining in the UK for about a week, who stole summer?

  21. Carol

    Cables… all-time favourite!

  22. Cindy

    Knitting with beads, something that I have never done before. Thanks for the give away.

  23. Cara

    Cables! I swore off cables for a while after finishing a big project but I’m ready to get back to them.

  24. Anne

    I’d pick knitting with beads since I haven’t done that yet. Thanks.

  25. i’d choose beads since i’ve never tried them in anything…i’d probably add them to a lacey shawl. i’ve made 6 originally designed colorwork Christmas stockings for my 6 g’kids and various cables in various projects. i’m always up for a new technique!!
    ^)^ linda

  26. katie

    Cables without a doubt!

  27. Marie Louise Roche

    I have many techniques to perfect, but cables especially twisted cables are fascinating.

  28. My choice would be colorwork as there are just so many combinations you could work with!

  29. Julia

    Cables! I learned cables back when I was only knitting scarves, and still love them. Thanks!

  30. Shawnna

    My choice would be cables. I’m really interested in the way texture can create interesting fabrics!

  31. Cables, definitely cables, although colour-work and knitting with beads are both enticing options too!

  32. Color work – so many fun options! Knitting with beads would be second. Just learning how to do that :)

  33. knitterbeader

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this beautiful book!!! I’ve not done beads yet, and so need to settle down in a peaceful, quiet place on knit/bead. I do make jewelry, but have not knit with beads, so it’s about time, huh?

  34. caityrosey

    Last week I would have said color work. But this week I am working on the Rocky Coast cardigan and all I want to knit are cables.

  35. I think I’m going to say cables, although I do love the beaded detail on that sweater.

  36. Magi

    I love doing colour work but I’ve never done beads in a knitted project. This book looks great.

  37. Pdxknitterati

    Cables. Definitely cables. Coming off a long jag of color work!
    Gorgeous book!

  38. Cables, definitely cables; I’m addicted to them.

  39. Natalyon

    It would definitely be cables for me :-)
    And there are so many nice use of cables in this beautiful book!

  40. I’d choose cables! Love those wrought iron mitts…

  41. Caitlyn

    Cables. I don’t care if the temperature is climbing and the humidity is already starting to be unbearable–I’m still dreaming of Royale, of a closet full of handknit sweaters with squooshy cables this winter.

  42. Marie ♥

    After the workshop last weekend, cables, lots of twisted cables (they are actually fun to do now, thanks Glenna!). Loving those Wrought Mitts so even if I don’t win, this book will be going on my wish list.

  43. LoriG

    I suppose my technique of the week would be cables. It’s not that I love cables so much, but I need to get started on a heavily-cabled pattern.

  44. zibelineknits

    Cables, definitely cables! I love everything in cables. Gloves, hats, mittens, cowls, sweaters, scarves …

  45. Jen

    Cables!! Definitely cables!

  46. No contest – I would do cables!

  47. Jane

    I would choose color work but I would like to learn knitting with beads. Yes I am interested in the book. Thank you.

  48. Cheri

    Cables would be my choice for the next week! This book looks very interesting. Thanks!

  49. Madeline A

    I would probably choose cables because I am just learning how to knit cables and I would need the time to learn!

  50. Malorie Y

    I would chose cables. I love cables.

  51. Alice S

    Cables all the way!

  52. Angela

    Cables all the way. Every size, every kind…….I love them all!

  53. Lissa

    Color work, definitely. Is there any other reason to knit? ;-)

  54. Cables! I love cables. Also I have a project full of them on a tight deadline right now, so that would be pretty much perfect.

  55. Susan

    I already know I greatly enjoy cables and color work. I have a few brain cells becoming unencumbered (end of quarter) and I am ready to learn something new, therefore I opt for knitting with beads as a plan for the upcoming week. Stephanie’s designs are on my life list. I think it is time to get going.

  56. I would go knitting with beads, because I love watching them catch the light and add a subtle something extra. :)

  57. Meagan

    I would choose colour work, because I might actually get my Harry Potter character blanket knit, haha.

  58. Kara R

    I can’t choose one! I love cables, done a little colorwork, and I haven’t really done beading at all. I’d love more experience in all of it though!

  59. Anne

    I love cables, so I would do cables.

  60. Rebecca

    Cables! love them!

  61. I would have to choose cables. But beads are pretty addictive, too. So hard to choose! (I should choose colorwork, since it’s something I don’t have any confidence with yet.)

  62. Stephanie H.

    I would chose knitting with beads because that is one avenue I have yet to try my hand at.

  63. Love the detailed little fingerless mitts!! Super sweet!

  64. Linda

    Color work first, cables a very close second and beaded knits are barely in the picture! I love the variety in this pattern collection and hope to win the book.

  65. Cables! Cables, for sure! I love knitting them

  66. Jen

    Cables — they’re awesome!

  67. Meredith MC

    I really want this book! The cables intrigue and the colorwork enchants. Beading is fun too!

  68. Tcufrogrn

    Cables of course! :)

  69. Sara (Canada)

    This book looks awesome

  70. Sara (Canada)

    Oh and I would choose the cables =)

  71. This book looks amazing!
    I would choose colour work :)

  72. Julia

    Definitely cables. They always look so pretty !! :)

  73. This week, probably cables, just because I have done more cables than the other two although I do love seeing how colorwork turns out

  74. I have been doing a lot of lace, so if I HAD to pick it’d be cables. But why pick? Why not KNIT ALL THE THINGS???

  75. I’d pick cables! I’ve been doing a lot of colourwork recently, so cables would make a really nice change!

  76. Colourwork, though atm I’m doing a test knit using cables!

  77. Marilyn

    Beads – it would have to be beads since I am almost done with a beaded stole for my son’s wedding this fall.

  78. dclulu


  79. Nicole Hawkins

    I would love to try my hand at colorwork!

  80. I love cables, I love beads, I love colrwork. I love to KNIT! ANYTHING! Just gimme some yarn and sticks…lol

  81. I too would try colourwork because it is a technique I guess I’ll need a whole week to cope with.

  82. Ariel

    ooh it’s difficult to choose one technique! I love colourwork but I think I’ll have to go with cables because I find them way more challenging, having only knitted a few cabled things and only just mastered the knitting cables without a cable needle, which I love.
    So yeah cables it is! I’m currently knitting several different colourwork cowls for my upcoming etsy store, yay, exciting!

  83. Pattie

    Color work for me!

  84. Cables, I haven’t tries that yet but it would be nice to learn. :-)

  85. I am currrently working on colourwork mittens so have to go for colourwork!

  86. Jennifer

    Ohhhhhh, lovely. I think I saw this one on the Hurt Book sale at Interweave for anyone interested. I pick cables, though I have none on the needles currently–ready to cast on a baby owls (owlet).

  87. I love cables, never get tired of them!

  88. Amanda A

    Looks like a fun book! If I had to pick only one thing I would definitely pick lace, but since that wasn’t an option I’d have to go with beads (because they usually seem to accompany lace).

  89. I would choose cables, love the look and I always feel so talented when I have completed a few rows, “I did that”!

  90. Jani

    Cables, definitely, and without a a cable needle, of course! Those mitts are gorgeous – thanks for the contest.

  91. You have a lot of cable fans as readers! Again, wonder why?
    I love it all, but I do hold a special place in my heart for knitting with beads. Looks like a lovely book; hope my number is chosen!

  92. Sue

    I hadn’t even heard about this book. I would probably choose color work as I am working on a pattern for a new sweater for myself for the fall/winter. I just finished a cable project and am also working on a lace shawl at the moment but that does not have beads.

  93. I am torn between color work and cables… I guess I’ll have to go with color work because inevitably, I lose my cable needle!

  94. Peggy

    Oh, definitely knitting in color (sorry for the American spelling.) I just learned this technique late last year and I love it.

  95. Andrea W

    I absolutely love to knit with beads. Somehow, now when I don’t my knitting looks plain….go figure! Love the book!

  96. Krystal Rockburn

    Ohhhh for the next week? I’d probably do colour work! I don’t do enough of it but just love it!!!!!

  97. Hmmm. Maybe beads. I’ve never done anything beaded before…

  98. Amanda Hill

    Definitely cables. I am crazy for them!

  99. Rachel

    Colorwork ~ currently Norwegian! :-) Great blog!

  100. Deborah N

    I am into lace right now, but I have done all three listed. I do more color work during the winter. It is about time for me to do a cable project.
    I just found your blog from a link from the Yarn Harlot a few days ago.

  101. Robbie K

    I haven’t done any of the them. I think I’d like to try cables before beads or color work.

  102. cables! I need to become more proficient…

  103. Deb Kegelmeyer

    I am torn between cables and colorwork, I love both. I just finished a lace work cardigan and am about to do a large chunky afghan so maybe my next project should get me back to some colorwork. The cowl on the cover of the book is lovely.

  104. treefrogie84

    i prefer cables to beads or colorwork. but it’s too warm to do cables, so beaded lace it is for the foreseeable future.s

  105. If i had a choice of technique I would go with cables. I love texture.

  106. Christine Blaser

    Hmm, maybe not knitting with beads. Probably cables. But colourwork is great too. Well, beaded lace is nice. I always love a good cable design. And colourwork when it’s gloomy outside. Do we really have to choose? Why not have (and do) it all? That book would definitely help doing it all!

  107. Denise McClendon

    I would love to perfect my cable knitting.

  108. Jeanne

    I have done cables and colorwork recently so I think it is time to do something with beads. The Tile Sweater looks wonderful and I like that you saw similarities with Hearst Castle. We enjoyed a long visit there two years ago.

  109. Shannon Yeaton

    Oh probably colourwork since I am passionate about color even though it is a little intimidating.

  110. Liz B.

    knitting with beads – love combining two stashes

  111. I am new at knitting and I would definitely challenge myself with colorwork!

  112. Oh that is an evil question! I think I’d have to go with cables though.

  113. MamaSue

    Definitely cables. But wouldn’t mind trying some beadwork…

  114. Kate T.

    Colorwork. Without a doubt or hesitate. I love how each stitch is different, and the projects just fly off my needles!

  115. sarah c.

    No doubt about it: cables!

  116. Christie

    Don’t know why, but I love knitting with beads. Thanks for the giveaway!

  117. Naomi

    Definitely colors!

  118. I think it would have to be beads – I understand the concept now it’s time to try it out on something – probably for my daughter !

  119. this week i’d choose beads — the tardis scarf i’m knitting has beads in it and i want to finish it so i can start a colour affection! but any other week it’d be cables!

  120. Oooh….I would have said cables until I saw that cowl. Now I must say colorwork!!

  121. Cables, but the other two techniques are on my list, I just need the right small project to start learning! I totally need to knit those fab twisted stitch mitts, so I hope I win! THANKS!

  122. pam artese

    I would definitely choose bead work. I have been eyeing these pattern with wistful longing. The end products would be soooo worth the time to learn. And those wrist lets in the photo are gorgeous. Twisted stitch is one of my fav techniques.

  123. Lorraine Haemel

    If knitting next week, I would have to say I am most familiar with them. One of these days, I would like to master colourwork.

  124. Carol Cross

    This looks like a wonderful book

  125. Beads, but just for the next week. If a lifelong choice, colorwork it would be!

  126. Carol

    Cables, hands down!

  127. Cables… looks like you’re making a big mess, then – BAM! It’s something awesome.

  128. Julia Rosalinda

    I think that I would choose colour-work, because I’m working on a Kate Davies sweater that has a colour-work yoke and a steek (scarrrrry!).

  129. scrapnrn

    Cables would be my choice for the week.

  130. I would choose colorwork for sure!

  131. Amanda

    Cables! So fun and with so many options :)

  132. Aristi

    Thanks for the giveaway! I love the mitts!

  133. Bridget

    OOOOH this looks fantastic and might help me figure out how to knit for the warmer climate I’m about to move to! :-) But I do love me some cables….

  134. Julia in KW

    I would like to do more knitting with beads – need some more experience with that (got the others down for the most part), but I’ll also need the time (can I will some of that too?) ;)

  135. klarie

    Lovely photos in the book!

    I ve seen the book online and it looks like this is a book with projects which you will actually make!

    Currently Im into beading and trying different techniques to see which one suits me best…. The cardi with the beads looks exquisite, lov

  136. Leslie

    Cables, definitely! (Colorwork scares me.) Those mitts are fabulous.

  137. My choice would be cables too :) Thanks for the giveaway.

  138. Linnet

    Usually, I’d choose cables. Well, no, usually, I’d make a fuss about having to choose. But I’m just picking up beads for the first time for a new project, so for this particular next week, it would have to be knitting with beads! Thanks for the chance (and thanks for the blog, too).

  139. Rachel

    I vote for the beaded fingering weight sweater.

  140. Val

    Cables! But to be honest, I’m currently working on a lacey sweater instead. I do love my cables, though.

  141. Carrie

    Love the fingerless mitts!

  142. Carolyn McClain

    Love cables!!!! I am working on a Martin Storey cable jacket and am absolutely loving it. Very elegant.

  143. Amy

    Colorwork it would be!

  144. Donna willis

    Beautiful color work on the cowl, but I have to go with cables!

  145. Ashley (Ishadow72)

    Easy–cables! Love, love, love them!

  146. Cable work would be my choice. I love those gloves also!

  147. Cables most definitely! The different cable patterns out there would do me for life I think. Love, love, love! Bootiful mitts… yum. :)

  148. Susan

    cables. I’ve never attempted cables (why?) but I am anxious to add this to my skill set.

  149. Erika

    Color work, for sure. I live in California, and Spanish tiles are all about color!

  150. Laura

    Love to have that book…. Cables, please…. because colorwork and beads are a pain.

  151. Adelina

    Colorwork… but only because lace wasn’t an option. :-)

  152. Anastasia

    That’s a tought choice. I’ve been knitting a lot of lace lately, so for a change I would probably knit with beads.

  153. that cowl in the cover is beautiful!

  154. Josh L

    Colorwork, but only because it’s hot out. Ask me again in November and it’ll be cables all the way. I guess its all the bright cheery colors, but it just seems appropriate for mid-june.

  155. Marion

    It has to be colorwork!

  156. Debra

    Cables! Definitely.

  157. Karen

    I’d have to go for cables… but I’m always willing to try something else. Thanks for a lovely giveaway opportunity!

  158. Marieke

    Thank you for this giveaway, I think I’d choose colorwork this week, and then next week cables…. (maybe beads on the weekend?) ;)

  159. Rosesred

    I learned how to knit these last couple of weeks because I want to be able to knit those peacocks! They’re beautiful. However, seeing as I can barely manage cables, I’ll keep to them for now….

  160. Rita

    Definitely cables.

  161. Debbie

    Since I haven’t done a lot of cabling, I would choose that for the practice.

  162. Dee

    Great giveaway! I’d choose entrelac because I need more practice.

  163. Lori

    I’m currently knitting with beads…so definitely cables!

  164. Cara

    I think that I’d have to choose color-work, as I am working on color-work socks for my hubby.

  165. Renee Cook

    I’d have to choose knitting with beads. I think you can create so many different looks depending on what type of bead you choose. Elegant, earthy, whimsical, glamorous.

  166. Janene Reeves

    I’d have to choose cables. I’ve been captivated by them lately!

  167. I think I’d choose color-work. Summer is full of colors so I’m more inspired to do the colorwork (which is what I’m knitting right now anyway)!

  168. margaret

    Good day for the west coast. I would choose cables as a challenge as i tend to avoid them now after a bad” experience:)

  169. B. france

    Cables. I learned to cables before I read they were a challenge. Love doing them love the result

  170. sharon

    I would love to learn colour work! Still a one colour at a time gal.

  171. Rhea

    I think I’d opt for knitting with beads. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  172. Cables all the way!

  173. CynthiaC

    Since I’ve a busy week ahead, I would say cables. I still have to think too much with colourwork, and I’ve never tried beads.

  174. Oh dear so hard to choose. Cables and beads are two things that are one my mind right now. I think I would have to choose cables.

  175. Sabrina

    Cables, without question.

  176. Darla

    I would have to take cables out of those choices. I’ve always loved cables and love them even more since I learnt how to knit cables without a cable needle.

  177. Elaine

    Knitting with beads because that would mean that I’m using a light-weight yarn and in this summer weather that’s probably about right.

  178. Debra G

    Cables because I have not tried them yet and I want to learn to do them!

  179. Courtney

    I would definitely choose colorwork since I have yet to really delve into that just yet. I love cables, but am eager to learn a new skill!

  180. Jill Neill

    Cables for me for sure – I just have to keep going and cross them one more time, and end up staying awake WAY too late at night!

  181. Definitely cables. They’re my all time favorite technique.

  182. AnneK

    Knitting with beads, definitely. Beads are like my knitter’s crack.

  183. Oooh that’s tough, I guess I would settle in cables!
    Suzanne Burke