So last year around this time, I was hard at work on four designs for a book. That book was Stitch Mountain. Stitch Mountain: 30 Warm Knits for Conquering the Cold actually came out in November, but with the Winter Games going on right now, we thought it would be the perfect time to talk up the book too. Especially since so many of the athletes are competing right now in Sochi!
For those of you who don't know what the book is about, we asked 30 winter sports athletes to tell us what their favorite or dream knitted item would be. We then took those ideas and asked a collection hand-picked knitwear designers to create items based on these athletes descriptions. The result is a book that is both designer vision and athletic inspiration--the perfect hybrid of knitting and winter sports!
I have two designs inspired by athletes competing in Sochi. Julia Mancuso, a downhill skier who has already won a bronze medal at this year's Winter Games in Ladies Slalom and Lindsey Jacobellis who is a Snowboarder who will actually compete later today in ladies Snowboard Cross. Both have medaled at previous olympic games as well. What an honor to design for such accomplished women!
I am an ex-snowboarder myself. Not at the competitive level of course, but it was a sport I really enjoyed for about 10 years until I injured my knee and chose to quit to avoid surgery. I miss it, but I have tons of great memories on the mountain. That's why being a part of this book was so important to me, and such a huge honor!
Ok, so onto the designs. First we've got the Personalized Headband inspired by Julia Mancuso and her home mountain, Squaw Valley. Squaw also happens to be in my neck of the woods (Reno/Tahoe area) so I was really excited to knit this piece. It's inspired by the original Squaw Ski Team headbands and I wanted to make this one reversible and easily customizable. The pattern includes an entire alphabet chart so that you can create a headband that is personal to you. Perhaps in the colors of your alma mater or your favorite sports team? On the inside, a simple stripe pattern is knit to create a completely reversible piece. Julia's version is knit in Rowan Pure Wool 4ply which was a dream to knit with. Such amazing stitch definition and it blocks out so well. I will definitely be knitting with it again.
Next up we have the Sparkle Slouchy Hat inspired by Lindsey Jacobellis. Being a snowboarder, Lindsey's style is super hip so I wanted to create a hat that I know she would love to wear. I chose a fun sparkly yarn by Red Heart called Boutique Midnight in some tonal self-striping colors. The hat features a wide brim that can be worn folded or unfolded depending on the look you are going for. The body is a simple mock rib that is easy, even for a beginner. The hat is super comfy to wear. I actually have 2 different versions of this hat at home and I wear them more often than any of the other hats in my collection.
So these are two of my designs from Stitch Mountain. I'll be back soon to talk about the other two, but I hope you are all enjoying watching the Winter Games in Sochi! Be sure to cheer on these two gals when you see them on the screen and hopefully you'll be knitting along on something cozy while you do! Remember, both of these designs are featured in Stitch Mountain, so if you don't have your copy yet, be sure to snag one from Jimmy Beans Wool (all copies are signed by the author!)
Happy knitting everyone!