We are excited to announce the arrival of local designer (and fibre space instructor!) Tanis Gray‘s new book Capitol Knits: Twelve Modern Designs Inspired by America’s Capital, Washington DC.
(Don’t miss the book signing and trunk show we’ll be hosting with Tanis on Saturday January 28 at 2 PM! Give us a call to reserve a copy of the book.)
A local’s love letter to the great city of Washington DC, Capitol Knits features timeless designs in gorgeous yarns, historical tidbits, beautiful photography by Tanis herself, and facts about local flora and fauna. This book is as much fun to look through as it will be to knit from!
The patterns in the book are divided into two sections: Sweaters and Accessories. Each section opens with stunning photographs of the places in the city that inspired each design and an explanation of how Tanis thoughtfully transformed that inspiration into a design and then into a knitted object.
The American Indian Cardigan uses seed stitch to mimic the rough-hewn texture of the Kasota limestone on the exterior of the American Indian Museum as well as reference the intricate beadwork displayed inside. Tanis chose a warm orange color of Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes that reminds her of her time spent studying in New Mexico.
The Jefferson Pullover uses bold twisted cables to evoke the strong columns of the Jefferson Memorial while the teal blue color calls to mind the surrounding waters of the Tidal Basin. You’ll want a snuggly superbulky yarn for this – try Mirasol Ushya to keep it light and lofty.
The Lincoln Cardigan has simple cables reflecting the clean lines of the Lincoln Memorial. The thistle pattern on the back and the yarn color reminiscent of milk thistle flowers were inspired by a quote from Abraham Lincoln that is included in the book. A heavy worsted or aran weight yarn will be best for this design – Cascade Eco Wool, for example.
Next up are the accessories, starting with the Union Station Infinity Cowl. The intricate Fair Isle patterning hearkens to the hustle and bustle of people going to and fro in the busy station. Tanis chose five colors of light and lofty Brooklyn Tweed SHELTER to reflect the marble, gold leaf, granite, and mahogany used to build Union Station.
The E Pluribus Unum Cowl design with its multiple picot edgings is inspired by the White House, where the President and his staff work to solve the many issues of the country and make us “out of many, one.” Knit this up in a smooth worsted weight to show off the intricate pattern – some Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Worsted in the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue colorway, perhaps?
The churning waters of the Court of Neptune Fountain at the Library of Congress were the impetus for the twisting cable and lace design of the Library of Congress Hat. An aran weight yarn like Swans Island Certified Organic Chunky will be worthy for the king of the sea!
Bright green moss growing on the patterned brick and latticed ironwork of the Summerhouse, located on the West Lawn of the Capitol, inspired the Summerhouse Hat and Wristers – which in turn started Tanis on designing the rest of the patterns for Capitol Knits! Knit these in a luxurious sport weight yarn like The Fibre Company Road to China Light.
A shimmering chandelier hung in a striking hallway in the Renwick Gallery was the inspiration for the Renwick Wristers, knit in two colors of subtly sparkly Sublime Yarns Lustrous Extra Fine Merino DK to reflect the saffron walls of the hallway and the dark woodwork.
The bold stripes of the Constitution Hall Scarf evoke the American flag hanging outside the building where Tanis researched her family history as a Daughter of the American Revolution. A DK-weight silk blend yarn will work up with a lovely drape – try the hand-dyed colors of Neighborhood Fiber Co. Maisonette DK.
The Capitol Shawl calls for a silky, drapey DK weight as well. The green lawns and marble steps of the Capitol building influenced the geometric shaping and graphic striped design. Try The Fibre Company Acadia for a textured look.
Last but definitely not least, the idea for the National Gallery Shawl was sparked by the LED-lit tunnel at the National Gallery of Art. Knit a one or two-color version in luxurious Skein Worsted MCN or The Fibre Company Terra.
Congratulations to Tanis on her newest book! We can’t wait to see what’s in store next from her creative mind and needles!