Friends, are you – like me, currently – in need of something new and pretty to look at? Well, allow me to present to you the recently re-released Tudor Roses by Alice Starmore.
Have you all heard of Alice Starmore? Well, if you have not, boy howdy are you in for a treat. A crazypants treat filled with cables and colour work and ambitiously knitted eye candy of all kinds. Her books were originally products of the 1980s and 1990s, and in the last decade have had a new lease on life in re-release form. There’s the Book of Fair Isle Knitting, Aran Knitting, and now more recently Tudor Roses. (See all the patterns on Ravelry here).
(I’m going to give you some fairly mediocre photos-of-pages here, but you’ll get the gist)
Alice Starmore’s pattern books are all themed, and all heavily researched. If you read her books on Aran knitting or Fair Isle knitting, you’ll have a kickass knitting historical reference book in your hands at the same time as a collection of ambitious and gorgeous patterns. Tudor Roses is themed as a collection of knitwear inspired by the wives of Henry the Eighth and other royal women of the same period. This is evident in the style and motifs used in the patterns.
Here’s Elizabeth the First, with lovely wide cuffs and a textured detail on the body:
This one is Margaret Beaufort, which I quite like and feel like if I could pull off the model’s hairdo at the same time, we’d have casual Fridays cornered:
And I quite like this stranded colour-work wrap for Lady Mary:
The show-stopper has got to be the Katherine Howard cardigan, which, again, can I get some of this styling going on:
All of these patterns are statement pieces – they’re definitely not everyday knitwear, both in style or in technique. For many knitters this will not be their cup of tea for just that reason. For me, I really like having books like this in a knitting library, to give something really complex and absorbing to shoot for.
For example, the Katherine Howard cardigan is, on the surface, something I would never touch – I love cables, but less so 2-colour cables, and the colour selection is something you’d need to get just right to make it a part of your wardrobe. But then that starts to lodge in my brain and I think hmmm, well but the dark navy really works, and actually over top of jeans it could be pretty comfortable but also a pretty unique style piece.
I took the liberty of checking Ravelry and there are some lovely Tudor Roses projects out there. I really like this Anne of Cleves pullover project (great teal colour choice), and yep, there are some lovely Katherine Howard cardigans out there.
If you’d like to have a copy of Tudor Roses for yourself, I have a giveaway for you! To enter, please leave a comment on this post saying which Tudor Roses pattern you like the most. I’ll be back on Friday to announce the winner – some time after 11am EST.
Enjoy! And happy knitting this evening.