Review: The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet I & II by Hunter Hammersen

Knitters find inspiration is myriad places, but I’ve never seen a collection quite so vividly inspired as Hunter Hammersen‘s Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet Series.

Pinus Sylvestris Illustration

Pinus Sylvestris Illustration

These books (The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet, published in 2012 and The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet, Volume II, published in 2013) are inspired by vintage illustrations. The first volume is all botanical prints (flowers and trees) and Volume II is inspired by butterfly illustrations. The thing that struck me about these illustrations though, is that they’re a really interesting melange of science and art. Not only are they beautiful, but they’re meticulous in their detail. One illustration (the Pinus Silvestris on page 47 of Volume 1), has not only a drawing of the tree branch, but all the different stages of the pine cone development as well as a cross section of the inside! These prints really are quite amazing.

And in keeping with the dual nature of these vintage illustrations, each one has inspired more than one pattern! For each print, there is a sock pattern and a second accessory pattern, ranging from fingerless mitts, to cowls, to hats. Each pattern takes its inspiration from a different aspect of the botanical (or butterfly) print. So each of the patterns simultaneously fits and stands out. It’s truly an astounding collection of patterns. You can see all the patterns (and the prints for which they are named) on Ravelry for Volume I & Volume II.

Delias Eucharis Sock

Delias Eucharis Sock

Chrysanthemum Frutescens Sock

Chrysanthemum Frutescens Sock

Crocus Vernus Sock

Crocus Vernus Sock

But the thing I love most about these books is the socks. So often sock patterns are a single stitch pattern slapped into a sock template, but Hunter’s socks are intricate and interesting. They all have unique heel and toe details that you can tell were chosen to organically compliment the stitch pattern but not compromise heel structure. I love them so! Everything is beautifully photographed and you can tell the socks actually FIT well too. They aren’t just staged for photography.

You can purchase either (or both!) books in digital only or print & digital versions on Hunter’s site, or if you prefer Amazon you can find Volume I & Volume II there.

Hunter has also generously offered to gift digital copies of both books to one my readers. So if you would like to be entered into the drawing, post a comment answering the question:

“What is your favorite accessory to knit?”

p.s. Please be aware that to keep spam down, comments are moderated unless you’ve been approved in the past. If you have never commented here before, your comment won’t show up immediately, so please don’t comment again thinking it didn’t go through. I will be sure to approve all comments to this post that aren’t spammy 🙂 Thanks!

ETA: I’ll be closing the drawing on Friday at 5 pm, and I’ll pick a winner then.

Comments 28

  1. aliceq wrote:

    Wow, it’s hard to pick a favorite accessory. I’d have to say that, these days, I’m all about the shawlettes and the scarves.

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 8:17 AM
  2. Ühltje wrote:

    Socks, socks and socks and once a year a hat.

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 8:53 AM
  3. Word Lily wrote:

    I love knitting shawls/shawlettes.

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 9:01 AM
  4. Jo wrote:

    All and sundry really but there is always a pair of socks on the go. There is nothing better than woolly wrapped feet!

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 9:34 AM
  5. Beverly wrote:

    I can’t have enough socks, scarves and cowls…hard to select just one!

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 9:49 AM
  6. Ana wrote:

    I love knitting shawls and socks to keep my neck and toes warm!

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 11:15 AM
  7. Sue H wrote:

    First off is hats for the Hats for Sailors project followed closely by shawls!

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 11:43 AM
  8. Janet wrote:

    Lately it seems to be all about the shawls, but socks are calling me to come back to my first love 🙂

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 11:57 AM
  9. Jio wrote:

    Let’s see…2 pairs of socks, 2 shawls, 1 hat, and 1 cowl are current projects. Current projects are always my favorite.

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 12:26 PM
  10. ellen kirkendall wrote:

    I’ve always got a pair of socks on the needles.

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 1:13 PM
  11. robin mc wrote:

    I love to knit socks. These books are gorgeous and I would love to win and be able to knit all of the gorgeous socks in them!

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 1:30 PM
  12. Priscilla wrote:

    Socks, so far, but I will admit I’m pretty new into knitting and haven’t got that far yet, plus it’s a bit warm for cowls and mittens most of the time!

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 1:36 PM
  13. Tracy Cottis wrote:

    Socks for my commuter knitting and then shawls.

    Lovely books, I’ve admired these from afar for a long time?


    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 1:46 PM
  14. Leanne Cretain wrote:

    Socks, socks and more socks!

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 6:00 PM
  15. Kay wrote:

    My accessory seems to be socks. Once in a while I stray to shawls but socks are always on the needles!

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 6:59 PM
  16. Teresa wrote:

    These are such beautiful books! I love knitting hats. I get a lot of use from them, and they’re (usually) speedy projects.

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 7:17 PM
  17. Lynne Phelps wrote:

    Fingerless mitts are my favorite, and they make wonderful gifts as they are hard to buy!

    Posted 17 Mar 2014 at 9:41 PM
  18. Anya wrote:

    I’m getting into socks lately, but I think at heart I will always be a hat knitter. 🙂

    Posted 18 Mar 2014 at 12:09 AM
  19. Robbie wrote:

    I love to knit socks and shawls. I haven’t knit socks with complicated patterns yet but think Hunter’s are lovely and they inspire me to take the leap.

    Posted 18 Mar 2014 at 3:50 AM
  20. Barb T. wrote:

    I love knitting accessories, but my 2 favorites are socks and hats! The more the merrier!

    Posted 19 Mar 2014 at 10:28 AM
  21. Frankie wrote:

    I have to saw shawls but socks are a really close 2nd. 😀

    Posted 19 Mar 2014 at 12:20 PM
  22. Stacy wrote:

    I love to knit socks. When I love someone, I knit them socks. Except I love my sister, even though her socks aren’t done yet.

    Posted 19 Mar 2014 at 6:20 PM
  23. Connie K. wrote:

    Fingerless mitts! But I want to be a sock knitter, too.

    Posted 20 Mar 2014 at 10:05 AM
  24. Rebecca wrote:

    I love to make mittens. I live in Northern New England and find that a well made mitten is essential and a great template to try out different colors and patterns. I do love mittens!

    Posted 20 Mar 2014 at 2:24 PM
  25. Melissa Freeman wrote:

    Honestly, complicated lace shawls are my favorite accessory to knit, especially the botanical and geeky kinds. Probably somewhat because I am a botanical geek of sorts. This looks like a fabulous collection of patterns I need to check out.

    Posted 21 Mar 2014 at 9:10 AM
  26. Deirdre wrote:

    I love to knit fingerless mitts and infinity cowls. Living in San Diego doesn’t require much more than that!

    Posted 21 Mar 2014 at 5:44 PM
  27. Melissa Freeman wrote:

    Did you ever do the drawing?

    Posted 16 Apr 2014 at 1:36 PM
  28. Mim wrote:

    I did, Melissa, and notified the winner via email. Congrats to Deirdre again!

    Posted 16 Apr 2014 at 1:47 PM

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