We’re participating in the blog tour for Deep South Knitting by Beth Moriarty.
This new book from the creator of the site planetpurl.com is a fantastic collection of patterns inspired by the South. You’ll also find great facts and delicious recipes. The book is divided by states and each state includes a great introductory page, facts about the state, and fantastic pictures.
Here are just a few of the patterns.
I love that the book includes the sizes of the models so you can get an idea of what the project looks like on a person who is similarly sized. I wish every book did that.
I also want to try all of the recipes in the book. I was very excited to see that the Red Velvet cake and frosting were nearly identical to the recipe I grew up enjoying, so I can say that this recipe is worth trying!
We sent some questions over to Beth and she was kind enough to answer them. Enjoy!
What’s your knitting history? When did you start? Who taught you, etc.?
I learned to knit in Junior High from a lovely lady who owned a knitting shop in Cocoa Beach. It was when acrylic yarn (scratchy stuff in crazy colors) first came out and I knit a hideous fluorescent green scarf. I gave up knitting when I became interested in boys and didn’t start again until about 6 years ago. After “feeling” my way through a local shop, I was hooked. I am hopelessly, hopelessly addicted to soft, fluffy yarn, and not afraid to admit it.
Tell us a little about your inspiration for Deep South Knitting.
That credit, or blame, goes to my niece Erin, who did a lot of the design and programming work on PlanetPurl.com. It was her idea to do a regionally-inspired book, since Planet Purl is all about travel and knitting. Or rather, it was her idea that I do a book. Since I consider myself a Southern woman, and I love this section of the country, it was a natural first choice. My love letter to the South. Plus, I was going to include some of my own recipes in the book, and who doesn’t love southern cooking?
What made you decide to separate the designs by states?
On family trips, I always play the role of tour guide, I love to research where I’m headed, the history, things to see and do. In Deep South Knitting, I get to take the reader on a journey through the South. We arranged the states as if we were taking a driving tour from the North through the Deep South. We’ve included some travel tidbits, like where to see the best camellias in Alabama, Florida’s best beaches, New Orleans’ celebrations, bourbon tasting in Kentucky, and the Mississippi Blues Trail, for example. I hope it gives readers a taste (no pun intended) of a really special part of America.
Did all of the delicious recipes come from your kitchen? Which one is your favorite?
All the recipes in the book are mine, and the pictures are of food that came right from my own kitchen. I love to cook and bake (Austrian Goulash is simmering on the stove while I write this) even though you can’t knit while you’re up to you elbows in flour. As for a favorite, it’s hard to beat my Red Velvet Cake. But if I need something in a hurry to take to a friend or contribute to a potluck, my Chocolate Toffee Pecan Pie (10 minutes of prep!) or my Pralines are my go-to dishes. Both are highly addictive, though. Consider yourself warned….
If you could only have one yarn in your stash what would it be and why?
That’s tough! If money were no object, my first thought was vicuna, but it only comes in one color. Next thought — muskox. More colors, but then it’s all lace-weight. Maybe cashmere? The left side of my brain says that since I love color and variety, and assuming I’m paying for this yarn, I would have choose a light worsted alpaca/wool blend. Soft, great color selection, double it up for chunky or knit on big needles for lace. The wool helps it keep its shape. I used your Valley Yarns Stockbridge doubled for the Blue Ridge Lap Throw in the book. So that’s the choice the left side of my brain would make. The right side is saying: “Shut up and go for the cashmere!” Rowan and Classic Elite have really yummy cashmere yarns.
How many projects do you currently have going? What are you currently knitting?
I’m almost embarrassed to tell you how many are my needles…over 20 (gulp!). I have personal projects that I rarely get time to work on, I’m already working on projects for the next book, I’m launching my own downloadable pattern line this year under the PurlQueen Patterns label, plus, I’m working on projects for Planet Purl’ s online classes. The two projects that I’m most actively working on are the Snow Princess Capelet for the upcoming Fair Isle and steeking class, and a little cotton cropped jacket inspired by a sweet, defunct “happy whale” attraction on Route 66.
What constitutes a perfect day for Beth Moriarty?
Oh, this one’s easy! I was a trial attorney for 25 years and finally “retired” to work at something I love. So for me, any day I don’t have to practice law is a perfect day. I tell people who knew me then that my very worst day writing, designing, knitting or even doing website database maintenance (that last one is my least favorite) is better than the best day I ever had as a lawyer. Occasionally, I do put my lawyer hat back on to help a friend or family member; my husband definitely notices the difference in my mood. So for me, a day surrounded by yarn, my dogs, and the friendship of other knitters is a perfect day. If there are pralines or Red Velvet Cake on the evening’s menu, even better!
Check out this new book!