Book Review: Yokes by Kate Davies

I know, I know, I usually have a Farm Focus for you on the weekend . . . but the farmers on tap are all so very busy this summer-time of year, that I need to give them a little more time to get some interviews back in to my inbox. Today, instead of a Farm Focus, you get a little knitting love from Yokes!

I have been wanting a copy of Kate Davies Yokes since it came out in 2014 . . . and I asked about it in each LYS or fiber shop I visited along the way; I also tried my local libraries. But, sadly, I never found a copy state-side and, well, I sprung for the shipping costs from the UK. Was it ever worth it!


As many of you know from reading this blog, I really love breed specific fiber history and histories of knitting and fiber more generally. Yep, I’m the one reading Piecework in Barnes and Noble. So, one of the reasons I wanted to read this book was that Kate Davies is a fellow PhD (in eighteenth century history) who did what some of us only dream about: transitioning one’s day job to the fiber arts. Given her background, it’s no surprise that this book includes several articles and interviews about various “yoke” histories. I am particularly appreciating the stories about the relatively contemporary invention of what we might think of as ‘traditional’ garments, designs, and yarns. The essay on Lopi yarn and Icelandic yokes is one of my favorites for this reason.


Included after these historical chapters are 11 of Kate Davies original designs that play on various themes she has explored in the rest of the book. It’s terrifically fun to examine these patterns and not only think they are beautiful and well-designed, but also historically thoughtful and playful. I think Kate Davies really outdid herself with this one.


I’m savoring every chapter–trying to read slowly so that it lasts until I am ready to cast on. My favorite so far is Epistrophy and it may be first on the list.


You can get copies directly from Kate Davies Designs if you, like me, can’t find Yokes anywhere but the interwebs 🙂

This entry was posted in design, history, Icelandic, knitting, learning, review, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Book Review: Yokes by Kate Davies

  1. Pingback: Hap Hap Happening! | Knitting the Stash!

  2. Pingback: Review: The Book of Haps | Knitting the Stash!

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