Friday, 25 February 2011

Vintage Knits Review



Book Depository Link; Ravelry Link (all pattern links are to Ravelry

Impressions: The descriptions about the garments just made me laugh. It's written like a vogue fashion guidebook, describing the accessories and garments with the knitted items, and occasionally the locations, rather than concentrating on how the garment is made and what the details are. Once you get past this attempt to be a fashion book and you realise that many of the patterns are in fact pretty classic pieces and quite nice really. This was first published as Vintage Style by Rowan Yarns in 2004; this is a 2010 reprint by Search Press. The designers are Kaffe Fassett; Sarah Dallas; Kim Hargreaves; Martin Storey; Sharon Peake; Louisa Harding; Brandon Mably and Lucinda Guy. This is a book of designs inspired by the 40's, 50's and 60's designed for a more modern sensibility. The sizing for women's doesn't really go above 40" but wwith a range of sizes sizing up shouldn't be too hard.

Translated for the american audience the US needle size takes precidence. Kim Hargreaves has the majority of patterns here so if you like her style this might be the book for you.

I though most of the patterns were pretty classic or adaptable to be more classic with changes of colour or leaving off some of the ornamentation.

Types of patterns: Men and women's Jumpers, cardigans and some scarves

Number of Patterns: 30

Split of patterns: cardigan/Jacket (13); Men's Waistcoat (1); Men's Jumper (6); Jumper (5); Shawl/stole (1); scarf (1); short-sleeved top (3); Coat (1); men's cardigan (1)

Size Range: Men: 38"-46" (s-xxl); Women's 32"-40" (xs-xl)

Colour/Black & White: Colour with some colour-enhanced charts

Schematics: Yes

Target Audience: Intermediate to advanced for most a few are pretty easy, provided you have some exposure to the UK way of knit patterns.

How to knit guide: No

Experimental/Classical/Modern: fairly classical

Comments on patterns:

Laurent a belted cardigan with a shawl style collar this has floral intarsia and some embroidery, enough of the colour to add interest but not too much to swamp the garment, if I was making this I would seriously consider the placement of the lowest flower where the neck starts to split, it might be more flattering a little higher up. Sharon Peake is the designer of this one

Chinese Basket by Kaffe Fassett; a man's jumper and tank top. This ids relatively subdued for a Kaffe Fassett piece but you'd need to be pretty confident of your colourwork to tackle this one

Suzette is a v-necked cardigan with a small patterned stripe. Could be loud, could be subtle, the stripes are quite obvious in the model but they're small so they might suit some more than others. You would want to be happy working with colourwork charts as this is how it's done. Designed by Kim Hargreaves

Fleur is also by Kim Hargreaves, a bolero style jacket with a high fastening neck. Sleeves are knit at the same time and it's bead-edged.

Bridget by Martin Storey is a black and white highnecked cardigan. The pattern concentrates on the yoke with only "lice" patterning on the main body

Clark is a pretty plain men's jumper with faux-seams to add some interest and a turtleneck. Designed by Kim Hargreaves

Aimee using stripes of two strands and a smaller needle and one strand and a bigger needle this creates a fine and airy garment, the original is knit in kidsilk haze. An interesting idea. Another Kim Hargreaves design

Elise more of a jacket or formal cardigan than relaxed garment this has curved fronts "and a ruffled edge, the front wrap would make this a warm garment, and another by Kim Hargreaves

Tyrolean CardiganThis is designed by Sarah Dallas and is a waistlength cardigan that looks from the pictures that you might need to make some adjustments if you wanted it to meet for the top few buttons. Some embroidery detail adds to the cardigan.

Faye is a cardigan with a belt, designed by Kim Hargreaves, deep v-neck with a i-chord belt just above the ribbing. The styling of the pictures really doesn't give you a lot of detail about the piece.

Mason is another Kim Hargreaves pattern with cabling lost to the darkness of the original yarn and a turtle neck, also features reverse stocking stitch

Jolie is also by Kim Hargreaves, a slip stitch deep v-necked cardigan with button detailing on the wrists. Commentary on Ravelry lead me to suspect that the sleeves may need to be longer or the v-neck stopped earlier, it sits a bit wide.

Collette designed by Louisa Harding this uses stripes of lace vertically rather than horizontally and the original was knit in 4-ply, so possibly a use for singleton balls of covetable sock yarn.

Chantel by Kim Hargreaves is a crochet pattern, take multiple colours at random, crochet motif, 100 motifs later you crochet them together and create a stole/shawl.

Magnolia plain jumper (made with Kid Silk Haze and Kid Classic together) with collar and button detail. Pretty classic piece from Kim Hargreaves

Joy straight knitting produces a collar on this Kim Hargreaves designed cardigan that has beading (approximately 5,300 of them!) The Peplum is unbuttoned and could possibly do with being bigger.

Piers designed for men by Martin Storey, this jumper has tree and snowflake desiges in roundels and a fairly tight wrap-over neck.

Monettedesigned by Lucinda Guy, knit in Kid Silk Haze and 3.25mm needles the scarf has stripes and lace to the bottom

Cherie this is a jumper with an almost boat neck, knit in DK (Rowan Yorkshire Tweed) and otherwise is quite plain. It does have some shaping. Designed by Kim Hargreaves

Oriel An Asymmetrically fastened jacket, I would like to see it open, knit in 4ply and kidsilk haze held together.

Salina a polo-shirt collar with shaping on this relatively plain jumper knit in Felted Tweed. A basic pattern designed by Kim Hargreaves

Beau; a man's jumper with a polo-shirt neckline and some stitch detail to break up the monotony. Yet another by Kim Hargreaves, knit in Aran weight yarn.

Agnes a t-shirt style top, fitted and with an open detail on the sleeve, knit in 4-ply and designed by Kim Hargreaves

Demi Another Kim Hargreaves, knit in Aran weight yarn this is an Aran inspired jumper with shoulder buttons and a round neck.

Touscon Scape is designed by Brandon Mably, knit in yorkshire tweed Aran and DK throughout, fitted colourwork cardigan.

Charlot is a Martin Storey design, patterned and embroidered, knit in 4-ply yarn, I've seen variations without the embroidery and it just didn't seem as nice as those with. Your mileage may vary.

Riva long coat, designed by Kim Hargreaves, knit in chunky weight yarn this is relatively plain but enlivened by a corsage, which could probably be replaced by a brooch.

Jarrett a man's cardigan knit in Dk with shoulder patches and elbow patches. Could be a good design for someone who often wears out their elbows!

Origami is a Kaffe Fassett pattern, triangles abound in this colourwork jumper knit in 4-ply and designed for men.

Mili is a t-shirt with an interesting neckline, knit in 4-ply and decorated with touches of colourwork and designed by Lucinda Guy

Alouette is designed by Sarah Dallas, knit in 4-ply this has a lace pattern and stripes of colour. Tapers to the bottom as it's designed to be waist length so lengthening could need some work.

Buy/Borrow: I plan to get a copy, while the puff-pices on each pattern is maddening, I've read much worse. Behind those are quite good patterns, while they don't have a really good range of sizing overall I found it pretty interesting and worth my while.

Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries has a few copies in stock.

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