Thursday, 3 November 2011

Knits that Fit - Review

Impressions: I saw this book and the cover garment looked familiar, and then I looked at the back of the book.  "Portions of this work were originally published in the following" Big Girl Knits (the advice on big girl sizing); Knits Three Ways; More Big Girl Knits; Mother-Daughter Knits; Romantic Hand Knits and Runway Knits.  Yes, indeed, the garments are mostly recycled.  Now if you don't have the books, that's grand but if you already have some you might want to check it out. (all links to the books are to Ravelry)

Types of patterns: Jumper (8); Cardigan (4); shrug (3); shirt (1); top (7)

Number of Patterns: 23

Split of patterns: Women's patterns only

Size Range: 32-52 (not across all patterns, several only go to 38")

Colour/Black & White: Colour photographs, black and white charts

Schematics: yes

Target Audience: Intermediate to advanced

How to knit guide: no, there is a glossary that explains some of the more non-standard techniques but this isn't really one for beginners.

Experimental/Classical/Modern: A lot of the patterns are pretty classical.

Comments on patterns:
Marbled Top by Berta Karapetyan (originally from Runway Knits). Not filling me with glee, horizontal stripes formed by the pleats above your bust would probably be unflattering to some along with the high neck.  Not for folks with big boobs really, like me. Knit in a medium/worsted weight yarn.

Roman Candle Pullover by Berta Karapetan (originally from Runway Knits) again high-necked but the basket weave cabling would be figure-hugging. Knit in a light/DK weight yarn.

Dark Victory Sweater by Annie Modesitt (from Romantic Hand Knits) - this has ribbing to the side and an interesting neckline with a small amount of colourwork, this would be a project for a very luxe yarn.  It's designed to be skin tight.  Knit in a medium/worsted weight yarn

Cecilia's Sweater by Melissa Matthay (from Knits Three Ways) - this has ribs that run vertically and then taper to the neck, you'd have to be careful about placement because if you weren't careful they could form boob frames. knit in a medium/worsted weight

Hourglass Pullover by Lily Chin - it looks like a buttoned cardigan but it's a jumper.  Has some reverse stocking stitch to create an hourglass illusion, and also uses the same trick (not quite to the same effect) on the sleeves.  Also has shaping. Knit in Light/DK weight yarn.

Flirty Top by Sally Melville (from Mother-Daughter Knits) - I am not a fan of ruffles... this has ruffles on the bottom and sleeves. Knit in Medium/Worsted weight this is definitely one I won't be knitting for me.

Corded Sweater by Berta Karapetyan (originally from Runway Knits). - flares at the waist ans has vertical lines running down the front of the sweater.  The sleeves look a little long on the model so you might want to take some care here, also the high neck isn't exciting me. Knit in a bulky weight yarn.

Vintage "Sweater Girl" Cropped Sweater by Lily Chin (also available from the Lily Chin Signature Collection)- it's a fairly plain v-necked jumper where the v is quite wide and it stops on the hips.  Not particularly cropped to me, it could be lengthened to taste. Knit in a bulky/chunky weight.

Seashell Cardi by Berta Karapetyan (originally from Runway Knits) - this is an unusual shape, interesting construction but the sleeves look a little off.  Knit in Medium/worsted weight

Mrs Darcy Cardigan by Mary Weaver (previously a free pattern but resized and some corrections for this book) - this has a deep v or scoop neck with ribs along the waist and raglan shoulders.  Knit in a medium/worsted weight wool in one piece to the armholes.

Cosy Moss Shrug by Berta Karapetyan (originally from Runway Knits) - this is knit in super bulky yarn so a quick knit; ribbed.  The photos don't really show the front of the garment well.  For me this would be too much weight.

Two-way shrug by Caddy Melville Ledbetter (from Mother-Daughter Knits) - not exactly sure how this is a two-way shrug, I'm sure it's because it can be worn either way up, this is a very short, short-sleeved shrug knit in medium/worsted weight and might be ideal if you have a dress with a special top that you don't want to obscure.

Classic Shirt by Sally Melville (from Mother-Daughter Knits) - the photographs have it pretty much as a see-through shirt.  It's a button down shirt knit with fine/sport weight yarn with 3.5mm (US 4) needles One of the variations is more dense.  You'd need to play with fabric and gauge to get this one right for you.

Springtime in Paris Shrug by Berta Karapetyan (originally from Runway Knits) - knit in Light-dk weight with two strands of yarn held together in a brioche stitch this looks dense and bulky on the model.  The sleeves are done using a single strand and the upper back likewise.  Interesting construction.

Sophisticated Hoodie by Sally Melville (from Mother-Daughter Knits) - knit in a light/dk weight yarn this is a light shaped hoodie.  Not my thing but not a bad design.

Ruffled Cardigan by Berta Karapetyan (originally from Runway Knits), some minor shaping on the body with a ruffled curved edge and ruffled (optional) edge on the sleeves, This looks like it would be complicated to finish off and I have to say I'm not terribly impressed with the finish on the photographed piece.

Sea Foam Top by Berta Karapetyan (originally from Runway Knits) A summery top that needs lining and has a ruffle along the necline and a partial cap sleeve

Ninotchka Spaghetti-strap Tank by Annie Modesitt (from Romantic Hand Knits) Spaghetti-strap top with a shelf-bra inside.  I have Romantic Hand Knits and I do plan to knit this at some stage myself as I spend warmer summer days in tops like this.  Lace on the bottom and solid topped.

Sheila's Tank Top by Melissa Mattay (from Knits Three Ways) I'm not really sure where this fails to please me, perhaps it's the way your eye is drawn to the bottom of the bust and you start to see sag lines where there are none due to the chevron patterning.  Cleverly there are quite wide straps but this one is a pass.

Notorious low-cut top by Annie Modesitt (from Romantic Hand Knits) Fitted top, which needs a strapless bra for a good fit.  I'd invest in one first and organise some of the details of this top around the bra.

Rebecca's Top by Melissa Matthay (from Knits Three Ways) Somehow this lacks balance, I think the model for this has a deeper armscrye than the pattern allows for so a bit of bunching going on at the shoulder and underarm.  If I knit this I would leave out the ribbon and perhaps the eyelets for the ribbon.  I would also examine the armholes and make sure it fit right.  A piece designed to be worn over something or possibly on it's own it deserves a little more tweaking.

Mini Dress by Caddy Melville Ledbetter (from Mother-Daughter Knits). Honestly I wouldn't regard this as a dress, a tunic top maybe.  This is one for people whose waist lacks definition, as the horizontal stripe adds this definition.  However the placement of this would be all, it needs to be at the waistline.  This is knit from the bottom up.

Audrey Pullover by Mary Weaver is a shoulder-fastening piece with a round yoke neckline. A lot of shaping in this one.

Buy/Borrow: If you've fancied the patterns and don't own the books (or fancy the few that aren't in books) this is a useful book. The advice about fitting is comprehensive and overall it's not a bad one.

Where found: Cork County Libraries have copies in stock, I got mine via Borrowbooks.

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