…and ordered the two books I wanted from Amazon, plus one more that was pretty cheap with some nice designs. They came this weekend (love the free shipping!) Here are my thoughts (with lots of pictures, since it’s hard to see what designs are in these books online anywhere)
Knit 2 Together
I randomly flipped through this book last week at Barnes and Noble, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved the patterns. The price tag (27.95) was kind of steep, so I mentally put it on my Christmas list. It’s only around 18 at amazon, so when I saw that I ordered it a few days later.
This book contains a large variety of patterns. Almost of all of them are cute, with only a few missteps (did the world really need two patterns for knitted pants? I think not.) There’s a knitted dress that I actually find sort of cute, amazing since I usually find knitted dresses and skirts to be kind of silly. There are some great sweater patterns.
Must. Knit. Faster. I want all three of these sweaters immediately! This book even makes me want to try fairisle, and I do not enjoy color work. But… this vest. So cute. I may have to cave!
I even find patterns cute that I would usually ignore.
A “grown up bonnet”
A knitted suit (although I would probably just make the jacket)
And… legwarmers. Well, they don’t call them that, but hey – I remember the 80s! Don’t think you can call it a sock and I won’t notice that essentially these are legwarmers. But they are so cute. It’s the ruffle – I’m a sucker for ruffles.
I recommend running out and buying this book right away! It has a good variety of patterns, for men, women, children, and the home. There is a bath mat I would like to make, as well as an adorable ruffled tea cozy. The patterns and schematics are all clear and include measurements so you can easily determine sizing. Tracey Ullman includes cute little anecdotes throughout the book (including, at one point, comparing a project you know is wrong for you to a bad boyfriend -I’ve been there!) Plus it includes one of the cutest baby patterns I’ve ever seen. My friends should start having babies so I have someone to knit these things for!
Romantic style is a book I can’t quite figure out. Most, if not all, of the patterns are from Rowan Magazines (yes, that is Butterfly on the cover.) It uses Rowan yarns. Yet it isn’t a Rowan publication. Very strange. Having said that, I own zero Rowan magazines, so I was happy to pick this up from Amazon for less than the cost of one Rowan magazine.
The patterns in this book all have a lovely sort of 1930s feel. I love everything, even the ones I wouldn’t necessarily make. There’s a lovely super long dressing gown that would take 50 years to knit, but which I just love the look of.
The sweaters are, of course, lovely.
and the accessory patterns are also really nice
There are patterns for both the capelet and the sash in the first photo. I love the “bed socks”, which are tied at the top with cute little ribbons. And the shawl… it’s a basic granny square shawl crocheted from kidsilk haze. I love the idea and look of this shawl, but dear god – if I hate knitting with kidsilk, I can’t even imagine the horror of crocheting with it. And yet this shawl tempts me. The book also contains the infamous “river” kidsilk shawl, which I may make someday – just not in a fuzzy yarn. I hate fuzzy yarn. There are also home patterns in this book – several very nice pillow covers. I didn’t photograph them because I dislike how long it takes to knit things for the home.
Romantic knits has a lovely aesthetic and many nice patterns. If you don’t own many Rowan magazines I would recommend it – it’s on sale for 18 at Amazon right now, which is less than the cost of one Rowan magazine. Be prepared for it to awaken in you a desire to own all the Rowan magazines.
Vintage knits is not a new book. It’s a book of reworked vintage sweater designs by Sarah Dallas. I’ve read that there are some problems with the book, but I adore vintage sweaters so I thought I would give it a try.
There are some really lovely sweater patterns here. Unfortunately, possibly due to the vintage nature of the original patterns, the range of sizes here is quite small. Most sweaters will fit between a 32 and 38″ bust. There are a lot of similar looking short sleeved sweaters. Most are made in Rowan 4ply cotton or similar fingering weight yarn, and are knitting with US size 2-3 needles. Good news for people like me, who find that needles over size 7 hurt, but bad news if you’re looking for a relatively quick knit. The short sleeves should keep most of the sweaters from being outrageous though.
You get the idea. I bought this book for the wavy line sweater above, and I may make one or two others eventually. The book lacks schematics, and the instructions are rather brief, so this is definitely not recommended for beginners. It’s a nice option if you’re looking for vintage styled patterns though. I bought it instead of Rowan’s “Vintage Knits” because I don’t think the rowan sweaters look very vintage.
Whew! I think I don’t need to buy any books for a bit.