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Cardigans Hardcover – October 6, 2009
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Here's the info. This books has 27 patterns which are written for sizes 8-18 US. Three of the patterns are for boleros, two are for jacket style sweaters. Thirteen of the patterns feature elbow-3/4 length sleeves. Eleven of the patterns are for long sleeved cardigans. Long sleeved is a bit generous in my opinion because many of them don't quite make it to the wrist bones. Next are the sweater lengths based on the pictures. Sometimes it was hard to tell so don't hold me to these figures exactly. I would say that twelve sweaters are waist to just below waist length. Nine are approximately hip length. Three are long enough to cover the buns. Many of the sweaters feature untraditional closures such as ribbons, single buttons, clasps, etc.
I am also including the gauges for a four inch swatch so you have an idea of what kind of yarns you can use. 18x24 - 5 sweaters, 20x28 - 5 sweaters, 22x30 - 10 sweaters, 12-13x14-17 - 4 sweaters, 20x24-26 - 3 sweaters, 24x26 - 1 sweater
As I said, I have not yet knitted any of the patterns but I have read several of them. They seem well-written. I agree with the other reviewer that some of these patterns might seem dated soon because many of the patterns are so trendy. That being said, I am looking forward to doing one of these sweaters as soon as I finish my next project.
The problem lies in the designs. They are based on a limited range of sizes (8 is the smallest you can go) and operate on the assumption that modern women really want to look like they raided both a 7 year old and a 77 year old's closet. Half of the designs are going for the "classic" look, and are subsequently boxy enough to even look unflattering on the models. Adding to the awful effect, these are knit in the frumpiest yarns possible. A wannabe Chanel jacket, with none of the charm, and knit in a crazy-colored novelty yarn? No, thank you.
The alternative to elderly-wear, of course, is the Pretty Pretty Pastel Princess sections of the book. These, as you may guess, are ribbon-festooned, pastel-ridden, flowery, delicate sweaterlets. While the playing-young look can be cute, it's not cute enough to merit that many patterns.
I clearly loathe most of the patterns, but the lace patterns are a redeeming feature. They are truly lovely, and I could use those, at least. Well, I could use them...were they not printed so small that I actually had to find a magnifying glass to see them. To give you the scale, a non-repeating 130 stitch x 34 row lace chart for Waterfall lace is 7 3/4 in x 1 1/4 in. Each stitch is just shy of a millimeter. Um, right. Have fun interpreting that.
Don't waste your time with this book. Since LH is a big name, your local library probably picked the book up. Check it out and save some cash.
The patterns seem very well written, though maybe better suited to a more experienced knitter. Many of the patterns are presented in mulitple versions knitted with different yarn weights or with altered detailing, which is fantastic. I've become a Louisa Harding fan! This has got to be the most tasteful collection of patterns I have ever come across.
Many of the garments are photographed with only the top button fastened, or have only one button. These cardigans "vee out" to the sides, instead of hanging straight, as (in my opinion) a cardigan should. Some of the skimpier designs with full buttonbands look like they cannot be buttoned at all. The most attractive garments are belted (like the cover design) or have drawstring or ribbon belts. But for me, a drawstring belt is not very practical, because I usually throw a cardigan on over other clothes for extra warmth.
The book doesn't include a pattern for a "classic" cardigan, which surprised me. There are some cute shrug-like cropped cardigans. There are patterns with cables that don't quite work for me, because the scale of the cables seems to overpower the designs. Several patterns have fairly attractive lace edgings, but the edgings don't do much for the garments. There is one very nice pattern for a dressy drawstring-waisted overgarment (vee front open from shoulders to waist) that has a pretty lace "peplum".
In short, this is another pattern book that you should probably look inside before you buy. It's a lovely book, if you actually want to knit one of the included designs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Many odd looking cardigans in the 1960s style; and several too short = bolero .Published 2 months ago by Denyse Lemaire
Girly frilly little cardigans, several closer to bolero jackets than full cardys. Many of the items only button once at the top, which can look peculiar if you're busty. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Karen
Some beautiful cardigans here, can't wait to actual knit them, LOL. The instructions seem very clear and the photography is stunning.Published 2 months ago by June
Love Louisa Harding's knitting pattern books they are so fashion forward, feminine and lovely.Published 3 months ago by Pamela G.
Lots of fun knitting patterns. Great photos and detailed written patterns. I haven't tried any yet, but found several that I have my eye on for future projects. :)Published 18 months ago by M. Suvak
"Cardigans" is a fantastic resource by knitwear designer Louisa Harding. I have three other books that she has written and appreciate the fact that she zeroed in on one garment... Read morePublished on May 24, 2012 by Solitaire