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My Grandmother's Knitting: Family Stories and Inspired Knits from Top Designers Hardcover – September 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584799390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584799399
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Larissa Brown is the co-author of Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together (STC Craft, 2008). Her hand-knit designs have appeared in Knit.1 magazine, Knitty, and on her blog, Stitch Marker. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Customer Reviews

Great book with interesting patterns.
Trisha
I loved reading stories about how some prominent designers were nurtured in the craft.
Anonymous
This beautiful book is a jewel in any knitter's stash.
live2knit

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lynne E. TOP 100 REVIEWER on August 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
About half of this book is devoted to short, heart-warming stories about the family "roots" of popular knitting designers. The remainder is devoted to designer knitting patterns "inspired by" the designers' grandparents, parents, and their places of origin.

Dedicated knitters will no doubt enjoy reading about the family backgrounds of Wendy Bernard, Pam Allen, Meg Swansen, Ysolda Teague, Jessica Marshall Forbes, Kay Gardiner, Joan McGowan-Michael, Kristin Spurkland, Teva Durham, Jared Flood, Norah Gaughan, Anne Hanson, Leigh Radford, Chrissy Gardiner, Adrian Bizilia, Kirsten Kapur, and Emily Johnson.

Many (but not all) of these designers contributed patterns, and there are some patterns contributed by designers who did not contribute family stories. Most of the patterns are for small, portable projects (mittens, hats, socks, slippers, scarves, cowls, a dishcloth, a pillow), but there are some patterns for large, ambitious projects (a cardigan, a Fair Isle pullover, a cape, a lace-bordered shrug, an afghan, a lace baby blanket). My personal favorites are Kristin Spurkland's "Rose and Cross Pullover" with Fair Isle yoke, David Castillo's striped "Conover Mittens", Anne Hanson's "Crocus Patch Baby Blanket" with its complex allover lace pattern, and Cookie A.'s "Wan Jai Socks" that have gently undulating, street-like curves along the sock legs and feet.

The book does not include any historical "grandmother knitting" patterns--which was a disappointment for me. There are no handed-down family patterns, no patterns actually knitted by or invented by the older generations of the designers' families. Nevertheless, because of the entertaining, anecdotal stories and the variety of attractive patterns, I rate this book at 4 stars. It should make a welcome gift for any serious knitter.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This delightful knitting book has family-inspired knitting stories by many of knitting's greats. Some of the contributors are Meg Swanson, Jared Flood, Pam Allen, Ysolda Teague, Leigh Radford and Ann Hanson.

While the patterns in this book are not hand-me-down patterns from families, many are patterns that were inspired by the designer's family. Some of the ones that really spoke to me are the Family Tree Afghan designed by Larissa Brown, inspired by her grandmother's love of knitting afghans. Grandma's Fan Dishcloth by designer Judy Becker was inspired by antique lace medallions that she inherited from her family. Crayon Cowls is designed by Kirsten Kapur who was inspired by the creativity of her great-aunts. Kristin Sparkland designed the Rose and Cross Pullover based on traditional Norwegian design. Minerva Bonnet by Teva Durham is inspired by one created and worn by her grandmother. The Crocus Patch Baby Blanket is just stunning, designed by Ann Hanson, and inspired by her grandmother who spent a lifetime knitting afghans. This one is in a beautiful lace motif. The Edna Slouch Hat is designed by Leigh Radford who got her inspiration from her grandmother. The Storm Cloud Shawlette by Hanna Breetz is inspired by Elizabeth Zimmerman.

The stories are quaint and lovely reading and each knitter adds their own bit of wisdom, advice and learning. The patterns are clearly written, lovely to look at and there are several that I would like to knit.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By goodfruit on August 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
While my Grandma taught me to knit, it was nothing as cool as the stuff in this book by the author of Knit Along, Larissa Brown. I was privileged to get mine signed by Larissa herself, and then I took it home and read every page.

I love the shared knitting stories from all the designers, and the ones that are followed up by the modernized version of those very patterns just read about. I predict there will be many slippers with or without pom-pom's made for Christmas this year, who can resist the charm of Grandma's knitted slippers?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Konner on June 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book due to the sweater on the cover. Other than that, there are only a couple of other patterns that interested me.
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By Anonymous on December 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. The stories are great and I've almost finished one of the patterns (there are many patterns worth knitting in this book). Some of the patterns weren't accompanied by stories and I wish they were. In a day and culture where aging is seen as an unfortunate and pitiful decline, it was refreshing to read of elders who are honored and respected for the lives they lived. Not all the stories are about grandmothers' knitting, but how people were inspired by their elders. I loved reading stories about how some prominent designers were nurtured in the craft. It inspires me to do the same for the little ones in my life.
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By M. Rexroth on September 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as soon as it came out and since then I have found myself (and others who like to peruse my shelves) returning to it regularly. There is something comforting about this book. Although I am self taught and have no memories of my own learning from a family member I still thoroughly enjoy the stories. The patterns, photography and instructions are all wonderful. I wish more knitting books appeared to have so much thought put into them. This one is a keeper and I look forward to someday passing it on to my grand-daughter.
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By lovethelake on July 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Would have liked more patterns
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Larissa's first novel, Beautiful Wreck, is a time travel love story set in a bleak future and in 10th century Viking Iceland. The book debuted in February 2014, and Larissa is hard at work on a companion book set in the same world as well as other time-travel-ish and speculative fiction.

An eclectic reader, Larissa's favorite book this year was A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic. She reads speculative fiction, romance, historical fiction and craft books, and has a special love for knitting stitch dictionaries. A two-time craft author, Larissa has published books, articles and designs with a variety of knitting-related publications. She independently publishes her hand knitting designs.

She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband Martin and son Sebastian, adorable loser-of-hand-made-hats.

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