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The Celtic Collection: Twenty-Five Knitwear Designs for Men and Women Hardcover – February 1, 1993


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square Publishing (February 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0943955653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0943955650
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 9.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,103,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alice Starmore is a leading knitwear designer and a best-selling author, whose other books include "Fisherman's Sweaters, Celtic Needlepoint, "and" Sweaters for Men."
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 32 customer reviews
Alice Starmore is truly a design genius.
Irene
The book contains a great deal of interesting historical information as well.
Sharon
The shaping is always very simple, with drop sleeves and boxy shapes.
Rebecca Haden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Haden VINE VOICE on March 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Alice Starmore is justly famed for her beautiful colorwork and cable designs. These sweaters -- for men, women, and children -- are all about the fabric. The shaping is always very simple, with drop sleeves and boxy shapes. The directions are very clear and finishing is easy. If you can work from charts, you should not have any difficulty making the colorwork sweaters; in traditional Fair Isle style, there are only 2 colors to a row.

As is true of the most useful knitting books, this one has many color charts and cables which will look good on other items. As a source for patterns for your socks or motifs for your pillows, this is a book you will pull off your shelf repeatedly through the years. I have combined the colorwork with more fitted sweater patterns from other designers with great success, so a dislike of drop sleeves shouldn't deter you from adding this book to your collection.

I've made several things using quite ordinary sport weight and worsted weight yarns, so the difficulty of finding the recommended yarns does not seem to me to be an issue, unless you are determined to match the designer's colors exactly.

The book itself is beautiful, though the moody photos of disgruntled beauties in Goth makeup are sometimes too arty to allow the reader to get a clear idea of the construction of the sweater. The landscapes are enough to make you want to go for a visit.
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106 of 117 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
First things first: this is a KNITTING book, not a needlepoint book. Many of the reviewers below have confused "The Celtic Collection" with "Celtic Needlepoint," which is a different subject entirely.
"The Celtic Collection" is my least favorite Starmore book. Alice Starmore's collections are usually about evenly divided among Fair Isle and cabled patterns, but the balance here is heavily skewed toward colorwork. If you're a texture knitter like me, this is not the collection for you--get "Fishermen's Sweaters" or "Aran Knitting" instead.
Sadly, the few cabled patterns included in this collection are just not up to par. One otherwise lovely Celtic-knot tunic is ruined by an ugly band of ribbing around the waist. Others come in only one size. This is especially disappointing, since Starmore usually provides directions to knit her designs in a generous range of sizes. The one sweater in this collection that I really would enjoy making and wearing would never actually fit me!
Alice Starmore's designs are renowned for their beauty and complexity, but the Fair Isle sweaters in this book involve a staggering number of colors--more, I think, than in other Starmore collections. The effect is marvelous, of course, but I can't imagine keeping track of so many yarns at once!
The ancient Celts are surrounded by layers of myth and legend, drama and hyperbole, and Starmore really does express this in her bold, flamboyant colorwork designs.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Burge on March 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
Although Starmore yarns are no longer available in this country, Jamieson can fill the bill for you. The call numbers are the same, but the color names are different. Starmore books are just too precious to give up, simply because the yarns are no longer available. This book is a work of art, but definitely not for the novice knitter, unless (s)he has unlimited patience and an urge to stretch the wings.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Julia on April 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
I actually have two copies of this book. The first was purchased more than 15 years ago, and is a much loved / slightly tattered hardcover. I recently received the paperback version as a gift to replace my much-used original.

I love patterns that have either lots of colorwork, or lots of texture. This is why I learned to knit in the first place. This book is heavily skewed towards color work. I have been making the sweaters from this book for various relatives for many years, and am currently working on a sweater full of celtic creatures for my daughter. You can also transpose some of the designs, such as the entwined dragons from the back of a child's sweater onto other projects as long as you keep the stitches even on either side.

If you look at the guages, you can substitute available yarns for the yarns listed in the book. Consider the colors and yarn selections in the photographs as "suggestions" and you will free yourself to make some personalized choices.

Warning: In the years since this book was published, some of the patterns have become dated. This is mostly due to the shape of the sweaters and ever changing fashion trends.

Have I mentioned that I love this book? I can't imagine not having it to reach for when the urge to knit something glorious strikes.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is not only a darn good book of knitting patterns, but a great coffee-table book. The photography is splendid, and the sweaters knit up beautifully with a little attention to detail. I am a self-taught knitter of low to moderate skill, and I've managed to turn out three of these sweaters beautifully; and they look FABULOUS! The Rowan yarns can be both expensive and hard to get, but any good yarn shop can either order for you or help you find a good substitute.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By FiddleLizzie on February 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book has been available for a long time, and the designs are truly timeless. I've knitted several Alice Starmore sweaters from this and other books, and each is a work of art. The detail, construction, fit and style are always the very best.

Don't be afraid to substitute yarns, as Starmore yarns are very difficult to find. Just be careful that you are exactly on gauge, and you'll do fine. I've found that the Aran weight patterns can be worked in worsted using a smaller sized needle and minor adjustments to the pattern, and still achieve a wonderful result.

The Fair Isle technique can be a bit daunting if you're not familiar with it. But, don't despair, there are many other books available, including Starmore's Fair Isle Knitting, that will assist you with any questions. My only caveat with any Alice Starmore pattern is to take time, really study the pattern, work out all the gauges and tension matters, and take your time when knitting. These aren't patterns to be rushed. With care and attention to detail, you will achieve greatness.

If you need to adjust a pattern, that is also pretty easy. Just plan it out beforehand. As the patterning is based upon repeated motifs, you have plenty of ability to adjust.

If you are knitting a cardigan from The Celtic Collection, don't try to save money on buttons either. Only the best will do, for these are sweaters that last a lifetime.

Every Starmore pattern I've knitted, and a few of those sweaters are ten years old, yet look as fresh and new as if they'd been designed last week. You simply cannot go wrong. I consider The Celtic Collection a cornerstone of my knitting library. The sweaters are treasures of my wardrobe.
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