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Vintage Knits: 30 Exquisite Vintage-Inspired Patterns for Cardigans, Twin Sets, Crewnecks and More Paperback – August 20, 2002


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About the Author

Sarah Dallas is a knitwear designer, design consultant, and senior tutor in the School of Fashion and Textiles at the Royal College of Art, London. She has contributed to many knitting books and periodicals. Yesterknits, in Edinburgh, Scotland, houses the world's largest collection -- spanning more than a century -- of vintage knitting and crochet patterns.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Fireside ed edition (August 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743224566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743224567
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #571,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Charles A. Dainoff on January 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
As I sit here typing, I'm wearing the second sweater I've knit from this book's selections, and I couldn't be much happier with the results.
Yes, the book's directions seem scanty and the sizes don't go up past a 38-in. bust; and, like other reviewers, I wish I didn't have to do so much work to decode the color charts. But just try working from a REAL vintage pattern from the 30s and 40s some time. Believe me, this book is much easier to use: the instructions are clear and stripped down to knitter's terminology basics, and the layout is uncluttered and easy to read.
As a realtively new knitter, I've needed a knitting reference book on hand occasionally while working with Vintage Knits, but the better part of the projects here are for intermediate-skilled knitters and are pretty easy and satisfying to complete. As far as yarns go (which for these projects range from fingering- to DK-weight and no heavier), there are cheaper substitutes out there for the recommended brands -- all that's really important is staying in gauge. If you were knitting from actual vintage patterns you'd end up searching for substitutes anyhow.
So here's my one complaint: while I dig the garment choices, color combos and presentation, and I think the very idea of publishing a book of adapted vintage projects is fantastic, the author's gone too far in "modernizing" the original designs. The shaping and sizing are too far from vintage, not nearly as close-fitting as real vintage sweaters and designed with slightly dropped shoulder seams (as opposed to the high-armscye, lightly shoulder-padded originals), making them more slouchy and casual than the tailored, high-Hollywood glamour-look of real vintage. (One clue: as cute as the contemporary models are, the b&w models look even better!
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Quickbeam VINE VOICE on May 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
I like this book and a few of the patterns...but please be aware that the sizes are quite small and allow for little ease in the modern style. I have adapted 2 of them for a similar size and greater ease and that has worked well.
Two major quibbles...one design called for beading but did not specify what type of beads. I spent two hours in a bead store with bead professionals who said the type of beads in the picture aren't made to fit that style of yarn. Also, there could have been more instruction on beaded knitting...this isn't something most knitters have a lot of experience with.
Second, although this inevitably happens with every pattern book, I was dismayed to find that almost every pattern uses Rowan's Botany, a discontinued yarn. You expect that when you get a book years after publishing but not so soon after release. As it is, the reader will probably never be able to duplicate the shading in the pictured designs as the yarn no longer exists.
To end on a positive note, I do find the patterns well written overall with nice designer touches.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Heather Kofke-Egger on September 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Be warned that the patterns in this book are sized for 32", 34" and 36" chest measuremenets. Most of the patterns are very close fitting, so there's not much ease to work with if you're a bigger size. If you're comfortable resizing patterns, then I would recommend this book because the patterns are fabulous and very much the style of what young adult women are wearing. But if you just want to follow the printed pattern, you're going to have to make a pretty small sweater.
Also, nearly all the patterns call for Rowan yarn, which is quite expensive. Once again, if you're comfortable with yarn substitution or have plenty of money to spend on knitting, this will be fine. But the price of the recommended yarn might be discouraging to some people.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Leslie H. on June 14, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm starting to hear people say how tired they are of scarves and ponchos and they'd like to move on to something new. Next, they say how expensive it is- both $ and time-wise to buy yarn for a sweater if they're only going to want to wear it for a couple of years and then it will be out of style. I want to pull my hair out! I keep telling people, well then don't choose a pattern for a trendy style. If you're going to spend the $ on sweater yarn and put all that work into it, make it a CLASSIC. Make it something you will wear for years like a charming cardigan or a fair isle- never goes out of style. That's where this book comes in. Lovely designs that stand the test of time. You won't want to bury any of these in a drawer in a couple of years. Yes, the sizing is on the smaller size, so if you are larger than a size 8-10, you may have trouble with even the largest pattern sizes. That is a drawback to this one, but I still love it and it's just a gorgeous book. A huge improvement on the dumpy, trendy, otherwise unwearable patterns that all the yarn companies are putting out.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Pamcakes on July 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
Yes, it is true that the largest sized pattern is a 36" bust BUT, this book is truly worth all the hassle it would take to figure out how to resize the patterns to fit your measurments.

If you read the book it does explain this flaw; in the 40's and 50's "the emphasis in fashion was on a tiny waist. It was not unusual for women to have a wasit of 21 inches or smaller."

It further explains the sizing saying, "The sizes for the garments in this book are mainly small, medium and large, i.e. 32in, 34in, and 36in chest measurement. As the inspiration for these designs originates from 1940's and 1950's knitting patterns, many of the garments are intentionally quite close fitting."

These are just absolutely beautiful projects and like I said earlier worth the extra time you may have to take. I would recommend this book to everyone who has an eye for fashion. I myself have a 38" bust size but I am going to learn how to resize these patterns so that I can make the garments fit me.
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