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Cardigans Hardcover – October 6, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
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.