Customer Reviews: French Girl Knits
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French Girls Knits offers what it claims are innovative techniques and romantic details. As for romantic, yes indeed. If you are looking for light, airy and fluffy, look no further. Several patterns are done up in very thin mohair mix yarns (one a linen mix) to make diaphanous garments that could be at home equally in the boudoir as on a shoulder for a summer evening. My favorite model in the entire book was "Anjou", a leaf green linen-mohair blend with a drawn-up hem and tie, short sleeves fluttering with lace. But there are also patterns featuring chunky yarns "for those that like that sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they like" to quote Miss Jean Brodie. For me, I am a fine-gauge yarn knitter, lifelong, so I like the ethereal knits, but if you want saucy cropped jackets in bulky yarn, they are here.

The book is divided into Boutique Parisienne (romantic and vintage, my fave), Enfant Sauvage (Gypsy-rustic), La Creatrice (unconventional construction--the designs are not so radical) and Dans La Rue, streetwear such as cardigans, jackets and shrugs.

There is a bit in here for everyone--the funky, chunky look for the very young, ditto the skirt (this is definitely for the stick-leg, no behind, wearing-tights daring crowd) and the idea of boudoir knits--you could wear the kid mohair long peignoir over a satin nightgown; elegance and warmth? No need to sacrifice sexiness for comfort anymore.

This book has perhaps, due to its scope, only fifty-percent patterns you'd use, but of them, they are par excellent! Not your usual knitting book, certainment!
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on July 13, 2009
I got this book a few months ago and just recently have begun to dive into the patterns with my summer knitting. What originally drew me to this book was its aforementioned subtitle for "Innovative Techniques, Romantic Details, and Feminine Designs" on the front cover and Kristeen definitely delivers in this respect. She's managed to carefully introduce several types of unique constructions for seamless knitting that is definitely invaluable for any knitter wanting to experiment outside the box. Likewise, her designs and attention to detail not only create a smooth, seamless finish but also plays with cables and lacework to create pieces that draw your mind to a dreamier place with clothing that not only appears flatteringly light and airy but also layerable--something to consider when knitting given that layering clothes seems to be incredibly popular with clothing today and which Kristeen plays up to with her dainty peak-a-boo lacework in several of her tops and tunics.

For the price of the book, the patterns and the prescribed methods of seamless construction, the book is certainly WORTH IT! There are a variety of wearable patterns for cardigans, tunics, tops, tanks, sweaters, and even a skirt that will certainly appeal to your fashion wardrobe. Do not pick up this book if you're looking for socks, hats, scarves, purses, or shawls though. Also as a warning, this book is NOT a take-you-by-the-hand beginner's knitting book. You won't find detailed lessons in knitting and purling here. The designer expects that you have at least a moderate understanding of knitting construction and technique.

Regardless, Kristeen's designs are not only gorgeous, they are awe-inspiring for your wardrobe. I've actually gone out to buy an extra skirt and sundress to go hand in hand with these patterns. I've never had a knitting book actually tempt me to buy non-knitted clothes to go along in with a knitted project before! Since when does knitting books caused you to buy more clothes along with more yarn?
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on January 24, 2009
Most buyers of this book have commented how many patterns this book has that they would knit - I definitely am the same. I am really loving the variety of designs. The photos are wonderful - I've been enjoying the close-ups of the stitches and the views of each garment. One of the best features of this book that makes it really worthwhile are the explanatory (shaded) sections that explain construction details, the background of the designer's garments, etc. Most definitely a fantastic, worthwhile book!!
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on February 8, 2009
I have always liked the French Girl patterns, and so when I heard she was going to have a book out I was very excited. I am extremely happy that I pre-ordered this book. It is worth every penny. There are a variety of styles but all of them have a nice female flair to them. I started with a short list of patterns to make from the book but after looking through it a few times I can see the potential in so many more of the patterns. The directions are very well written, the techniques are simple enough for even a new knitter to do. The author of the book is a wonderful person. She is helpfull and kind, if you have any questions she is happy to answer them. I am very very happy with my purchase.
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VINE VOICEon January 17, 2009
This is a wonderful little book with a few charms. I have a rule that I only buy a book if there is something that I have to make out of it. At least one item. This book has a few. There are some fun summer knits, chunkier fast knits, cables in very offset fashion, and everything fun flare French that you can imagine.
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on February 8, 2009
French Girl has really done it with this book. It is brim full of amazingly feminine designs. A friend has almost completed the Viola pattern and it is just lovely. I plan to purchase yarn for 4 different patterns in this book at Stitches West.

Thank you French Girl for bringing femininity back into my world.

I'd also like to mention that all the wonderful garments in this book are available in larger sizing for us larger American women. For those that would need larger sizes, they are relatively easy to modify.

Sometimes simple garments are the most feminine and easy to modify. All the designs remind me of France and how elegant french women seem to be even when dressed down. You cannot deny that there is something for everyone in this book, from the very young, to the mature.
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on March 2, 2009
I was so happy to finally buy this book. The layout of the chapters and techniques are perfect and easy to follow. The patterns are unique and many seem at a level that I may be able to complete ( I am an average knitter). I love the fact that many of the garments look fitted without being too young. I happened to be in a LYS on vacation and the owner had knitted up a lacy pullover vest from the book so I was able to see it right up close. Absolutely beautiful! I can hardly wait to start on that pattern. I definitely recommend this book.
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on December 22, 2009
I thought "French Girl Knits" meant that these were fashions actually from France, but "French Girl" is the name of the author's company, and the knits are inspired by some of those styles. The book and items are undeniably beautiful with clever touches - but as a plus-sized woman I wished there were larger versions available (40" bust seems to be the max for most of them, with a few exceptions). I do love the fact that they are very feminine and pretty, a nice change from all of the boxy, shapeless wear that many designs look like elsewhere. There is a little something in it for everyone's tastes.
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on October 29, 2010
Just because something is functional does not mean it cannot be beautiful also. In her book French Girl Knits: Innovative Techniques, Romantic Details, and Feminine Designs author Kristeen Griffin-Grimes states, "The French were masters of an art that had nothing to do with money and everything to do with an appreciation of the small, lovely moments in life". This book is an example of all that is artistic and imminently wearable. Using seamless construction, varying needle sizes within a garment, and carefully placed increases and decreases Griffin-Grimes creates unique garments that are lovely, feminine and well designed.

To create seamless designs (or nearly seamless designs) Griffin-Grimes uses a mix of provisional cast-ons, grafting, side-to-side and top down construction depending on the pattern. The book has the patterns and then copious notes of how-to's for each pattern explaining her design process and why she made the choices she made. She states on page 77, "The design process continues to surprise me: an unexpected "accident" or "mistake" might lead to a serendipitous outcome." She explains in detail the steps to the outcome.

I wish I had all of the time in the world to make the Sophia, the Wrenna, la Creatrice, Delphine, and many others. The advantage of top down seamless construction allows you to try on the garment being made and make adjustments in fit as you go. In French Girl Knits the models are shown wearing the designs as only French woman can, they look stylish and lovely, but I can imagine them dressing up my usual attire of black or blue jeans. The sweaters, tops, and tunics have a look that is both visually appealing and yet they all seem straightforward to knit. Not that they are uncomplicated, but they seem reasonably challenging. I have always tried, without success, to cultivate a "look" and with this book I can see the dream of the "look" becoming possible. The author encourages you to make her design your own, by changing the shaping to fit you or by changing the materials used among other things. She wants you to experiment if you want to or knit them from the pattern verbatim. Whichever way you proceed I suspect it will be worth the effort.

Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.
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on February 10, 2009
I do not often buy knitting pattern books anymore. I usually am disappointed when I get home and page through the book. Not so with French Girl Knits. First of all the patterns are first rate. They are varied, romantic, the garments have shaping and interesting constructon techniques. I love the lavish use of lace and mohair yarns to make the feminine garments.

Although this is mainly a book of knitting patterns, there are also a lot of great ideas for new techniques. Her side-to-side seamless technique is worth the price of the book by itself. I highly recommend this book. It is inspiring.
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