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Knitting Everyday Finery: Practical Designs for Dressing Up in Little Ways Paperback – May 1, 2012
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Photography is uncluttered and seductive and the patterns all look to be straightforward, most easy enough for beginners. I love that Ms. Clark choose to use readily available yarns for her designs and also included information about substitute yarns.
Some of my very favorite projects -
The Heroine Hood: The shape of this hood is super flattering, the pattern has sufficient detail to be interesting but easy enough to be a relaxing knit - especially in the suggested cashmere yarn. I want to make this for next winter to wear outdoors as a hood, then smoosh it down and wear indoors as a cowl.
The Tweed Hat and Scarf: The men I know really do want very simple knits - this is the perfect set. Also, who doesn't love a photo of a lovely young man holding a barnyard bird!
July Gloves: Adorable gloves - I want to knit these in the same bright yellow shown in the book.
Mrs. Lovechild Shawl: Love the backstory for the name of this design + love the shawl. Easy knitting, perfect size and shape - and a collar!
Shiraz Slippers: At long last, felted slippers with a sexy shape.
Everyday Cardigan: Totally flattering shape and length, I want to make a few in different colors.
Tangerine Tights: How fun! Perfect summer knitting to be ready for next fall.
I'm an experienced knitter with a bookcase full of knitting books - this is a welcome addition!
The colors that Mel uses are neutral/warm - things you'd want to pick up and put on anytime - and they are flattering and soft in the right ways. I love the Everyday Cardigan - it has a wonderful trim that wraps around the piece - and I think I may try that one first. Her lace gloves are wonderful, and most of what I see in the book so far appears to have some very strong shapes/styles that could be dressed up or down, and should be able to be finished pretty fast for knitters with some experience.
Besides some of the basic hats, gloves and scarves, she has these Great shorts - what a great style for California - they are basic, but fresh and innocent - like the garments I see young women wearing in Paris in the parks in the Spring/Summer. The hoods are something I'd make too -- I'd wear them here - and will likely make them for gifts for friends and family living in colder climates - they look like they'll fit comfortably inside warm coats - and would not be too bulky. I may need one for myself in LA for those chilly foggy days!
The basket purse is lovely - a simple answer to that bag you want to grab and run out the door - and it has some texture and style. The gloves that are shown with the basket weave photo - have a similar pattern to that wonderful diamond sweater of Mels - I think that one was from a Vogue book - so I may need a pair of these gloves to match... Lace gloves -- Lulu Scarf -- A lot of wonderful choices - and with some advice and help on substitutions of yarns to make them your own. I'm looking forward to having a few more lovely and reliable pieces to work on. Thanks Mel for a wonderful new set of ideas!
Mel starts with a bit of context about what 'finery' means to her, and some guidance about choosing yarns. (She notes that she favours natural fibres with an eye to affordability.) The book contains instructions for 26 items, divided into three broad categories: 'Out and About', 'Dressing Up', and 'At Home'. For each pattern, she provides a brief introduction, explains the yarns, needles, and so on, and provides clear details of construction.
The first things I'm looking forward to trying are the 'croissant bag', the 'Barcelona hood and scarf', the 'everyday cardigan', and the 'shiraz slippers'. Meanwhile, I keep going back and browsing through this charming book.
The collection of patterns are modern and cheerful with a broad appeal. They're made with really accessible yarns that are splendid and won't break the bank.
I give it 5 stars for anyone who knits or as a gift for anyone interested in craft. It's simply a delight for the eyes.