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Knitting it Old School: 43 Vintage-Inspired Patterns Hardcover – August 1, 2010

3.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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  • Knitting it Old School: 43 Vintage-Inspired Patterns
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  • Retro Knits: Cool Vintage Patterns for Men, Women, and Children from the 1900s through the 1970s
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

43 patterns inspired by the '40s, '50s, '60s, and '70s

Love "old" but want to be "in vogue"? Welcome to Knitting It Old School, where you'll find patterns for knitting and crocheting everything from cheeky hot pants to his-and-hers sweater sets, all drawn from the fashion trends of the '40s, '50s, '60s, and '70s. All patterns feature newly created designs that flatter today's figure and use contemporary fibers—and that are written so modern crafters can easily follow along.

From classic to kitschy, wardrobe basics to saucy specials, get ready to start making beautiful handmade clothing the way your mother and grandmother did!

We're knitting it old school, folks!

From the Back Cover

Retro-minded knitters rejoice!

This sassy book is chock-full of all things vintage—retro color combinations, classic styles, and even fake eyelashes. Inspired by the '40s, '50s, '60s, and '70s, these fun, wearable projects make everything old new again.

So grab your needles and start knitting it old school!

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470524669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470524664
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #954,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kathy VINE VOICE on August 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been knitting for many years, and I was kind of expecting this book to be filled with some of the kind of patterns I knitted when I was a teenager or that my grandmother knitted for me - cardigans, twinsets and things like that. I didn't know anything about either of the authors other than that Stitchy McYarnypants also has a book called Museum of Kitchy Stitches and I really didn't know what kitchy meant. Well, now I do! The patterns in this book are definitely a little on the unusual side, and you might want to look at the other book or Stitchy's blog to get an idea of what these patterns will be like.

Once I got over the surprise of all the bright colors and "different" styles, I really looked closely at the photos and saw that they are all really beautifully designed. And, not all of them are "kitchy". There is a sailor sweater that is really nice; a striped turtleneck that I like a lot; a short sleeved, ribbed sweater that has two buttons at the back of the neckline. It's really gorgeous. There is a cardigan/jacket that has fabric covered buttons, and a matching hat with a strip of the same fabric woven through it in a really unique way.

One thing that you don't find out until you start looking through the book is that there are quite a few crochet patterns - approx 10 of them. There are also 4 sewing patterns. The crochet patterns are probably the most unusual, and they include a pair of crocheted hot pants and a granny square dress.

Most of the patterns are meant to fit snugly, but the sizes on most of them range from Small to 1 or 2X. That is a real bonus because I bought a book of vintage type patterns once and the largest bust size was 38.
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Format: Hardcover
I love the photos, and the patterns are beautiful. It's amazing to have so vintage inspired patterns in one place. The diversity of patterns is wide which allows the indulgences' of taste from the 1920s to the 1980s. It is ambitious in its scope and every pattern won't be for every person's taste. However they give an unprecedented number of patterns 44 in all. So there will be more than enough for every person's taste. Some of my favorites are the blue cardigan (shot in front of the sports car) and the crazy poodle bottle cozy, among many others. I also love the crazy sci-fi chapter, which takes the book to another level. They may seem kind of out of this world at first, but they actually are very inventive and wearable for everyday use. I also love, love, LOVE the alien doll!
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If you are looking for something that is truly retro, this may be the book for you. If you are looking for classic styles that have been updated, you won't get it here which is why I've rated it 3 stars. Several of the styles are "mod" fashions right out of the mid to late '60's. If you are over 30 and/or have less than a perfect slim figure, you probably wouldn't want to be caught dead in fashions like the crocheted "hot pants" (which are super short shorts) and the body hugging Sunshine Day minidress crocheted in horizontal bands of bright primary colors. The "Watusi" is a sleevless minidress that is really cute and would look gorgeous on an age 16-something young woman.

If you are looking for something retro for the younger set, this might be for you, but I would run the patterns by any potential recipient first. There are a couple very nice classic designs that would be appropriate for a more mature woman, but that's about it for the over 40 set.

I have very mixed feelings about this book and have thought about returning it, but will probably keep it instead. If you want to get an idea of the "flavor" of the designs inside, the cover says it all. Very sassy, lots of attitude, "far out" and definitely retro, with an author named "Stitchy McYarnpants". These are not updated vintage designs but new unique designs patterned after the wilder less classic designs of the past.
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I love this book. The patterns are varied and plentiful, and the designs are updated, wearable versions of the styles and trends from the past. No matter what era you might want - from 40s vixen to 70s funky, they've got it. (And there's probably a hat to match.) Seriously, there's a TON of patterns - hats, skirts, sweaters, jackets, socks, dresses. And many of them are double patterns, like a hat AND sweater or a mens AND a women's version, so there's even more than the 43 patterns on the cover. (It's fun to see which designer did which pattern, and how they treated their categories, if you know your bloggers...)

In an unusual move that I am sure is appreciated by cross-crafters, the book contains both crochet and knitting, with a sewing project thrown in for good measure. Again with the chock full. I also liked the text in this book - I'm not usually one to read all the chapter intros and such, but the descriptions are fun and the walk down memory lane is enhanced by all the little details and descriptions the authors added.

So yes, I recommend it, and I honestly think anyone should be able to find something for them in here, but even if they didn't, they'd have fun looking.
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