- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (September 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1584799390
- ISBN-13: 978-1584799399
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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My Grandmother's Knitting: Family Stories and Inspired Knits from Top Designers Hardcover – September 1, 2011
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About the Author
Larissa Brown is the co-author of Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together (STC Craft, 2008). Her hand-knit designs have appeared in Knit.1 magazine, Knitty, and on her blog, Stitch Marker. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
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Top Customer Reviews
Dedicated knitters will no doubt enjoy reading about the family backgrounds of Wendy Bernard, Pam Allen, Meg Swansen, Ysolda Teague, Jessica Marshall Forbes, Kay Gardiner, Joan McGowan-Michael, Kristin Spurkland, Teva Durham, Jared Flood, Norah Gaughan, Anne Hanson, Leigh Radford, Chrissy Gardiner, Adrian Bizilia, Kirsten Kapur, and Emily Johnson.
Many (but not all) of these designers contributed patterns, and there are some patterns contributed by designers who did not contribute family stories. Most of the patterns are for small, portable projects (mittens, hats, socks, slippers, scarves, cowls, a dishcloth, a pillow), but there are some patterns for large, ambitious projects (a cardigan, a Fair Isle pullover, a cape, a lace-bordered shrug, an afghan, a lace baby blanket). My personal favorites are Kristin Spurkland's "Rose and Cross Pullover" with Fair Isle yoke, David Castillo's striped "Conover Mittens", Anne Hanson's "Crocus Patch Baby Blanket" with its complex allover lace pattern, and Cookie A.'s "Wan Jai Socks" that have gently undulating, street-like curves along the sock legs and feet.
The book does not include any historical "grandmother knitting" patterns--which was a disappointment for me. There are no handed-down family patterns, no patterns actually knitted by or invented by the older generations of the designers' families. Nevertheless, because of the entertaining, anecdotal stories and the variety of attractive patterns, I rate this book at 4 stars. It should make a welcome gift for any serious knitter.
While the patterns in this book are not hand-me-down patterns from families, many are patterns that were inspired by the designer's family. Some of the ones that really spoke to me are the Family Tree Afghan designed by Larissa Brown, inspired by her grandmother's love of knitting afghans. Grandma's Fan Dishcloth by designer Judy Becker was inspired by antique lace medallions that she inherited from her family. Crayon Cowls is designed by Kirsten Kapur who was inspired by the creativity of her great-aunts. Kristin Sparkland designed the Rose and Cross Pullover based on traditional Norwegian design. Minerva Bonnet by Teva Durham is inspired by one created and worn by her grandmother. The Crocus Patch Baby Blanket is just stunning, designed by Ann Hanson, and inspired by her grandmother who spent a lifetime knitting afghans. This one is in a beautiful lace motif. The Edna Slouch Hat is designed by Leigh Radford who got her inspiration from her grandmother. The Storm Cloud Shawlette by Hanna Breetz is inspired by Elizabeth Zimmerman.
The stories are quaint and lovely reading and each knitter adds their own bit of wisdom, advice and learning. The patterns are clearly written, lovely to look at and there are several that I would like to knit.