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The Ohio Knitting Mills Knitting Book: 26 Patterns Celebrating Four Decades of American Sweater Style Paperback – August 9, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Denise Grollmus has written for the Akron Beacon-Journal, the Cleveland Free Times, and the Cleveland Scene, and has been anthologized in Best American Crime Writing 2006. She lives in Akron, Ohio.


Cleveland sculptor Steven Tatar was hunting for scrap metal when he stumbled upon the now-shuttered Ohio Knitting Mills. He bought the company's sweater archive and opened Ohio Knitting Mills, a stylish Brooklyn storefront, where for two years he sold vintage knits that had never been worn before. He now sells limited-edition sweaters on his Web site, OhioKnittingMills.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan; First edition (August 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579653995
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579653996
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Pays reverent homage to the dedicated, hard-working, and creative people behind 40 years of garments that not only imitated, but also shaped fashion for the average person. If Fareed Zakaria were a knitter, this would be his book. Steven Tatar and his co-writer Denise Grollmus take you on a rich tour, describing how events across the globe and in the U.S. shaped the fortunes and downturns of a family-run company. They also describe how the garments were inspired, reflected the changing times and attitudes, and even drove cultural change. Tatar's own story of how he discovered and then purveyed the archives is just as interesting. His entrepreneurship, coupled with his overt respect for the workers, designers, and management of the company, is a treat to read. Also includes interesting technical details about the machinery (especially the complex but versatile Raschel machine) that, sadly, is no longer in use anywhere. Highly readable, good-humoured, and concise.

My only complaint: in making the patterns accessible to the average knitter (most of which are terrific adaptations of the originals, especially the show-stopping cover dress inspired by haute couture), the "Wavy Gravy" is a poor imitation. I would have preferred just one more complex pattern that better preserved the original - why not adapt the slip-stitch "Rebel Rouser" with cables across two stitches to create the wavy?
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I must keep buying this book because every knit whit friend that sees it MUST have it!!!! My generous nature knows no limits....
The patterns are modern renditions of beautiful vintage pieces and the instructions are well presented and clear. There is also a really great story behind this book. The story of Ohio Knitting Mills, fascinating!
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This book is worth getting even if you only look at the pictures! Fashion history buffs will want this even if they don't knit. I personally plan to make the Mondrian dress on the cover, the poncho, and a few other items.
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Format: Paperback
The Ohio Knitting Mills Knitting Book brings it all back of vintage-inspired projects culled from the archives of the legendary knitwear maker.

Author Steven Tatar discovered a treasure trove of mint-condition knitwear and patterns for men and women when he acquired the mill's archive in 2005. Now, working with the original patterns, from the 1940s through the 1970s, he has painstakingly adapted 26 colorful knitwear projects for the home knitter.

The majority of the patterns are for classic mid-twentieth-century women's sweats, from 1956's Abstract Expressionist to 1976's Puppy Love. But there's much more in The Ohio Knitting Mills Knitting Book: men's sweaters like 1954's Father Knows Best, as well as dresses, shoulder bags, ponchos, and scarf sets. Clear directions, supplemented by schematic charts and color guides, make all of the patterns easy to follow, for everyone from beginners to more advanced knitters. The patterns are featured in their original colors (teal and tangerine, ocher and avocado) alongside newer palettes geared to contemporary tastes.
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Format: Paperback
I received this as a Christmas gift- and I love it. The patterns are great technically with good schematics, photos and descriptions. They're also brilliant updates of vintage designs. There's photo's of the original design as well, so if you decide you like that better, it wouldn't be too hard to make the original from the pattern info given. It's also a great history of Cleveland with photo's and bio's of the employees that put so much into the success of the Mill and the designs produced. It really tells the story of industrial America, and the change and loss that too many area's of the Midwest are enduring. If that doesn't interest you, th
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Format: Paperback
This is a book of history and a book of knitting patterns. The author, Steven Tatar was looking for raw materials for his sculptures and happened across the archives of the Ohio Knitting Mills. That archive contained about 5000 original knitted garments. He sold them online and in New York City but he also worked with knitters and knitwear designers to document his most amazing find. He also researched the history of the Ohio Knitting Mills and presents his findings as introductions to the garments, ordered by decade from the 1940's through the 1970's.

Having grown up in the Cleveland-Akron area in the 50's and 60's, I was surprised to learn that Cleveland had a thriving garment industry. While not in the league of New York City or Paris, Cleveland did produce many garments supplying national stores and labels. For those interested in history and vintage knitwear, this is a wonderful document about a fashion-conscious middle-America in the mid-20th century. For hand-knitters, this book can be a great taking-off point for re-creating vintage garments with a contemporary twist.
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I am a hand and machine knitter, and bought this book on a lark. I love it. I just received it and have only just flipped through the pages, but I love what I have seen so far. The patterns are updates based on original patterns from the mills and I think I will try several of them. The book talks a great deal about he Ohio Knitting Mills over it's life time and places it in the context of what was happening in the world too. I think if you are a knitting and like the vintage looks, you may very well like this book.
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