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Vintage Knits: 30 Exquisite Vintage-Inspired Patterns for Cardigans, Twin Sets, Crewnecks and More Paperback – August 20, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
Yes, the book's directions seem scanty and the sizes don't go up past a 38-in. bust; and, like other reviewers, I wish I didn't have to do so much work to decode the color charts. But just try working from a REAL vintage pattern from the 30s and 40s some time. Believe me, this book is much easier to use: the instructions are clear and stripped down to knitter's terminology basics, and the layout is uncluttered and easy to read.
As a realtively new knitter, I've needed a knitting reference book on hand occasionally while working with Vintage Knits, but the better part of the projects here are for intermediate-skilled knitters and are pretty easy and satisfying to complete. As far as yarns go (which for these projects range from fingering- to DK-weight and no heavier), there are cheaper substitutes out there for the recommended brands -- all that's really important is staying in gauge. If you were knitting from actual vintage patterns you'd end up searching for substitutes anyhow.
So here's my one complaint: while I dig the garment choices, color combos and presentation, and I think the very idea of publishing a book of adapted vintage projects is fantastic, the author's gone too far in "modernizing" the original designs. The shaping and sizing are too far from vintage, not nearly as close-fitting as real vintage sweaters and designed with slightly dropped shoulder seams (as opposed to the high-armscye, lightly shoulder-padded originals), making them more slouchy and casual than the tailored, high-Hollywood glamour-look of real vintage. (One clue: as cute as the contemporary models are, the b&w models look even better!Read more ›
Two major quibbles...one design called for beading but did not specify what type of beads. I spent two hours in a bead store with bead professionals who said the type of beads in the picture aren't made to fit that style of yarn. Also, there could have been more instruction on beaded knitting...this isn't something most knitters have a lot of experience with.
Second, although this inevitably happens with every pattern book, I was dismayed to find that almost every pattern uses Rowan's Botany, a discontinued yarn. You expect that when you get a book years after publishing but not so soon after release. As it is, the reader will probably never be able to duplicate the shading in the pictured designs as the yarn no longer exists.
To end on a positive note, I do find the patterns well written overall with nice designer touches.
Also, nearly all the patterns call for Rowan yarn, which is quite expensive. Once again, if you're comfortable with yarn substitution or have plenty of money to spend on knitting, this will be fine. But the price of the recommended yarn might be discouraging to some people.
If you read the book it does explain this flaw; in the 40's and 50's "the emphasis in fashion was on a tiny waist. It was not unusual for women to have a wasit of 21 inches or smaller."
It further explains the sizing saying, "The sizes for the garments in this book are mainly small, medium and large, i.e. 32in, 34in, and 36in chest measurement. As the inspiration for these designs originates from 1940's and 1950's knitting patterns, many of the garments are intentionally quite close fitting."
These are just absolutely beautiful projects and like I said earlier worth the extra time you may have to take. I would recommend this book to everyone who has an eye for fashion. I myself have a 38" bust size but I am going to learn how to resize these patterns so that I can make the garments fit me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting patterns but most are way too small for modern bodies. It would take a designer to alter most of these.. Loved the patterns b ut very disappointed with the sizing.Published 19 months ago by Maureen
A lovely collection of updated vintage patterns. My problems is most patterns only cover to size medium.Published 23 months ago by Lori Voorhis
Nothing vintage here only someone else telling you a mitten she knitted is vintage! I want real vintage patterns and the pics and the stitches to go with it. Read morePublished on September 27, 2013 by GingerRootable
One of the reasons we make our own clothes is because great designs are just not available commercially in larger sizes. Read morePublished on September 4, 2013 by sara sue
I bought the book for one pattern and liked many others. My one complaint is that the sizing is definitely not for this generation! Read morePublished on September 21, 2012 by SLN
Reading other reviews, I heartily agree with the problems of this book. I've just checked it out and I'm glad not to have paid for it! Read morePublished on September 20, 2012 by Zazzu
I purchased this book based on the cover, not the smartest thing to do. Okay, the low down on this book: honestly, the front cover is about one of the nicest pieces. Read morePublished on August 12, 2009 by Jennifer Weiss