Customer Reviews: Knitting Classic Style: 35 Modern Designs Inspired by Fashion's Archives
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VINE VOICEon September 11, 2007
Veronik Avery is an extremely talented designer of handknitted garments who has had her designs published by the elite of the handknitting world: Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, and in books published by Stewart Tabori & Chang. She finally has published her own book full of beautiful designs and it's a must have for the handknitter.

The majority of the garments are for women, with a handful for men and girls; most are sweaters, with a few accessory items (such as lace socks and a mohair scarf). Avery draws inspiration from fashion history and sources as diverse as a Japanese sash, traditional Scandinavian sweaters and a Victorian corset cover. The styles are updated to reflect more contemporary silhouettes (i.e., set-in sleeves). Techniques such as stranded knitting, lace and cabling are used to beautiful effect, so if you're sick of making boxy drop-shoulder garments out of stockinette stitch, you'll want to check these out. Avery's eye for color is also apparent in the designs using multiple colors of yarn (particularly a gorgeous set of Latvian-inspired gloves). Avery uses a variety of fibers and gauges throughout. There are at least 5 designs that I'm eager to cast on, and several more after that calling to me.

The production values of the book are also high. Gorgeous color photography, schematics and color charts, multiple pictures of the same garment, nice sturdy paper and clear typefaces. Throughout the book, shots of Montreal -- Avery's hometown -- provide a lovely backdrop for the models (incidentally, the models are not the typical blonde waifs, but reflect a more urban, cosmopolitan look).

I have long loved Avery's design sensibility and already count this book among the favorites in my (extensive) knitting library.
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VINE VOICEon August 31, 2007
This book is hot off the press, so I haven't knit any of the patterns yet, but I'm very pleased with my purchase. There are some really thoughtful construction elements in these patterns, and Avery has done a good job of trying to find something for a wide variety of ages and lifestyles without straying from the "classic style" premise of the title. Since I am tremendously piggy when it comes to knitting books, I count anything that has at least three patterns I really want to knit as a keeper, and this volume is easily double that. (My copy arrived last night and is already bristling with tabs!) The beautiful construction means that most of the patterns are probably best suited to intermediate and advanced knitters, but today's new knitters are so fearless, I hesitate to class these patterns as out of anyone's league.
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on September 20, 2007
What makes this book special for me is her fair isle cardigan updated with a slim silhouette and set-in sleeves but otherwise knit in the traditional way using border patterns and shetland yarn. Other items I might knit are her shawl, faroese sweater, layered skater's top in lace, her Setesdal sweater modified with set-in sleeves. This book is one of the better ones I've seen this year and includes a 3 page section on special techniques. One quibble is that her yarns don't have any kind of indication as to their size category (sport, worsted, etc). Also my copy came without an outer cover and I have no idea if this is missing or was never made.
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on February 16, 2008
I'm extremely underwhemled. I read the rave reviews, and a few of the pans, and I decided that the raves won. For me, I should have paid more attention to the pans.
This book does not showcase all the elements that I have come to admire in Avery's work. Nothing inspired me to pick up the needles and cast on. There didn't appear anything truly innovative. Many of the patterns were done in a large yarn and needle gauge, so that they appeared coarse to me, though others may find that the interesting part. For me, I wish I had had the chance to see the book first, because there is nothing in here that interests me at all. The texture work was coarse, and so was the color work. Everything meant for those who might have shorter attention spans, but nothing that seems elegant, as so much of Avery's work has been in the past.
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on November 1, 2007
Reviewed by Janelle Martin

"Fashion, as we knew it, is over; people wear now exactly what they feel like wearing." Mary Quant, quoted in the introduction to Knitting Classic Style: 35 modern designs inspired by fashion's archives

Véronik Avery had one main goal when creating the patterns in this book- to inspire knitters "to knit whatever it is you feel passionate about wearing." Unlike past fashion periods, today divergent clothing styles are desirable, yet many retail clothing stores offer consumers more of the same. To help fashion individualists find a more personal look, Avery has explored classic designs to create the designs in this volume.

For Knitting Classic Style, Avery has focused on four main themes: Fashion Mavens (women's wear); Tomboys (menswear); Global Travelers (ethnic costume); and Thrill Seekers (sportswear). For each pattern Avery discusses the fashion history and inspiration behind the design. The Bias Shell pays homage to Madeleine Vionnet, a cutting-edge couturière from Paris known for her bias garments. Avery's Tabi Socks draw inspiration from Japanese hosiery and speculation that samurai may have knit tabi socks (socks with separate big toes) to supplement their income at the end of the Edo period.

Avery includes a wide range of sizes for her designs. Women's patterns range from a finished chest of 29.5" to 52.75" (75cm to 134cm), averaging 34" to 48" (86.5cm to 122cm). Two girl's sweaters (size 2 to 8) and three men's sweaters with a finished chest of 34" to 57.75" (86.5 cm to 147 cm) are included. Accessories round out the pattern offerings with designs for socks, hats, gloves, and wraps.

Avery gives her Québec heritage and the Montreal Canadiens a nod with her traditional Montreal Tuque. She reminds knitters to select their colors wisely if knitting for a sports-loving recipient for "in a famous Québécois children's story, The Hockey Sweater, author Roch Carrier recounts his outrage when, as a child, he was forced to wear a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater, received by mistake as a replacement for his beloved but worn-out Canadiens sweaters." Avery recommends knitters research favored team colors prior to purchasing yarn.

Armchair Interview says: Knitting, with a nod to the Canadians.
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on November 25, 2007
I love the patterns in the book - I'd love to make a few. I plunged into making Layered Skater's top - a lacy top using Kidsilk haze. It is knitted with circular knitting needles. I got all the way to the yoke, and having hell of time following directions. I wish the directions were more clear. I don't know if I can finish this project which is a shame since I knitted 2/3rds of it! Bummer.
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on September 10, 2007
I am exited about this book - picked it up at Borders and HAD TO HAVE IT!In the past, I been searching the knitting publications for Veronik's designs - most of them unique in their elegance, incorporating beautiful finishing techniques. From my experience, her patterns are free of errors.This is her first book - and it is stunningly beautiful. Her creations are highly wearable, as any classic should be.They are also fun to knit and will push an intermediate knitter to grow and master new skills. This book is a true gem to be found in a deluge of mediocre knitting books we have been bombarded with lately.
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on December 1, 2008
I own a lot (over 100) of knitting books, and have only knitted patterns out of a couple of them. This book is a keeper. I'm well into knitting the "Strawberry Lace Wrap Sweater." I have NEVER seen a pattern for a wrap sweater before! This one is done with an easy lace pattern, an 8-stitch 12-row repeat.
I would have bought the book for that single pattern, but this book has so much more that I might make: gloves, vests, nice hats for real people. Even a pair of socks with a divide for the big toe, for those who live in flip-flops.
She offers sweaters designed to fit snugly (such as the cashmere twinset) and some designed with more ease. OK, the little girl's A-line jacket (with a hood) has too much ease, but most knitters will figure out how to work with that.
The photography is not perfect, but it is very good. Nearly all the designs had nice close-up shots.
I strongly recommend this book for advanced beginners who have made their share of scarves and easy hats, and are ready to take their knitting skills to the next level. With this single book, you can make something for everyone in your tribe that they will enjoy.
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on September 26, 2007
I am really happy with this book. It has a nice variety of patterns including sweaters for women and men, hats, socks, and wraps. The directions are clear and easy to follow. There are plenty of charts and schematics. It's well photographed and a nice book to look at. I especially like that many of the sweaters are done in the round which is my new favorite technique. I highly recommend this book.
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Just got this book. I'm a knitting book addict so the fact that I bought this doesn't mean much. However, at first read I saw 10 designs I'd make. That's twice as many as most knitwear books. The directions are for a wide variety of sizes, which makes the book vastly more useful.

I like the use of yarns and the conservative men's patterns. On showing the one shawl collared sweater to my husband, he said: "hey, I'd wear that!" which is a first in 20 years.

I didn't need wrist warmer or corset cover patterns but there was enough here that I can ignore those. I'd prefer some clearer photos, esp of the second "under" layer of the 2 layered sweater. I hate not being able to clearly see every design.

All in all, a hit.
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