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Book Review: Kim Hargreaves Vintage Designs to Knit

Kim Hargreaves Vintage Designs to Knit, edited by Kate Buller, Trafalgar Square Books, 2011, 136pp.

Kim Hargreaves is best known for her classically styled patterns, worked in lovely Rowan yarns.  In this book, 25 of her patterns have been collected.

Do note these are not new patterns.  You’ll likely recognize Audrey, for example.  Many of the patterns can be found in Rowan 35 & Rowan 36.

There’s a mix of women’s and men’s/unisex garments, and two accessories.

  • 10 women’s pullovers
  • 10 women’s cardigans & shrugs
  • 2 men’s/ unisex pullovers
  • 1 men’s/ unisex cardigan
  • 1 hat
  • 1 fingerless (well, half-fingered) glove pattern

Note that some of the patterns have options for either a pullover or a cardi;  I’ve counted (and so has the publisher) those patterns as two separate patterns each for the tally above.

Sizes run from XS (32”) to XL (40”) bust for the women’s sweaters, and up to 44” or 46” for men’s.  Because of the relatively small size range this book won’t be for everyone.

I think the sizes are standard for Rowan patterns, and that’s the limiting factor for the small range of sizes, rather than design limitations or difficulty in grading.  Many of these patterns would flatter a variety of sizes, much more than what are given.

Schematics are included with all garments.

As noted, are a couple accessory patterns:  Fawne, a cute pair of half-fingered gloves, and Pascale, a pretty beaded beret.

Per the introduction, some of the yarns originally used have been discontinued. Other Rowan yarns are suggested for substitution, but, from the caution “particular care needs to be taken to get the gauge in the pattern correct” it doesn’t appear that the patterns were reworked in the new yarns.

Special tip sidebars (installing a zipper, suggestions for alternative necklines, special ways of picking up and knitting stitches for different effects, etc are included as applicable).

Photography, as expected, is quite pretty.  Most of the patterns only have one photograph, however.

If you  fit into the size range, and don’t have the back issues of Rowan magazine, this is a nice collection, with patterns that I do think are timeless.  I really like the afore-mentioned Audrey, for example, and Brier, a nice basic jacket.  If you don’t fit into the range offered, and, if you’re confident sizing patterns up (or down), this collection has much to offer as well.

I received my review copy from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

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