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VINE VOICEon 22 December 2011
Kim Hargreaves appeals to a certain type of knitter; someone who's more inclined towards the classic lines and stitches as texture, who loves the 'Lady of the Manor' air that her knits lend to the wearer. Kim Hargreaves is a quintessentially *English* knitter, and the designs show that. What's also very striking is how distinct her style is from the jump; ribbing, peplums, stocking stitch and interesting shapes. A warning though; if you have the rowan magazines from say, 1989 to 2004, you'd have most of these patterns anyway. If you're a new knitter to Kim Hargreaves, this book is a good way of getting classic patterns at a great price.

Some of the yarns referred to in the patterns have been discontinued, and there are recommendations for the current yarns in Rowan's stock. The patterns are presented in their original form, from the magazines, no reknits here. That's a nice touch, because you get the 'history' of the garments, but it feels modern at the same time (the presentation and the type face). A lot of the garments are medium weight (double knit) yarns. There's the odd nod to kid silk haze, but a lot of the designs are kid classic and felted tweed (that sort of classic yarn). There are a couple of men's jumpers, but the book is primarily women's garments (and the odd accessory - like gloves made out of kid silk haze).

It would have been nice to have a foreword by Kim Hargreaves herself. She's the reason why I stayed with knitting so long, and her garment was the first garment I ever knit for myself (Salina) and it fit so well.

Over all a good book to have in the wardrobe. A solid retrospective of Ms Hargreaves work, and a sigh of relief to know that design wise, her best days didn't stop with Rowan.
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on 17 May 2014
I do find there can be a bit of a risk when buying "vintage " designs, particularly with knitting.

If they are truly vintage, there may be no straightforward way to translate or update what was in the mind of the author, or authors when the book was originally compiled, and there may also be difficulties about tension,sizing and the fibre used at the time may have long been discontinued,with nothing that remotely comes near it now, .

Conversely,when some modern "vintage" interpretations are put together, the results can be truly awful, and one does wonder where the spirit of "vintage" may actually be.

I am happy to say that with Kim's "vintage" designs,none of the above apply, and her book is full of great knits, clearly explained and delightful to make. i must confess i am a fan of her designs anyway, but this book is well worth a place in your knitting library
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on 10 June 2013
I love the patterns in this book very classic and wont date as I like things with a bit of class this is perfect some of the patterns do require a bit of thinking out though also a lot of the wool used in the patterns is no longer available and the substitute does not always knit up the same so buy a little extra wool.
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on 7 November 2013
I bought this book as I particularly wanted to knit the shrug featured on the cover.
Although the designs are all vintage classics, Rowan said that they had made recommendations for alternative yarns to the original patterns if they had been discontinued. Unfortunately, since the book was published in 2011, the yarn used for the shrug - and some of the other designs that I most liked in the book - "Calmer", is now discontinued. There is not a good alternative within the Rowan range and I've not found an alternative yet in any other manufacturer's ranges.
In that respect I am disappointed. My search for a simple, long sleeved shrug continues. Any suggestions, dear Reader?!
However, there is a nice range of patterns in the book and it's well presented.
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on 21 May 2013
I bought this because I'm a huge fan of Kim Hargreaves' designs, and it does contain some lovely ones, including some very nice designs for men. What is not made clear however, is that this edition is aimed at the Canadian and American markets, with terms like "stockinette stitch" and spellings like "color". I just assumed it was British because it's Rowan, but it was actually published in the USA and this should have been made clear in the description.
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on 13 April 2015
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