Top critical review
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Lovely but limited
on 9 April 2013
As many reviewers have already stated, this is a thing of beauty and lovely to look at. The designs are very pretty and feminine and the models are styled in a vintage way to show off the outfits to perfection. It is a great coffee table book and a lovely 'read'. Others have also spotted numerous mistakes. I can't comment on that as I've only just got the book and haven't attempted anything. However, I would like to point out some other features/limitations which may affect your decision to purchase.
The designs are all for women. That might seem obvious but, if you expect your vintage knitting book to contain some Captain Hastings-style sweaters or wartime baby knits, this is not the book for you.
The designs mostly use very fine wool and small needles e.g. 4 ply and 3-3.75mm. I realise that patterns of the 30s and 40s tended to use such yarn but this book does include the 50s which saw more jackets and chunkier knits. I'm not expecting 20mm needles but some Dk or aran patterns would be nice.
Similarly, the patterns are rather small in that they mostly go up to a 38" bust or there abouts. If you are making a vintage style knitting book for modern times, then the patterns should be sized up accordingly. Most patterns books and magazines these days go up to 42" or even 44". I think this would have been 'doable' for these designs while still keeping the integrity of the overall look.
Finally, the book consists almost entirely of jumpers and cardigans. There is one shrug, a skirt (to match a jumper), one fairisle beret, a scarf, fingerless mitts and stockings. As the war years saw lots of accessory knitting, I would have expected some corsages, some collars, some capes and more hats. Small projects make a good starting place for knitters like me who are competent but a little daunted by jumpers on tiny needles with over 200 stitches. Also, accessories have little of the sizing issues you find with garments.
All in all this is a stylish book. If none of the reservations I have listed above worry you, you will love and treasure it. However, if they cause you concerns you may be better looking elsewhere.