Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings, 7 Dec. 2011
This review is from: A Stitch in Time: v. 1: Vintage Knitting & Crochet Patterns 1920-1949 (Paperback)
I was rather disappointed in this book, after reading so many good reviews.
It's admirable that someone should collect and publish these charming old patterns that may otherwise be lost. Though it has to be said that anyone interested in old patterns should have little difficulty acquiring them online, at flea markets or by asking older female relatives etc. I have quite a collection myself, they weren't expensive.
However, the point of this book was to remake the patterns in modern yarns and include updated information: this didn't work, in my opinion. Just as the old yarns aren't available any more, many or most of the yarns given here aren't going to be available forever and even now are only available in certain parts of the world, which makes me suspect there is a marketing motive behind the publication. Any knitter worth her salt is going to (have to) substitute yarns anyway.
Sizing isn't always adequately addressed. Many of these patterns (more than usual, I find) are in 38-40" bust sizes, and not all of the new versions are any larger, so what's the point in offering a new one?
If these are supposed to be updated patterns, why are they presented to look like 30'/40s style, which is already represented by the original pictures?! Most of the new patterns look loosely and bulkily knitted (tension?) compared to the originals, so not very professional, which surprised me, too. Worst of all, none of the shoulders fit properly - if you compare photos, it's easy to see why the modern ones look sloppy.
Personally, I would prefer to knit the old patterns and make my own modernising modifications, which wouldn't be hard, a little longer here, a little less exaggerated sleeve there. The original data is all there, incl. tension/gauge, and the instructions may be simpler than we're used to, but certainly perfectly doable. Yes, women's shape has changed slightly, but the old patterns were made for real women, too!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Dec 2013 21:54:45 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Dec 2013 22:05:35 GMT
Henrietta says:
The patterns are "updated" in the sense that they are adapted for modern shapes and materials, not altered to look modern. If you want a modern jumper go look in the right book. This is a book to help those of us who want truly vintage styling.

Modern women have larger busts and shoulders and are taller than our mothers and grandmothers and don't wear the same type of restrictive undergarments but do wear more supportive bras, lifting the bust higher than was usual in the past. In addition, particularly in the 1930s and '40s patterns came with only one "average" size, frequently about 34" bust measurements so there are structural alterations required when adapting vintage patterns. It isn't just a matter of casting on more stitches or knitting some thing longer. Having been to one of Susan's tutorials on making vintage garments fit properly I can assure you that it is not easy and requires a good grip on maths!
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