Subversive Femme

Book Review: Knit Vintage

Knit Vintage – more than 20 patterns from starlet sweaters & other knitwear from the 1930s, 1940s & 1950s
by Madeline Weston and Rita Taylor

I pre-ordered this book on a whim (looking for vintage knitting books on Book Depository), even though I couldn’t find any reviews or photographs online.

And it was a pleasant suprise when it arrived in the mail yesterday!
The designs are a mix of vintage-inpsired styles, and re-sized vintage designs from the late 1930s to the mid 1950s.

​So if you’re intimidated by A Stitch in Time or actual vintage patterns this could be the book to help you get your confidence up. I think this book would be great for knitters who are just getting interested in knitting vintage designs, as the patterns range in complexity from very easy to intermediate lace knitting. Nothing too tricky I think.

I can’t wait to share some photos of my favourites with you!

I love the simplicity of this fair-isle cardigan, with a moss stitch yoke across the shoulders

This design is really similar to what Wallis Simpson wore to marry the Duke of Windsor in 1937, and its very unusual. I dont think it was photographed very well in the book, and i’m tempted to knit it up just to confirm my belief that it would be flattering on a bigger busted person.
 What can I say about this jumper – its pure perfection! The colour, the fit, its a perfect 1940’s style.
Again, I don’t think this design was photographed as well as it could be. The shoulders look very floppy on the model, but there’s a small picture of the original 1940’s pattern that shows the sleeves are meant to be more fitted. I’d probably investigate that if I was going to knit this one.

I love the colour combination they’ve used, its lovely.

This design is meant to be reminiscent of the late 1950s – and it looks really easy too.

Not sure about the yarn choice (alpaca) but the colours are nice.

The book contains 24 patterns in all, ranging from jumpers and pullovers, twin-sets, a blouse and skirt combination, and a few accessories like stockings and hand warmers.

While the range of sizes isn’t fabulous (most designs have three sizes at most), I am glad they’ve stuck to the vintage feel and used 4-ply fingering weight for most of the patterns. I’m not so keen on the vintage-inspired patterns, but I think the re-sized originals are quite nice (maybe we’ve just been spoilt by Susan Crawford and Jane Waller?).

Who this book is good for: novice/intermediate knitters, knitters who want to get a taste of vintage or vintage style.
Who this book probably isnt the best for: knitters who want to knit 100% period-accurate reproductions, anyone with a bust size over 40-42 inches.

Has anyone else seen this book? And what did you think?

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No Comments

  • Reply
    September 13, 2012 at 3:15 am

    This looks like a good book but since I have a bigger bust I guess I'll wait to get “A Stitch in Time.”
    Great book review.

  • Reply
    September 13, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Love the fair isle cardigan!
    Im currently knitting the Vivian Fair Isle Style Sweater, but using the original pattern: La Laine 2177.

  • Reply
    September 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Ooh, thanks for this- one to add to the wish list! Some lovely designs in there.

  • Reply
    sew vala
    September 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    I had not heard of this book, I am going to have a search for it. Thank you for a great review

  • Reply
    September 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I understand, I have a 39-40in bust ;). Out of the SIT books, Vol 2 is the standout for me with regards to range of sizes and clear instructions if that's helpful at all ;). They are both worth the money x

  • Reply
    September 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Nice, can't wait to see the finished article 😉 x

  • Reply
    September 14, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Thank you for this review!
    I only just found out about this book, and reading your review and seeing some more of the patterns have helped a lot with deciding if this book is worth buying.


  • Reply
    In The Heyday
    September 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    thanks for sharing some pics from the book. I'm off to go buy it now. I like how they haven't meddled about with the fit too much – it still fits like a vintage item, rather than oversized it for a modern preference. Very Happy! Thank you!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Ooh, I hadn't heard of this book! Am definitely going to check it out, based on your review.

    The photo of the Wallis Cardigan makes me feel a little sad. Photographing it on a coat hanger doesn't seem like they're doing it justice.

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