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Book review Monday!

I’ve finally been rewarded for not purchasing either “Lace style” or “No sheep for you” (I was meh about both, and the sizing wasn’t working for me) by the recent release of two wonderful new knitting books.  I love reviewing books, and I wanted to show some of the projects I haven’t yet seen on the web.

Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan Mcgowan Michael

I wasn’t really sure about this one, for several reasons.  I have been unimpressed by the “Naughty knitting” books we have been given this year, and I have in the past found that many of White Lies Designs do not come in sizes under a 36 bust.  I ordered this sight unseen (I needed to qualify for free shipping) and I’m so glad that I did.  First of all, this is a surprisingly tasteful book.  It is beautifully photographed, and the book is printed on lovely paper.  It is divided into several sections, each focusing on a different type of lingerie (the bra, the camisole, the corset etc.)  Although each section contains at least one lovely lingerie pattern, most of the patterns are for lingerie inspired street wear.  Most of the yarns used are reasonably priced (I noticed a lot of Cascade for example.)  The most exciting thing is the sizing.  There isn’t a single design in this book that doesn’t come small enough for me, as every pattern contains a size under 34″.  And this isn’t a book that skews towards the skinny either, as many of the sweaters have a very large range of sizes.  I am so pleased to see a book that keeps the needs of all knitters in mind, especially after my disappointment with several recent books in this regard (Fitted knits, I’m looking at you!)  The text portions of the book are clearly written, with some very interesting historic details (JMM is inspired by the vintage patterns that I love!)  The patterns contain very clear schematics, and look to be very easy to follow.  Below are some of my favorite designs from the book (it was so hard to choose – I love everything!)


But really… everything else in the book is so lovely, you really must see for yourself!  I am definitely knitting the bedjacket (first pattern on the top,) and there are so many others I would love!  And isn’t that skirt gorgeous?

Runway Knits by Berta Karapetyan

Runway knits is a horse of a different color.  The style couldn’t be more different from the first book reviewed.  The writer of this book is the force behind Karabella yarns.  So ask yourself… do you like Karabella designs?  Because if you do, you will love this book.  I’ve never knit a karabella design, but I’ve always admired the sexy edge they seem to have.  Don’t let the title fool you… most of the designs in this book are very classic and wearable.  The range of sizes in this book is only ok.  It serves the low end of the scale very well (all but two designs have a XS size of 32″) but is lacking in directions for larger sizes.   Most designs have a finished large of between 40 and 42 inches.  Compare this to lingerie style, where many patterns go to over 50″.

So that’s my negative for this book.  On the plus side, I am pleased to see a book of sweater designs that are clearly not for beginners.  Most patterns make use of textured patterns.  Does stockinette bore you?  There’s lots for you in here!  I think this book is a worthy purchase, and I’m definitely going to make something out of here.  Here are my favorites:



Right now (since it is summer)  I’m the most likely to make the first sweater (love the ruffles and eyelets) and the diamond stitch mock turtleneck.  For winter I really love the fourth picture, which is a sort of shawl with sleeves.  I love that idea.  I also want to make the turtleneck with the piot edging – did you know I’ve never made a turtleneck?  I do love wearing them, so maybe it’s time!

There are so many great knitting books coming out soon, I don’t know how I’m going to resist them!  Here is a sampling:

Folk style: Innovative designs to knit

Vogue on the go: Crocheted Shawls

Crochet me: Designs to fuel the Crochet revolution

Knitting new scarves: 27 distinctly modern styles

Knit Kimono: 18 styles with  simple shapes.

The best of Interweave knits: our favorites from the first 10 years

Loop-d-loop crochet

Lacy little knits: Clingy, soft, and a little risque

Sensual Knits 

Knitting classic style: 35 modern designs inspired by fashion’s archives by Veronik Avery

Romantic Handknits by Annie Modesitt


14 thoughts on “Book review Monday!

  1. Seconded: great reviews. I don’t know, that final Runway Knits funnel-neck looks like the summer knit I’d choose. ^__^ I haven’t checked out No Sheep For You, largely because “not wool” isn’t a theme I’m really interested in, but it’s disappointing that the small sizes are lacking. Amy Singer insists upon a wide size range in Knitty. You’d think her book would follow suit.

    You know, in all I’ve read about Knitting Lingerie Style, nobody has posted about that cute little brown stockinette vest thingy you’ve scanned in the center. What is the name of that sweater?

  2. thanks for the info! it’s good to know about sizing issues. also: a veronik avery book? color me excited!!!

  3. You did a much nicer, complete review than I did (I posted about this book today too!!) Would you be interested in a knitalong for this? I was thinking of starting one 7/1.

  4. Thanks for the review. I’ll admit I usually stay away from books with the word *Lingerie* in the title, because they typically feature weird stuff like fun fur thongs. I have made at least one of JMM’s designs and she is known for designing for full figured bodies. I will give it a look for sure.

    Sounds like Runway Knits runs too small for me. . .

    Great reviews!

  5. Thanks for the review, and for showing more than just a pattern or two out of each book! I just bought Runway knits and am saving up for Knitting lingerie style.

  6. Thank you so much for doing a great review of Knitting Lingerie Style. I have been watching people get this book for weeks and waiting for a great review!

  7. Thanks for the reviews! i am really interested in KLS, so i appreciate the inside photos. i think i will have to add that one to my list.

  8. I completely agree with your reviews. It’s interesting that you mention the paper quality of Knitting Lingerie Style because I found the paper quality of Runway Knits to be barely a notch above magazine pages.

  9. I saw Knitting Lingerie Style at a store and loved it – it was only out of restraint that I didn’t buy it there and then, but I’m definitely going to get it eventually!

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