Knitting Little Luxuries: beautiful accessories to knit by Louisa Harding
I have always loved Louisa Hardings’ designs. She has a feminine, romantic aesthetic that really appeals to my own personal sense of style. She also appears to love capelets and little shoulder wraps as much as I do, however impractical they may be. However, I have never bought one of her books. Her sizing tends to run very large, resulting in several books in which I would have had to adjust all of the patterns smaller if I wanted to make them. Since this book is mostly accessories, I knew this would not be a problem, so I asked for this book as a Christmas present.
Knitting Little Luxuries contains roughly 21 patterns, mostly accessories (scarves, hats, mittens, wraps and bags) with two simple little sweaters, once of which is excerpted in this Winter’s Interweave Knits. Many of the projects are presented in more than one yarn or color combination. There is a focus on embellishing your knits using embroidery, buttons, and beads.
The photography in the book is lovely, showing many of the designs in a chilly looking beach setting. Each item has more than one photograph, and you do get a clear idea of what they look like from many angles. The instructions seem clear, and charts and schematics are included where necessary. Since this is an accessory book sizing is not so much an issue, but I will note that the two sweaters range from 33″ to 45″.
The book is divided into four sections; eclectic and quirky, textured and modern, pretty and feminine, and traditional and folk. The last section includes a fair amount of color work, while most of the others use single colors or stripes. All yarns used are Louisa Hardings’ own line, but each design includes a substitution guide, always a nice touch I think.
I liked several of the patterns enough to purchase the recommended yarns, which I can’t necessarily say about all the books I got for Christmas. Since the projects are small, this isn’t a large investment, and I am interested in trying out her yarns. Some of her yarns are more unusual, and since they are often combined it would be a little more difficult to substitute, even with the guide. I’m planning to make the fingerless gloves below, the angora scarf (a 1 skein project,) and the cardigan sweater. My only real dislike in the book is the hats – many of them are the sort that have tassels hanging off the top, and I really don’t care for those.
Whether you will like this book or not probably depends on whether you like this sort of feminine aesthetic. It really appeals to me personally, and I can see that I will make many of the projects in the book. Many of the patterns are fairly basic, but I think most of them are unusual enough to justify a purchase.