Vintage Knits for Modern Babies by Hadley Fierlinger. Ten Speed Press (October 6, 2009)

Vintage knits for modern babies has a distinctive poetic aesthetic that I am drawn into, the designs have a vitality and depth that rocks gently back and forth between pragmatism and romanticism and the photographs are of a fantastic quality. (photography by Angela Lang)

Many of the patterns in this book are designed for using some of the amazing alternative yarns that are so easily available now – organic cotton, angora and alpaca and wonderfully soft blends specially designed for babies – these are described in the introduction along with a short but easy to follow techniques section for some of the extra bits that are included in some of the patterns (such as knitted motifs, embroidery + pompoms).

The designs are suitable for beginners to more experienced knitters – and for newborns to toddlers – there is a sweet layette outfit in garter stitch – perfect for the beginner knitter, knitted bunnies and a most adorable double breasted ‘car coat’ for little girls – so so gorgeous – with a darling little collar and matching beret (intermediate knitters).

vintage knits

A perfect raglan pullover for busy little toddlers – and a must-have ballet crossover cardigan for your little girl – along with plenty of booties and bonnets and blankets -for every baby and every knitter.

[the petite beret pattern is available online here]


made in brooklyn

Made in Brooklyn – a collection of original handknit designs in natural fibers, published with Classic Elite yarns and designed by Jared Flood from Brooklyn Tweed.

Some beautiful designs – sweaters for him and her, lace work and hats. As usual Jared’s designs are elegant with lovely detailing and without any fussiness or strange elements – and of course gorgeously photographed.

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book: From the toe up

by Admin on 29/07/2009

in Books, Features

Socks from the Toe Up: Essential Techniques and Patterns from Wendy Knits by Wendy D. Johnson. Potter Craft; 1 edition (April 14, 2009).

Reviewed by: Dace lives in Tasmania, Australia, and loves to knit and sew for her grandchildren and many grand nieces and nephews.

A book for sock knitting enthusiasts.

This beautifully photographed and illustrated sock-knitting book by Wendy D Johnson caught my eye. I am a fairly experienced knitter of uncomplicated sweaters and jackets and baby wear but have not tried socks before, so was interested to see if this book would be a suitable guide for a sock starter.

My husband had been given 2 lovely pairs of hand knit socks as gifts but found he could not wear them as the ribbing was too tight around his fairly solid calves – so I got to keep both pairs, so I was especially interested to see if Toe Up socks would fit the bill and
not constrict the circulation.

My first impression in flicking through the book was of beautiful models sitting and standing in beautiful socks made of gorgeous yarns and it made me jealous of a life style where there are no chores! Are all hand knit socks designed to be worn for sitting around in or sleeping?

On closer examination I discovered a very good illustrated section on techniques perfectly suitable for beginners as well as experienced sock knitters who may not have tried the Toe Up technique before. Most socks had a smooth sole without a pattern, which was very welcome, as they would suit those of us with very sensitive feet. The Diamond Gansey style and all the vanilla styles could be worn with shoes or boots with reasonable comfort, however the Tribolite made me wince at the thought of wearing them inside a shoe. Casting off in loose ribbing and larger needles is much less likely to produce a tourniquet effect so this is a great style from that point of view.

The book would make a beautiful gift for a sock knitter with some experience, though it would be a lot easier to use if it were ring bound and sit flat while I was trying to test the pattern and had my hands full.


whilst reading purlbee I came across spud and chloe yarns – we featured their free cupcake pattern here last week and here is this delectable pattern for these tiny wee flowers. Their yarn is equally scrumptious.

yarns-beauty-fine-2 yarns-beauty-outer-2



There are so many wonderful crochet patterns available for beginners – but if you are truly a newbie – you might be wondering what the patterns actually mean …

Annie’s Attic has a great run down on standard abbreviations and how to go about translating a crochet pattern here : Crochet ‘n’ more has a good page on reading crochet patterns : I love nexStitch’s visual instructions on what the instructions say but also what they look like. : crochet spot has a good page on reading and translating crochet patterns and abbreviations : and here is some basics on how to read crochet charts : if you are not such a new crocheter and want to have a go at some Japanese crochet patterns – here is how to interpret those charts and instructions : and here are some UK v’s US crochet abbreviation differences.