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Knitting Book Reviews

Romantic Hand Knits
by Annie Modesitt

Harkening back to Hollywood’s golden era, Romantic Hand Knits: 26 flirtatious designs that flatter your figure evokes images of a time when sexy didn’t mean skimpy clothing. Figure-hugging silhouettes and feminine styles are sure to turn heads, while satisfying even the demanding fashionista.

Divided into three categories - Above the Waist; Below the Waist; and Accessories – Annie Modesitt’s designs cover all skill levels and incorporate many different knitting techniques. Beginning knitters are provided several simple patterns that incorporate interesting details; the “West Side Story" skirt with its flirty ruffled layers or the sultry “Some Like It Hot" elbow-length lace gloves. Experienced knitters have the option to explore new construction techniques in the stunning tulip skirt “An Affair to Remember" (featured on the book’s cover) or face the challenge of the complex “Notorious" corset sweater. Truly adventurous knitters may wish to try knitted millinery, a specialty of Modeseitt, either with the cloche hat “High Society" or the wide-brimmed “Gone with the Wind" (for more on knitted hats, check out Modesitt’s earlier book Knitting Millinery).

As well as covering all skill levels, Romantic Hand Knits covers a full spectrum of sizes. Finished chest measurements range from 26.5" (67.5 cm) to 57" (145 cm), with the average falling between 30 and 48" (76 to 122 cm).

While taking their style cues from vintage fashion, and the films after which they are named, what makes these designs resoundingly modern is Modesitt’s understanding of fit. Her designs create fabric which drapes to flatter a woman’s curves and uses details such as an interesting yoke or ruffle to draw the eye away from problem areas. Most importantly, she encourages knitters to pull out their tape measures and knit for the body they have, rather than the one of their dreams. As she states: “When we wear clothes that fit us, we look better…Clothes that skim the body, not hug it, tend to be the most flattering."

Reviewed by Janelle Martin

Janelle is an addicted reader and a book reviewer for
Armchair Interviews . A passionate knitter in what remains of her free time, she wonders, "Why can't we knit at work?". Her blog can be viewed at http://antheras.blogspot.com

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