by Susan Cropper
For many years customers have been asking for patterns for the garments displayed in Loop, a hugely popular yarn store in London, England filled with more than 130 different yarns. Usually the clerks have had to disappoint customers, telling them that the designs came from independent designers and there is no pattern available. With the publication of Pretty Knits: 30 designs from Loop in London edited by Loop owner Susan Cropper, many of these coveted designs are available for knitters to enjoy.
The designs in Pretty Knits are divided into four chapters: Flirty Fashionista (garments); Divine Accessories; Beautiful Boudoirs (items for the bedroom); and Feminine Fripperies (accessories for the rest of your home).
Garments range from 30” to 44” (76cm to 112cm) with most falling in the 34” to 40” range (86cm to 102cm). Knitters from every skill level will find something in this volume. Beginners will be tempted by basic patterns with special extras such as the “Bliss” Empire-Line Top by Debbie Bliss which features silk ribbon threaded through eyelet ridge. More experienced knitters will be drawn to patterns such as Kristen Griffin-Grimes “Anisette” Wrap that uses three different lace patterns and highlights the beauty of luxurious Rowan Kidsilk Haze.
Unusual and luxury yarns fill the pages of Pretty Knits. An evening out bag is made with Leigh Radford/Lantern Moon Silk Gelato (a Vietnamese silk cut into strips); bed socks created from Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere; or a runner from Be Sweet Bamboo all contribute to a decadent knitting experience. Yardage requirements are not provided in the instructions so knitters wishing to work these projects in more economical options will need to do a bit of investigation.
The final section of Pretty Knits provides instructions in knitting techniques; three different cast-ons, knitting with beads, working cables, and various finishing methods. As many of these patterns use notions, Cropper has included sources for these as well as the yarns suggested in the patterns. While a trip to London and Loop is not in the cards for most knitters, “this book is a little extension of Loop and those who make it special.”
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