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My Grandmother's Knitting: Family Stories and Inspired Knits from Top Designers Hardcover – Sep 1 2011

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Hardcover, Sep 1 2011
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (Sept. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584799390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584799399
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.3 x 24.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #153,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Collection of Designer Patterns and Stories About Designers' "Roots" Aug. 20 2011
By Lynne E. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
About half of this book is devoted to short, heart-warming stories about the family "roots" of popular knitting designers. The remainder is devoted to designer knitting patterns "inspired by" the designers' grandparents, parents, and their places of origin.

Dedicated knitters will no doubt enjoy reading about the family backgrounds of Wendy Bernard, Pam Allen, Meg Swansen, Ysolda Teague, Jessica Marshall Forbes, Kay Gardiner, Joan McGowan-Michael, Kristin Spurkland, Teva Durham, Jared Flood, Norah Gaughan, Anne Hanson, Leigh Radford, Chrissy Gardiner, Adrian Bizilia, Kirsten Kapur, and Emily Johnson.

Many (but not all) of these designers contributed patterns, and there are some patterns contributed by designers who did not contribute family stories. Most of the patterns are for small, portable projects (mittens, hats, socks, slippers, scarves, cowls, a dishcloth, a pillow), but there are some patterns for large, ambitious projects (a cardigan, a Fair Isle pullover, a cape, a lace-bordered shrug, an afghan, a lace baby blanket). My personal favorites are Kristin Spurkland's "Rose and Cross Pullover" with Fair Isle yoke, David Castillo's striped "Conover Mittens", Anne Hanson's "Crocus Patch Baby Blanket" with its complex allover lace pattern, and Cookie A.'s "Wan Jai Socks" that have gently undulating, street-like curves along the sock legs and feet.

The book does not include any historical "grandmother knitting" patterns--which was a disappointment for me. There are no handed-down family patterns, no patterns actually knitted by or invented by the older generations of the designers' families. Nevertheless, because of the entertaining, anecdotal stories and the variety of attractive patterns, I rate this book at 4 stars. It should make a welcome gift for any serious knitter.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A Sweet and Charming Book Aug. 26 2011
By Bonnie Brody - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This delightful knitting book has family-inspired knitting stories by many of knitting's greats. Some of the contributors are Meg Swanson, Jared Flood, Pam Allen, Ysolda Teague, Leigh Radford and Ann Hanson.

While the patterns in this book are not hand-me-down patterns from families, many are patterns that were inspired by the designer's family. Some of the ones that really spoke to me are the Family Tree Afghan designed by Larissa Brown, inspired by her grandmother's love of knitting afghans. Grandma's Fan Dishcloth by designer Judy Becker was inspired by antique lace medallions that she inherited from her family. Crayon Cowls is designed by Kirsten Kapur who was inspired by the creativity of her great-aunts. Kristin Sparkland designed the Rose and Cross Pullover based on traditional Norwegian design. Minerva Bonnet by Teva Durham is inspired by one created and worn by her grandmother. The Crocus Patch Baby Blanket is just stunning, designed by Ann Hanson, and inspired by her grandmother who spent a lifetime knitting afghans. This one is in a beautiful lace motif. The Edna Slouch Hat is designed by Leigh Radford who got her inspiration from her grandmother. The Storm Cloud Shawlette by Hanna Breetz is inspired by Elizabeth Zimmerman.

The stories are quaint and lovely reading and each knitter adds their own bit of wisdom, advice and learning. The patterns are clearly written, lovely to look at and there are several that I would like to knit.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Grandmother never had it this good Aug. 20 2011
By goodfruit - Published on
Format: Hardcover
While my Grandma taught me to knit, it was nothing as cool as the stuff in this book by the author of Knit Along, Larissa Brown. I was privileged to get mine signed by Larissa herself, and then I took it home and read every page.

I love the shared knitting stories from all the designers, and the ones that are followed up by the modernized version of those very patterns just read about. I predict there will be many slippers with or without pom-pom's made for Christmas this year, who can resist the charm of Grandma's knitted slippers?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Cover Sweater Sold This Book June 13 2013
By S. Konner - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book due to the sweater on the cover. Other than that, there are only a couple of other patterns that interested me.
Light reading July 12 2014
By lovethelake - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Would have liked more patterns