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Review: New England Knits


First, the facts:

Title: New England Knits: Timeless Knitwear with a Modern Twist

Author: Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre

Published by: Interweave Press, 2010

Pages: 159

Type: Patterns.


1. Around the Town
2. Fall on the Farm
3. Along the Coast

New England Knits

Pattern Size Range: 31″ – 52″, depending

The In-Depth Look:

It’s no secret that I love New England. My grandmother was born in Maine and grew up on Martha’s Vineyard. My dog is named for Chappaquiddick, and whenever I think “vacation,” I immediately start thinking about travelling northeast along the coast. When I was in elementary school, I was actually disappointed to learn that New Jersey counted as a “Middle State” rather than a part of New England–the southern tip of Connecticut is barely 50 miles from here, it seemed almost criminal that we missed counting as New England by such a small amount.

So, it shouldn’t surprise you that I love this book.

Honestly, though, it’s not just because of the title (though I admit it immediately put me in a receptive state of mind).

There are at least eight designs in here that I want to make, and it’s been a while since a new book had that many “hits” for me. There are cardigans and pullovers–some heavier for winter days, but some that are for summer nights when the breeze starts picking up. There are wraps to wear with or without a heavier coat, mittens to keep your hands warm, and a cute little beret covered with whales for whale-watching. None of the designs are too fussy, none are too boring. They’re just cozy, appealing, and attractive.

The photographs are appealing, too. I kept getting distracted by the New England backgrounds, but that’s entirely my own fault. Less-obsessed people will most likely be able to focus better. (It’s a family trait–my mother watches Jaws whenever she gets a chance, solely because it was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard and she wants to enjoy the scenery.) The pictures give a good representation of the designs, without any obvious attempts to hide flaws or camoflauge bad construction. There was exactly one photo that I thought was, um, less than ideal because I thought it made the slim model look more frumpy than chic, which wouldn’t exactly tempt me to make that design, but that could just be me, and anyway, it was the only photo I had issues with. And even that stood out exactly because it WAS the only one.

Really, I love this book. Maybe part of it is because I’m imagining the sea-kissed air, dappled sunshine, and the scent of clam chowder and lobster rolls, but that can’t be the only reason. Even the thought of walking on my favorite beach with Chappy romping at my side wouldn’t make me yearn to make an ugly sweater … but there are several here that I would love to have in my closet. It just seems right.

Have I piqued your interest? Then click here to get this wonderful book at Amazon.com.

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by Interweave Press. Thank you!

My Gush: How much did I like it? I’ve got post-its on about 8 patterns and have already cast-on to knit one of them. I don’t think “love” is too strong a word.

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