Vintage and Bargello knits: more new books.

Two more new books have arrived at the shop since last I rounded them up.

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Vintage Design Workshop, by Geraldine Warner, teaches how to update vintage knitting patterns as well as how to customize contemporary patterns to create a vintage look. It’s not a collection of retro patterns, but rather a series of tutorials on how to substitute yarns, make alterations to size and shape, and otherwise adapt existing patterns, old and new.

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I was especially intrigued by the section on particular elements of garments–differently shaped sleeves, collars, cuffs, edgings, and pockets–which can be switched out to give any basic sweater a more purposeful, tailored look.

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This book deserves attention not only from those who knit from vintage patterns, but anyone interested in modifying or designing knit garments.

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Bargello Knits, by Patty Nance, bills itself as “the revolutionary new way to tame the unpredictable beauty of variegated yarns,” and indeed, the techniques within are completely new to me. As many of us know from experience, multi-colored yarns can be surprising, creating stripes or pools of color that vary dramatically depending upon how many stitches are cast on.

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To gain control over these capricious yarns, Nance uses a technique similar to intarsia, dividing up variegated yarns into smaller bobbins and knitting small sections of the piece from each bobbin. This has the effect of concentrating short color repeats into blocks that can be several rows high, where the same yarn knit in plain stockinette or garter stitch would make horizontal streaks of color.

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Along with carefully explained Bargello knitting techniques, the book is full of patterns. If you’re a lover of variegated yarns but have been disappointed by color pooling in the past, flip through Bargello Knits¬†for interesting new ways to make use of the stuff.

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Come by the shop to take a closer look at these and our many other books on knitting and crochet. See you there!

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