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May 14, 2009

Vintage Baby Knits, part I

Though I'm not a mom, I had a fabulous Mother's Day this year. After chatting with my mom and grandma on the phone, I headed to Porter Square Books, a fabulous local bookstore, for the signing of Vintage Baby Knits.

This fabulous new book was recently released by STC Craft, with Thayer Allyson Gowdy doing the photography (that name is familiar because she also photographed the designs in Knitting Nature and Knitting Lingerie Style, among others).

When I found out author Kristen Rengren was making a stop in my 'hood, a trunk full of cute baby clothes from the book in tow, I just had to be there! You see, in the spring of 2008 I knit three of the samples for this book! I loved the patterns, and very much enjoyed working with Kristen. I was eager to see what other goodies the book contained and to meet Kristen herself.

Not surprisingly, the rest of the designs didn't disappoint. I think they struck just the right balance of timeless and modern: classic silhouettes combined with punchy colors and washable yarns. I also enjoyed Kristen's historical account of the patterns and their evolution, and her anecdotes of organizing all the vintage information into a cohesive book. The book itself has all the right components - yarn advice, charts and schematics, historical tidbits, and resources for navigating your own vintage pattern treasures.

Kristen mentioned one thing which really resonated with me: many of the patterns in this book use fingering-weight yarn. For hoarders... no, connoisseurs of fine sock yarns who are all socked-out, this is the perfect collection of patterns: just as quick and satisfying, able to use up the stash, and yet not socks :).

Before showcasing some of my favorite designs, I wanted to mention that Vintage Baby Knits will be making a second appearance on my blog in the near future, as part of Kristen's upcoming blog tour. I just couldn't wait until then to share this gem with you. During the blog tour (I think) I will tell you about the three items I actually knit, and perhaps there will also be a fun surprise! So, please come back ;).

See the designs in the extended entry!

Click on any image to view bigger:






Posted by Kathy on May 14, 2009 10:58 PM


Several of those designs are so very cute! I'm looking forward to reading more about it!

Must. Own. This. Book.

I love almost every single pattern in this book, I just wish some of the stuff was bigger. I may need to procure this for my many uses.

I see some great patterns here and I love the fact that so many are not in the usual twee colourways.

Loving the vintage patterns, thanks for the preview.

Darling stuff -- I just wish it came in *my* size!

How did I miss the signing? DOH! I totally meant to go. It's such a great looking book.

Hey! For American Girl doll lovers, there's a Molly sweater in there.

How large does the sizing go? All of these are SO cute but June is likely too big for most of them! I really love that gold boatneck cabled sweater and the fair-isle bonnet!

i saw that book the other day at stitch DC! definitely lots of cute stuff in there. i can't wait to see the three designs you knit.

I can't believe I didn't realize you were there!

It's a great book and someone made the comment that by using thicker yarn and larger needles she had sized up a baby pattern without changing the pattern. Food for thought? And there's a vintage toddler book in the future too.

OK, so when I go out to buy the new Green Day album later I know what else might be finding its way into my bag;)

These are gorgeous. I keep trying to figure out which ones you knit, though there is no reasonable way I would know!

Since I'm about to embark on grandmotherhood (EEEKKK!), this is on the short list of books to buy!

I used a skein of Colinette "Jitterbug" to do an Elizabeth Zimmermann 'Baby Surprise Jacket' - the fingering weight was perfect!

I'm loving the wee argyle. And I um, may have a little bit of sock yarn around...

What an awesome-looking book! Next on the to-get list!

I love this book + it was such a great surprise seeing you at the book signing!

I haven't caught the sock bug, but I say that baby sweaters are my socks. Thanks so much for reinforcing these great knits.

Awww! But how much do I need that golden boatneck cable sweater in a big person size!

Awww...those baby projects are cute!

I love the pink bolero! So cute.

Zero degrees of separation. I know Kristen from my LYS and various events around Chicago. I should have known you'd have a hand in such a wonderful venture!

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