Wednesday, January 30, 2013

[Review] History on Two Needles

Disclaimer: I was provided a review copy of the e-book by Annie last fall.

Confession: I am a sucker for inspiration pieces and mashups. I love clever interpretation of source material. I love fashion as art, even though I am not particularly fashionable myself. In History on Two Needles, Annie Modesitt takes design inspiration from historical art pieces and interprets them for the modern knitter.

I have been a big fan of Annie Modesitt's designs ever since she released her Corset Tank pattern in 2004. I never did knit the Corset Tank, even though I bought yarn for it twice, but I started following Annie's work and Modeknit/Knitting Heretic blog. I even submitted some hat pictures to her 1,000 Fabulous Knit Hats project (a look book of some truly fabulous knit hats).

Several years ago, Annie started working on designs inspired by historical works of art. She was doing this independent of a publishing house, so she was free to share the process and a few preview patterns with her readership. Then, this past fall, Cooperative Press picked up History and published it. Yay! I've been waiting forever to see the finished project.

The designs in History on Two Needles are divided in to 4 time periods - Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian. There are pictures of the inspiration piece and ample pictures of the project. There are good charts and easy to read schematics. Of the 18 designs, there is 2 scarves, 3 hats or hoods, 2 capes, 2 skirts, 2 tunic pullovers, 2 tanks/sleeveless sweaters, and 5 cardigans/jackets, one of which is crocheted.

Most of the patterns have sizes that range from standard sizes through extended plus sizes. Several designs are sized up to 58-59" bust and hips. I think this crocheted Pembrook jacket would be especially fetching on an hourglass shape. 
There are some very fun and wearable accessories, such as a ruffled collar and earflap hat, as well as some frightening (yet totally awesome) ones, like this Sutton Hoo Helm.

I have added several items to my queue and can't wait to find time to cast on for a few history-inspired projects.

You can download History on Ravelry for $16.95 or buy a print+digital copy through Cooperative Press for $26.95.

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