Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review - Little Red in the City

My trip to the Mannings earlier in the month resulted in a few purchases.

Shocking fact, I know!! :-)

Little Red in the City by Ysolda Teague caught my eye right away. I picked it up many times always setting it down, but returning again to look further. One of those times I picked it up, I carried it around the store with me while I shopped for other stuff. I think I sent it down again, but when I got in line with my yarn purchase ... miraculously that book was back in my arms and showed up on my sales slip. Go figure!

Ysolda is a young Scottish designer of knitting patterns. The chatter among the knitting community about this book's upcoming publication seemed to pop up everywhere among those interested in knitting. I have tried to avoid buying knitting books. I have a large knitting library and I didn't need another book ... until I saw this one.

The focus in this book is fitting and sizing. This critical information can make or break a finished knitted object. After hours of planning, and knitting, even thousands of perfect stitches will fall short if the fit is wrong when you put it on. Been there, done that!

But that is only one reason I bought this book.

I totally loved the lack of stick thin models wearing the sweaters. Really - some people can wear a potato sack and look good. But normal people have to pick carefully. The world is filled with more normal sized people than stick people.

Ysolda and her friend Amanda did all the modeling. Ysolda represents the normal shape and weight of your average woman. Amanda represents the larger women. Both wear all the sweater styles. Using real world bodies helps you see how each design looks on different body types.

Another wonderful feature of the book is the presentation. Throughout you feel like you are viewing some one's personal project notebook. Pictures that appear to be mounted with corner tabs, text type that mimics hand written notes, hand drawn schematics that put other simplistic line drawings to shame, beautifully drawn technique demonstrations ... these elements invite the reader to look further into this sometimes boring topic of fit and size.

The main thrust of the book is sizing and adjustments. Who doesn't want to ensure that their finished object fits their one-of-a-kind body!?! There are 15-17 sizes for each pattern, ranging from a 28 to 60 inch bust. There is guidance within each pattern for fit adjustments. There are large detailed charts for sizing of each design.

Many books on similar topics fill book store shelves today, but I believe no one has captured the charm of this book.

It is in my stack of books to be read from cover-to-cover - not many knitting books sit there!!

The book retails for $32.00.


  1. I agree 100% I am so happy with this book. Now if I can just find where I put it!!!! Fit is necessary.

  2. Looks like a great book! I love the hand drawn sketches.

  3. I'm not a knitter (yet), but now I want to go buy this book and learn. Thanks for an inspiring review!

  4. I'll keep an eye out for this book. I need something to get me started knitting, maybe this will do it!

  5. I feel the same way about constantly seeing stick thin models! This was very refreshing!

    BTW, I have another award for you! Julie

  6. Love your review of this book. Wonderful! Makes me wish that I was a knitter...
    I know. I know. I'm never too old, right? :-)

  7. Hello all.

    I guess I should have included the fact that this book is not aimed at new knitters. There are no actual "how to" instructions on basic knitting - so if you decide to pick up knitting as some point, be sure to get a beginning knitting book in addition to this one!

  8. i too love the fact that the patterns aren't featured on only one body type! can't wait to see what you knit up from it. :)


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