Romantic Style Review
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Just one look at the cover of Jennie Atkinson’s Romantic Style: Knits and Crochet to Wear and Display, and I was in love. The beautiful beaded lace Butterfly Dress is stunning—and I couldn’t wait to see what else was inside. If you flip through the book, you’ll find more stunning, vintage-looking patterns, with just the right touch of lace or beads or edgings or crochet motifs. The designs (not to mention the photography) in this book are downright dreamy.

It’ll come as no surprise to you (considering the vintage style and dreamy look) that Romantic Style is a collection of classic-looking Rowan designs using Rowan yarns. They’re not all new designs—and if you’ve flipped through knitting magazines over the last couple of years, you’ll recognize many of the patterns. But they’re most likely the patterns you’ve drooled over before (I, for one, have loved the lace shawl since the first time I saw it), so you won’t complain.

A word of warning to the knit-centric, though: quite a few of the patterns in this book require crochet—whether it’s the whole project or some added edgings or motifs. But if you’d like to try picking up a hook, there’s a section in the back of the book that teaches plenty of crochet basics (incidentally, there aren’t any knitting instructions—though, if you’re like me, that doesn’t make a difference, since you don’t use those knitting-refresher pages anyway).

The patterns in Romantic Style are, without a doubt, striking, as Rowan designs typically are. My only concern, however, is that many of the styles, while beautiful and classic, aren’t always the most practical. Going back to that Butterfly Dress on the cover, for instance—it’s gorgeous, and I’m sure it would turn plenty of heads wherever you might wear it, but even with the slip under it, it’s still pretty see-through. And I, for one, am not quite daring enough to go out wearing a see-through dress. The long Dressing Gown is equally stunning, in a beautiful Victorian style. But would I want to take the time (or pay for the yarn) to create a floor-length knitted robe that would never leave the house? Not really. And some of the other styles in the book are equally nice to look at—but just a little too old-fashioned-looking for my personal taste.

That said, though, there are definitely some keepers here. Just two balls of Kidsilk Haze will make the lace shawl. The Hanger Covers, while requiring tiny size-two needles, would make great gifts for the women in your family. And the button-covered bag is just plain cute. I’m sure my niece would love it—especially if I let her pick out the buttons herself.

The handful of practical patterns may not necessitate buying a copy to add to your library—but, if nothing else, Romantic Style is really pretty to look at. If you do pick up a copy, I guarantee that the pages will be well-worn from repeated browsing.

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