Modern Classics Review
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Knitwear designer Louisa Harding is known especially for her adorable designs for kids. In fact, if you knit and you have kids—or grandkids—her Miss Bea books are a must. But her latest book, Modern Classics, features designs for grown-ups who appreciate timeless style.

The book is rooted in the basics: the plain cardigans and turtlenecks and pullovers and twin sets and jackets. Harding provides patterns (using her own line of yarn, of course) for some of the simplest of styles. Then she modifies them and gives them a bit of a twist. She adds lace to her basic V-neck cardigan pattern, and she adds some Fair Isle work to her basic pullover. She adds cables and textures and lace. She switches up the neckline and adds some side shaping. And the results are (for the most part) beautiful designs that will spend several seasons in the wearer’s wardrobe.

The twenty-four patterns in the book are arranged according to the weight of yarn they use (double knitting, worsted, or aran), and each is rated for its level of difficulty (beginner, intermediate, or advanced). Each pattern gives plenty of information, so you’ll know the exact measurements (bust size—ranging from 32 to 42—width, length, sleeve length, etc.) of the finished product. And the patterns are especially detailed, with charts and graph where necessary. There’s no guesswork here!

While just about every knitting book has a pattern or two (and sometimes many more than two) that make you ask, “What was the designer thinking with this one?” Modern Classics doesn’t really have many. Granted, there are a few designs that I wouldn’t personally wear (mostly because I don’t really like turtlenecks)—but there’s only one design in the book that I can’t see a friend or a family member or some woman who’s doing her Christmas shopping at the mall wearing. The sweaters in this book truly are classic designs. Add to that the beautiful textures and colorways of Harding’s signature line of yarn, and you’ve got a book full of beautiful sweaters that will be well worth the time you put into knitting them. If you’re looking for a book full of great basic pieces, look no further.

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