Book Review: New England Knits: Timeless Knitwear with a Modern Twist

Inspired by the New England countryside where they reside, designers MacDonald and LaBarre present a new collection of comfortable, contemporary knitwear with a traditional touch. The three themes encompass Around the Town, Fall on the Farm and Along the Coast, each with an assortment of pullovers and cardigans meant to layer as dictated by the changeable weather. Especially nice is the lovely lace patterned Hampton Cardigan with enough substance to be durable yet simple enough for beginners to follow, that is knit in one piece so there is no seaming. The Whale Watch Hat is a cute nod to the growing interest in whale watching along the coast with three rows of little whales set in a wave pattern. Although the Fairfield Sweater is shown in a solid color, the construction just cries out for self-striping yarns to show off the cuff-to-cuff top portion set atop a garter stitch body worked from the bottom up.

The clear, cookbook style instructions are augmented by full color photography, often with close-ups of the detail work and especially nice, are the schematic drawings which allow for easy alterations. The comprehensive glossary located at the back includes a broad collection of basic and not-so-basic techniques along with a list of yarn suppliers. While some of the patterns add unnecessary bulk around the waist, hips or just below the bust, (and what woman doesn’t want that!), the majority are nice, simple garments with just enough interest to engage the knitter and delight the wearer.

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