Thanks to all of the thoughtful comments we received on our inaugural book review. We hope you enjoy this one even more. I have to say, when I received my advance copy of this book I was smitten from the start. I was thrilled to find Melissa felt the same way. I know – it’s Ann Budd how could we not love it? On to Melissa’s latest review! – Kathy
Pattern designer Ann Budd is known for her beautiful designs and lovely pattern collections. Her new book Simple Style is a compilation of patterns and instruction that is well suited for the intermediate knitter. This is a good first garment book, filled with patterns to suit everyone’s tastes and ability level, Ann includes both trendy and classic patterns.
The nineteen patterns feature more than just sweaters. The designers Anne has assembled introduce two skirt patterns, a dress, three vests and sweaters of all shapes and sizes. Two of my favorite sweaters are very innovative, but with classic touches.
The Stay-Put Wrap, designed by Mags Kandis, is a cardigan style sweater with seed-stitched bell sleeves and a beautifully cabled border.
One front panel is lengthened so that it can be draped across the opposite shoulder in a shawl style, perfect for chilly summer nights. This garment can be paired with both a cocktail dress or worn comfortably with jeans. The style of the cardigan is fresh, and the stitch selection is traditional and clean, allowing the garment years of wearability.
The Garter Lace Jacket is my favorite design of the collection. Designed by Ann Budd, the Chanel-inspired cardigan has classic lines with beautiful lace edging on the two front panels.
The garment is knit from the bottom up for the back and sleeve pieces and then, in a more modern fashion, Ann chose to knit the front panels sideways. The fabric is worked using a looser gauge, which allows the sweater to drape and flow with ease complimenting any physique. The patterns utilize multiple construction styles including pieced work, seam-less designs, top down and bottom up construction, inset sleeves, seemed shoulders, and more. There are even designs that include lace charts, cables and embroidery.
The Drawstring Bateau is a beautiful summer piece designed by Deborah Newton. Labeled as a vest pattern this piece could easily pass as a tunic or cap-sleeved sweater. Deborah incorporated many elements in her design including a ribbed boat-neck and trim with lace, mini cables and an empire waist drawstring.
The piece boasts minimal seaming on the sides and at the edges of the shoulders. The silhouette on this vest is sleek and shapely while maintaining modesty.
The Four-Quarters Pullover, designed by Pam Allen, gives the classic worsted weight sweater pattern a make-over. Designed to be knit in four panels and then seamed together, this is a wonderfully portable summer knit.
Each panel consists of a quarter of the garment. If one were to slice a sweater in half from front to back and then in half again from left to right, you have the designer’s concept. Pam gives this sweater a relaxed and rustic look, with an exterior front and back center seam and the use of multiple needle sizes and gauge. This sweater reminds me of cool fall days and I would love to spin yarn for this pattern.
This collection appeals to all body types and knitters of all ability levels. While every knitter may not find every item to appeal to their personal style, the pattern elements and techniques can be easily learned and applied to future garments.
Ann’s compilation features two skirt patterns and a jumper dress, two being knit in the round and one knit in two panels and easily seamed. While I am not personally drawn to knit skirts, these designers offer three patterns with lovely detail and classic lines, perfect for summer wear.
As always Interweave Press includes a technique chapter at the end of the collection. This chapter focuses on design elements, gauge, seeming, finishing and the importance of blocking finished objects. Simple Style is another fine collection by Ann Budd.
Simple Style 19 innovative to traditional designs with simple knitting techniques $24.95. Patterns written by a multitude of authors, collected and edited by Ann Budd, published by Interweave Press LLC 2009.
Melissa works a day job in higher education at a local university. She is a mother to one toddler and writes both for her blog (www.keeganlaneyarns.com/blog) and part-time for WEBS in Northampton, MA. Melissa currently has aspirations to finish a hand spun lace scarf and a cardigan for Massachusetts Sheep and Wool. She’s lost her mind.
Thanks everyone – we hope you enjoyed this review. As for me, I love many of the designs that Melissa highlighted in her review. My fave??? Kazumi Pullover. Check out the book to see this
beauty! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this review, your personal thoughts on the book, any projects you are working on from the book, etc. Look forward to hearing from many of you! - Kathy