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Book Review: Twinkle’s Town & Country Knits – 30 Designs for Sumptuous Living by Wenlan Chia

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Wenlan Chia offers some of the most fashionable knitting patterns available. No surprise, then, that she has her own clothing line, Twinkle, and regularly shows at New York Fashion Week. With Twinkle’s Town & Country Knits: 30 Designs for Sumptuous Living, Chia’s third knitting pattern book, she continues with her tradition of cute, fashion-forward knits.

Town & Country Knits is my favorite so far of Chia’s three books. All use Chia’s own line of Twinkle super-bulky yarn, which means they knit up quick, but are often chunky, oversized knits. Many of the bulky sweaters are shown with belts. But they are still cozy, fashionable knits, which you can make for far less than the retail of many Twinkle store-bought knits.

“Highlander’s Stole” creates a thick, cozy stole made from slender knitted pieces braided together. The “Bell Du Jour Tunic” melds cables and dropped-stitch ladders to create a tunic that is at once romantic and rock n’ roll. The “Metropolitan Diary Skirt” is a little awkward. The bulky yarn looks out of place on such a short skirt with almost-delicate lace edging. The “Urban Legend Skirt” is long, with a striped wave pattern and slightly open weave. It looks cozy, a perfect winter skirt, and has a romantic 1970s feel to it. The “Matinee Coat” almost looks like a housecoat, but the outsized ruffle down the front makes it more feminine and chic. The “Bar Harbor Hoodie Vest” is not quite a vest, not quite a coat: hood, short sleeves, giant buttons, and long length make this versatile.

The “Brookbrowser’s Sweater” has an oversized, asymmetrical turtleneck with a bobbled vine down the front – very vintage. The “Millbrook Sweater Dress” incorporates a simple cable and bobble pattern with an oversized funnel neck. Great over jeans or leggings, and perfect to hide those couple holiday cookie pounds. The “Vineyard Potter’s Cardigan” looks like it stepped right out of Anthropologie, with its body-skimming shape and lattice patterned bodice. The “Bennington Jumper Dress” doesn’t appeal to me, with it’s vaguely Navajo pattern at the hem and vaguely nautical neckline. I do love the “Nantucket Cardigan,” a sophisticated sweater coat with cabled edges. The “Copenhagen Hooded Dress” is just a delight, made with a fuzzy mohair yarn, a drapey cowl neck, and seed stitch sleeves interrupted by a long row of dropped stitches.

In all there, are 30 patterns within, all with photographs that look like they came out of the pages of Vogue magazine. A collection you will not be disappointed in.

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