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Book Review: Vintage Knitwear for Modern Knitters by Lise-Lotte Lystrup

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I love vintage clothing. I love vintage knits. But deciphering vintage patterns is tough. The sizing was different 40 years ago. Most of the yarns listed are no longer in production. The patterns, in general, were written differently, and rarely included charts. So I love when knitters translate vintage patterns for me.

Lise-Lotte Lystrup does just that in Vintage Knitwear for Modern Knitters. The designs in this book are authentically vintage. The author has written them according to modern patterns and sizing, and offers current yarns for each project. Some of the projects have been slightly modified to fit the modern woman. I love that each project features authentic illustrations of the vintage garment, as well as photographs of a freshly adapted and knitted piece.

“Evening Jacket in Feather Pattern” is made in a fluffy mohair with faux-fur trim. It looks more like a boudoir jacket than something you would wear out. “Jacket With Frog Fasteners” is a sleek, tailored jacket with an off-center closure. “V-Striped Scarf” is created with a rainbow of bold primary colors in a chevron pattern. It’s bold and cheery. “Sports Sweater in Basket Weave” is an unfitted pullover with ties along the split neck. One of my favorites is the “Cardigan With Contrasting Collar” – a chic, slender shape with gently undulating collar. “Tube Top and Bolero” is an adorable summer set, though very, very few women can pull off the tube top. “Winter Checkmate” is a cozy turtleneck with a wonderful graphic checked pattern. “Evening Wrap” is a unique wrap, shrug, and bolero combination.

“Silky Twinset” is a little bland, and not extremely flattering one cardigan (buttoned close) layered beneath a second cardigan (with no closures). I love the “Stylish Spring Top,” a simple fitted shell with gathered shoulders. “Leaf-Patterned Sweater” is a mock-turtleneck with a textured oval pattern all-over. The white-on-white contrast of the raised “leaves” is sleek. “Angora Leaf Scarf” is an incredibly unique scarf. Tied correctly, the ends create three oversized leaves – complete with veins. “Light as Air” wrap is a wonderfully unique piece: a lacy, open-weave knit that covers your entire back, like a wrap, but with the addition of thickly ribbed cuffs, so it can be worn like a bolero. “Tube Hat And Scarf In One” is bizarre and adorable at the same time: an extremely exaggerated stocking cap that wraps around your neck – and ends in a giant pom pom.

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