Little Red in the City

Little Red in the City Book Cover Little Red in the City

"From ... designer Ysolda Teague comes Little red in the city. Part pattern collection, part resource book Ysolda shares all of her tips for successful sweaters that perfectly fit your body. Each of the seven inspiring designs is modelled by Ysolda herself and by her friend Amanda Allen, showing the garment in two different sizes and helping you envision how each design will look on your own shape. 15-17 sizes are included in each pattern, ranging from a 28-60" finished bust"--P. [4] of cover.

I meant to blog this sooner, but the weather wasn’t on my side. For really nice photos, I like to have a goodly amount of natural light. The past couple of days?  Rain.  Either way, this little gem arrived in our Superbox sometime on the weekend or very slightly prior to that (when we wouldn’t have checked the mail).  Yay!  I’ve been eagerly waiting for my copy of Little Red in the City!

I will give full disclosure here…I bought the full version, which means that I not only bought the physical book, but also the e-copy in .pdf form. What’s even better is that Ysolda has provided both the full book as a PDF as well as each section / pattern as separate files. I like the e-version for the plain fact that I will likely print out each pattern that I work on so that I can take it with me & write all over the margins. It keeps me from having to do things like crack the spine of my book to fit it onto the scanner / copier in the home office.

The reason I wanted the actual book?  I like the fact that I can pick up the book and hold it.  I can smell the fresh ink on the pages. I can scan through quickly to find what I want, and I don’t have to worry about screen glare distorting the colour. I love books. Though the world is trying to gravitate towards the paperless lifestyle, I will never be fully paperless as long as authors and designers continue to create books that can be appreciated for their beauty as well as their content.

Speaking of cracking the spine, though… My copy seems to have come with a bit of a flaw.  The binding is cracking down at the bottom of the book. A few of the pages threaten to separate from the book as a whole, making me wonder if they are going to paint themselves blue and start crying “Freedom!” as they make a break for it (for those of you who don’t get the joke, I’m referencing the Mel Gibson movie “Braveheart” as Ysolda Teague, the author of Little Red, just so happens to be Scottish.) I’m thinking I may need to contact Ysolda for advice on what to do about this. I sure as heck haven’t folded, spindled, or mutilated the book, so I’m not sure what might have caused the cracking.

The patterns themselves are gorgeous for both slender ladies as well as those of us with a bit (or, okay, a LOT) of meat on our bones. I’m particularly drawn to Chickadee and Cria as possible projects, though my whim could change at any time. For more information, I highly recommend checking out the project pages on Ravelry.

About the only thing I’m *not* seeing in the book is a sweater with a bit more room and drape. Most of the sweaters are fairly form-fitting, and unless you have a fairly outgoing personality, a big girl like me could find the sweaters a bit daunting.  Melia and Cria are the loosest patterns of the bunch, but I would have loved to see something that flowed just a little more.  Yes, I know that some styles can contribute to a look of pregnancy, but styles that are a little *too* fitted tend to make some of us look somewhat sausage-like.

That said, I love Ysolda’s design sense, and the thought and care that have gone into the patterns and the directions to get the best look and fit. As a person who has read her blog, she’s previously indicated that she gets quite a bit of her construction information from fairly classic sources, particularly books from the early-to-mid 1900s.  This is a wonderful thing, as many of the knits I admire most are from the 30’s to the 60’s. There’s just a particular way that knit sweaters were fit to the female form in those years that emphasized the feminine. It’s stunning to see a modern take on the classic sweater without turning it into a shapeless, baggy object.

I definitely recommend picking up a copy, whether it’s in e-book or physical book form. Her website has all the ordering information you need!

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