I recently managed to get a copy of Custom Knits, by Wendy Bernard, from the library and thought I'd write a quick review. I didn't realise until I read the introduction that I'd read her work before through reading her blog, where I have admired her patterns for a while. The knitting world is so small isn't it?
I love top-down construction methods of knitting and was excited to see that you could do it with set-in sleeves. It was kind of a light bulb moment when I read that. D'oh. Her instructions are pretty clear and I like the way that she gives you options/tips on how to alter the patterns.
Of course the test of any pattern book is the actual number of patterns that you are likely to use. There are 11 in this one that I would be very happy to try so I'm even contemplating buying my own copy. The extra information that she includes like short row knitting and making your own dressmakers dummy makes this book a solid investment. The inclusion of classic designs mean that you could use this text for years to come adapting to the latest fashions with ease.
I have a bit of a problem with the styling of the shots. I know that she lives in California so there is not much need for excessive clothing but there seems to be a lot of leg in these photos. Is it just me or are there a lot of shorts and undies? Am I showing my age? I'm really not that old, but I think if you are wearing a cardi it is likely that your legs will be just as cold as your arms and would probably be covered up as well. At least you can see all the details of the knits, they are all shot in full daylight, which is the complete opposite of another book that I have from the library at the moment. ( I'll review it later it this week.)
Fave pattern: I'd really like to try knitting up Ingenue (Ravelry link)
I like the wide neck on this one, the length in the body seems perfect, I think that I would prefer long sleeves, so that is one mod I'd do to make it my own. It is very rare that I follow a pattern the whole way through, I always have to a large bust alteration and I usually change the length of the body - short stuff.
It is silly that I have only discovered this at the end of winter, so I'll have to plan on doing it for next winter.