Coronation Knits, Susan Crawford

The 'Crowning Glory' beret in progress - I've folded
it up so you can see a quarter of it, and the crown motif
is very clear.

Hello, and if you're new here, welcome to Crinoline Robot, the latest stop on the blog tour celebrating the release of Susan Crawford's new pattern book, Coronation Knits. It's available in three forms: print only (£12.99 plus P&P), e-book (£10) or as a print and e-book bundle (£17.99 plus P&P). It's available from Knitonthenet.

If you're not on the blog tour, let me explain: knitwear designer Susan Crawford has bought out a book of patterns inspired by or adapted from knitting styles that existed at the time of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. This means well-fitting, ladylike knits, practical family garments and attractive accessories, mostly in the finer yarns that were popular in the mid 20th century. 

One of the things I've come to appreciate about Susan's work is that her patterns fit. In recent years a lot of designers have brought out books of 'vintage' patterns - they are usually really vintage-inspired - and they're almost always too baggy in the body in a post-1960s boxy way. Susan's original designs are like genuine vintage patterns in fit, but she makes sure she has lots of sizes, which anyone who's ever been faced with resizing a 36in-bust-only vintage pattern will appreciate, and she will tweak construction to make use of modern knitting techniques where appropriate, so her hats are often knitted in the round, not in multiple parts and seamed.
'Coronation' sleeveless pullover - image
copyright Susan Crawford, used
with permission

Coronation Knits is closer to Vintage Gifts to Knit than A Stitch In Time volumes 1 and 2 by Susan Crawford and Jane Waller because it is a petite book (far easier to carry about in your knitting bag than chunky hardback ASIT volume 1) and it contains patterns for children's and men's garments as well as ladies' ones. I really like the man's crown-patterned tank top; Mr Robot would rather go naked than wear such a garment so I won't be making one for him, but I do hope some chap, somewhere, wears one. There's also a lovely twin set, which is shown in two colours in the book but I think I'd make all in one colour. What you can't see in the photo here is the cabling at the lower back of the cardigan, a very pretty touch. I'm obsessed with twin sets right now. Wendy recently brought out a fantastic Merino 4ply, and the seafoam green (which is greener in the ball than it looks on the manufacturer's website) would be perfect for it. Visit Susan's website to see images of all the designs.

The proof of a pattern is in the knitting, so I've knitted up one of the designs from the book – it's incomplete in the picture at the top of this page, but I've finished it and it's now blocking. (In other words, I've washed it and shoved a plate inside it while it dries so it has a proper beret shape.) I used the yarn specified, and got a lovely beret, complete with crown motif. Excellent! I used double-pointed needles instead of one circular needle - I don't like using circs, and as there are four crown motifs around the hat it was a simple matter of having one crown to one needle, with no need for stitch markers.
'Princess' twin set - image copyright
Susan Crawford, used with permission

Here's the full blog tour list. If you've been following the tour, your final stop is a treat, as you need to drop by The Sexy Knitter on the 25th. Otherwise why not start at the very beginning? If you want to see more of my knitting, the easiest way to do that is to click on 'Knitting' in the word cloud in the right-hand bar, or look me up on Ravelry, where I am called idontlikecricket.

12th June 2012 - More Yarn Will Do The Trick - Jean Moss
16th June 2012 - JenACKnitwear  - Jen Arnall Culliford
18th June 2012 - The Icelandic Knitter - Helene Magnusson
20th June 2012 - Knitting Institute - Knitting Magazine
24th June 2012 - Ingrid Murnane Investigates - Ingrid Murnane
28th June 2012 - Domestic Soundscape -Felicity Ford
29th June 2012 - Sheep To Shawl - Donna Druchunas
2nd July 2012  - The Making Spot - Simply Knitting  
6th July 2012   - rock+purl - Ruth Garcia-Alcantud
7th July 2012   - Fourth Edition - Karie
10th July 2012 - By gum, by golly! - Tasha
14th July 2012 - tomofholland - Tom Van Deijnen
18th July 2012 - Woolly Wormhead - Woolly
22nd July 2012 - Crinoline Robot - Mim
25 July 2012     - - Sarah Wilson


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