I am often amazed by the connections we make in our lives—both personally and professionally. Here’s one of my connections.

Some of the vintage textiles and garments the designer used for inspiration.

One of our contributors in the 3rd edition of PieceWork’s Knitting Traditions is London-based knitwear designer Jennie Atkinson. Jennie traced the development of the project leaflet in her “Unraveling the Knitting Pattern.” It’s a perfect snapshot of knitters, knitting, and yarn companies in England at the turn of the twentieth century.

While we were in the process of getting that edition of Knitting Traditions together, we received the list from Interweave’s book department with books that we would publish in early 2012. Bingo! Jennie Atkinson’s new book, A Handknit Romance: 22 Vintage Designs with Lovely Details, is on the list. Oh my, I have fallen in love with A Handknit Romance!

In true PieceWork fashion, “the colors and textures” and the “style, details, and delicacy” of vintage pieces inspired each of Jennie’s garments and accessories in the book. And throughout, she encourages “knitters to use the creative finishes shown on the clothing and accessories of past eras.”

The Openwork Gloves with the delicate rose-lace motif.
The captivating and elegant Sailor-Collar Blouse.

All of the stunning projects—a jacket, skirt, camisoles, bags and a purse, a cardigan, stockings, a shrug, dresses, blouses, mittens, a scarf, and gloves—are knitted with fine yarns that “allows for far more detail.”

I absolutely adore each of the 22 projects, but the following two have moved to the top of my “must have” list.

The Sailor-Collar Blouse, inspired by garments from the 1930s and constructed with a variety of lace stitches, is delicate and oh so elegant. This is definitely something that can be paired with a long skirt for formal occasions or jeans for a casual look with amazing style.

The gloves with the rose-lace motif on the back of the hand (Openwork Gloves) will absolutely make you ignore the cold! They “look back to the 1940s and 1950s, when no elegant winter outfit was complete without coordinating accessories.”

If you love to knit, you’re going to love this book. And the stunning photography is just icing on the cake!