Two Book Reviews on Baby Knits and Ribbon Embroidery

Explore heirloom-knitting patterns for babies and the beauty of ribbon embroidery with these two book reviews from the November/December 2010 issue of PieceWork. First, dive into a selection of vintage, early 20th-century knitwear for the wee ones, and next, embroider a world of fairies and flowers.

ribbon embroidery

Vintage Baby Knits: More Than 40 Heirloom Patterns from the 1920s to the 1950s
By Kristen Rengren
New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009. Hardbound, 160 pages, $27.50. ISBN 978-1 58479-761-6.

From her substantial collection of pattern books from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, Kristen Rengren has selected the patterns for this beautifully illustrated book, updating them to include currently available materials, gauge (rarely included in vintage books), and step-by-step instructions. With projects ranging from the adorable Pearl Shrug to the fashionable Audrey Hoodie and including hats, cardigans, toys, blankets, a snowsuit, and a christening gown, this book will delight anyone who knits for baby.

ribbon embroidery

Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies in Ribbon Embroidery & Stumpwork
By Di Van Niekerk
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England: Search Press, 2009. Softbound, 152 pages, $29.95. ISBN 978-1-84448-430-0.

Di Van Niekerk brings the well-known “Flower Fairies” by English author and illustrator Cicely Mary Barker (1895–1973) to life in a new way. Using color photocopies of the fairies printed on cotton fabric, Van Niekerk has embellished the illustrations with ribbon embroidery and stumpwork. Meticulous step-by-step instructions, each fairy illustration shown in color and full page ready to be photocopied, hundreds of color detail process photographs, and large color stitch diagrams show readers how to make their own enchanting fairies. This beautiful book has something for both beginners and advanced embroiderers.

—Jane Morrow

Read 5 more great book reviews in our blog post “5 Books on Historical Knitting and Fashion Accessories.”


Find more historical needlework in the pages of PieceWork!

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