Inspirational Books

Headbands for Rachel

I woke up early this morning to a grey and dreary NYC sky. The pitter patter of the raindrops urged me to get up and to finish up all the headbands for my Three Ladies project, and now that I am all done with my knitting for the day it is time to browse through some inspirational books.

Pour yourself a cup of tea, like I just did, let's get cozy on the couch and let us browse...

Vintage Fashion Knitwear by Marnie Fogg

Vintage Fashion Knitwear

This gem of a book stopped me right in my tracks as I was browsing for yarn at Knitty City in the Upper West Side.

Three words on the cover got my attention immediately: Vintage Fashion Knitwear.

Marnie Fogg has captured more than 100 years of knitwear history and takes us with her on this magnificent journey. The chapters are neatly divided from knitwear design from the 1900's up to the beginning of the 21st century.

Vintage Fashion Knitwear Vintage Fashion Knitwear

The author provides invaluable information about knitwear designers in the haute couture industry and delights us with gorgeous pictures of knitwear.

Vintage Fashion Knitwear

Design by Missoni

From the Italian look to the American Chique look and everything in between, the author has a way of encapturing the reader for many happy hours.

For me, this book is a must have and it has a prominent place on my bookshelf in the "Design" section. To see in word and in images how knitwear design has evolved over the last 100 years, is truly inspirational.

One note though: don't expect to find patterns in this book. It is absolutely not about that! Just giving you heads up.

Selvedge Magazine

Next up is a magazine specialized in textiles in fashion, fine art, interiors, travel and shopping. Everybody, meet my beloved Selvedge Magazine:

Selvedge Magazine

This London based magazine satisfies my love for yarn, fabrics and encapturing images. One can find in depth articles about how certain fabrics/textiles are produced. Also the editors take you to places all over the world, highlighting fine arts by artists from different backgrounds.

This image by artist Gönül Paksoy is a piece of her work called "edible beads" in which she creates necklaces out of perishables such as pistachios, unripe apricots, sage and also pomegranate.

Selvedge Magazine

Selvedge magazine speaks to my imagination and provides many sparks of inspiration within me. It can keep me entertained for many hours on end and introduces me to so many artists around the world.

Selvedge Magazine


Ohio Knitting Mills by Steven Tartar

Ohio Knitting Mills

The Ohio Knitting Mills in Cleveland were known for creating knitwear designs for many labels and also department stores such as Sears and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Unfortunately the Ohio Knitting Mills is no longer operating but luckily a man named Steven Tartar acquired the company's sweater archive and brought many vintage knitting sweater patterns back to life.  

Ohio Knitting Mills

With the original knitting pattern as a guide, Steven Tartar shares with us vintage patterns (1940-1970) using yarns that are readily available in our time. What a mind blowing project he took upon himself!!! I am in TOTAL AWE.

Ohio Knitting Mills

To own an archive of vintage knits??? I am so jealous... but then again so incredibly thankful that he decided to share some of the designs with us in this book!

I also learned that Steven Tartar opened a Brooklyn storefront where he sold vintage knits that were never worn before. 

He now sells limited-edtion sweaters on his website: Ohio Knitting Mills

Zara Cowl progress

After making all of those swatches last week, I have finally decided what yarn to use. At first, I wanted to use the Madeline Tosh Bulky but since I have given Madeline Tosh yarn a lot air time here on Getting Purly With It, I opted not to use it. 


I have decided to work with Cascade 128 Superwash, a great yarn that comes in many beautiful colors and costs WAY LESS than the Madeline Tosh Bulky. At the moment I am waiting for my order to come in and as soon as my yarn has arrived we will finalize the project.

Before you expect that I am going to write out a pattern, let me burst that bubble for you. 

No pattern is going to be provided. I am going to show you in detail how to make calculations and how to go about creating YOUR VERY OWN Zara cowl, made to YOUR VERY OWN measurements, with the choice of YOUR VERY OWN yarn and needles.

Hey! What are you whining for? You can do this, I know you can. I am here to help you, remember? 

You are going to learn to make little itty bitty steps into designing yourself. 

Thank you for reading and until the next entry!



Your 2009 suggestion

Hi, Nancy,  Finally finished the vest from Ron's spun yarn.  You gave me the first clue on starting and now I'm wearing it often.  Posted about it yesterday.  I see that Knitty City stays on your radar!  We'll be in the City early December and plan to get there--wearing the vest, of course.

We have to meet up at Knitty City


I am so happy you finished your vest! I cannot wait to see your creation in person. We simply have to meet up at Knitty City when you are in Manhattan in December.

Bring me stories of Portland, I miss it (but I don't miss the Pdx rain though).


Love all the vintage. How do you find it? So cool about the Cascade 128--I have just designed a hat with 128 and I love this stuff. Can't wait for your Zara!

Cascade 128

Susan, I browse for hours and hours on end to find the books that I like... Cascade 128 is a good good yarn. The price is good, the colors are great. I am curious about your hat!

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