Paperback version to be released in February 2017
The original Tudor Roses, published in 1998, has stellar reviews on Amazon.
I was sent this 2013 revised update; and here you can see it on Ravelry.
It includes 14 patterns (mostly garments).
Measurements given in metric.
Size Range: usually 4 or 5 sizes ranging from 88 – 123 cm / 34.5 – 48.5″ depending on design
Straight away I was impressed; this is a beautiful book. It doesn’t have a dust cover, but a dust cover would be a shame since the outside of this book is covered with a soft fabric, lovely, crisp cover photo, and embossed lettering with gold inlay. The spine has this lettering as well, so it will glow sitting on your bookshelf!
I really dig history, so I would have immediately been interested in flipping through a knitting book like this. And I’m glad to say it really delivers on the history content in the very best of ways; it includes background information on the Tudors (including a family chart, and quotes from contemporaries and the individuals themselves). It includes 14 patterns (6 sweaters, 1 vest, 6 cardigans, 1 wrap), each named after a Tudor woman, with accompanying background information.
All that is to say, I feel intellectually sated by this book; the tone indicates a belief that the reader is intelligent and interested in history. Yes! This is no fluff book.
It also stands perfectly at the intersection of history and knitting because while the designs are inspired by historical figures, and certainly do contain elements that could be considered historic looking, these are garments that you can wear without onlookers believing you’re headed to an historical reenactment*. These are not costumes, they are stunning patterns. And each pattern has a thoughtful description in the back of the book under “About the Knitting” where the designer details her inspiration and connection to history for each pattern. It makes you fall even more in love with the pieces!
Another thing that I love about this book is the diversity of techniques and complexity of style. It includes garments that run from straight stockinette with pretty shaping and finishing details all the way to cable and texture-covered glory. And oh my! The COLOURWORK!
All the charts are nice and big, and easy to read. The colourwork charts use symbols instead of colours – I know that some people very much prefer that to a straight up colour chart.
I spoke about the beauty of the exterior of Tudor Roses; the interior is stunning as well. The photographs are clear and crisp. I can see the interesting details for each sweater, and get a good idea of how all the elements work together. There’s at least 4 pictures for each garment. The photograph backgrounds are simple, but match the tone of the book and complement the styling of the models (which I LOVE! Wowzers, you have to check out the hair styles they’ve given these folks. I am inspired!)
Adding to the luxurious feeling of this book are the pretty illustrations dancing across the pages. These are also period appropriate and give you a small taste of a 16th century book.
Incidentally, I think my favourite sweater is the textural glory that is Anne of Cleves – not just because I’ve always enjoyed her story as one of King Henry VIII’s wives, but also because of the fantastic way Starmore (in this case, Jade Starmore) has decorated the surface of the sweater with a variety of stitches, all of which lead up and around the body perfectly. Just check out the shoulder and neck details to see what I mean!
In sum, this is a gorgeous book filled with classic-looking sweater patterns that I think would be a challenge and perhaps teach you about both history and knitting.
One lucky winner will get themselves a copy of this LOVELY hardcover book! Please comment on this post with YOUR favourite sweater from the book and why it’s your favourite. PLEASE REMEMBER to leave me a way to contact you!
Comments will close 11:59 pm EST, Friday January 27; winner announced Saturday January 28.
ETA: JANUARY 28 /17
Congratulations to winner Brenda! Thank you to everyone who commented! Brenda, I’ll make sure the book is off to you right away.
*Incidentally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dressing like you’re going to an historical reenactment! Wear what brings you joy, friends!!