I picked up this book from one of the best needle work sources on the net. Nordic Needle is a major force in the hardanger and embroidery world, but they also carry a few other goodies. The book is Classic Knits for Real Women . Since I must have cleared the last copy from Nordic Needles (it's no longer on the website), I've linked to the Needle Arts Bookshop link for this book.
This is a book that is sized for those of us from a 36 inch bust to a 46 inch bust. As you can see by the pictures, the sweaters are classic shapes, simple, easy to wear anyplace. Good sold design for regular women. Nothing bold and vivid here. Delicate colours and soft subtle shapes and waist lines in natural yarns. The designs should give us the feminine form we desire without clinging to the squidgy bits.
It's not that there is nothing funky here. There is in spades. There are some interesting collar designs, a funky hat and scarf set done in a loop stitch that is meant for those with a great deal of flair among us, a fringe edging that I can see all kinds of places to use. BUT these funky attributes update the look of these classic pieces, funky is not intrinsic to the design. In each case, a much simpler edging, or collar could be used, to give you a great classic design.
Besides the funkier innovations, there are fine delicate little touches. Beads, textured stitches, cables, and touches of lace add to the look. It isn't just sweaters, as the name implies. There are some nice designs for scarves, a scattering of crocheted items, and a couple of bag designs too.
The book says exactly what it is, classic designs. This book targets those of us who are by nature or time of life, more sedate, more settled. It isn't a book for the young and trendy, though there are things here that speak to that part in all of us.
This book ranks as a solid Double Crochet for me. Its conservative style holds a strong appeal. BUT, if you are interested in more innovative things, you may want to check it out from a library before you buy.
More work on the scarf. The ball is getting very small, and before the end of the day, I ought to be finished.