24 January 2014

The Sweater Book


Oh my, do I have a treat for you today. This 50p second hand bookshop find is just BURSTING with knitting inspiration... sort of. Are you ready for some eighties goodness? Brace yourself...


These checks are described as "racy". Yep, pretty hot...


Party time!


This one is called 'Bandit'. I would LOVE to see a bandit holding up a bank sporting this little number...



Eh...?



And now, here is a vest with some pineapples on it...

Does anyone have Jacob's phone number?


This one would actually be really nice if it were black and white, non? Very French Connection...


Ditto for this one. Although when I said that out loud in front of my man, he looked frightened...


Tired of following knitting patterns? Freestyle!



Who doesn't love a Big Pocket? I could actually do with one of these - so practical!


Fun with tassels...


Well hello sexy...


Some nature...

Okay, so are you ready for the pièce de résistance?

Seriously now, brace yourself...


Aaaarrrrrggggghhhh! It's got my throat, I can't breathe!


Once more in close up. Harrowing.

Well, I hope you enjoyed The Sweater Book as much as I did! Which one is your favourite, please?

99 comments:

  1. Interesting how they are all the same sort of shapeless shape, with any differences being the crazy decoration. My eyes hurt though - your post ought to advise sunglasses.

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    1. A book for the Giles Brandreth archive!

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  2. That snake jumper is absolutely hilarious - and slightly scary! But that pineapple knitted vest is just bonkers. Who would ever have made that, or worn it?

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  3. I would so wear a pineapple vest, for pineapples are my favorite fruit :)

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  4. Aaaah... 80's fashions , makes me shiver to remember! That snake jumper is scary. I could see a child loving that pocket jumper - but on an adult ????!!

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  5. Is it appropriate to note that my Grandad has (and still wears) the grid jumper which my Grandma knitted for him????!!!! Yes, seriously, he does! It is red with black and white grid lines. I love him for still wearing it, I have emotional attachment to that jumper!!!

    The snake one is truly magnificent.

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    1. That actually sounds really nice! It's all about choosing appropriate colours.

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  6. I absolutely love books like this, I actually have one or two myself (books, I haven't ventured into the knitting any of the jumpers just yet).

    That snake one really is something else, definitely my favourite of the lot.

    I'm a bit of a knitting-for-the-sake-of-knitting type of gal - I don't often wear what I knit, or indeed manage to finish many projects, so this is exactly the type of thing I love to try out, just for the process and practising of new stitches and skills!

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  7. oh wow.... I dont even know what to say.... I guess... wow!
    That vest is just "smokin!" Hahaha...

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  8. There is a TV show here in Oz, not sure if you have ever heard of it, Its called Kath and Kim. Oh its just makes me think of that show. Those pineapples are tragic! lol

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  9. I don't know, if you knit a couple of these up and sell them on Ebay as vintage, I think you could make a fortune! People really will buy anything, even that snake one.

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  10. Oh thank you so much for this Tilly. It did make me laugh very loudly in my quite office when I sneaked a peek at your blog. I'm loving the snake and the pockets but they are all 'fabulous' :)

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  11. Oh dear, I have to own up to having bought that book (and others like it) in the 80s; I still have them - in my garage. "The Hand knitter's Handbook" by Montse Stanley is one that I dug out the other week. It really is quite a hoot.

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  12. I still have that book on my bookshelf, I bought it new and never knitted anything from it but you never know when it might come back into fashion x

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  13. hahaha. i think my mum may have had that book - i seem to remember the anita dobson hair-a-like from the front cover! also some crazy books where you knitting with one big needle and one small one? thankfully she never knitted me anything from it altho maybe 1980s primary school me might have liked the snake!

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  14. The Dragonflies sweater has left me speechless. That hemline reminds me of when frat boys draw an arrow pointing down on their stomachs! Talk about racy!

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    1. Aw man, you've just reminded me - in the nineties I used to wear a yellow crop top in a triangle shape pointing... erm... downwards. I can't believe I was allowed out wearing it. Even if my mother wouldn't stop me, the fashion police should have.

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  15. That is amazing! have you noticed how all the names of the designs sound like dodgy straight to video titles. Silky Tassles.....hilarious. I wish I could knit well, I would totally knit the snake one.

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  16. There are some nice patterns and techniques I'm not sure about making them into clothes though.
    That snake jumper is bonkers! Maybe if you make it less pansy and more alternative rock chick by using black and red it would at least put the assassin snake into a more fitting context? He he, great post.

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  17. Oh my gosh this really did make me chuckle! The snake jumper is my ultimate fear snake around the neck and it involves knitting. Still this did brighten up my lunch hour!

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  18. Fantastic post Tilly... it just got better and better! At first I just though it was amusing to laugh at how fashions have changed, but seriously, I wonder if anyone has every knitted the snake jumper. Even Noel Edmonds would have drawn the line there.

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  19. Make the snake, make the snake, make the snake (you know you want to).....

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  20. ohhh That's brilliant!! I have quite a collection of vintage crochet books with similar things and not only jumpers but also items for the home sucha as loo roll holders, kitchen cozies and stuff. The Spanish Burdas from the 70's had not only great sewing patterns but also a few knitting ones that are hillarious too. I love looking at them for a laugh! Pati x

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  21. That snake jumper was ahead of its time or perhaps the designers at Valentino have the same book.
    http://eclectic-society.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/tutu-fashion-trend-valention-haute-couture-ss14-paris.jpg
    http://eclectic-society.com/haute-couture-valentino-ss14/

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  22. Amazing! You had me at Racy Checks. Everytime I run into a "vintage" book like this (and my mother certainly had a few) I wonder if anyone actually made any of the designs therein (because my mother certainly didn't). Any readers out there who actually made a sweater like this/had one made for them? Pics or it didn't happen...

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  23. I love finding charity shop gold such as this! I think I might genuinely have to consider making the Big Pocket one. Or perhaps just start sewing big pockets onto the front of all jumpers, just because you never know...

    http://livjaa.tumblr.com/

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  24. wowzers! all that applique is incredible. My life needs mohair and satin balloons!

    xxx

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  25. Anymore raised eyebrow looks from you man with regards to your obvious excellent fashion taste and he's getting the Florentine vest for Christmas, right?!
    I'm loving the first one... gay pride on the golf course.

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  26. DAT BOA.

    The snake one is amazing. Terrible, but also amazing.

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  27. Oh man, the snake?? Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse.

    Not that this makes it any better, but I think the "racy" sweater is a terrible pun on "racing" checks, rather than "racy" as in "sexy"?

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  28. That Big Pocket jumper is pretty awesome, I'd be happy with one of those. And I have a stripey vintage jumper that's very similar to the Pom Poms one, might just have to sew a few pom poms all over it for maximum 80s goodness.

    By the way, have you heard of ALL Knitwear? Some if the designs in your book remind me of the jumpers designed by Annie Larson.
    http://allknitwear.com/

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  29. I flipped to your blog as a mini break during my long day of study at the British Library. The boa constrictor has made me giggle uncontrollably in the silent reading room!

    I think the petal pink style could be fine sans flower embroidery!

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    1. Loving the image of you sniggering over these photos in the BL reading room :)

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  30. I actually quite like the racy check one, but they are all a bit shapeless aren't they??!? The grid lines looks a bit Rupert Bear scarf to me? And the snakes are truly scary.....

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  31. I would definitely knit up the snake sweater! I bet my 5 year old would love it - he'd want to wear it to school every single day!

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  32. That snake is the scariest thing I've seen on a jumper since Giles Brandreth!

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  33. Hahahah I actually owned this book! I remember knitting 'The Bandit' mohair jumper as a teenager!

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  34. Those butterflies are a crack up! I can just see a woman with a crimped side ponytail held up with a rainbow Scrunchie!

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  35. Haha, the boa is brilliant! I wonder if one could adapt it into a Christmas jumper... Actually, I do quite like the hummingbirds.

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  36. Oh dear, I'm old enough to have that book from when it was first published - worse than that (and I can't believe I'm actually telling you this) I have the Eastenders - Knitting Collection pattern book from the same period and made Pete Beale's cardigan for my husband! :D

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  37. Ok, I will admit to kinda liking the 'racy' checks (agree that that has more to do with the checkered flag at the finish than being 'hot'), but then I'm a sucker for anything remotely argyle.

    that boa is the stuff of nightmares...

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  38. Someone could make that snake sweater and then go as dorky Voldemort to a costume party.

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  39. Amazing!!! I wish I had an eccentric nana to make these for a family photo shoot :)

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  40. Hahah that Boa sweater actually made me laugh out loud. Amazing! I would totally wear that pink ott cardigan with the flower btw! It'd be well cute with a summery dress!

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  41. Good grief!
    Sadly, I actually knitted stuff like this in the eighties..........love the snake one, would look fantastic in black and yellow - adder colours.

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  42. Blimey, that takes me back, I bought the book when it first came out, never knitted anything from it, and I think I sent my to the charity shop, unless it's still on the shelf.....
    It's the pouty eighties expression on the cover that gets me!

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  43. I've got that - it's the first knitting book I owned - it's from when it first came out in the 80's. I saw it in W H Smiths in Manchester and begged for it for Christmas! You know, the funny thing is, I've never knitted anything out of it ... I just loved looking at it and still do! My favourite is one you haven't shown - it's in fluffy mohair with beaded pennants on it.

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  44. I've got that book. I remember knitting several jumpers from it when it came out, I think I knitted bandit for a friend, there was also a rather nice batwing cardigan as I remember

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  45. Is it bad that I actually like that snake jumper? The again I am a child of the 80s maybe I was subjected to it too much, oh and I still wear my Garfield scarf that my Nana knitted for me when I was around 5....

    You should see some of the knitting machine pattern books she passed on to me (along with the machine) 70s knitted dress and cape set? No joke! Full set here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/joineestaceyg/sets/72157633956339358/

    I'm def going to start cracking with some of them this year!

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    1. Ooh... some of those are really nice! Love the Faye Dunnaway-style ladies.

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  46. I have this book (also 50p in a charity shop). It's a marvel!

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  48. I think an Ebay search for this little gem may be required...the number of times a day I think "if only my clothing had a MASSIVE pocket!"...I recently found an unusual knitting book in a charity shop called 'Naughty Needles" (some things should NOT be knitted)...disturbing in itself, but the horror was amplified when my mother decided to buy it!!! So much therapy likely required!

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    1. Intriguing... my mind is now racing!

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  49. How can one pick a favourite in all this sweatery goodness? Remember when these sweaters were cool? Everyone on every 80's sitcom was wearing them!! LOL!! I really like the cover model's facial expression - it says 'that's right, my sweaters are badass - are yours?'

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  50. Oh my goodness, the snake jumper is the scariest piece of clothing I've ever seen!

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  51. What a great book!! I love the dragonflies one^^

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  52. OK, I'll admit it, I still own this book AND I actually knitted one of the jumpers you haven't shown! It was the stripey mohair number with the beaded pennants around the neck and dotted over the front and in the 80's I thought I looked good in it! In fact I might still have it in the bottom of a drawer somewhere as I can't quite bring myself to throw away anything that took me so long to make (hangs head in shame)!

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  53. I was thinking the racy checks would make a nice quilt scheme. What is wrong with those dragonflies? I've never seen any like those. The pineapple I could definitely see minus the appliqué/pineapples and in a different color. I think the shape of the dragonflies one is terrible and almost picked it but have to go with the Pom Poms. It is like having small tribble growths coming out of a pac man scene. I like the pink cardi :)

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  54. My Big Pocket is my favorite! Fashion and Function in beautiful harmony =D

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  55. Pick one favourite? How! They are all marvellous
    I must send you some photos of my knitting book from the 1940's. Knitted cammi knickers anyone?

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  56. Pick one favourite? How! They are all marvellous
    I must send you some photos of my knitting book from the 1940's. Knitted cammi knickers anyone?

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  57. I had that book. I remember knitting the freestyle sweater, I just don't remember wearing it!

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  58. Have just checked my bookcase, and phew! my copy is still there! Don't think I made anything from it, but I thought it was marvellous at the time - the Anita Dobson look-alike was a definite bonus...

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  59. I don't know what was wrong with people in the 80s, everything looked gawd awful :/

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  60. Haha, who wouldn't want to have a handmade pineapple vest? :D

    My grandma gave me a whole bunch of 80s Burdastyle knitting magazines last year, so I can totally imagine your feelings when you opened that book :D What I found creepy was that some of these knitted sweaters and dresses in the magazines looked a lot like stuff you can find at Primark/H&M.

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  61. I have seen this book many a time in the National Trust book sales up and down the country but have strangely been able to resist every time - even when my little girls say, mum you like knitting books don't you? I have chosen this one for you (doting smile).... Step away from the book cherubs! Jo x

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  62. my goodness! what a book! The dragonflies one beats it for me! who would wear that!! its just seams like such a weird shape and the triangle - look where its pointing too! I mean you could be a bit more subtle, but with a luscious top like that im sure all the boys will be begging for your phone number!

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  63. Lovely Tilly I had this book when it first came out! I was a very young Mum then and was busy knitting all the time for my babies - I knitted the Fairisle top for my hubby but he wasn't too happy with it and we ended up giving it a way to some poor soul! You brought back so many happy memories Tilly, thank you, big hugs and cuddles to you
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  64. Bahahaha! I really want someone to knit me the sweater with pom poms. My first graders would love it!

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  65. I have exactly the same book at home in Spanish, we got it for free when we bought our apartment... Talk about a sweet deal.
    The title in Spanish is 'Tu Sueter' by the way, how awesome is that?! My man put it in the box of goods to ship of to goodwill, but luckily I caught it in time to save it for my library...
    Sometimes, when I need some cheering up, I leaf through it. Puts a smile on my face every.single.time!

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  66. Hee hee, I think I have that book in my pattern collection somewhere, although I don't think I ever made any of the jumpers out of it. I found a much more colourful 1980s pattern that I liked much more! :-)

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  67. I bought this book last year and I love it. Still can't decide what design to do first, but the snake one is pretty awesome :-)

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  68. Lol! My mum actually did have that book AND I actually knitted (with some help when I got bored) the stripey Bandit mohair number using yarn left over from my dad's design projects (he was hand knitting one offs for local boutique at the time) :-) I loved it - but I was only about 11 at the time...

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  69. That is hilarious: I particularly like "Eh?".

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  70. This is brilliant! I particularly like the dragonflies and the pineapples. To think these were the height of fashion!....

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  71. Hello Tilly, I have that book on my bookshelf too! Some great ideas in it but VERY 80s!

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  72. Some great eighties styles... without all the crazy colour and patterns some of these might even be ok!!

    Hannah.
    http://surfjewels.tumblr.com/

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  73. The snake jumper is hilarious! Gotta love a bit of tasteless 80s style hehe x

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  74. Literally, LOL at the snake. A-ma-zing. As an enthusiastic knitter, I blame the Eighties for giving us a bad name.

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  75. That book is pure gold. Pure, pure gold.

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  76. Ha..my mate had this book. I actually LIKE the pocket one......the snake one is awesome though.....it could be gothed up a bit....
    They all look so ITCHY though!
    I have an amazing 50s book I picked up, which if I actually blog at some point this year (made lots blogged nowt) I will put up a pic of the knitted cami knickers. Yeah....they are divine :D

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  77. My mum actually had this book...! Is there a cobweb jumper made from very fine crochet-like stitches? Because she made that for me.

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  78. This is genius. Thank you so much for brightening my Monday lunchtime. My favourite is the vest with the pineapples. It will go great with the knitted swimming trunks I keep threatening to create for my boyfriend. :)

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  79. Oh.My.God. Did some people really knit and wear such things???
    Thanks a bunch for the laugh, Tilly, you made my day!

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  80. What a great find. To think people used to walk around like that. Though I admit to being drawn to the pink cardi with big flower motif. Or do I need an eye test!

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  81. Those are killing me! How did I survive the 80's? From being young and dumb I guess...
    Any twitter chat coming along soon? I haven't been able to participate before but I would loove to meet sewing people online and chat!

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  82. WOW! I can't imagine putting in the time and effort to make any of these atrocious sweaters! What a fun book!

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  83. That is absolutely brilliant in a twisted, weird way. Wow. There really are no words for the bizarre boa.

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  84. Oh my goodness, this is so funny!

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  85. HAHAHA! That snake jumper...brilliant!
    I started learning to sew a few weeks ago. I am so happy I found your blog- helpful and so inspiring! I want to get a copy of your book as soon as I can.

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  86. Hello , I came across your blog today and I discover this post from 2014... I have this book,a portuguese version of it, bought it in the 80's... I knitted several sweaters from this book, for me and family. See it now just made me nostalgic... :)

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