Cover via Amazon
Clothes you knit for yourself should be comfortable, wearable, and -- showstoppers. At least, that's my philosophy (except for socks. No one ever stops the show for socks, but hand knit socks are just so....). Ahem.
Anyhow. French Girl Knits, by knit designer Kristeen Griffin-Grimes is a wonderful book full of great patterns. So chock full, in fact, that I'm thinking that despite my current abject poverty, I may have to buy a copy (because eventually the library will make me give their copy back and I'll have to head to the book store).
I'm working on a sweater from the book, the Anjou sweater, and while it is not a beginner's pattern by any stretch of the imagination, the instructions are very clear and readable (and I am paused in the construction because there is a metric ton of kitchener stitch ahead of me).
The patterns are truly lovely, but this is not a knitting book for the novice, or someone wedded to squeaky acrylic yarns. This is a knit book where knitters who love to dig their hands into fine luxury fibers and wrap them around their needles will find bliss and fulfillment, and probably some frustration (remember all that kitchener stitch? I do.)
The designs are simply gorgeous, and in re-reading (again) the book for this review, I found yet another design that I 1) already have the yarn for and 2) want, want, want. (It's the Celeste mohair lingerie wrap, in case you were wondering). This is a book for "sweater girls" and women who like to wear head turning knits. About a third of the patterns go up to at least a 46" bust, so you don't have to be a little bitty thing to wear the patterns, either.
My fascination for this book led me to Ms. Griffin-Grimes' webpage which has (you guessed it) even more wonderful wearable knit patterns. And an Etsy shop full of still more gorgeous French knits. And even crochet! I kid you not, there are so many beautiful patterns here that I feel like I just found the dragon's lair full of (knitted) gold. Oh, and I can't pay anyone, but if you know anyone willing to work something in the order of a couple hundred kitchener stitches for free, please let me know. And on the website, there's even a gorgeous plus-sized model(check out the Fawne).
All in all, if you have any knitting experience at all and are willing to stretch your wings and attempt some fairly challenging patterns, I can't recommend Ms. Griffin-Grimes' patterns enough.