Book Review – Centenary Stitches


After spotting a write up on Centenary Stitches in issue 83 of The Knitter, I knew I’d have to add a copy to my library.

Centenary Stitches is a beautiful book of vintage knitting and crochet patterns, re-worked from traditional garments and patterns for the feature film Tell Them Of Us, a film based on World War One solider Robert Crowder who died whilst serving in the army in 1917.  The film tells the story from the point of those he left behind in the small village of Thimbleby in Lincolnshire.

Despite many of the records from WW1 being lost or damaged, Robert’s family had held his memory dear and kept a remarkable archive of unpublished material, enough to make a film with.  The film goes some way towards exploring the shocking reality of living ‘normal’ every day life then being thrown into the terror and torment of war.

Elizabeth Lovick, volunteered her services when Pauline Loven, the costumer for the film put out a request on Ravelry to find help re-creating a knitted jacket as worn by the original Grace Crowder(Robert’s sister) and which was typical of the period.


Elizabeth in case you don’t know, is a knitwear designer specialising in traditional Shetland Lace designs.  Her book The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting provides a beautiful reference for anyone interested in lace stitches and the beautiful pieces that can be made using them.

From this single design, sprang over 70 garments for the film and subsequent book of patterns, which was a collaboration of over a hundred knitters from across the UK and USA.  The patterns are for children and adults, garments and accessories.  There’s even a dog coat and a set of baby reins (I know some people frown on the use of these, we’ll save that for another day).

In addition to the fabulous patterns, there is a lovely description of the village of Thimbeleby written by Pauline Loven, who also talks about the WAG film making group and what’s involved in being their costumier.  Elizabeth Lovick has included a brief history of knitting in WW1 and the challenges faced in translating vintage knitting patterns.

Most importantly, there is a little history of Robert Crowder written by his Great Nephew – Robert Holland, including excerpts from letters written by Robert’s brother William Crowder, to the historian Peter Liddle about his war experiences and some much cherished family photos.

cosy coat

Of the 70 or so patterns it’s difficult to chose ‘favourites’ as I’m actually quite smitten with lots of them. If pressed, I’d have to go with Cosy Cat by Alison Casserly which is a short crochet waistcoat, worked in aran weight yarn.


The Rough & Ready Cardigan by Judith Brodnicki is an extremely versatile aran weight cardigan for both children and adults.


Judith is also the designer of William’s Waistcoat, which is a great aran weight knit, that I know my hubby would love (Christmas maybe?).


The Mersey Wrap translated from a Fleicher’s Knitting & Crochet Manual by Tina Kinnar and knitted in double knit yarn is simplicity at it’s best.


The garment that started all of this – Grace’s Jacket by Elizabeth Lovick,is truly beautiful.  Elegant, whilst utilitarian and  Knitted in double knit yarn, I can’t wait to find some time to get working on it.

Definitely a book worth having, you can purchase it in traditional ‘paper’ format or as a digital download.  To have a look at all of the designs included in the book, follow the link here for the Ravelry patterns page.

Happy Knitting!

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Autumn/Winter Goodies Are Starting To Arrive

Sirdar Faroe

We took delivery of some of the new yarns we’ve been expecting in last week including Folksong and Faroe from Sirdar.

Folksong Chunky is a multicoloured yarn made up of 51% Wool and 49% Acrylic
There are 75metres/82 yards in every 50g ball.  It’s a standard chunky and knits to a tension of 14stitches to 19 rows on 6.5mm needles.
There are 8 fantastic shades all of which are very wearable, my favourite is the orange blend.
All 8 shades of Sirdar Folksong
There are 8 lovely designs to knit with the yarn including accesories however, you could use the yarn as an alternative in most chunky patterns. Our favourite design is this great basic jumper, which really highlights the beauty of the yarn.

Faroe from Sirdar is a new super chunky made from 60% Acrylic, 25% Cotton and 15% Wool and for each 50g there are 43metres/47yards.  Faroe knits to a tension of 9stitches to 12 rows on 10mm and will work as a substitute yarn for many super chunky patterns.

There are 6 gently blended colours and 8 patterns that have been designed especially for using Faroe.  All of the designs are quite simple and would make very quick knits.  Our favorite is this lovely waistcoat with the cable detail around the neckline.
Sirdar Faroe

In addition the the 2 new yarns from Sirdar we also received 4 new shades in Click Chunky – Brown, green, silver grey and dark grey, all have a tweedie fleck.

Sirdar Click Chunky

4 new shades of Bonus Aran

Sirdar Hayfield Bonus Aran

and 2 in Bonus Tweed

Grey Sirdar Aran Tweed
There were also 4 new shades in Snuggly Baby Double knit and we took 2 of the new shades in Baby Crofter as I wasn’t too keen on the others.  There was also 3 new shades in Bonus DK and more stock came in in all of our favourite shades including the missing purple Snuggly DK that you all love.
As always there were lots of new patterns and books to come in from Sirdar too, we’re particularly fond of the 2 new books The Big Book of Little knits – Knit Christmas and Knit Pretty.
Knit Christmas
Knit Pretty

More about these books to come in a separate post.  I’m sure like me you’ll be eager to get knitting with the new yarns, the only dilemma is which one to start with?

Happy Knitting!