Hat Couture by Theressa Silver, photography by Aedan Studio Photography, pub. Cooperative Press, 2013
At last! A collection of hats that would fit my large head! Maybe that's not sufficient reason to review a book, but that was what tipped the scales for me, and that's what I told Elizabeth at Cooperative Press, who, as it turns out, is also "of the 24 inch head persuasion."
But I digress. These hats are not only available in large and small sizes, they are incredibly stylish. Named after famous female icons (mostly from the movies), there are pillbox hats, slouchy berets, cloches, and more. A baker's dozen in all. Most make use of either the basic flat top or basic round top detailed in the Tools and Techniques section, which also covers yarn (stiff and "sticky" preferable to super-soft and drapey for these structured hats), sizing (loud cheers), blocking, buckram inserts, embellishments, and stretching. That's a lot of material fit into two pages of pleasant reading.
Then come the designs, each with a short introduction describing the personality it was named for. Entertaining quotes from such notables as Margaret Atwood, Frank Sinatra, and George Bernard Shaw pop up throughout and add to the fun.
I haven't worked any of the patterns yet, but the cover hat, "Marlene," will be first. My son walked in the room when I was reading about it and announced, "I would wear that!" Get in line, buster.
Some of the designs, like "Grace," are pure decoration and must be secured to the head somehow. I don't really understand hatpins, but I guess if I needed to use them I'd figure them out. And if any hat would tempt me to use them, it would be "Bette."
Patterns are clearly laid out and all the yarn used is currently available. I could wish for the yarn to be identified by weight or ball band gauge, but this is a rare luxury and the yarns are all major brands which are easy to find.
Hats are clearly photographed from many angles, and the models (Brandi Shea Frederick, Natalie Olson, and Shannon Schott) outdid themselves embodying the characters suggested by Theressa's hats. If you can't decide whether to commit to the book, check out Theressa's Choose Your Own Hat-venture Mystery Knit-A-Long (which comes with a coupon for $2 off the complete book).
I recommend this book for anyone interested in learning by doing, hat fanatics, and those who want to knit for stylish but large-headed people. Also good for fans of the mid-20th century fashion, movies, and celebrities that inspired this collection. I'm looking forward to getting started!
Disclosure: Cooperative Press provided this copy of Hat Couture to Kangath for review purposes. Kangath was not compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in the review are the blog author's and are not necessarily the opinions of Cooperative Press or Theressa Silver.
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