Sunday 24 January 2016

Review of Pride & Preju-Knits by Trixie Von Purl

I've always been a voracious reader. My parents brought my brother and I up with bedtime stories, and I had extra time to read as a child due to fractures, operations and hospital stays. When you're waiting for a broken leg to heal there's not much else you can do. Reading was my escapism into the imagination, travelling to different worlds and being anywhere but stuck in a hospital bed covered by a regulation NHS blanket.

Image courtesy of Search Press
My love of reading grew into a love of literature. A level English Literature introduced me to the classics, particularly the wonderful world of Jane Austen. I remember the sadness at finishing all six of her novels and knowing there were no more Elizabeth Bennets or Emma Woodhouses to discover.

Now, thanks to the author Trixie Von Purl, there's a way I can combine my two hobbies of knitting and literature ... by knitting scenes from Austen's novels. Yes, really. Mr Darcy's second proposal to Elizabeth; Emma's infamous picnic; Willoughby rescuing Marianne in the rain - they're all here, complete with attention to period dress and, my favourite, a knitted piano.

I first noticed the trend for knitting characters, as opposed to toys, when Fiona Goble published her book Knit Your Own Royal Wedding back in 2011. I had fun knitting the Queen, a page boy and a corgi until the stuffing was rather knocked out of my amusement by an assistant at my local yarn store who looked at me as if I were a madwoman when I asked for the right coloured yarn to knit the Archbishop of Canterbury's robes.

Von Purl's book is great fun and lovingly produced with artistic care. Each scene has a introduction to the relevant story and there are suggestions on how to pose your knitted characters. I particularly like the different outfits, including Mr Darcy's breeches, there are to knit.

Jane Austen fans will enjoy flicking through this book with a smile on their face. The characters are a fun way to use up odds and ends of yarn and the finished versions will be great to introduce young children to Austen's characters and storylines. That's if you don't keep them all for yourself.

Pride & Prejuknits is published by Search Press and the list price is £9.99.

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