I’m really into war history. The worst week of my boyfriend’s life was when I rewatched Ken Burns’ Civil War and would relive every moment of the 12 hour documentary for him when he got home from work. I don’t think Downton Abbey really got good until WWI kicked off. My friends map routes to avoid the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago for fear of me going off on an assassination/Vietnam War conspiracy theory tangent.

The Heritage Collection: WWI & WWII

Needless to say, I got a little excited when I first read about designer Rohn Strong‘s book The Heritage Collection: WWI & WWII. Knitting AND two of my top three favorite wars? This was something I had to get my hands on!

Bess and Audie

The Heritage Collection is full of essays and knitting patterns inspired by stories and pictures of WWI and WWII. Each pattern has been beautifully styled true to the times, but with bold and fun color choices to jazz them up a little bit.

Pictured above is Bess: This cardigan knit in Classic Elite Classic Silk is wonderfully wearable and super soft. The simple stockinette stitch and minor color changes add to the vintage construction of this perfectly feminine design.

And Audie: Rich colors and classic construction make this casual sweater a unique twist on a vintage cardigan. Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage lends this sweater a rich and warm texture. The fit is perfect for men large and small, and a contrasting stripe across the chest gives the cardigan an extra touch of masculinity.

Clara

There are lots of great sweater patters included, but my favorite has to be Clara: A simple lace pattern sets this otherwise ordinary red, white, and blue jumper apart from the rest. A wide rib, capped and puffed sleeve, and high neckline all work together for a sweater that is made for the modern woman.

Rosie

Hats and socks take a lot of the spotlight in this collection, and the standout for me is Rosie, which is actually 2 hat patterns in one! The turban was an iconic hat during WWII. The two versions of this turban are constructed using short rows and are seamed up the back. The Band’s are knit separately and sewn on afterward. This is a quick one skein wonder!

Even if you aren’t so into war history, or any history for that matter! these patterns are universally appealing. They are very modern odes to vintage designs, and each pattern with a story. Rohn’s writing style is a little grandiose, but it reflects the dramatic nature of the times. And his spot on styling and gift for classic knit details cannot be denied. This is a book you’ll love to read, and be instantly inspired to cast on one of these timeless knits.

Another fun tidbit? The graphic designer for the book is my friend Laura Simandl, who is the same amazing lady behind my Holla Knits pattern layouts. The Heritage Collection is available for Ravelry download for $19.99, or you can order it printed and bound from amazon for $34.99.

A huge thank you to Rohn Strong for not only putting together this beautiful book, but letting me gank a copy of it for his blog tour!

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