The Jubilee weekend might have been a few weeks ago now, your bunting might be flagging and the street party a distant memory, but fear not, for you can keep the good times going in the form of a beautiful new book by vintage knitwear designer, Susan Crawford. As part of its blog tour, today I’m going to be reviewing Coronation Knits… but that’s not all that’s happening!

Susan has been kind enough to offer one of my lucky readers a copy to win for themselves (so be sure to read carefully to the end for instructions on how to enter the competition).


Coronation Knits is a beautifully put together book, featuring fourteen gorgeous, authentically styled designs for ladies, gents and children, drawing inspiration from the late 1940s and early 1950s, and in particular the fashion influences around the Queen’s coronation in 1953. Not so much of the ermine and Bishop’s mitre though, you might be glad to hear, (although there are some wonderful crown motifs), Susan was inspired by the fashionable looks of the elegant new Queen and her glamorous younger sister, Princess Margaret, who were very much the trendsetters of the day.


Amies, a beautiful lace jumper named after the Queen’s dressmaker himself.


The book starts with a lovely, personal introduction from Susan and a very informative piece of social and fashion history that sets the scene for the whole book. I particularly liked that these little bits of fashion history popped up again and again throughout the book, adding that little bit extra that we have come to expect from Susan and making this so much more than just a book of knitting patterns.

Oh, but the patterns! I won’t let the cat out of the bag and tell you about all of them, because there are plenty more bloggers to come on the blog tour yet, but instead, here are some of my favourites from the book, and a little about why I like them.


Lion and Unicorn: nothing could be more patriotic, or more 1950s with its quintessential batwing sleeves.


Coronation Sleeveless Pullover: a striking fair isle crown pattern is used in this classic for 1940s men. Couldn’t you see him punting along the river wearing this?


Changing Guards at Buckingham Palace: the most gorgeous motif! Don’t you have someone small to knit this for?


Princess Twinset: As seen on the two Princesses, and nostalgically for me, a favourite of my own Nan’s.


The Princess Twinset’s cardigan has the most beautiful detailing on the back, which makes it my favourite of the book.


All photographs were styled by and are copyright to Susan Crawford.

Although Coronation Knits is not a book for the brand new knitter, there are lots of patterns that would be great for someone keen on trying new techniques like short rows or a little fair isle in a garment. The book contains thorough abbreviations and a ‘knitting know how’ page, the patterns are clearly written and are in a very good range of sizes (women’s 30-50” bust in most cases). Throughout the book, Susan has cleverly chosen to use red, white and blue yarns, often in her own line, Excelana, for her knitted garments and it works brilliantly, without being a cliche.

Even if you are not a big knitter, I would recommend Coronation Knits as an enlightening and enjoyable slice of social history, both now and then. And if you are a knitter, then what on earth are you waiting for? You can buy yourself a copy of Coronation Knits at the knitonthenet shop by following the link here, where it is available as both a print book and an e-book, and also as an e-book from Ravelry (where you can also see all of the patterns).

…or perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to win a copy in the competition!

To enter the draw, please leave your comment below this post telling me which pattern you would most like to wear, if you were Queen (or King). I will close the comments at 9pm GMT on Monday 2nd July, and on Tuesday 3rd will choose a winner at random from the comments (which must include this information to be eligible for the draw). Only one entry in the draw, per person, please.

The winner’s copy of Coronation Knits will be sent out after the blog tour is complete at the end of July 2012, and can be sent anywhere in the world, so don’t let being in New Zealand or Canada stop you entering!

Good luck, and I look forward to reading your comments.


The next stop on the Coronation Knits blog tour is Felicity Ford’s The Domestic Soundscape on 28th June (and if you don’t read her blog already, add Felix to your feed reader, people!)

Tour Date



8th June Susan Crawford
12th June 2012 Jean Moss
16th June 2012 Jen Arnall-Culliford
18th June 2012 Helene Magnusson
20th June 2012 Knitting magazine
24th June 2012 Ingrid Murnane
28th June 2012 Felicity Ford
29th June 2012 Donna Druchunas
7th July 2012 Karina Westermann
2nd July 2012 Simply Knitting magazine
6th July 2012 Ruth Garcia-Alcantud
10th July 2012 Tasha Moss
14th July 2012 Tom van Deijnen
18th July 2012 Woolly
22nd July 2012 Mim
25th July 2012 The Sexy Knitter
Review: Coronation Knits by Susan Crawford
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18 thoughts on “Review: Coronation Knits by Susan Crawford

  • 24th June 2012 at 18:36

    I would most want to wear the Princess Twinset if I were queen, of course!! I especially love the detailing on the back — it is too perfect! What a darling look!

  • 24th June 2012 at 19:33

    Wearing the Silk Rose headscarf will make me feel like the Queen!

  • 25th June 2012 at 00:24

    the twin set is so darling, and I love that it’s been presented in differing colours. thanks for the chance.

  • 25th June 2012 at 09:44

    I think that Amies is just the thing for Royal engagements on a chilly day. One tends to get goosebumps in British weather.

  • 25th June 2012 at 09:58

    If I were Queen I’d wear the Princess Twinset. It’s so classically understated.

  • 25th June 2012 at 10:56

    I would wear Embassy gloves – they look like a pure luxury for me:)
    And if I would be King (one can dream – as I am not anyone of them…), I’d wear Coronation Sleeveless pullover – love it :))

  • 25th June 2012 at 14:56

    Isn’t this the greatest book? Love it! and I can just see myself swanning around in Amies, doing all kinds of queenly things…….(yea, right!!)

  • 25th June 2012 at 17:07

    I love the Amies lace sweater. It’s so delicate and lady like!

  • 25th June 2012 at 23:47

    The Amies jumper and cover scarf are both quite lovely and would be welcome additions to this queen’s wardrobe… Must check out Ravelry!

  • 26th June 2012 at 13:06

    It would have to be Amies in a beautiful blue colour if I were Queen…!

  • 26th June 2012 at 15:22

    I would wear the Lion and the Unicorn, love the detailed intarsia work, think it’s is clever but also sophisticated!

  • 27th June 2012 at 09:21

    Definitely the twinset – it is truly fit for a queen/princess!

  • 27th June 2012 at 21:53

    I would love to wear Amies. The allover lace pattern is so beautiful! Thanks!

  • 28th June 2012 at 13:19

    If I were Queen I would like to wear the Princess twinset as I’ve always had a softspot for them and it would look good with a string of pearls.

  • 29th June 2012 at 13:52

    If I were a Queen, I, like everyone else, would wear the Princess twinset. The details are so classic and elegant! And it would look lovely with a circle-skirt.

  • 29th June 2012 at 19:23

    Although the princes twinset and silk rose are my favourite patterns, the most ‘regal’ pattern, the one I would wear as a Queen, would be Amies. It’s beautifully styled with the pretty scarf around the model’s head.

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