History on Two Needles

9781937513184_HistoryOnTwoNeedles_cover.inddTips, techniques, projects & reflections by an unorthodox hand knit designer & teacher.

About the book

For years, I dreamed about a collection of designs based on iconic works from art history, blending several of my great loves (knitting, history, and art) into one set of finished patterns that anyone could knit and wear.

Drawing inspiration from historic images, I’ve created 17 stunning garments that make a statement without becoming costumes. Each piece tells a fascinating story of both political change in the world and garment silhouette and detailing.

Join me for your own world historical tour on two needles! Read more about the journey of the book here.

View individual patterns from HoTN on Ravelry

Buying Options (shipping included in prices)

17 patterns
(buy patterns individually)
126 pages


In this book, Annie Modesitt displays an interesting approach to knitwear design, finding inspiration in garments of the past, from antiquity to recent times. Her descriptions also include some intriguing snippets of history: a pleasure for both knitters and readers.

—Barbara G. Walker,
author of four
Encyclopedias of Knitting Patterns, Knitting from the Top, Mosaic Knitting, and Barbara Walker’s Learn-to-Knit Afghan Book, plus other works

Annie Modesitt has a knitterly imagination like no other. In History on Two Needles, she gives her inventive, architectural mind free reign, and uses her unparalleled design skills to come up with stunningand even wearablegarments presented with drama and flair. It’s over the top (like Annie herself) and a great gift to knitters (like Annie herself).

Kay Gardiner,
co-author of
Mason-Dixon Knitting and Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines

Intriguingyet easily mastereddesigns, construction methods, and stitch techniques, combined with historical events and fascinating works of art, make History on Two Needles a uniquely wonderful knitting book.

Myrna A.I. Stahman,
author of
Stahman’s Shawls and Scarves:
Lace Faroese-Shaped Shawls from the Neck Down and Seamen’s Scarves

Not only are the designs striking and wearable, but Annie gives us fascinating information on the historical pieces and tells the whys of the designs from shape, pattern, down to the stitches mimicking other techniques of needlework.

Jillian Moreno,
Knitty Winter 2012 review

Windy City Knitting Guild favorite Annie Modesitt has produced a fascinating collection of modern knitwear, with its roots in artistic inspiration.

We in the Chicago area have been fortunate to have a wonderful special exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago … One of the paintings, whose costume many visitors were admiring, was a young woman painted by Tissot, wearing an exuberant red bolero jacket, with red ball fringe trim. Annie Modesitt had earlier taken this fashion inspiration and translated it into very wearable felted knitting for today. Wow.

The book has 16 more garments and accessories, blending history and art into knitwear interpretation, inspired by ancient through Victorian times. This is a serious exploration of our craft, rather than just an appeal to historical novelty.

This is a book that is fun and informative to read, and should be fun to knit from and fun to wear. I’m looking forward to spending more time with it.

— Cathy G
Windy City Knitting Guild Newsletter Review