Saturday, 7 May 2011

The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting Review

Book Depository Link; Ravelry Link

It's not a bad introduction to knitting with lots of photographs and guides, it fails to use contrast yarns to make things a bit clearer and apart from cable patterns doesn't use charts.  It doesn't have a bibliography for further reading and honestly the garments don't make me anyway excited.  It's not a bad beginner or improving beginner book but wouldn't add to my library.  It's a US publication so many of the stitch pattern names may be different to the originals.  It misses out on more photographs in the Brioche pattern section, the aforementioned charts; a bibliography (apart from in the historical section which references No Idle Hand (sic) by Anne L Macdonald; Wikipedia History of Knitting & A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker) and a bibliogrphy would have been useful for the last few sections where really they only had the space to bounce off them rather than go into detail.  Edited by Margaret Hubert with contributions from Carrie Hammett; Sasha Kagan; Debbie New; Judy Pascale; Beth Brown-Reinsel and Myra Wood; the back of the book has biographies and partial bibliographies of these writers.

Starting with a short history of knitting, where the modern part concentrates on the US experience of knitting, the book then moves to the basics and then some stiches. Once it gets a few past a few knit stitch patterns it gives a pattern, for a simple one-piece garter stitch tunic jumper.  Then it moves to light texture stitches; then suggests ornamenting the garter stitch jumper at the neck and sleeve ends, next we move to a sock pattern.  Then medium to heavy texture stitch patterns; then a seed checks baby sweater which is worked in one piece to the armholes.   Then the stitch patterns move to lace and a lacy sweater. Then it moves to Ribs pattern stitches, then ribbed leg warmers.  Next up is the honeycomb and brioche stitches; which explains the how pretty well but doesn't have pictures this section finishes with a honeycomb washcloths.  The next section is eyelets, followed by an Eyelet Cloche - which is an open-work hat with a flower and leaf knit motif.  The next section is ripples and Chevrons followed by a Parasol Ripples Scarf.  Next up are slip stitches, followed by a slip stitch card case.
Next up are Color Combos followed by a two-color toddler hat; then we have motifs which includes a flower, a heart in moss stitch, a mitered square, small fan, large fan, large fan with trinity border, small leaf, large leaf and finishes with leaf coasters which are lined. Cables are up next with clear photographs how to do cables and stitch legends, this is the first chapter that charts make an appearance.  The pattern in this section is Double Cables Hat.

Then it moves on to Speciality Knitting Methods - one-piece knitting, starting with the top-down toddler cardigan that goes with the toddler hat; a top-down mock cable pullover.  Then moves to simple entrelac, using a bag pattern to introduce the technique.  Next up is Freeform knitting; using a freeform knitting bag, fastened to a handbag form, a freeform vest. Then there's Crazy Lace Knitting using a scarf as an example; Knitting with Beads again with a bag as example. Intarsia knitting with an oversized beret; twinned knitting with a pair of mittens and Ouroubous Knitting with a tree-rings jumper

Types of patterns: mostly accessories with a few jumpers and cardigans, quite basic stuff

Number of Patterns: 22

Size Range: 33"-45"

Colour/Black & White: Colour photographs, black and white charts

Schematics: for some garments, not put together but exploded.

Target Audience: Beginners and beginners looking to expand skills

How to knit guide: yes, this is most of what the book is about

Experimental/Classical/Modern: pretty classical.

Comments on patterns:
Garter Stitch Tunic Jumper - one-piece done side-to-side this is quite a simple but effective garment, done in a medium weight yarn on 6mm needles

Garter Stitch tunic sweater with detail - as the first garment but with some stitch detail on the cuffs and neckline.

Spiny Ridges Socks - basic socks with some lacy detail, slip one heel, knit in super fine yarn with 2.75mm needles.

Seed Checks Baby Sweater - knit in one piece to the armholes with stitch details on the bottom; dk yarn on 4mm needles

Lacy Sweater - it's a short-sleeved lacy cardigan, done in pieces and sewn, could probably be knit in one piece to the underarms. dk on 4mm needles.

Legwarmers - using a variety of stitches and stripes, in medium weight yarn using 4mm, 5mm & 5.5mm needles

Honeycomb Washcloth - a washcloth knit in dk weight cotton yarn with 4mm needles.

Eyelet Cloche is a hat that's quite open with a decorative large flower and leaf. Medium weight yarn on 5 & 6mm needles.

The Parasol Ripples Scarf is knit in silk-bamboo lightweight yarn knit (patons Silkn Bamboo is the recommended yarn) with 4mm & 5.5mm needles.

Slip-stitch card case is made in a medium weight yarn on 5mm needles.

The Two-color toddler Hat in medium weight yarn and 4mm & 5mm needles.  It has a plain top and a slip-stitch colour pattern on the bottom.

Leaf Coasters - leaf shapes with lining and interrfacing.

Double Cables Hat - it's a hat with cables and a bobble, knit in medium weight yarn with 4mm and 5.5mm needles

Top-down Toddler Cardigan is designed to go with the toddler hat, again in two colours and worked from the top down; knit in medium weight yarn in 4mm & 5mm needles

Top-down Mock Cable Pullover has a drswstring through the neckline and mock cable on the neckline; cuffs and waist.  Knit in a dk weight yarn in 4 & 5mm needles

An Entrelac Handbag is used as an intro to Entrelac knitting - knit in two colours of yarn (Patons Decor) with 3.5 & 5mm needles, a simple bag that has bamboo handles

Freeform Knitted bag are shapes sewn to a plastic backing; using 4 & 5mm needles and a variety of yarns.

The Freeform Vest is worked in one piece to armhole in an open mesh with applied motifs on the shoulders, knit in wool ease with 5mm & 6mm needles

Crazy Lace Sampler scarf uses fingering or sock yarn and 4.5mm needles, a variety of yarns and variety of patterns used throughout

Beaded Slip Stich Bag uses the crochet hook method of adding beads (which allows you to add beads without stringing them on beforehand). Knit in Koigu with 2.75mm needles

Queen of Hearts Beret is the introduction to intarsia using in part a self-striping yarn to give it more dimensions.  This is knit flat in DK yarn using 3.25 & 4mm needles

Twinned Mittens for Kids - using a light-coloured worsted weight yarn using 4mm needles

Ouroborus knitting - using a tree rings sweater this works in rings from the centre out, getting larger and larger and eventually creating a full garment, this notes that it can be added to to make it bigger.  Using Classic Wool and 4.5mm needless

Buy/Borrow: If you're a beginner this one might be a good place for reference.  There are some stitches

Where found: Kilkenny County Library via

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