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136 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Whole New World of Casting On and Binding Off
Cast On Bind Off includes 54 step-by-step methods for casting on and binding off. It begins with cast ons and ends with bind offs. The information is wonderful for every knitter's library. As most knitters, I tend to use a single type of cast on and bind off and tend to stick with these techniques. As the author states, this is usual. The author discusses how she...
Published on June 5, 2012 by Bonnie Brody

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199 of 205 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glorified reference book, not a how-to
I was excited when I saw this book coming out and pre-ordered it. I am sort of glad to have it in my library, but only as a quick-glance reference list. I do not think it is at all good for *learning* specific cast-ons/bind-offs, though it touts itself as a step-by-step guide.

Pros:
- Spiral bound
- Each CO/BO has a list of "Characteristics" (i.e.,...
Published on July 30, 2012 by Cheeke Maroo


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199 of 205 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glorified reference book, not a how-to, July 30, 2012
By 
Cheeke Maroo (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods; Find the perfect start and finish for every knitting project (Spiral-bound)
I was excited when I saw this book coming out and pre-ordered it. I am sort of glad to have it in my library, but only as a quick-glance reference list. I do not think it is at all good for *learning* specific cast-ons/bind-offs, though it touts itself as a step-by-step guide.

Pros:
- Spiral bound
- Each CO/BO has a list of "Characteristics" (i.e., invisible beginning, can be a little loose and sloppy), and a list of "Good For"s (i.e., toe up socks, bags, top-down hats and mittens)
- Each CO/BO has a few close-up "finished" photos that show you what it's supposed to look like.
- The CO/BOs are categorized for quick reference; for example, the CO categories and number of COs referenced:
--- All Purpose (8)
--- Ribbing (moderate stretch) (4)
--- Ribbing (a lot of stretch) (8)
--- End-of-Row (5)
--- Super Stretchy (10)
--- Decorative (9)
--- Temporary & Hems (5)
--- Toe-Up Socks (3)
--- Circular (2)
--- (Note, the BOs are far fewer, 22 total)
- The book is designed pretty well & has an index

Cons:
As I said, this book is not, IMO, good for learning any of the CO/BOs referenced in it. Perhaps I am spoiled by YouTube and TECHKnitter's blog (and many other *free* online resources that have set the standard, in my mind, for exceptional explanations of knitting methods), but for every CO/BO I have referenced in this book, I had to look it up on YouTube to understand how its done. Here's why:

- The instructions are very sparsely worded and quite a few times haven't made sense to me
- The photos are RIDICULOUSLY small and waaay too zoomed-out to see what the needles/yarn-strands are doing. This actually pisses me off because there is TONS of space around the photos for more photos or larger photos. Also, these photos clumsily attempt to "line up" with the steps they are associated with; however, there are no notations in the photos to reference back to the step in which they belong. It's also not readily apparent which part of the corresponding step the photo belongs to as some of the steps have many comma-delimited parts.

In summary, I see this publication as a glorified reference book, and not a terribly bad one, but it, for me, is not at all a how-to. On the cover it states the book has 54 "step-by-step" methods, but the step-by-steps feel lacking and lazy, especially compared to the decent work done on organizing its content. Interestingly, the book references specific YouTube videos in its Resources appendix. It would have been nice to have those inline with their corresponding CO/BO, however. If half-stars were permitted, I would give it 2.5 stars.
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136 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Whole New World of Casting On and Binding Off, June 5, 2012
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This review is from: Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods; Find the perfect start and finish for every knitting project (Spiral-bound)
Cast On Bind Off includes 54 step-by-step methods for casting on and binding off. It begins with cast ons and ends with bind offs. The information is wonderful for every knitter's library. As most knitters, I tend to use a single type of cast on and bind off and tend to stick with these techniques. As the author states, this is usual. The author discusses how she realized that different projects call for different types of cast ons and bind offs and that "different situations call for different techniques, and that using the right one has a huge impact on the finished garment." Most of us learned a particular type of cast on or bind off from the person who taught us how to knit and we tend to stick with that. "My hope is that this book opens a new world of possibilities and expands your horizons for beginning and ending a knitted project." This book can be used to learn new techniques, offers ways to experiment with different techniques and opens us up to a whole world of casting on and binding off that we didn't even know existed.

"In this book you'll find 33 different cast ons and 21 different bind offs. Each technique features photographs illustrating every step". The book is small enough to take with you when working on a project and includes tips on what technique is best for certain types of projects.

The cast ons are divided into basic ones, stretchy, decorative, circular, double-sided, multicolor, provisional, tubular and mobius. The bind offs include basic, stretchy, decorative, and sewn. The photographs, drawings and diagrams are excellent and show in detail how to do each type of cast on and bind off.

As a relatively experienced knitter I thought I knew quite a bit about casting on and binding off. This book opened me up to a whole new world of binding off and casting of. It's a wonderful reference book and one I don't know how I did without until now. I highly recommend it and plan to try many of these techniques right away. It is an essential addition to my knitting library.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Recommend - The Tutorial Photos Are Too Small, December 7, 2012
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This review is from: Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods; Find the perfect start and finish for every knitting project (Spiral-bound)
First, a health and safety warning: be VERY careful about the metal spiral binding! They put two disconnnected sections of wide spiral binding inside. This gives you four stiff, sharp metal ends. Two of the sliced ends face the middle, leaving a space between them that's only a little smaller than the width of my hand. With the book turned back to the info on the back cover page in my knitting bag, I reached in and caught my hand in this 'trap'. I scratched myself badly as the book hung from my hand by by the wickedly sharp cut ends. It then raked me open on both sides of my hand as it fell off me. Ouch! It also managed to snag my very nice merino/silk knitting. The book doesn't have a recessed edge on top and bottom so the outside cut ends are right at the edge of the book. If you're reading in bed, they can snag your clothes or yarn or--again--you. Be careful.

I can't recommend this book because it's mainly a photo tutorial book. As such it lives and dies based on the quality of the tutorials. Some of the explanations I found to be lacking in some of the cast ons that I know how to do.. I'm not sure I could've gotten from point A to point B by the text alone, if I didn't already know how to do it. I guess they assumed the photos speak for themselves. They don't always--partly because of the size and partly because of how they chose to show which steps, when. It needed lines or pointers or something, the way they did it, to sometimes make clear what concept went with what step. I'd urge beginners especially to steer clear of this book.

The deal breaker for me, however, is the photo size relative to the content's scale in the tutorial step-by-step shots.

I preordered this book. I was excited to get it. I love a good reference book. It came pretty scuffed up. The two outer corners are already delaminating. The stock doesn't seem very good. And I didn't check the dimensions first (live and learn). I was disappointed by how small the book was, when it arrived. Given that, it's almost shocking how small they made the tutorial pictures. The macros are ok--if overly cropped at times--as they are only a few stitches in length, to show an edge or detail. But the meat of this book--the tutorials of the cast ons and bind offs--they're barely half the size of an already very small page. We're talking pictures that can be barely an inch tall, by two-plus inches long. Very small! The chosen photo scale is terrible because many of the photos are long shots that includes two full hands, needles and the knitting in progress itself. These aren't closeups. So when you look at what is going on at the business end of the needles--well, wow. That occupies a tiny little space in a tiny picture on half the width of a small page in a small book. It's very difficult to tell at times what's going on. Matters are made worse by different yarn colors, some very dark, and some so white the highlights are nearly blown, making it hard to define white stitches from one another. And highly reflective silver needles don't help with clarity.

I have no idea what those in charge were thinking when they published this book. Probably--Oh, hey, this is a useful reference so let's make it small enough to fit in your knitting project bag. Nice idea but implemented poorly. It's a FAIL for me here, given the photos are so small given the scale of their content that it doesn't work. It does me as a knitter no good to carry a book in my bag where the tutorials are too small to see. I'd rather have had a full-sized book. I don't mind toting that in a bag as long as it has information I can actually see. That's not the case here, sadly.

There are other things I don't like about it. I don't like how they did the material on the front and back covers. Inside, the text font is not exactly comic sans, but I found it overly decorative and annoying to read. The layout is weird, with wasted space (Really? In a book this small you can afford to waste this much space?), different textures used as background, layouts with rounded edges that don't really need to be there, different cropping shapes like squares, rectangles, and circles, etc. Why didn't they at least make the photos go all the way to an edge instead of halfway across the small page, and then put the writing under each picture? Maybe it would've made the book thicker or something, too thick for their spiral binder. I don't know. But the whole design of it feels like a high school yearbook--a little amateurish. This would've been forgivable in a blog. That's what this reminds me of, come to think--it's as if whoever art designed it is used to doing photo tutorials on a blog or web site and just carried the same thing over to here. But it's not a blog. I can't just click on a tiny tutorial photo and have it enlarge enough to zoom in to see what's going on right at the tip of the needles. I'm stuck with the size it is.

I looked at the publisher, and thought "oh." I realized I had a book by them once before that had its own bad choices like really thin paper, neon red title fonts, and half sunk-in ink on the photographs. Fortunately that book was published abroad by a different publisher and I was able to get a better copy that way. I'm not sure what the deal is, but I'll personally steer clear of crafting books by this publisher in the future.

Very disappointed.
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126 of 138 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay, but ..., June 17, 2012
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This review is from: Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods; Find the perfect start and finish for every knitting project (Spiral-bound)
I've given this three stars for two reasons:

1 - It's not as comprehensive as Montse Stanley's coverage of cast-ons and cast-offs.
2 - The format of this book is TOO small, making the rather limited "step-by-step" illustrations and the dark yarn colors nearly useless.

Stick to the Reader's Digest handbook by Montse Stanley ... It's far better in terms of pure technique (though the drawn illustrations are rather dated).
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Knitters, June 5, 2012
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This review is from: Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods; Find the perfect start and finish for every knitting project (Spiral-bound)
Wow! I'm impressed! This handy-sized book is loaded with ways to begin and end your knitting. To be precise, there are 33 ways to cast on and 21 ways to bind off. The inner covers conveniently list techniques by category - all-purpose, decorative, stretchy, ribbing, circular, toe-up socks, provisional, etc. There's also a good index that references applications such as "gloves, binding off fingerless" and "shoulders, binding off" as well as techniques. The first pages of each section show side-by-side examples of each method, all knitted in the same yarn for easy comparison.

Each technique includes a description, characteristics, suggestions for use, good photos and instructions for working, and hints for "getting it right." I like the lay-flat binding and the size is perfect to tuck into your knitting bag. This is an excellent reference book for any knitter, novice to experienced.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent handy resource!, June 5, 2012
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This review is from: Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods; Find the perfect start and finish for every knitting project (Spiral-bound)
There's a book upcoming in August I believe that promises 211 cast on and bind offs. While I wait for that I thought I'd check this one out!

First, it's a tidy, squarish book, 6 x 7 or so inches, just the right size to tuck in a knitting bag and it's not only spiral bound to lay nice and flat it's safety bound--so no weird bits from the binding to snag your knitting or yarn!

There's a quicky index on the inside covers of the book--cast ons in front, bind offs in back. For example, the headers for bind offs are: All purpose, lace, decorative, stretchy ribbed, and specific use. So if you're, say, knitting that toe up sock,, you know which section you will want to hit.

There's a brief tutorial about things you'll need to know for the techniques--such as what knitwise or purlwise are, so it's very beginner friendly.

Each technique has a picture that cleverly shows rightside/wrongside of the work, a close up of the edge, and characteristics and what it is good for, followed by a step by step, with lots of color photographs, and then a box called 'getting it right' to help troubleshoot.

All in all this is a great step for a beginning knitter to up her or his game, and a really handy resource for any knitter to tuck in the bag. It's designed to be a reference source, used and used again.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Love the book, hate the Kindle edition, December 9, 2012
got this book from the library and really liked it. thought I would buy the kindle version so I could always have it with me. Hate it. pictures are small and when you enlarge they are NOT crisp and NOT sharp. the way the content is organized in the kindle version just takes away all that I found well done in the print version.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars..., June 28, 2012
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This review is from: Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods; Find the perfect start and finish for every knitting project (Spiral-bound)
I'm a knitting geek. I collect techniques and always like learning new ways to cast-on or bind-off my work. There's much to like about this book -- it has several of my favorite cast-ons and bind-offs, and a few that I haven't seen before. It's useful to have them in one place, in an easy to carry format.

I do have a couple of quibbles, although neither one is huge or terrible or detracts from the overall usefulness of the book. 1) Judy's Magic Cast-On is so much more than just a cast on for toe-up socks -- ever since I learned it in a class with Wendy Johnson, it's become my go-to provisional cast-on (no waste yarn needed, and no picking up stitches, just turn over your knitting and go) and my favorite tubular cast-on. I also use JMCO when doing a garter tab start for a shawl -- it's absolutely elegant. JMCO is filled with awesome. 2) It would be nice if there had been a little bit of discussion of alternate kitchener stitch methods, such as for garter stitch and even reverse stockinette. I've kitchenered a shawl together that had stockinette, reverse stockinette and garter stitch sections, and there IS a difference when you're working on garter or reverse stockinette. There are references and tutorials available out there (Wooly Wormhead has one) but it would be nice in a technique driven-book like this to address these differences.

However, beyond those two quibbles, I'm glad that I purchsed the book. :)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reference, June 29, 2012
By 
Amazon Customer (Browns Mills, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods; Find the perfect start and finish for every knitting project (Spiral-bound)
For the topics covered, this book is better than June Hiatt's great work: although Hiatt shows numerous cast-ons and bind-offs, there is no mention of what any of them are best used for. Montse Stanley, another great knitting reference writer, does tell the purpose and best use of each, but Bestor's photographs add far more clarity to the steps involved in each.

This is a very valuable supplement to a knitting reference library.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Start to Finish--begin your knitting and end it the best way, June 13, 2012
This review is from: Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods; Find the perfect start and finish for every knitting project (Spiral-bound)
When you want a particular cast on or cast off, this book is what you need to have great illustrations and photographs to demonstrate each method. The book is organized by Cast On (stretchy, circular, basic, decorative) and bind off (same idea, stretchy, as for necklines, basic, decorative and sewn.) The best place to use each is discussed, and there are great photographs of the detail of each kind of cast on and bind off.

There are two cast-on's that were of particular interest to me; the Channel Island cast on, which is not only elastic, but has decorative bumps rather like picots or "teeth." And the Cat Bordhi "Moebius" cast on (which is not the irritating twist in circular casting on, that's a disaster) but a way to make a twisted tube that can become a shrug, hood, shawl, etc.

The book is full of good photographs showing needle, yarn and hand position and the stages of the cast on or bind off. I have been knitting for fifty years, but I forget how to do some of the more arcane style of casting on, for example--we stick with what we know best but it may not be ideal for every application.

If you knit, this is a really handy reference--I constantly need to review the more infrequently used methods for cast on and bind off. This really is a helpful reference and I recommend it highly.

BONUS ITEMS for the review: There are two cast ons not in the book (because I invented one of them and stole the other idea from machine knitting.) Not faulting the book, but I thought I'd mention them here because I use both quite a bit and they are helpful.

The first is a provisional cast on using waste yarn and a "ravel cord". In the book, the waste yarn method is the crochet method (where you mount stitches onto a crochet chain that can be removed to release live stitches. These can be picked up or grafted later to make a seamless join.)

The problem with the crochet method is two-fold (though it's a very useful technique.) One--it's bad for fuzzy yarns. Can be difficult to pull off the chain and release stitches that can be picked up cleanly and easily and two, you have to be consistent in picking up your cast on into the back of the crochet stitch (the "tea kettle handle" part of the chain stitch.) If you pick up occasionally into the front of the crochet chain, it becomes difficult to release stitches later.

So a substitute for this method (if your eyesight isn't up to the crochet method or you are using a very fuzzy yarn) is to cast on with your fave method using a smooth, similar gauge yarn and simply knit two to four inches in this "waste yarn." Then, knit one row (or round) of smooth, 1/8" satin ribbbon, which is widely available at any store carrying sewing or craft items. Cut this at the end of the row, leaving a four inch or longer tail. Now, start knitting in your working yarn. When it's time to release the stitches, you can either pick up the bottom loop of the working yarn through the back of the ribbon stitch, or you can pull out the ribbon, which will release smoothly from the yarn because it's slippery. It helps to use a contrasting ribbon color; for example, using a dark waste yarn or dark working yarn, use a bright, light ribbon, and vice versa.

The second method (my invention) is a circular cast on (for starting shawls or round objects that begin with 8 or so stitches in the center of a circle.) Wrap yarn around your finger once or twice leaving a five inch tail of yarn, then dip into the center of this loop, pull up a loop onto your needle and pull a loop through that (as if you were crocheting.) Repeat seven more times. Mount these 8 stitches on four needles and start your knitting. Pull the loop tight. The first 8 stitches will be longer than the rest--and it will look like a daisy. Very nice for starting lace shawls or doilies. I've never seen this method anywhere (though I'm sure someone else has invented it, too) but I love it for lace circular knitting.
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Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods; Find the perfect start and finish for every knitting project
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