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Techniques to Boost Your Knitting from Excellent to Outstanding
on April 23, 2012
My grandmother taught me to knit on straight needles, but, when I discovered that circular needles were so much more useful, I gave away all my straight needles and never looked back. It wasn't all chocolate and roses after that, however. There were certain imperfections I just lived with - after all, knitting in the round was much more pleasant than knitting and joining flat pieces. But now, after devouring Margaret Radcliffe's newest work, "Circular Knitting Workshop," I've upped my knitting skills by several levels. Wow - from good to great!
Here's my take on "Circular Knitting Workshop."
1. This is a book about techniques - lots and lots of techniques that will boost the quality of your finished products. Of course, there are patterns, many of which are very cute, but their main function is to demonstrate how to use a specific technique. Most are quick and/or small, so you can try them out immediately.
I've already learned several techniques to get rid of that pesky "jog" that shows where a round starts anew. That's always bothered me, and I am so pleased to learn how to avoid it.
2. Knitting with double-pointed needles has never been a favorite with me, but sometimes it cannot be avoided. You'll find a good section on using double-points that will be invaluable when, for example, you want to make seamless sleeves or flat round objects. The color photographs take you through each step so you'll come out with excellent results.
3. Binding off is covered in depth. There are many instances where a tight bind-off detracts from the quality of your finished garment, but now you can choose from a number of stretchy bind-offs that will enhance quality and making wearing the garment a pleasure rather than a trial.
4. If you're like me and like seamless garments, you'll love the section on converting flat patterns to circular. Isn't it great to come to the end of a pattern without having to do all the finishing work? And, be sure to see the section on knitting in loose ends - more ways to avoid that annoying finishing duty.
5. I've always carped about knitting books bound as paperbacks, but the paper in this book is so heavy that, when you open the book, it will stay open where you're working. Overall, the quality of the book itself is excellent, and the photo illustrations are truly helpful.
I find nothing to object to in this book. It's filled with "essential" techniques that I'm pleased to master.
This book belongs in every knitter's library. Get it. You'll be so glad to have it as a handy reference! Don't even ask to borrow my copy; it resides in my library permanently.
Five Stars Plus!