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Designing Knitwear Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press; New edition edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561582654
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561582655
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Readers of Vogue Knitting and Threads are familiar with Newton's beautifully crafted knitwear, as are readers of mass circulation periodicals like Family Circle and Woman's Day. Here Newton systematizes her approach to designing handknit garments and, in the process, shares information she searched for in vain when she was a fledgling designer. Using 16 of her original designs as teaching tools, Newton takes the reader from idea to finished garment, emphasizing creative swatching and a lighthearted "what-if?" approach as the creative process begins, followed by solid documentation and detailed garment schematics as the design takes its final form. This is not a how-to-knit book. The author assumes her reader has the knitting skills required to put to good use in-depth information on design sources, yarn characteristics, working with silhouette and fit, and designing with stitch patterns, color, and graphics. Highly recommended.
- Janice Zlendich, California State Univ. Lib., Fullerton
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Deborah Newton is one of the top knitwear designers in the United States. She sold her first sweater to McCall's magazine in 1982 and has since designed and produced hundreds of knitted garments for magazines and books. She also designs knitted fabrics for the Seventh Avenue garment trade.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 22 customer reviews
This book is dense with information and could be a bible for anyone who likes to modify or design knitwear.
S. Sarabasha
As such, this book will never go out of style, as you simply select the elements you want, and plug them into your project design.
FiddleLizzie
It provides a foundation of learning about designing knit wear and gives some very good information about fit.
Kathryn L. Cornett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 97 people found the following review helpful By amrdmr on November 30, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I rarely review a book that has several well-written reviews already, but was tempted to add my voice about this book at a time when those who are looking for a good gift for knitters may be abroad in Amazon.com-land. I also have been a knitter for Lo these many years (about 30) and have perused many knitting books and magazines. And I have several knitting friends, some real fanatics, some just beginners. I personally love this book and wholeheartedly agree with some of the other reviewers that it is the most imaginative book about knitting that I have ever come across. However, a word of caution: having spent time in the company of other knitters, I know that I am pretty much a maverick, at the far, wild end of the bell curve. There are a lot of knitters out there, some extremely technically advanced (far more than I) who simply would not know what to do with this book. So, if your target knitter follows patterns to the letter, even if your target knitter can execute Kaffe Fassett designs, if they are color-inside-the-lines type of knitter, it might be better to give them (as I have done to several of my knitting friends) "The Big Book of Knitting" by Katharina Buss, which, I have found, is mightily appreciated even by those who have an extensive knitting library. However, if your knitter is bored, bored, bored, even by the most intricate classical designs, then "Designing Knitwear" might just light their fire. I agree with the reviewer who said that "Designing Knitwear" is not for beginning knitters. So, if your knitter is just learning how to knit, purl, do stockinette stitch, it might be better to choose another book, for now at least. I have to say, though, if you know or are a maverick knitter, you will LOVE "Designing Knitwear".Read more ›
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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By "arana8" on May 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
I worked very hard on a child's lace-trimmed sweater from a pattern only to be very disappointed by the result. The dropped shoulders had no shaping and a clumsy-looking knitted seam, the back rode up, and the button band was too narrow to control the curl of the edge. That was when I thought, "I could do better than this." I decided to start designing my own stuff. "Designing Knitwear" has a lot to offer someone who wants to design their own knitwear. Newton's ideas are inspiring. I don't particularly like the majority of projects she gives directions for, but I learned a lot about the design process from her, and about producing looks that are way beyond the run-of-the-mill. One thing I don't like about the book is that Newton takes the sewing approach, with the flat-knit pieces sewn together, the edges sewn on, etc. I like to keep sewing to a minimum in knitted garments.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have been knitting since I was 6, (30 years), and this is the first book I have found for a really long time that actually does what it says. It is a must for new or old knitters. It is absolutely inspiring, it has sound technical advice and innovative ideas for garments considering shape texture and colour. It discusses all areas of knitting, things that a beginner or even experienced knitter may not have even considered. The section on cutting and sewing knits to make garments is an extra bonus as this is a much neglected area, and most of us have had to learn through our mistakes. This book should make your knitting life less stressful and more enjoyable. I would reccomend it to everyone. It is the first book in years that is full of innovative ideas, and sound technical advice rather than one little bit of good information.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
First, I would like to clear up a few misunderstandings about this book. The author does not trash dime store knitters. She simply states that she finds them to be part of the folk art land scape. However, her constant admonition throughout the book is to buy the best you can afford. You can't cook a gourmet meal with bargain basement ingredients, can you?
Also, swatching is an absolutely essential part of the designing process. (Some designers even go so far as to suggest dedicating an entire ball of yarn to swatches) A designer who does not swatch will never know the full potential of a yarn. This is simply a fact. If you don't like swatching (and I don't) the author offers alternatives. However, she makes her swatches so pretty that I am almost tempted to change my mind.
The author offers her design system so that [novice] designers can borrow some or all of it until we come up with our own. The system is methodical and seems a great deal of fun. We find inspiration, find a yarn and swatch swatch swatch.
I hope everyone will give this book a fair chance. Knitters are artists and artists are not helped by being thin skinned or afraid to try something new.
AS noted by other reviewers, this book is not for the total beginner. You are expected to be knowledgable of basic knitting techniques as well as fibers etc.
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77 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Lori Freeman on March 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
First, the good: there is a lot of information here about different fibers, explanations of silhouettes, ease, and different styles that is very helpful. There are tips on sketching and charting your own designs, as well as structural details of different styles, e.g. set-in sleeves, saddle shoulders. Much of the information is opinionated, but the author usually explains her reasoning.
The bad: I found many of her technical explanations incomplete and/or difficult to follow (and I've been knitting for about 10 years). I also found the many (many, many) self-gratulating personal references a bit tiresome. 'This is how I do this,' 'I like to do that,' 'Let me tell you all about a perfectly brilliant design idea I had one day while waiting for the bus,' etc. Somehow I got the impression the author has an air of superiority, as if to say her way is NATURALLY the best way, if not the only way. Maybe this irritated me more because I disliked most of her designs and thought them all but unwearable. If you're into 'haute couture' or 'wearable art,' you might enjoy them more; I prefer to design garments which are more subtle.... or, as she might say, 'bland and pedestrian.' (If that means saying "No" to big bulky coats knitted of fuzzy chartreuse mohair, complete with giant buttons, then color me bland and pedestrian.)
Bottom line: For the technical and structural elements of design, this book is worth looking into, but I'm still looking for a better knitting design book.
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