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Fortunately for knitters, Elise Duvekot is a curious and persistent investigator. The unique "knit 1 below (K1B)" technique which emerged during her patient explorations inspired her to find ways to use the resulting cushy, non-curling fabric in a wide range of garments and accessories.
The technique is not, as one Amazon reviewer wrote on November 28, the same as slipping a stitch. A slipped stitch leaves a float and the K1B technique leaves no floats. In fact K1B fabric is reversible, with both sides resembling stockinette, although they are easy to distinguish (and both look great). I hope this reviewer will take a longer look at the book so as not to miss the surprising result of the actual method.
Elise presents her K1B technique with clear illustrations, tempting photos, and detailed instructions for using the simple method in many circumstances, including cables, intarsia, edgings, bands, borders, seams, shaping, and working flat or in the round.
But what is most inspiring of all are the hand-painted colorway combinations. K1B fabric tames hand-paint's tendency toward color chaos, leaving it harmonious and calm, as if its tangles have been combed into columns of beautiful drifting colors.
The designs include vests, jackets, sweaters, skirts, tops, a necklace, scarves and shawls, a set of pillows, baby blankets and outfits, hats, wrist-warmers, and particularly fascinating to me, socks. My one complaint about the book is that the sock information is more of a tease than a full set of instructions and designs. Once you see the delicious photos you will know what I mean. There is enough instruction for adventurous sock knitters to use happily, but I suspect that the publisher is going to begin receiving lots of emails from less adventurous sock knitters begging for a whole book on K1B socks. I think they should say yes.
I am a knitting teacher/knit shop owner, and I am always looking for something new. This book caught my eye right away. This technique may have been around before, but it is new to me!
I had to try one of the patterns the same day and started with the reversible vest. I don't normally wear vests, but this is turning out great!
It is a very simple technique, but definitely NOT just a slip stitch. The resulting fabric is very soft and flexible. It also lies flat and doesn't curl. I tend to work in the round because I am not a fan of purling, and I was pleased and surprised to find that although worked flat on straight needles, every row is knit (it doesn't resemble garter stitch in any way). You can get a rythm going with the Knit one, knit one below, and it becomes almost meditative.
(Almost) mindless knitting, and lots of fun. The only problem I can see is that it is more time consuming than many techniques, but it is enjoyable knitting, and I am not in a rush for the work to be over.
Please folks, if you are going to give a negative review, be accurate about your information!
This is a great book that introduces a new technique (or re-introduces a "lost" technique). On the up side, this isn't a blah knitting book that's full of the same old sweaters, baby blankets and socks you've seen a bazillion times and could get for free on [...] or Ravelry. If you're sick of entrelac, intarsia, and Fair Isle, this book opens up a brave new world of color work.
On the downside, the technique is easy but it's tricky and fiddly to fix errors. I'm an intermediate knitter who has knitted enterlac, Fair Isle, and intarsia. My first time out with K1B, I tried knitting the basic scarf once, twice, three times and then rip-rip-ripping it out. I exhausted my patience and my yarn. I tried again a few days later and, so far, am happily halfway through the scarf. [As of 8/2009, I finished the scarf and liked the technique enough to start the reversible vest.]
So, if you're a casual knitter who likes finished work over learning new techniques, this book may not be for you. If you have time, patience and problem-solving skills, this technique may be a great new challenge for you.
I can't say enough how grateful I am that Ms. Duvekot and XRX Books have come out with this book. The k1b is really a simple stitch that has endless possibilities. The book itself is clearly written and illustrated. As usual, the photography by Mr. Xenakis is stunning and shows off the projects and the stitch wonderfully. The patterns are accessible by all knitters, and I really appreciate that Ms. Duvekot stayed away from raglan shoulders which could be unflattering for certain figures. The instructions by Ms. Duvekot are clear and precise, and the first few pages really shows off the design possibilities of this stitch for those who want to design their own projects.
The k1b stitch needs some getting used to, but after a few swatches, one gets an a-ha moment and the knitting just flows. In my first few swatches, I mistakenly mixed colors in the column pattern. However, this is easily resolved when one realizes that when knitting with color A, one knits below into color A, and when knitting with color B, one knits below into color B. The fabric that this stitch produces is non-bulky, and there are no long floats or an unattractive wrong side, which is great for things like scarves. As always with everything that XRX Books comes out with, the book is professionally produced, with high quality stock, a clear type set, and a pleasing layout throughout. Even if you don't knit, this book makes a wonderful coffee table book. This is a book that every knitter should have in his knitting library.
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