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Knitspeak: An A to Z Guide to the Language of Knitting Patterns [Kindle Edition]

Andrea Berman Price , Patti Pierce Stone
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Knitting can be a challenging craft, but even more challenging than knitting itself is the cryptic language—a mix of abbreviations, numbers, jargon, punctuation marks, and other symbols—in which patterns are usually written. It’s no wonder so many beginners (and even some whose skills are quite advanced) are intimidated by the bewildering code—or that so many yarn-shop owners grow frustrated by the amount of time they must spend deciphering patterns for the uninitiated.

Enter Knitspeak, a knitter’s dictionary that disentangles the mysteries of pattern language and translates it into plain English, helping knitters to easily transition from confused to confident. Andrea Berman Price’s essential guide—written in a friendly, reassuring tone and formatted for quick reference—begins with an overview of how knitting patterns are organized. It then offers a comprehensive alphabetical listing of all the abbreviations, words, phrases, and symbols typically encountered in patterns.

Knitspeak’s many easy-to-understand drawings clarify basic and not-so-basic needle techniques, and a series of sidebars deals with issues ranging from keeping track of simultaneous shaping to substituting yarns and reading a yarn label. The book’s appendix is filled with valuable tips, charts, and worksheets.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andrea Berman Price is a Washington, D.C.–based project manager employed by government agencies and nonprofit organizations to organize complex programs. A lifelong knitter, she also teaches knitting workshops in the D.C. area. She holds a BA in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts and an EdM from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5282 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: STC Craft | Melanie Falick Books (September 13, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HY8NNK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #707,635 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginner's help to know all about knitting October 29, 2007
Knitspeak definition: "A combination of words, abbreviations, numbers, and punctuation that is unintelligible to the average human and - unfortunately - to the new knitter." - from Knitspeak

Like any group, culture or trade, knitting possesses its own languagee, one which can be is incomprehensible to the uninitiated. New knitters are often prohibited from stretching their knitting muscles by a pattern which makes as much sense as ancient Greek.

Andrea Berman Price rides to the rescue with her book Knitspeak: an A to Z guide to the language of knitting patterns, a handy volume which translates the symbols, abbreviations, and terms while explaining the logic and structure in which knitting patterns are written.

The first section of Knitspeak provides an overview "of how knitting patterns are organized and how to read them effectively." The second section is organized alphabetically beginning first with symbols. This section, which comprises most of the volume, is much more than just a dictionary. Scattered throughout are detailed illustrations, helpful tips such as choosing the correct decrease method, and longer entries on topics like measuring gauge or choosing a needle size.

The appendix is chock full of helpful information: fixing mistakes, estimating yardage requirements and an "abbreviations at a glance" table. Rounding out this handy volume are three worksheets which Price suggests photocopying and using to track knitting projects; for times so that when you put your knitting down, you have a record. A sound idea - especially for knitters like myself who have double digit UFOs (unfinished objects) that may, or may not, be stored with the required instructions.

Knitspeak's compact size means it easily fits into your knitting bag.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great on-the-go guide September 29, 2008
By Totoro
I had a terrible time trying to decide between this and the Knitter's Companion (KC). I needed a handy little reference guide that would fit into my purse whenever I took my knitting somewhere. I'm not very familiar with reading patterns, but I'm also not new to knitting so all I really needed was a quick reference to remind me what "ssk" or "yo" means, or which cast on to use, etc., and keep me moving. My only other reference was Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Handbook, and that wasn't going to fit in my purse. I ended up buying both copies to bring home and compare carefully. Both the KC and Knitspeak were designed to be a pocket reference and both covered similar topics. The KC had the added advantate of spiral binding, but the paper did not slide easily along the rings and I could see the pages quickly becoming weak and bent, and eventually falling off. They also squeaked unpleasantly. In the end, I returned the KC and kept Knitspeak because I found the illustrations clearer and preferred the organization, but it was a close call. Both are great products.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Knitting translations September 27, 2007
By Fr Mae
Great for when you are in the middle of a pattern and suddenly don't know what an abbreviation means.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great knitting language book September 27, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is easy to understand, easy to use, and has valuable illustrations. It's the perfect size and book to have on hand.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I take it everywhere... August 20, 2008
This book is permanently in my knitting bag, and I've probably opened it for every project I've knitted. I have a horrible memory for remembering even basic stitches (like kitcheners) and the illustrations are super clear.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A knitting mentor in a book! June 14, 2010
Andrea Berman Price coined the term "Knitspeak" for the language of knitters, a language comprised of knitting terms and the mysterious (to beginners) abbreviations used in knitting patterns. As Price herself remarks, knitters who have learned the basics of cast-on, knit, and purl are often baffled when they try to knit something more complicated than, say, a scarf. What does k1f&b mean? Or M1R? How do you read a pattern chart? And what's a provisional cast-on?

Realizing that knitting books are usually aimed either at rank beginners or at experienced knitters, but rarely at the knitter-in-between, Price set out to remedy this lack. Knitspeak: An A to Z Guide to the Language of Knitting Patterns is exactly what its title implies, and more. The introductory section discusses how to read a pattern (including conventions such as directions for different sizes, and common assumptions), tips on how to keep track of where you are, and even copyright rules as applied to knitting patterns. The main portion of the book is an alphabetical glossary/dictionary of common knitting terms, symbols, and abbreviations. In this section you will find explanations, instructions, and diagrams for everything from pattern abbreviations (k1f&b) to cast-on methods to a variety of knitting tools. The appendix includes helpful information about yarn (substitution guidelines, reading labels, estimating how much you need), tips on dealing with mistakes (picking up dropped stitches, ripping back), charts for needle sizes and metric/imperial conversions, and some useful sample worksheets.

As an intermediate knitter who is firmly in the target audience, I love this book, and only wish I had discovered it sooner. It would have saved me a great deal of frustration! In short, it's like having a knitting tutor or mentor you can stash in your project bag and take wherever you go. I highly recommend Knitspeak to all knitters of advanced-beginner to advanced-intermediate experience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Better in print version, Kindle has some legibility issues.
Published 2 months ago by Terry DeVine
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand even for us beginners
This book not only explains HOW to, it explains the reason behind WHY you use a certain stitch. It translates all those maddening abbreviations for you. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Spruce Lake
5.0 out of 5 stars Knitspeak if a great little book
Knitspeak is a A to Z guide to the language of knitting patterns for knitters that gives them confidence to take on new projects. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Artisticpens
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very informative!
Published 8 months ago by E Arnold
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Excellent Resource
I am a self taught knitter who has been attempting progressively harder patterns and techniques for a handful of years now. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Unforgettable Fire
4.0 out of 5 stars Pink Book
Great reference guide. Well written and illustrated. Have purchased several for gifts for my knitting friends. Would definitely recommend buying!
Published 10 months ago by Jana
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable!
I have personally used this for a long time. Recommend it all the time. This is a purchase for my mother who is a knitter. When she saw mine she loved it.
Published 15 months ago by J. Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most helpful knitting books EVER.
This book translates "knitspeak" into understandable, everyday language. It truly IS indispensable. If you knit, you've got to have it. Read more
Published 16 months ago by David Chapman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference for the novice knitter
If you're a beginner knitter this is a good resource book to have. If you have trouble reading instructions and understanding what they mean I think you will find this book... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Georgie Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars knitspeak review
Very complete book. Well organized. A must for the beginner or for discovering new ideas. My wife recommends it to everyone
Published 17 months ago by Richard E Henshaw
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