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Knitting in Plain English Paperback – February 15, 1986


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (February 15, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312458533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312458539
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,732,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Perhaps more outspoken than plain, Righetti flavors her advice with starchy humor, especially when commenting on impractical details in designs ("the dumb baby sweater"; "stupid bonnet") or misleading pictures and sloppy instructions on patterns. Illustrated by graphic drawings and photos, the chapters here contain directions for a variety of knitting projects. There are notes on varying the basic knitting stitch, correcting slip-ups, conquering "the bastard buttonhole" and other problems that can plague the veteran crafter as well as the neophyte. Righetti is well known as a teacher of knitting, author of Universal Yarn Finder and contributor to craft magazines, including Knitters. She rounds out this text with a comprehensive glossary.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Righetti, well known in the knitting world, has produced a wonderfully down-to-earth, humorous, practical, and realistic book for the beginner and intermediate knitter. From selecting a pattern and equipment to completing a project, the directions are clear and unintimidating while good line drawings add to the "plain English" explanations. The author's years of experience have provided her with new and refreshing tips and solutions to problems faced at any knitting level. Although concentrating on the basics, she has included chapters on advanced techniques. Recommended for craft collections of all sizes, particularly the smaller library in need of a useful how-to-knit volume. Sue Black, Charlotte Hobbs Lib., Lovell, Me.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Maggie Righetti, a certified knitting and crochet instructor, is the author of Knitting in Plain English and Sweater Design in Plain English. She lives in Southern California.

Customer Reviews

I learned to knit reading this book!
Amazon Customer
All I can say is, thank you Maggie Righetti, for being willing to write down common sense advice about knitting (and crocheting!).
Amazon Customer
The illustrations are very easy to understand.
Bonnie Rehm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
There are a lot of knitting books being published right now with plenty of pretty pictures. This book is printed in black and white and is 17 years old, so why do you need it? For the simple reason that every page is filled to the brim with no nonsense knitting advice that the author has gleaned from her years working as a designer and instructor. If you enjoy chatty instruction books (and I do) then this is certainly a book to buy.
This book covers most of the basics of knitting (as noted before, there is no section on intarsia) and along the way we are told anecdotes, tricks and cheats. The section on button holes is one of the best I've read and the author's summing up the chore (it's like getting a hippo out of the water, any way you can) is a refreshing change from "perfect every time" button hole instructions. I personally liked her suggestion to forget the critters entirely and use snaps.
Without a doubt, my favorite chapter is the one on how to tell the structural flaws of a garment by how the model is posed. Coincidentally, I had received a knitting magazine in the mail the same day and I was able to apply the author's advice.
Last of all, I liked the projects. I love shawls (though I am only in my early 20s) and with the peasant look coming back in style, they are once again viable accessories. The layette set is good for the basics and the author gives many suggestions on what to do with the silly thing when you are done if you don't have a child or a grandchild.
I do not know if this book would be good for a brand new knitter (I am intermediate) but if you do decide to use it to learn I will say what I always say about basic knitting books. BUY ANOTHER BOOK. Always have two books on the subject so you can compare between the two, look at different pictures and diagrams, etc.
This is a fun and funny book and most certainly a favorite of mine.
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93 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Lissa Lucas on January 16, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone new to knitting--and as someone without a mentor to help me--it was imperative that I find a good book. The first book I found targeted 9 to 14 year olds; I'm in my 30s. However, it was instant gratification: I could get needles, yarn and a how-to book all at once, and start knitting that afternoon.

After using the little booklet I got in the local crafts store, I was able to make the basic knit/purl stitch, but I had no idea how to keep track of where I was in a pattern. I had no idea how to look at a stich and tell whether it had been knit or purled. And although my stitches were quite even and attractive, I was getting extremely discouraged in trying to keep various patterns straight in my head: was that the sixth stitch after the yarn-over, or the seventh? Is this a purl row or a knit row? And when I tried to do a seed stitch, I often ended up making a rib by accident, simply because my eyes weren't educated; I didn't know how to look at the stitches I had just made.

How happy was I to get my copy of /Knitting in Plain English/ by Maggie Righetti! If you're a beginning knitter who has mastered the simple art of knit and purl stitches, but you need common sense advice on how to keep track of your knitting... if you want a clear illustration of the visual difference between knit and purl stiches as they lay on the needle... if you want a great reference for various simple techniques like I-cord... and if you need a troubleshooting guide with a wonderful index (a well-organized and thorough index is a key difference, I might add, between a good book and a great one) then this is the book for you. I can't recommend it highly enough. What's more, it's well-written and a fun read.

In fact, if you know any beginning knitters, you couldn't do any better than to make a gift of this book to them.
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book for beginners. I wish I had read it sooner. If you can knit and purl, you're ready to read this book. The author takes you through several areas of knitting explaining the pitfalls that can happen and how to avoid them. What I most like about this book is that Righetti stresses the need to be exact, to plan, to problem solve and to troubleshoot. At the end of the book she has little projects that she guides you through. Now these are very, very hokey and at least one of them is downright creepy (that capulet thing) . However, the skills that they teach, and the way she teaches them, make them very, very worthwhile. For example, in the middle of making a baby sweater she has you take the work off your needles and try it on a baby and measure it to make sure it fits--if it doesn't, she wants you to figure out how to fix the problem. That's what I liked about Knitting in Plain English. Righetti gives you skills that make you independent. Instead of blindly following a pattern, hoping against hope that it will somehow turn out, she teaches you to see the big picture, to think ahead.
I have to admit that when I first got this book I was very disappointed. (very few pictures..LOTS of chapters to read before she even has you pick up a pair of needles) After I had some knitting experience under my belt, I went back and re-read it. SLOWLY. I was amazed at how relevant and applicable to my own knitting the book was. All the mistakes I had made could have easily been avoided. This book will make you a smarter,more effiecient knitter in control of your craft. It will help you enjoy the process of knitting as well as the finished product.
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