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80 Reviews
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401 of 403 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book
I grew up watching my Russian grandmother knit everything from the top down. In fact, like many Russians, she's never even considered knitting from the bottom up. I myself have always been too scared and lazy to bother with calculations, so I followed printed patterns. I don't find grafting and weaving difficult, but at the same time I found that adding seams to babies'...
Published on January 23, 2002

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55 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for novice knitter; way too vague
I guess I am a advanced beginner knitter who also sewed extensively when younger. The sewing experience probably led to my tremendous frustration with sweater patterns - you use their size yarn, needles, etc., make a back-and-front that's necessary to seam up, etc. So, I thought Walker's book would be an answer to my prayers.

It isn't.

Walker's book...
Published on July 10, 2007 by Amazon Customer


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401 of 403 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book, January 23, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Knitting from the Top (Paperback)
I grew up watching my Russian grandmother knit everything from the top down. In fact, like many Russians, she's never even considered knitting from the bottom up. I myself have always been too scared and lazy to bother with calculations, so I followed printed patterns. I don't find grafting and weaving difficult, but at the same time I found that adding seams to babies' and kids' garments is unappealing. If yarn is bulky, and the size is small, seams become obtrusive. So, I got B. Walker's book, read it from cover to cover, and now I am knitting a skirt from it for my little daughter. The book is absolutely clear and comprehensive without being too wordy. My only "complaint" is that it has no pictures of actual garments, only diagrams. I would have loved to see some pictures of the described designs.
Beginners, take note - this book assumes that you know how to cast on, cast off, increase, decrease, etc. If still unfamiliar with basic techniques, you will need another intro book.
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342 of 344 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why knit from the top down?, April 10, 2001
This review is from: Knitting from the Top (Paperback)
EVERYONE begins a sweater from the ribbing up, right? Wrong, Barbara Walker takes you through a method to start from the neck down. This isn't just to be contrary, there are definite benefits to knitting top down.
One thing you can do is check the length while trying it on. Yes, you can do this. Put the unfinished stitches on a strand of yarn and slip the sweater over your head (or the head of the recipient.) You will quickly see how much more you need to knit, or whether you should add "short rows" (extra half rows that add a bit of ease) to cover a tummy or get rid of the dreaded riding up in the back. The book has methods for saddle shoulder sweaters (easy the top down way), raglan, drop sleeves, etc.
The book also has great methods for doing leggings, tights, skirts and other items you might want to knit but don't know how to. With a simple gauge-and-circumference technique you can make nearly any garment for anyone.
This is a revised edition. The original had some very dated 70's patterns and the new edition has been modernized.
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195 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knitters, Take Control of Your Craft!, November 11, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Knitting from the Top (Paperback)
Reading this book has helped me to grow from a "blind follower" of others' patterns to a thinking knitter. I despise fininshing knitted garments and have been able to avoid all but the most insignificant finishing tasks by using Walker's seamless designs. The designs are easily adapted to fit anybody from infant to adult ( and I should know -- I have four children ranging in age from 18 mos. to 11 years!). Walker's books are invaluable to knitters.
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119 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love, but a word of caution, May 21, 2006
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This review is from: Knitting from the Top (Paperback)
I love this book, and love the idea of finally being able to make a sweater that fits! But a word of caution to other visual learners out there- this books contains very few illustrations and pictures. Most of the information you are supposed to gain is hidden away in fairly lengthy (in my opinion) descriptions. So if you are a visual learner, be prepared to read carefully, try the instructions, frog your work and re-try.

But the gains very much so outweigh the temporary inconveniences.
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102 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seamless and made to fit!, March 22, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Knitting from the Top (Paperback)
Hate sewing up? Never quite sure if it's the right length? Want to line up designs in the lower border with the pattern in the body? Then knit from the top. If your body's shaped like mine, patterns just don't fit and after you've done all that shaping at the top, who wants to undo it! With this method you make this decision at the end and make it having tried on the garment. I don't think I'll ever knit a sweater the other way. Best of all - no seams!
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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instruction for the intermediate knitter, September 6, 2005
This review is from: Knitting from the Top (Paperback)
Finally! A knitting instruction book that is designed for the (somewhat) experienced knitter! I've been knitting for over a year now, and was ready to try my hand at designing a sweater. This book gave me a good starting point by explaining several different types of construction, how to make them to your own measurements, and all in clear, easy to understand language. I started with the Raglan sweater in a child's size, and within a few days had a beautiful finished garment! Tips included for perfect fit, several options for functional and ornamental increase/decreases, custom design, and more. If you're ready to see your knitting inspiration set free, this is the book for you!
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good knitting resource, November 11, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Knitting from the Top (Paperback)
This book is written in a very clear and concise manner. Simple enough for the beginning knitter, there is also a wealth of knowledge for the experiened knitter. A good addition to any knitting library
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for every knitters library, November 6, 2005
This review is from: Knitting from the Top (Paperback)
I find the book very easy to follow and understand. If you want to avoid sewing all those pieces together, this is the book for you. Not all the sweaters from the top down have to be raglans, this has everything you need to know to knit just about anything from the top down.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, but also a warning, April 10, 2007
By 
Claire (Akron, OH, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Knitting from the Top (Paperback)
The concept of this book is making your own measurements and then knitting a garment that actually fits. After years of spending time and money making sweaters that don't fit, this is the only way to go. I have used this approach from the bottom up (Ann Budd's books) and the top down. Sweaters knitted from the top down will fit better.

This book contains the information that you need to make well fitting garments. It also contains many very useful tips and tricks. However, this is not a book for beginners. In addition the book is very chatty and in my opinion not very organized. If you are a persons who likes to follow charts and diagrams, you may find the book frustrating. The information you need is contained in the book, but you may have to read carefully to find what you are looking for.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great help for new and old knitters, October 25, 2005
This review is from: Knitting from the Top (Paperback)
This reissue of an out-of-print book is a real boon to both new and old knitters. It provides freedom from strict adherence to patterns and guidance for designing your own sweaters, skirts, and other garments. This book is perfect for those who love to knit and hate to purl! It's a 'must have' for knitters who are into or beyond the stitch 'n' bitch phase of the craft. I bought several for my students and for friends for gifts.
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Knitting from the Top
Knitting from the Top by Barbara G. Walker (Paperback - Feb. 1996)
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