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Mary Thomas's Knitting Book Paperback – June 1, 1972
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From the Back Cover
After an engaging history of the craft and its implements, Miss Thomas carefully lays the foundation of knitting in the opening chapters―how to hold needles, wind yarn, gauge stitches, control tension, etc.―and builds gradually upon it in the following sections. These explain in lucid progression every operation in common knitting, from basic knit stitch and purl, casting on and casting off, shaping by decreases and increases to turning, triangular shapes and mitres, and knitting on the diagonal or bias.
For the reader who has mastered these fundamental procedures, Miss Thomas devotes the remainder of the book to fancy knitting stitches and techniques, including color knitting by stranding and weaving; pattern weaving; knitting woven, by frame with its complement of stitches (plain, raised, rib, etc.), looped, beaded, embroidered by chart, using cross stitch, honeycomb, etc.; and making patterns for garments and working out their details (armholes, belts, buttonholes, collars, hems, necklines, pockets et al). To put what the reader learns into practice, she offers instructions and patterns for making various Shetland shawls, gloves, and socks.
More than 250 technique diagrams clearly illustrate every operation and pattern as to position of hands, yarn, and needle, so the knitter will have no trouble in following along. For all knitters, whether beginner or adept, a chapter of helpful knitting hints on blocking, picking up dropped stitches, lengthening, knitting up, mending, taking-back (correcting), etc. completes these invaluable and personalized lessons.
Unabridged republication of original (1938) edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The descriptions are precise, the illustrations are clear, and the techniques themself are classic. This book is loaded with interesting ways of doing things that I have never seen before. I would imagine that without books like this, some of these techniques and historical tidbits would stand the risk of being lost. That fact alone makes this book priceless. I would enthusiastically recommend it not just as a basic reference for any knitter, beginner or experienced, but for anyone interested in craft history.
Not only is it of value in terms of technique, but it serves as a wonderful primer for the history of knitting.
The only caveat is that if one is an absolute beginner with no background in knitting, then the "Knitting for Dummies" books is easier to digest.
All in all, a wonderful find at a wonderful price.
The writing style makes you feel as if she is sitting there talking to you. And the words "hip", "funky", and "not your grandmother's...", are never used. That is a real plus to me, as I find that whole trend rather irritating. (But that's a whole 'nother topic.)
Here are the chapter titles to give you an idea of what is in the book:
Knitting Implements, Ancient and Modern
Gauge and Tension
Knit Movements, Stitch and Fabric
Selvedges. Casting on. Casting off. Edges
Shape: Increasing and Decreasing
Frame or Rake knitting
Beaded and Bead knitting
Details of Garments
Socks and Stockings
I found it very interesting that there was a chapter about rake and loom knitting, as that has become so popular again. I do knit on knitting boards too, and the directions and illustrations were the same that you would see in a more "modern" book. There really is nothing new under the sun! The spiral sock pattern looks fun too. I want to give that a try soon.
Overall, this book is full of interesting information, and while not as glitzy as the newer books, it would make a great addition to your knitting library.
I know how tempting those big books with all the beautiful color pictures are but you'd pay three, four or five times as much as you would for this little gem. It provides a surprisingly interesting chapter on the history of knitting.
It has an old-fashioned feel to it that is totally charming as are the illustrations which give the eye a rest among all the info provided. I purchased it mostly because I need techniques for Fair Isle knitting, and the book provides very good info on this.
Deserves to be in every knitters library no matter how hip you may be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If I ever find myself stranded on a desert island (with a huge stash of cotton or linen yarn, of course), this is *the* book I'd hope to have with me. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kurtis
Excellent history of knitting and resource for everything knitting, including stitches, finishing and blocking techniques. A great text book on knitting.Published 7 months ago by Teresa Edwards
This book but has small print , it was written in 1938. ( and not updated) I bought this book for an elderly friend who knits avidly. Thought she would enjoy reading it.Published 17 months ago by Coastal Crafter
This book is filled with tons of information, and patterns. I have only looked through the whole thing, while reading tidbits here and there. I am impressed. Read morePublished on April 7, 2014 by Pam L.
Mary Thomas's Knitting Book has been around for a long time and with good reason. This lady has included things that you have never imagined. Read morePublished on April 4, 2014 by Shirley Curtis