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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 1999
I'm biased about this book because I know Meg Swansen well, and am grateful to her for teaching me a great many things about knitting. That aside, I still must sing the praises of this amazing book.
There is no other work I know of that encompasses the techniques of the crocheted steek (a Mary Hounsell invention), jogless color changes in 2-color knitting (which Meg invented), the Purl-When-you-Can border (which Meg also invented), and knitting a tube (sleeve or sock) with 2 circular needles instead of double-pointed needles (a Joyce Williams invention). These are innovative techniques that have never been pulled into one place before, and if you're a "thinking knitter", you really should read this book! Meg is a collector of new techniques and variations, and in this book she shares freely the cream of the crop.
Meg's writing style is open and compelling, and she gives you glimpses into her life as Elizabeth Zimmermann's daughter and as a thinking knitter on her own.
You will love this book.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2000
This is a great book for the library of any intermediate or advanced knitter. Meg has designed clever and stunning sweaters. The Turkish pair are all but mesmorizing. Still, I may never knit any of the sweaters. They're beautiful but I've seen them in person and they are generally too heavy for my climate. All the same, they're photographed beautifully and are simply wonderful to drool over even if you live in warmer parts of the world.
Still, the quality that makes this book a keeper is the wonderful tricks and techniques section in the front of the book. Tired of bloops of underlying color when attaching i-cord; Meg offers a simple and totally effective solution. There are dozens of these tips which can transform your knitting from amateur to finished.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 1999
I just received this book yesterday and spent all last evening poring over the beautiful photographs and knitting patterns. Ever since I picked up Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Workshop, I've been an avowed Knitter-in-the-Round, and this book of Meg's has some excellent designs. I can't wait to finish the gansey I'm working on now so I can start work on the Weeping Sun pullover or the Fairisle Cardigan. Looks like my knitting basket will be stuffed again with 3 or 4 concurrent projects! If you knit, get this book. If you don't knit--get it anyway and learn how!! I'd also recommend any of her mother Elizabeth Zimmerman's books (Especially Knitting Around) to get you started. If I can teach myself to knit(with help from books) anyone can!
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2000
Meg Swansen continues in her mother's revered footsteps with her book, MEG SWANSEN'S KNITTING, then "Knits On". The patterns are timeless, the colors are gorgeous - classic with a lovely update. I wish I were a friend of Meg Swansen, I'd love to sit with Meg and a pot of tea for the afternoon of knitting. I find her style of writing very easy to understand, very helpful on many levels. This is the type of book I keep by my bedside to dream over. The pictures are a treat in themselves. I'll be busy knitting for a long time with this lovely book.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 1999
Just received this book for my birthday. I am so happy to have it. The photos are so wonderful--clear and detailed. I love details! What a wonderful service she performs for us (Eliz. Zimmermann Blind Followers). Like her mom, she gives the rough idea and then thoughfully for us 'turtles' lagging behind, she spells out the details so we can't miss creating our own treasure.
I like the personal tidbits, parts of her life that haven't been reported by her mother with charming photos relating to her part of the knitting milleau. I like reading how she is inspired to create an item. Her devotion to the art of knitting is clear. She makes efforts to clear up confusion over the term 'fair isle.'
I can pick up this book and get lost for a long time. I love and respect Elizabeth Zimmermann for her knitting architecture--I haven't always been so excited about her actual designs. Now, Meg has the design sense and all of her mom's 'architectural' skills to boot. Yes, what a treasure we have in this woman and this book! Thank you , Meg!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 1999
This is one of the better knitting books I have read. The patterns are given for the blind follower(one who follows line by line} and also directions are for those of us who like most of the pattern but need to adjust for size etc. Its sort of like finding a book within a book. Once a person finds Meg's and Elizabeth's percentage method and adapts the great patterns there is enough to keep an avid knitter busy for years. I also like the sweaters modeled by real people we recognize. Makes the whole book REAL! Thanks a lot Meg for another great book.
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58 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 1999
For me, the best part of this book is the techniques that are explored and explained, with a few appropriate photos. It is well worth the price based on this alone. I'm still thinking about the style of the sweaters. They seem more along the lines of rustic rather than fashionable, the sort of thing that is suitable for just what the photos show: a stroll in the great outdoors. They are nice, but somehow if you look in other pattern books (I think someone below mentioned Alice Starmore for fair isle and celtic) they are not that creative. For instance, there is a Norwegian design (Swansen has an entertaining video on making this sweater too, highly recommended just for the fun of knitting along), but Dale of Norway does much more lively and complex designs. The word "competent" keeps coming to my mind. These are competent designs, and maybe we don't have enough of that, so I'm certain the designs will find their niche. Also, I like my sweaters big, and if you do as well, some of the sweaters in this book look like rather a snug fit, lacking ease, for instance, around the arm. So they don't look comfortable, and a few of them seem to sag along the neckline, but I wonder if that is just due to the yarn being used? Hopefully someone who has knit a few of these can let us all know if they come out better than they look at first glance. Normally I like the earth tones for sweaters, but Swansen seems to pursue these a bit much, so the colors start to look dull after a while, especially since they are photographed against what looks like a fading autumn landscape. I'm a little disappointed that the yarns used in the sweaters I want to knit or adapt from the book are all rather obscure yarns -- not that easy to find or, since they are unfamiliar yarns, that easy to substitute. Nor are there any diagrams with measurements, which make knitting a lot easier (at least for me). The three vest designs at the back of the book are what really convinced me to purchase. In these three vests, Swansen suddenly gets more creative, and even innovative, I'd say. On the whole, I'm happy with the book, especially as I keep saying, for the info on knitting techniques. Not being a friend of the author's, like a number of reviewers below, I'm not certain the bio at the start of the book was all that necessary. And this is the first time I've seen Swansen's designs (or actually her sweater philosophy) so I'm iffy on how much I like them. I have my eye on the vests and two or three of the sweaters, and I might adapt other sweaters for different wools and different sizing/design. The book is worth having for the techniques and the subsequent inspiration.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 1999
I just received my copy of Meg Swansen's Knitting and already my pages are becoming dog-eared! The photography is beautiful. I loved the fact that they used real people, including members of Meg's family to model the sweaters. It's always nice to know how sweaters look on real folks! I think the back cover shot is especially haunting - for those of you who haven't seen it yet - it's a closeup of Cully with Meg in a soft focus in the background. Absolutely breathtaking. My knitting to do list just became much larger after viewing the gorgeous sweaters. If you are new to knitting, or to Meg Swansen and her mother, Elizabeth Zimmermann, this is a wonderful introduction to their sensible approach to knitting. I would highly recommend this book to beginning or advanced knitters.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 1999
For those who love knitting there is nothing more enjoyable (besides knitting) than sitting down with a good book about knitting. With her newest book Meg Swansen provides the avid knitter with a treasure to savor for hours. Her thoughts at the beginning of the book provide insight into her personal life. She has filled the rest of the book with designs that take the readers breath away and placed the designs on herself and many of those that she loves. The book also includes some of the basics of Elizabeth Zimmerman's famous "unventions" including the "percentage system" . All in one package Meg has done it again writing a book you will never want to put down.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 1999
Being an avid knitter and an even more avid collector of knitting books, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. I was a little worried when I read the "tense" review of it on Amazon.com. FORTUNATELY, that review was shucked with some bad acrylic yarn when I received Meg's new book in the mail. (OK, I couldn't wait till Christmas!) What a wonderful book! The photos are beautiful, and I literally felt as though I were sitting and talking to Meg while we all curled up and knit away. Thanks Meg for taking the time to keep all of your fans like me going...your efforts were more than worth it!
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