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Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting Hardcover – May 1, 1993


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Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting + Knitting in Plain English: The Only Book Any Knitter Will Ever Need + Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Reader's Digest (May 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895774674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895774675
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 7.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Possibly the most comprehensive manual of handknitting techniques ever published... just about everything there is to know about practical handknitting' Vogue Knitting --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Born in Spain, much of Montse Stanley's life was absorbed by her passion for handknitting. She contributed to many publications and had a regular column in the trade magazine, the Knitting and Haberdashery Review. She became a household name in the knitting world, known for her flair, technical mastery and innovation in design. Sadly, Montse died in 1999. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The instructions are clear, the pictures are very good.
Mary S. Bucher
I am told that there other good reference books out there for knitting, I have not found one that compares to this.
E. M. Dulac
Overall I highly recommend this book as an addition to any knitter's library.
Melissa Ransom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

157 of 159 people found the following review helpful By "jmyost" on April 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
When I decided that I need some knitting reference books I hit the bookstore, not knowing exactly what I would find but expecting to find a good general reference with clear instructions. That turned out to be more difficult than I thought. I bought--and returned--several that had nice patterns and lovely photographs but which either were too simple, didn't really have clear instructions, or assumed too much knowledge on the part of the reader. I got this book on another knitter's recommendation and it is the book I now turn to most often. The chapter on casting on and binding off are worth the price of the book. She covers an unbelievable number of variations on how to do almost anything in knitting, and she discusses the pro's and con's of using different techniques. The diagrams are good, and are better than pictures would be in most cases. I think the index is fine. My only complaint is that the chapter on selvedges is more than half-way through the book, and as she says, one should choose the selvedge style before starting the project! However, I tend to use this book like an encyclopedic reference--which it truly is--rather than as a book to read straight through. I have read some of it straight through, though, because it is so interesting. I have to admit that her writing style is kind of dry, but that is far outweighed by all of the strengths of the book. Unless you are a complete beginner, in which case I would recommend the Leisure Arts "Learn to Knit" booklet, I think this is THE reference book to have, especially for the price. Once you have passed the Leisure Arts booklet level, Montse Stanley's book has an incredible wealth of information that isn't too difficult to understand and which will improve anyone's knitting.
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100 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Susanne Koenig on May 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
There are very, very few knitting books that I acutally buy, as I am a person that knits without patterns, and usually make my own designs. Hence, there are very few knitting books that I can honestly recommend and actually own myself.
So I'll cut to the chase and put it this way: if the house was on fire and I was told I could grab one knitting book, it'd be my Montose Stanley. That's a very strong recommendation that I'd like to back up.
There isn't one single question that you have about knitting that would not be covered in this book. It is unparalled for its historical coverage of knitting through the centuries and fascinating bits about knitting in different cultures, it's easy to follow diagrams, and it's seemingly endless bits of useful information.
With all knitting books, I suggest you take it home from your library first. But if you are past beginner and feel that you need to build a knitting library, this book is the one for you. Unfortunately, it is not as well known as some of the other books that are carried in book clubs, such as the almost useless Big Book of Knitting, which has techniques but then no diagrams or instructions, or the Ultimate Guide To Knitting which is a very lovely book to look at, but doesn't deserve the title "Ultimate" by any silly-putty stretch of the imagination because it includes very few techniques, tricks, or tips. This modestly wonderful book has languished unknown because so many people would see the much more flashier, newer books and grab them instead. This was written long before our current knitting revival, but still remains the most comprehensive book on the market. I thank the good Lord above the Memphis library was across from the knitting shop, or I'd never have seen it. I promptly went out and bought it.
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248 of 273 people found the following review helpful By S. Sur on February 2, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an experienced knitter. I own many knitting how to books. I have made knitted things I actually wear and enjoy.

This book is comprehensive alright, but I think it would absolutely snow under most beginners.

It is reminiscent of Military Specification Manual writing style with a chapter numbering system that sends you to figures 1.29, 2.301. And it shares a lot with old computer manuals in how generous it is in telling you all the things you can do in general definitions and not telling you how you do them in steps.

If you already know how to do something, this is great.

I wanted to design a chevron stitch sweater. So I went to this book for various chevrons. The index gives you dozens of reference pages for chevron stitch, and page 124 is in boldface to indicate this is the main reference. This is what I read on page 124 in disbelief:

Quote:

Two diagonal fabrics side by side moving in opposite directions. Figures 2.172 and 2.173 show row directions and shaping on a square. Work progress is at right angles to row direction--horizontal stripes emphasize the effect, while vertical lines will appear perpendicular to the rows. Experiment freely with overall shape, away from squares and rectangles. (pp 100,251)

End Quote

Page 100 has a photo of a project where it is hard to tell what is a chevron stitch even if you know what it looks like. Page 251 is another photo of a knit top by the author illustrating a drop stitch boat neck top. I did not see any chevrons on that page, there is an inset of the model's huge wire wrap earring!

If you read the quote above, you might think you are reading a comprehensive English dictionary rather than a knitting how-to book.
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