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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is an ideal first pattern book for a brand new knitter but what good is it to a more advanced knitter? Let me explain. (I have a year of knitting under my belt and three completed sweaters to show for it not including the one I am going to talk about)
I bought some very nice cotton worsted weight on a whim because it was on sale. I had no idea what I would do with it. Then, a special occasion came up. I had a dressy skirt but no top to go with it. Since the yarn was black, I knew it would match but I needed a FAST pattern to get my top done in time and the gauge was too thin for me to speed through. I chose the back button cardigan in this book and made it with doubled yarn. Lovely!
There you have it, this book is great for what I would call emergency knitting. You need a sweater pronto for a gift, an outfit, a wedding, whatever. Obviously, needle size 3 intarsia creations would be out when you only have a weeks notice.
In addition, the introduction is very informative and the troubleshooting tips are well illustrated. I agree, the yarn is rather pricey but then I feel that if I am going to invest my time in a garment, I should buy the best yarn I can afford. I have had a year of happy knitting as a result of this philosophy. And, the higher the quality of the yarn, the longer your garment will last in all likelihood. You're making heirlooms here! And, as noted earlier, it is easy to substitute yarns due to the format of the book. (I would not suggest a beginner going outside of the basic yarn "type", though. Cotton for cotton, wool for wool is best if you are not yet familiar with the results of changing materials.)
In my opinion, complaining about the simplicity of a book titled SIMPLY beautiful sweaters is like getting angry at a school course called BASIC English for being basic. There was no false advertising involved. The authors delivered what they promised.
This book has paid for itself in my eyes and I hope everyone will give it a fair chance. Remember, knitting doesn't have to be complicated to be beautiful. Happy knitting!
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is perhaps a lesson in color theory for sweaters. The sweater patterns are simple, as the title states, and classic. The interesting thing in the designs, however, is the use of color -- and not in ways that are so complex that they can be either intimidating or time-consuming. The photos of each sweater are marvelous -- the colors rich and vibrant. Everything is attractive. The book itself is of extremely high quality -- durable and glossy papers, although I think that being a paperback it is a tad overpriced. Some of the designs have a list of yarns used, and others do not, only suggesting the weight of yarn required, which can be frustrating if you, like me, tend to want to knit exactly what you see in a photo. I liked the write up on the shop owned by the authors and the colorful photos -- somehow it made the book more appealing, as if you knew the authors. The patterns are clearly laid out, and the instructions are meticulous. Also, the printface was large enough that it was comfortable to read (unlike some patterns that are squeezed onto a page so you sometimes lose your place while knitting/reading). This is really a fine book, and though at the moment I don't want to knit any of the sweaters (that may change as I browse through again and again), the book itself is an excellent lesson in the color possibilities for sweaters, which should make many of us more creative in our color choices. This is a very nice book and regardless of whether you like intricate or simple patterns for sweaters, an excellent addition to a knitter's library.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a woman under 31 who started knitting last year, I *devoured* this beautiful collection of colorful but simple sweaters that didn't remind me of my grandmother. I am grateful that the authors took the time to collect patterns that are attractive (not stodgy!) but accessible to the beginner. Finally I have a book I want to show my friends who ask why and what I knit (sorry, but most of the more popular publications -- not Vogue Knitting or Rowan -- look like absolute death to the young(er) and hip(per)).
I should note also that this book is behind my decision to invest in *really* nice yarns whenever I can. Even a simple pattern will showcase a great yarn (and vice versa). Besides, my time and the recipients of the sweater (me included) are worth the extra expense.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
When this book came, I grabbed a coffee, my knitting chair, my glasses...and entered a bit of knitting heaven! It was everything the reviews I had read said it would be.
This is not a technical book; no new ways to do Fair-Isle or delicate, complicated patterns. While the designs are quite simple, the choices of yarn and small stying details update classic patterning and gives this knitter some wonderful ideas for lots of knitting projects.
The photographs are beautiful; clear and colorful. The yarn is scrumptious and the directions are easy to follow, complete with schematics. I found myself looking at my yarn stash, thinking of yarns I could combine to get the expensive, designer look of the samples!
I would not call this book a "necessity" for a knitting library, but rather, a lovely addition:
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2002
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is great for beginners to advanced. The patterns are written very clearly and the charts are excellent. The sweaters are knitted very quickly and easily. These are great when you do not feel like working on a more complicated design. Granted they do use "designer" type yarns. However, with the guage and yardage information they provide, another yarn of your choice is easily substituted as I have done with my projects. I highly recommend this book to anyone with the "knitting addiction!"
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
This books title says it all SIMPLY beautiful sweaters. It has 2 things that are essential to the new knitter. 1. Full sweater laid out so you can actually see the end result top to bottom, unlike many pattern books where you only see a small part of the sweater or the model is in a position so you don't get the full effect. 2. Actual pattern piece measured at each area, so no wondering about the final fit.

This book has been a favorite of my new knitting friends because they are always pleased with the final product, no surprises and for first sweaters, the directions are very clear. I have been knitting for over 20 years and I use this book more than any other. I can take the basic pattern shapes, change a few things, add cables etc and design my own sweater that I am sure will fit when finished. By far some of the best basics availible...RECOMMENDED for all knitters.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because of its beautiful cover and, at first glance, the sweaters within it are quite exciting. As an intermediate/advanced knitter I felt a little cheated after more careful reading of the patterns because the beauty of many of the sweaters comes almost exclusively from the sumptious yarns used to knit them, not from the designs themselves. These patterns are rather basic and within the scope of an advanced beginner willing to invest in the listed yarns.
This book does illustrate how simple designs can be made stunning with careful color and yarn selection.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is the knitter's equivalent of a coffee table cookbook. I look at it again and again just because the pictures are so beautiful. But its beauty is not just skin deep. I especially love the diagrams that go with the patterns, so I can see the shape with dimensions attached. The step-by-step directions are completely user-friendly. The designs are classic and I plan to make several in more than one yarn.
Since I don't live in Seattle, I ran to my local yarn shop and bought yarn to start knitting my first sweater in four years. Next step is a trip to Seattle to visit the shop. I highly recommend this book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
They should have named this book Simply Simple Sweaters. I picked up a copy at my local library(to test-read), and Boy am I glad I did. I would have been furious to spend the Big bucks for a little book. As an experienced knitter who enjoys technique and texture in knitting, not to mention fine gauges and small needles, I found nothing "knitable" in the book. However if you like large needles and heavier weight yarns, this may be the book for you. Basic(wearable) styles,easy knitting(not much shaping) and fast results are all you will find in this book. All in all the book seems terribly overpriced to me.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
When I first acquired this book last year I was a little underwhelmed by the simple patterns and the pricey yarns specified. However I appreciate it more, now that I am in a "knit it quick" phase. Also it is easy enough to substitute other yarns and gauges since the instructions do provide you with total yarn yardage required and the best schematic diagrams that I've encountered detailing at a glance where the decreases, increases and bind offs occur as well as the measurements of the sweater pieces. So if you're new to knitting or coming back after a long absence or want a set of basic patterns with nice armhole and neckline shaping, take a look at this book.
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