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Stashbuster Knits: Tips, Tricks, and 21 Beautiful Projects for Using Your Favorite Leftover Yarn Paperback – November 15, 2011

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Stashbuster Knits: Tips, Tricks, and 21 Beautiful Projects for Using Your Favorite Leftover Yarn + Knitting the Perfect Fit: Essential Fully Fashioned Shaping Techniques for Designer Results
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307586634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307586636
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"With 11 published books, Melissa is a very well-known and respected designer in the knitting world." --Love of Knitting Magazine

About the Author

Melissa Leapman is a widely published sweater designer whose patterns have appeared in Vogue Knitting, Knitter’s, McCall’s, Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, Knit It!, and Interweave Knits magazines. Leapman has worked as a freelance designer for many leading ready-to-wear manufacturers, noted design houses, and major yarn companies. In addition, her knitting, crochet, and design workshops are extremely popular with crafters at all skill levels. She lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 21 customer reviews
There is a nice section on color combinations.
Bonnie Brody
These patterns could be made using new or leftover yarns!
Lynne Bandy
Can't wait to do more and use up my endless stash.
Betty D. Becker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Melissa Leapman has put together another good book with some very refreshing and good ways to deal with your left-over stash. The book contains 21 patterns and the patterns are divided by type of yarn - lightweight, worsted, and thick. Ms. Leapman reconstructs what we think about our 'stash' - "It's not just a stash, it's a personalized yarn collection". I agree with her. It's just that I often don't know what to do with my stash or exactly what's in it. Her book addresses these concerns and gives me lots of ideas. The first section discusses the need to get your yarn together and know what you have in your stash. You can't really make good use of it until you're familiar with what you have. She suggests separating the yarn by weight and if the yarn has no label, then use wraps per inch. She suggests 4 piles: super fine, light, medium, bulky and super bulky. She offers wonderful tips. For instance, multi-stranded yarn can be separated for a lighter weight yarn. Finer weight yarns can be combined for a bulkier weight yarn. She suggests cataloguing the yarn and recommends that knitters all utilize, a wonderful website that has a feature to help with cataloguing. She also suggests using a yarn notebook to list every yarn you own. Personally, I'd need several notebooks! Also, it's very important to store the yarn carefully so that it doesn't get ruined.

There is a nice section on color combinations. She explains the theory of color and provides different color combinations that go together. She discusses the Magic Ball Technique to get random color patterns. One cuts random lengths of yarn from one ball and a different length from a second ball. Then continue adding lengths from different yarns and wind them all together. Attach the lengths with knots.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Lynne E. TOP 50 REVIEWER on November 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Partial skeins and balls, left over from larger projects, are the bane of every knitter's existence. The yarn is too good to throw out, but there's not enough to actually make anything. However, this book solves the problem, with its many patterns for projects so well designed that, as author Melissa Leapman says, "no one will ever know these projects were made from leftovers!"

The attractive projects include (1) a charted "jigsaw puzzle piece" baby blanket; (2) geometrically-patterned bangle bracelets; (3) striped mittens, scarves, shawls, throws, and sweaters; (4) striped and patterned shopping, sample, and tote bags; (5) a Fair Isle yoked sweater and a Fair Isle vest; and (6) many single-color hats. The projects are grouped in the book according to the yarn weights used: fine, lightweight, worsted, or chunky.

What I really like about this book is the lengthy introduction that discusses sorting yarns leftovers by weight and color, to ensure the best possible combinations for successful knitted fabrics. Several pages, illustrated with color wheels, explain the scientific theory of color--including how to get good results from monochromatic color combinations, and from combinations of 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 colors. The book also includes explanations of how to join yarns together using standard knitting techniques, or using the "Russian join" (which uses a tapestry needle). There is a nice discussion of how to put together a "Magic Ball" of short lengths of leftover yarns of different colors and textures (the ball is knitted up like regular yarn); as well as some discussion of yarn storage.

Nearly all of the projects are fairly easy to knit.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By StitchingNut on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
There are a number of projects in this book that I know for sure that I want to knit and love the many tips & tricks scattered throughout the book in notes within each project, but the most invaluable part of this book is in the beginning. I'm referring to the "How to get it all together and sort it" section of the book. Melissa recommends sorting by weight first and then color families. She tells us how to do this and even gives us a couple of charts to go by for us knitters who find this one of the hardest things to do without a ball band. A problem for many of those left-over balls of yarn. But don't fear, Melissa has helpful charts also. She even includes a chart on how to get the weight you need by combining two or three other weights of yarn. Even picking out the correct color combinations can be daunting. But Melissa gives you all the information you need to be successful. I hardly have to stress how invaluable it is to know how to plan the color combinations. Oh how I love this potential in this book. Melissa explains it and breaks it all down to where anybody will have success by following her advise.

I know I'll be referring to this books for many other projects as well. Even just for the color combination secion alone. So now I'm going to take Melissa's suggestion of shopping from my Stash and making use of this wonderful book while knitting a dent into my own yarn collection. But first I need to pull all those hidden balls out into the open and find out just what I have. Thanks for the inspiration, Melissa!
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