48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2005
This is a cute, compact knitting journal and reference guide. This is not only a design notebook, it's also a super, travel-friendly knitting reference, with yarn yardage estimates for different garments and sizes, yarn weight chart, standard body measurements and sizes, knitter's "cheat sheets" with instructions on specialty techniques and stitches. Nice graph paper to sketch garments and intarsia. Well-designed project logs that have space to note all the key information for each project: who you made it for, gauge, source of pattern, needle size, comments. It also has a removable laminated cardstock needle and gauge ruler - the coolest thing about this journal. It's not metal so it can go on planes.
The only complaint I have is with the binding of this journal. It really does not feel like it will hold up to frequent reference. Also, it is sewn, so when you tape your yarn swatches the journal does not close properly. I think a covered spiral notebook (so it doesn't catch yarn in your bag) would have been the best binding for this book.
While it's probably not going to be your main knitting notebook (no place to put patterns) it's great for on the go design, note-taking and reference. I believe that's what it's designed for and it fills that need well. I will definitely use this when I travel and will keep it in my knitting bag with me - the reference tools are excellent. This would make a thoughtful gift for a knitter friend or family member.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
A Knitter's Design Journal really is a terrific aid to those knitters who want to go beyond following patterns, to also designing their own patterns. It also helps you keep track of your stash, and patterns you'd like to make.
Oh, there is also this handy stich gauge and ruler in a nifty pocket in the front of the book.
Basically, this lovely little journal is divided into several parts, which I love. The first, has lightly-drawn little pictures of several women of various body types, from super thin, flat-chested, to average build, to rounded and buxomy (my shape!). These are provided over a two-page spread so that you can sketch pattern designs of sweaters you've always longed to make. Very hand, if like me, you have trouble drawing sweaters to proportion. On the downside, there are no lightly-drawn sketches of children, or men. Maybe in the next book? (Hint, hint, Ms. Stoller!)
There is also a section with design hints - basic knitting techniques are laid out, as well as the "magic decreasing formula", which I never knew before, and well, really is magic. Stoller presents ideas for sweater shaping, as well as such things as ease - all important for sweater design.
The next section of this handy little book is one where you can record all your needles. This is where I discovered I had 4 sets of 8's and no 9's. Maybe you will make your own revelation.
Another section allows you to snip from your stash and either glue or tape swatches into the book, along with details such as yarn weight, gauge, content, maker, etc., as well as how much you have in your stash. (a little note here - you may prefer to glue your swatches in, as tape is not acid-free). I do worry, though, that as I add swatches, the book's spine may grow weaker, but it is bound with a linen-type material.
The next two sections are projects you want to do, and then projects you already have done. I like the projects you want to do, as it's helped me keep on track. In the past, shamefully, I've bought plenty of yarn, only to let it falter in the closet for years while I skip giddily onto another project. It's nice to be reminded that, oh, yeah, I really DiD want to make that Hat with the Bobbles and Matching Scarf with the size 17 needles! Likewise, the finished projects section is just wonderful as a record, especially, if like me, you tend to give away all your finished projects.
I love this little notebook. I've always been planning on making such a little notebook for myself, but laziness, and indeed, lack of knowledge prevented me from doing it.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2005
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I bought two of these, one for me and one as a gift, but it's not what I'd hoped for. First of all, the book comes wrapped in plastic, so you can't check it out first - a real downside, I think.
It's a neat idea, and I'd hoped the book would be a real aid for knitting brainstorming and planning. Unfortunately, it's heavily weighted towards the figure-outline design pages, which are only good for designing sweaters. I'd like to have something to prompt accessory ideas, and more of the knitting-journal features. There are only 12 spaces for "things I've made" entries, and a handful of "projects I want to knit" require a full page each.
The yarn inventory page is a neat idea, but, as previous reviewers have said, I don't know how well the book would handle having bits of yarn taped inside it.
The journal would be made much better with more project pages, and maybe some pages for a wish list without pictures. But it's still fun to use, and I'm beginning to keep track of projects - I'm just very disappointed that I'd run out of space quickly if I tried to enter every gift-project I've made in the past year.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2005
I am very pleased with the purchase of this handy little notebook. At first, I was a little skeptical, taken in more by its cute cover. However, this little portable book has provened to be very useful and well worth it, a notebook where I can record past projects so that I can remember exactly what I did, keep an inventory of yarn that I have at home, and look up useful tips all in one place.
Half of the book consists of graph paper with various body silhouettes that one can use to sketch design ideas for upcoming projects. Although, these silhouettes are more geared for future sweater designs, I've used them to sketch out other types of designs, as well such as future glove/mittens, hats, etc... The graph paper can also be used to plot out color schemes, purl/knit design ideas, etc.
In addition, there's an incredibly helpful section on garment construction, a section on estimating how much yarn to obtain for various projects - always a necessity and a source of anxiety when it comes down to buying the yarn, a tutorial on yarn weights - important to know in order to achieve the effect one wants to achieve, standard body measurements for men, women, or children that one can use especially when knitting a gift and the person is not available to whip out a measuring tape on, a list of abbreviations used in knitting recipes, and a section on the basics of various knitting and finishing techniques. These are all essential information that anyone who is wanting to sit down and knit something truly needs, information that is not always easily accessible at one's fingertips, especially when wanting to just knit something and not necessarily follow a recipe step-by-step. The rest of the book has room to take inventory of leftover yarns - handy for when one goes to a yarn store and wants to use some of the old yarns with some new yarns. Space is provided to tape various snippets of leftover yarns. This is a good way to remind oneself of what one has, and can actually be inspiring as one is forced to take stock. I've taped yarn samples, and yes, it makes the book kind of bulky and awkward to fully close, however this book is for my viewing eyes only and I find it serves its purpose well. I prefer its sewn-in pages. I wouldn't want the notebook to be spiral-bound - it'll only make it easier for pages to rip and fall out, thus defeating the purpose of this book. As mentioned above, there's room to record old projects to remind oneself how much yarn it took, how long the project took to finish, etc.
And if all of these things are not enough, there's a handy knitting needle and stitch gauge/ruler in the inside pocket of the book that one can whip out when in a bind.
Two big thumbs up on this one - more than helpful, and user friendly. I find myself always knitting within arm's reach of this cute little notebook so chockful of needed and helpful information. I may not use all the sections as they were exactly meant to be used, however it's an excellent way to keep your notes and reference material all together in one spot. The only thing I wish it has is a section on laundry care symbols...
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2006
I bought this journal after trying to use a day planner for my knitting journal- there wasn't enough room! It is practically perfect in every way, except for a couple things- there is too much space dedicated to sweater designing on paper doll models, and not enough room for listing projects I want to make. I second the suggestion of adding a section for accesory design in the next edition.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2006
i got this little book because i needed something to carry around to put my ideas in and also have as a mini-reference. i got so much more!!! this little journal is amazing!!! it has a page where you can check off what knitting needles and crochet hooks you have - that way, when you go to you lys or when you spot a new project you'd like to do, all you need to do is look to see if you have the needles or hooks already! the book begins with a how-to use which was actually helpful, it went over all of it's great features. there are 85 pages of the illustrated cute gals from debbie's books for you to draw your designs on top of. in the background is grid paper which helps you keep your schematics sketches symmetrical. after that is 30 or so pages of knitters graphing paper to plot your designs out on - love this. then comes a whole section on sweaters, yarn estimates, standard body measurements, and the needle & hook inventory page. next is a section to log in all of the yarn in your stash! there is even a little spot to glue a little piece of the actual yarn down. there is a really cute 'brag book' section where you log in all of the projects you've made. each page entry has a little area to paste a photo or draw a sketch. i have taken to using my polaroid camara that takes those little pics to fill these spots with pictures of me, my family, friends, and my sweetheart, all wearing my creations! next is a section where you can enter in projects you would like to do. this is great because sometimes i get too many things going at once and nothing gets finished! this helps me keep track and focus on the projects i really want to do. next is a section that shows you how to properly take someone's measurements. it then has a place to enter your own measurements, and on the following pages has places to enter your friend's and family's measurements! this is invaluable when making gifts for them that actually fit! last, is a section in the back of basic techniques. there are also lined pages in the back for notes. i used the pages to enter all of my favorite yarn shops information, my favorite yarn web sites, and my favorite notions shops. actually, this book thought of everything but a place to put all your fave lys info! well, use the lined pages for that. i carry this book with me everywhere! it is always in my knitting/crochet bag, always. i have used it so much since i got it, i may need to get another one! this would make a great gift to any knitter or to yourself!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2007
First of all, I am a HUGE fan of the Stitch 'n Bitch series of books. I love the way Debbie Stoller writes. However, this design journal doesn't seem to be written the same way and also I didn't find it extremely helpful or insightful if I were to design my own sweaters.
There are some pages with graph paper to design graphics if you wanted to knit intarsia designs (or whatever) but the book itself is very small, and so the graph paper is very small and I'm thinking someone with fair to poor eyesight wouldn't be able to use that at all.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2008
I like this journal it's a great idea, but as some have stated before it would be great if it was a binder so you could buy refills.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2006
This is perfect for knitting. I love the family jewels section and the fact that I always can reference which needles I own. I agree about the paper doll design pages-- too many-- Need more room for designing patterns, accessories etc.
I get so many raised eyebrows at the title when I whip it out but people are usually impressed with how cool it is. I think it helps to further debunk the myth of the spindly knitter.
on September 2, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is perfect for the knitter who likes to design his or her own stuff. In the first section, there are drawn bodies on graph paper, so you can sketch clothing on them and draw out measurements and write notes. Then there is a section of blank knitter's paper, which has wider squares than tall, just like a knit stitch. The next sections include how to make sweaters, needle inventory, forms where you can fill out what you've made, and projects you want to make. And last, but certainly not last, a list of abbreviations and cheat sheets, like how to do cables and the dreaded kitchener stitch. And it fits right in your pocket!
The spine is a little tight, so it doesn't stay open when you lay it down. Maybe if it were spiral bound, but hey, for $5, it's almost perfect.