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Sweater Design in Plain English Paperback – October 15, 1990

4.6 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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About the Author

Maggie Righetti, a certified knitting and crochet instructor, is the author of Knitting in Plain English, Crocheting in Plain English, and Universal Yarn Finder. She lived in Atlanta, Georgia, where she ran her own knitting design company.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (October 15, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312051646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312051648
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am an intermediate knitter who has been stifling my own creativity by knitting from commercial patterns for years. I have no knitters in my family, and taught myself to knit from books and help from art teachers in junior high school. Maggie Righetti is the knitting grandmother I never had, and always wanted. She has a wonderful sense of humor and a no-nonsense attitude of playfulness that cuts through the mystery and fear associated with design. Her first chapters are about the psychological barriers that keep knitters from taking control of their own craft, and this good-natured lecture is truly inspiring. Then she talks about the design issues and challenges associated with designing for REAL bodies of all types. Her attitude toward the fact that many people are bigger than the commercial designers assume, and that proportions can differ from that standard, but can still be beautiful, is refreshing. It's even--dare I say it--feminist! Righetti tells us to choose yarn that inspires us, then knit swatches with a variety of stitches and patterns. The swatch is not just to check gauge, but to let the yarn "tell you what it wants to be." Some may find this silly, but it has helped me to let my creativity go, and I am now working with a beautiful, inspiring purple mohair that told me it wanted to be a short-sleeved evening sweater with simple lines. The yarn didn't want anything fancy to upstage it (as if that was possible). My only complaint with the book is that the practice sweaters given are not the most stylish, and as many design techniques are taught in the context of these sweaters, it can be difficult to find a technique you want to use if you don't go through each of the design projects in detail. I highly recommend this book, and plan to check out her other books.
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By A Customer on September 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
When I first bought this book, my knitting experience was not matured enough to appreciate the depth of the information contained in this book. To be honest, I was even dissapointed since the style of sweaters shown was not stylish, the models wearing them were not stylish commercial models. The book is full of English text and has no eye-candy photos. So it had been sitting in my bookshelf for almost one year,I even thought about selling it.
One Saturday afternoon, out of boredom, I decided to pick it up to read, laying on the bed. I could not believe that I could not discover the wisdom that the authour generously shares with us. My knitting knowleadge by then has grown to understand the authour's intention. Most of us do not have perfect bodies so that we need skills to knit to fit better. The models shown are real people with real mesurements! The sweaters are simples ones knitters tend to come back after ellaborately ornamented commercial patterns, which are often too-stylish to wear everyday.
All these knitting skills for size-manipulation were right there in her book at my hand. I looked for those informaiton here and there scattered in many other books, but most of the time I could not find them in any where. For example, how to plan bust darts by short-rowing were something I always wanted to know.
Her charting system is good model to copy. Math for knitting is well explined. If you can draw it and can do the math part of it, you can knit it. The price is very generous for the wealth of information contained. Probably, no color photos, no expensive commercial models have contributed greatly to its price. I am grad she made the book easy access to many people.
I would reccomend this book to intermidiate to advanced knitters.
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Format: Paperback
I checked this book out of the library since I am fascinated with the idea of designing my own sweaters. But this book offers much, much more. It teaches the basics of color, it tells what colors work for you and why. Then there is a section on figure types. What sweater designs flatter and which do not. And the chapter does not have just the usual hour glass, pear, top heavy distinctions, there's the rectangle, the triangle, the oval, the tiffany diamond.... It is almost garanteed the you will find your body type in the list.
The first part alone is worth the price of the book but there are many other lessons to offer. As mentioned before, most of the sweater projects are not very stylish (though I did like the sweater designed to use up left over yarn) but the lessons offered are sound.
As usual for Maggie Righetti's books, the writing style is chatty and fun filled with anecdotes and nuggets of wisdom that can only come from a veteran knitter.
My only real complaint about this book is that it often refers to information found in the author's previous book Knitting in Plain English. I suggest buying both books. (You'll want the other one anyway after reading this book.)
This book is a must for any knitter who wishes to design sweaters but it is also an excellant course in dressing well and in adjusting knitting patterns. Also, it is a good look at advanced knitting techniques. This book is hours worth of knitting lessons condensed in a convenient package. Worth every penny!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Maggie Righetti's book Knitting in Plain English, Updated Edition and I have the first edition of her new book, Sweater Design in Plain English, Second Edition. The new edition is a real winner. If you are a knitter and love to make sweaters, this is a must-have book. No more will you be knitting sweaters that are too big or too small. You'll know how to do necks and sleeves, utilize the perfect bind-ons and bind-offs, and know just what you're doing the whole time.

Part one goes into what to do before you begin your project. It covers what sweaters are, how to avoid costly mistakes, getting new ideas, understanding body shapes, getting the right measurements, and achieving the right marriage of fiber, fabric and fashion. It also covers gauge, estimating the right amount of yarn to use, and a refresher course on common knitting techniques. In addition, it covers the arithmetic of knitting and final preparation steps for designing your own sweater.

Part two is called 'Doing It - The Actual Designs'. Topics covered include V-necked sweaters, cable sweaters, cardigan jackets, child's sweaters, adult raglan cardigans, neck-down pull-overs, icelandic yoke pullovers, diagonal sweaters, designing your own sleeves, designing your own necklines and collars, and creating your own interesting effects.

This book has EVERYTHING a knitter needs to create a classic, beautiful sweater. I wouldn't be without it. It's a sweater knitter's dream-book and a must-have for anyone who wants to create their own sweater or modify a pattern.
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