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284 of 285 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I rate this a MUST-HAVE knitting essential--here's why:
I have been knitting for 35 years and make everything from socks to afghans. I like to design my own patterns, but when in a hurry I like to follow a pattern "recipe." This book allows me to do both: I can follow the blueprints here to make the basic garments or I can use them as a template for embellishments of my own. Now, that is supremely useful, so right away, "The...
Published on August 19, 2002 by Joanna Daneman

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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A nice but very limited resource
I rushed to purchase this book after reading all the rave reviews on this site. I have to say it way my high expectations that caused such disappointment with this book. There are only 8 patterns (mitten, glove, hat, tam, scarf, socks, vest, sweater) in this book with NO SHAPING variations. There is one mitten pattern, with spiral shaping near the tops which is...
Published on February 26, 2004 by Knitter Karen


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284 of 285 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I rate this a MUST-HAVE knitting essential--here's why:, August 19, 2002
This review is from: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (Spiral-bound)
I have been knitting for 35 years and make everything from socks to afghans. I like to design my own patterns, but when in a hurry I like to follow a pattern "recipe." This book allows me to do both: I can follow the blueprints here to make the basic garments or I can use them as a template for embellishments of my own. Now, that is supremely useful, so right away, "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns" got my vote as "most useful knitting book of the year." In particular, this book is great for grabbing any yarn from your (embarrassingly large) yarn stash and knitting a quick gift for someone, making a charity project or replacing yet another hat or set of mittens left on the schoolbus (one author recommends you just knit mittens in sets of three and bow to the inevitable.)
The patterns include mittens, gloves, scarves and hats to vests, pullovers and cardigans. They can be knit in yarns ranging from the lightest fingering and baby weight to chunky and bulky. Each pattern has a table, on which the vertical axis shows gauge and the horizontal the size. So it is a simple matter to take a yarn in your stash and use it for any of these patterns. (And that's good for reducing the huge pile of yarn collected over the years you may be hiding in the trunk of the car or the unused fridge in the basement.) There are also helpful technical tip sections on adding embellishments like colorwork, texture or edgings, and nice drawings of the techniques used. And there is a glossary of techniques and terms used.
This is a "handy" book, but you would still need some kind of sweater design book that gives a schematic for raglan and yoke style sweater designs. These are NOT included in this book. I believe that may have been a tough choice for the author and project editor in order to hold the size of the book down, or to complete the book on time (which, considering the variations of patterns, gauges and sizes must have been intense.) I wish both the yoke and raglan sweaters were here or at least a schematic of the famous "EZ Percentage System" which was devised to knit yoke and raglans in any gauge and size. However, this book is otherwise so useful that this deficiency, though regrettable, is not a showstopper--many basic books for knitters have these schematics. You probably have one on your bookshelf, as I do.
What I also admire about "Handy Patterns" is the choice of binding. This is take-along sized, spiral-bound (lies FLAT!!!) with perfect-bound boards (shiny paper cover, no dust jacket.) The inside back has a pocket for notes and an elastic band for holding the book shut if you put a lot of other loose notations inside. (Good if you attend knitting classes on specialized techniques.)
In summary, this is a really useful book, but should be supplemented by other books in a knitter's essential library such as books of color patterns, edgings and embellishments and books on sweater design. I'd rate it somewhat better for small projects (hats, gloves, mittens) than for large projects, but overall, this is a must-have in my library.
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148 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Knitter, August 3, 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (Sunny and not-so-sunny California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (Spiral-bound)
I have been knitting for a year and a half and consider myself to be intermediate. How I wish this book had been available when I was first learning! Like most new knitters, I had very definate ideas on what I was going to knit but patterns do not always match imagination so I was sometimes stuck knitting from patterns that were not quite what I wanted.
In the introduction to the book, the author voices the exact same feelings, there is a need for just plain patterns. They are needed by beginners, fans of novelty yarns and for gifts when the recipient is conservative. For the most part, this book delivers.
It should be noted that other books have been written on multi-sizes/gauges for sweaters but this is the first book I have seen that is also dedicated to hats, scarves, gloves, mittens and socks. I particularly liked the basic tam pattern (something I searched high and low for as a beginner) There is a breakdown of how different decreasing methods will change the look of the tam and various ways to make the hatband. This is just one example of how useful this book is.
Now for the not so good bits. The sweater section is skimpier than I had hoped. There is only one sleeve option (set-in, I believe) and the sweater does not offer many shaping options. However, it is a marvelous canvas for color or cables though I do not suggest this tweaking for an absolute beginner. Be sure to read through the author's suggestions before undertaking a color/cable project.
(A quick suggestion to a beginner: read the charts very carefully and follow the authors advise to copy the page you are using and circle the numbers you will need, it makes life so much easier when knitting from number charts)
This is a great book for a beginner and great for a knitter with a large stash of "leftovers". (ahem, not me, honest) Armed with this book, I now plan to make matching hats, mittens and socks for my sweaters. This book is almost essential and I would recommend it to any knitter of any skill level.
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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book to use with Handspun or Stash Yarns!, September 8, 2002
By 
Sheri Smith (Spin2Knit in E. Tennessee) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (Spiral-bound)
This book is another excellent resource to use with Handspun Yarns or Stash Yarns!
In this book--which will most likely revolutionize pattern writing for knitting books, Ann Budd has created a very useful tool/book for a wide variety of basic patterns which use multi-sizing and multi-gauge charts. This is an idea that every knitter and spinner of handspun yarns has been waiting for!
For many years, I've heard requests from knitters, handspinners, and yarn stash collectors asking for this very format. We WANT books that let us create! We WANT books that let us use any yarn we want! We WANT books that let us use Hand Spun Yarns!
This one is it.
Again, as seems to be one of really good trends lately , this book allows the user to choose their yarn, size, pattern, needle and gauge to create their own personal work of art. The patterns for mittens, gloves, hats, tams, scarves, socks, vests, and sweaters each include extensive size and gauge charts, accurate diagrams with measurements for each section in all sizes, quick tips which feature design alterations for each pattern, yarn suggestions, needle suggestions, and notion suggestions.
Other than the author do the actual knitting for you, Budd has given the knitting world one of the most valuable tools created in book form yet.
These are not elaborate patterns. Instead, good solid bases for the knitter to use their own creativity and imagination to create a personalized masterpiece... or just a simple basic.
As a handspinner, knitter, and stash enhancement enabler, I say "Buy This Book!". You will use it over and over again and you will not be sorry you spent the money on yet another knitting book that just sits on the shelf.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!..., January 10, 2003
This review is from: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (Spiral-bound)
I've been looking for this book for years. I have an old Leisure Arts leaflet that has basic sweater patterns for all sizes from 6 months to a 50 inch chest - basic cardigans & pullovers with neckline variations in 3 or 4 weights of yarn. I found this enormously helpful when my children were small & kept wishing for similar books with more garments. Well, Ann Budd has answered my plea! This book & a good stitch dictionary are all any knitter would need to clothe their families forever. I especially appreciate it since I have a huge stash, much of it yarns that are no longer made. So obviously, no patterns are being written for them. I think that, if I had to give up all my knitting books but one, this would be the one I'd keep.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite knitting book!, October 7, 2004
By 
Amy S. Finlay (Western Massachusetts, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (Spiral-bound)
This book allows you to use your imagination, and knit your own creation. You get to choose the yarn, the appropriate gauge, and the size/dimensions of the item. The patterns are basic and simple--with a few variations shown on each item. The patterns are a great starting point to embellish with your own colors, textures, fancy stitches, creative edgings, etc.

I have knit sweaters, cardigans, gloves, mittens, and socks--all of various sizes--and a scarf from their patterns. All were easy to follow, and the sizes were right on. I've been very pleased with the results.

To address complaints of a few other reviewers:

"The patterns are printed backwards." I have no idea what this reviewer was talking about. The patterns are very clear, beginning at the beginning, and guiding you through each step to the end. There's even an illustrated reference in the back that explains how to do required things, like making button holes, and binding off.

"...the Child sweater sizes are too broad" They've worked for me. The sizes given are for 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 year olds. I've learned never to knit a sweater for the age of the child anyway, but to round up! Roll up the cuffs, and let them fit into the sweater for more than 6 months!

"What about raglan and dropped sleeve sweaters? What about a V-neck cardigan instead of the round neck, what about a V-neck crew?" Actually, the vests in this book are V neck, so you can always follow the instructions for the vest when decreasing for the neck. If you're still hankering for other sweater pattern variations, try Ann Budd's other book: "The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns." I own the book, but actually prefer the classic crew neck shape and set-in sleeves of the sweater pattern in the above book.

As an intermediate knitter who loves knitting for other people, I consider this book absolutely indispensable. It's extremely useful for gift giving. I can always find the size and gauge I want, and the patterns have all come out to my liking. I haven't bought a pattern since buying this book! I don't know what I'd do without it!

Great companion books: "The New Knitting Stitch Library," and "1000 Great Knitting Motifs"
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Only Pattern Book Knitters Need, March 10, 2003
By 
Linda Kerschner "Mom Kersch" (West Chester, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (Spiral-bound)
Ann Budd's title might not be glamorous, but it tells it all. The instructions are simple enough for a beginner, but the sizing options and gauge adaptations allow intermediate and expert knitters to design their own projects in whatever yarn they have on hand. Budd also provides clever ideas for adapting her patterns so that no one ever has to knit the same project twice. There is one drawback for the relative novice: the yarn estimates are just that. The range is so broad as to be useless, so unless you are always willing to buy the largest quantity (or unless you are an experienced knitter) you might end up with leftovers in your yarn stash. That said, it is still one of the most useful books in my knitting library.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing But Praise--A Must Have (put next to your EZ's!), January 12, 2004
This review is from: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (Spiral-bound)
As a patternless person, I often found myself holding up a piece of a garment going, "What in the heck is that?" Sleeves often became seamed hoods, thumbs started resembling arm openings, and socks, well, we all know about socks. About the fourth guess on a cast on, I'd get fed up and have to eat something chocolate to cope. Not pretty. This wonderfully designed lie-flat book elminated that problem for me. For example, I have been knitting a home-from-the-hospital ensemble for my soon-to-be born son. Every baby pattern you find is practicially designed for 0-3 months, but any and all of these would be too large for my needs. Budd's book made it easy. You simply go from line to line in each chart for what you need. This is a resounding recommendation from someone who is barely literate when it comes to pattenrns.
Incidentally, this was the only knitting book I purchased this past year--it made average pattern books seem a little useless, considering the size and variation of my stash.
I suggest an excellent pairing for this book would be Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments. Between the two, you can come up with some really impressive designs. It's also a great way to make use of your stash, all those little bits and pieces you're dying to use but can't find the right spot for!
(And remember, petting your stash counts as using it!)
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every knitter needs this book., May 18, 2005
By 
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This review is from: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (Spiral-bound)
I can't imagine knitting without this book. I taught myself to make hats and socks from it, and plan to embark on mittens next. It has every pattern in multiple sizes and gauges, so you can use virtually any yarn for any project. I find that once I've made one plain-vanilla version of any given project, I can add my own variations easily.

The other great thing about this book is the glossary of techniques. It gives brief, yet incredibly clear instructions for different cast-ons, seaming techniques (including the tricky Kitchener stitch), increases and decreases--you name it. I also own the "Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques," and that's a very good book, but in many cases I think the instructions in this book are better.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belongs on Every Knitter's Bookshelf, August 2, 2005
By 
J. M. Massi "gemma_massi" (Acton, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (Spiral-bound)
Try to find a bad review of this book only if you like disappointment.

I have been knitting for about 3 months, and finding this book was a revelation. Suddenly, I could select whichever yarn *I* wanted for a project, select my favorite needles, measure my own gauge, and make ANY of the standard projects we all want to know how to knit: gloves, scarves (gorgeous designs for these!), hats, vests, berets...

This book frees you from the pile of patterns out there that limit you to only their brand of yarn or only one weight of yarn. Using the simple math that the author teaches, you can adjust any pattern to any gauge. It's that simple.

Meanwhile, the book's patterns are clear and easy to follow. I look forward to buying the sequel that shows how to knit a variety of sweaters, using the same logic.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, basic, adaptable patterns, June 27, 2004
By 
lesa (LaPorte, IN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (Spiral-bound)
I found this book to be perfect for the beginner to intermediate knitter who wants to play with "fun" yarn, but doesn't want the hassle of finding a pattern to match the yarn, or the skill to design her own pattern. In addition, the sweater patterns can be made in plus sizes. I am sick to death of pattern books that only have small, medium, and large!
The mittens, gloves, tams, and sock patterns are basic and simple patterns that I was having difficulty finding in multiple sizes (why is it that pattern books have loads of "fancy" variations on mittens and socks, but not simple patterns for those of us learning to make them?) While learning how to make a new item (like gloves), it is nice to have a simple pattern to learn with. I also like to knit gifts for family and friends. Being able to use a simple pattern makes it easy to create that "last minuet" gift for someone.
My creativity has also been challenged using this book. There are edging and finishing options for many of the patterns in the books, so there is some verity. There are hundreds of possibilities with the patterns in this book. Besides the ability of use the yarn of my choice, I have included things like stripes and Fair Isle designs in the basic patterns (I keep graph paper in the handy pocket on the back cover).
Another thing I like about this book, it is spiral bound, so it will lay flat! No more fighting with a pattern book that refuses to stay open!
As an intermediate knitter who would rather play with yarn than futz with a pattern, I highly recommend this book. If you want basic patterns to learn with, I highly recommend this book. If you want to make a gift for someone with a really great yarn you found, this is a great book.
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The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns
The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd (Spiral-bound - June 1, 2002)
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