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Top Down Sweaters: Knit to Fit from Top to Bottom Paperback – February 26, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Someone asked me about top-down knitting and I pulled out Top Down Sweaters: Knit to Fit from Top to Bottom. The patterns in this book are basic and practical. A couple have the wow factor for me. When and if I finally sit down to knit, it has to be a challenge--I hate knitting miles of plain "fabric." I especially like puzzle patterns, and there are at least a couple of them in this book. I'd like to try them via crochet too.

The book includes a capelet, variations on pullovers with textured designs appearing toward the waist, vests, sweaters, and my favorite, a modular jacket in garter stitch. Knitting techniques and assembly instructions start the book. The more I look at it, the more I'm tempted to try something there. --Artyouwear Blog

About the Author

Home: Richmond, Wisconsin <BR>Doreen L. Marquart became a Master Knitter through the Knitting Guild of America in 1998. She has owned and operated her retail business, Needles 'n Pins Yarn Shoppe, since 1993.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 79 pages
  • Publisher: Martingale & Co Inc; First Edition edition (February 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564776972
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564776976
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I am really looking forward to making it.
RebeccaKay
Second, she mentions at the beginning that you can try on the sweaters as you knit, but she never tells you what to do if your try-on reveals a problem.
Linnea Reads
The sleeves would look like bags on normal people because there is no armhole shaping and the knit fabric bulges at the armhole.
S. Sur

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Sandra on June 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
As previous reviews have noted, most of the sweaters in this book are of the simple drop shoulder type. The author uses a provisional cast-on at the shoulder for the back, knitting downward. Then when its time to do the front, the provisional cast-on is undone and stitches picked up to knit downward for the front piece. This leaves a sweater with no shoulder seams, which may not be a good thing if the sweater is a weighty one, increases the stretching out potential. It is puzzling that all the drop shoulder styles are done this way since in the beginning section which is a kind of glossary of techniques, the 3-needle bind-off which would be a superior seamless shoulder joining technique in terms of stability IS described. Just never mentioned in specific patterns.

Here is a breakdown of the 15 patterns by sleeve type or type of pattern:

8 Drop shoulder

2 Raglan

3 Modular

2 Ponchos.

A comment about the other reviewers questioning about the model used. I think it is no accident, drop shoulders look best on this particular model's figure type, wide shoulders and no hips!

I am keeping the book for the attractive knit-purl textures that the author employs (similar to her previous Saturday Sweaters book) but I intend on making some changes: 3-needle bind off at the shoulders and modified drop shoulder style, perhaps some body shaping.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By yss on May 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
If what you want is a book of top-down sweaters, aka sweaters knit from the top down in 1 piece, then you will be VERY disappointed in this book. There is only ONE sweater knit in one piece. All the rest are pieced with all kinds of seams and therefore the advantage of knitting top down is lost. There is even a poncho pattern...like who cares? Top Down Sweaters is a book that is needed but this book is a SORE DISAPPOINTMENT!!!
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By 5inthehall on March 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Unfortunately, I ordered this book without first browsing through it at a store. I was hoping for some innovative in-the-round patterns that would help me make better-fitting sweaters. Instead, the book is full of shapeless designs with no waist definition. (I suppose I could figure out the increases and decreases to do waist shaping on my own, but the reason I buy pattern books is to reap the benefits of someone else already having done that!) Virtually all of the designs have simple drop sleeves with minimal shaping, so that the sleeves bag at the top. There is only one sweater in the book that I would consider making. The photography is adequate, except that the same model is used to show every sweater, so it's hard to get a sense of how the designs might look on different body types. I have to say that I wasted my money on this one.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Genevieve Katz on April 17, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am addicted to top-down sweaters. I think I have every book ever written on the subject. Alas, I have yet to find the "perfect" book. Some of the books that tell you how to design your own are often too vague (like Barbara Walker), and others just have patterns for you to follow blindly.

What I like about this book is that most of the sweaters are NOT raglans. This is the first time I've seen drop shoulder sweaters mentioned from the top down since Barbara Walker's book. Most people do raglans, so the drop-shoulder garments are a breath of fresh air.

I also liked the fact that these garments have a more relaxed fit. Everyone is on the fitted, waist-shaping bandwagon lately, and let's face it, some of us don't want attention drawn to our waists!

I love the texture in these sweaters, too. They're so lovely.

Now for the reasons I didn't give it more stars. I was disappointed that there weren't any other sleeve styles. I'm interested in set-in sleeves from the top. Barbara Walker explains it in such a way that I'm lost and confused, and I haven't run into any patterns that have that technique. I'd also like to have seen some modified drops, too. But that's a small thing. It was such a breath of fresh air not to see all raglans that I'm not too worked up about it. After all, we all need to specialize in something, and I think Doreen is doing a great job of mastering the top-down drop-shoulder sweater.

Another problem I had with the book was that there was only one model featured, and she had such broad shoulders! At first, I thought that there was something wrong with the sweaters because they all looked so funny. But when I examined the schematics, I realized they were perfectly normal, drop-shoulder sweaters.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Green Feathers on January 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
If errata is your game, then you are going to love this book. The cover sweater was my choice; however, I began having difficulties right away and went to the publishers' website to check for errata. There was so much errata for not only this pattern but other patterns in the book that I gave up.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Terry J. Jambor on March 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
Doreen Marquart has written another great knitting book. I have her first book "Saturday Sweaters" and love the patterns in that book. "Top Down Sweater" is filled with fun and creative designs. Both books contain many classic designs which can be knitted 30 years from now. Mrs. Marquart's books are written for knitters of all levels. One of my favorite patterns in "Top Down Sweaters" is the garter play cardigan. One can dress it up or down, depending on the occasion. I also found the sections titled "Techniques", "Assembly", and "Useful Information" very informative and helpful. As a knitter in her 50's, it is wonderful to find a book that contains patterns for all age groups.
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