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Beginner's help to know all about knitting
on October 29, 2007
Knitspeak definition: "A combination of words, abbreviations, numbers, and punctuation that is unintelligible to the average human and - unfortunately - to the new knitter." - from Knitspeak
Like any group, culture or trade, knitting possesses its own languagee, one which can be is incomprehensible to the uninitiated. New knitters are often prohibited from stretching their knitting muscles by a pattern which makes as much sense as ancient Greek.
Andrea Berman Price rides to the rescue with her book Knitspeak: an A to Z guide to the language of knitting patterns, a handy volume which translates the symbols, abbreviations, and terms while explaining the logic and structure in which knitting patterns are written.
The first section of Knitspeak provides an overview "of how knitting patterns are organized and how to read them effectively." The second section is organized alphabetically beginning first with symbols. This section, which comprises most of the volume, is much more than just a dictionary. Scattered throughout are detailed illustrations, helpful tips such as choosing the correct decrease method, and longer entries on topics like measuring gauge or choosing a needle size.
The appendix is chock full of helpful information: fixing mistakes, estimating yardage requirements and an "abbreviations at a glance" table. Rounding out this handy volume are three worksheets which Price suggests photocopying and using to track knitting projects; for times so that when you put your knitting down, you have a record. A sound idea - especially for knitters like myself who have double digit UFOs (unfinished objects) that may, or may not, be stored with the required instructions.
Knitspeak's compact size means it easily fits into your knitting bag. The next time your pattern calls for LLI, grab knitspeak for a translation (LLI = left-lifted increase). As Price suggests: "Never stop knitting again because you don't understand your instructions!"
Armchair Interview says: Wonderful book for a beginner knitter.