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Customer Review

109 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book You Need. Period., May 21, 2004
This review is from: Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting (Hardcover)
There are very, very few knitting books that I acutally buy, as I am a person that knits without patterns, and usually make my own designs. Hence, there are very few knitting books that I can honestly recommend and actually own myself.
So I'll cut to the chase and put it this way: if the house was on fire and I was told I could grab one knitting book, it'd be my Montose Stanley. That's a very strong recommendation that I'd like to back up.
There isn't one single question that you have about knitting that would not be covered in this book. It is unparalled for its historical coverage of knitting through the centuries and fascinating bits about knitting in different cultures, it's easy to follow diagrams, and it's seemingly endless bits of useful information.
With all knitting books, I suggest you take it home from your library first. But if you are past beginner and feel that you need to build a knitting library, this book is the one for you. Unfortunately, it is not as well known as some of the other books that are carried in book clubs, such as the almost useless Big Book of Knitting, which has techniques but then no diagrams or instructions, or the Ultimate Guide To Knitting which is a very lovely book to look at, but doesn't deserve the title "Ultimate" by any silly-putty stretch of the imagination because it includes very few techniques, tricks, or tips. This modestly wonderful book has languished unknown because so many people would see the much more flashier, newer books and grab them instead. This was written long before our current knitting revival, but still remains the most comprehensive book on the market. I thank the good Lord above the Memphis library was across from the knitting shop, or I'd never have seen it. I promptly went out and bought it. I use it more than any other book I own, aside from the Knitter's Handy Guide.
The best way to describe its format is that it is written very close to a textbook--it includes the diagram immediately after the descriptive text. If I ever took a full-fledged course on knitting, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the one book everyone would be required to buy, hands down.
If you are a newbie, then I suggest you pass on this for the time being and buy the Idiot's Guide to Knitting and Chrochet, another must have, esp for the beginner, and for the person the beginner will someday teach in the future. But put it on your wish list, and when you start wondering how to make a cheveron go to the left or the right, or why men in the Andes knit more than the women, or another perhaps easier way to make a loop while knitting, then this is the book for you.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 18, 2011 6:51:06 AM PST
Lovethread says:
Very well written review! This book is all that is said and more. It will be one of the go to books for me. I am pleased beyond all imagination

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2011 7:48:37 AM PST
Thank you, very kind. You know, I don't do many reviews anymore because I don't buy too many knitting books--I don't generally use patterns. I wrote a review of another comprehensive guide book and you know, the lady's son wrote me and told me how much he appreciated it--she had gone on, you know, and it was so sweet.

I wish this book was updated more often. It really is the best thing I've ever laid my hands on for reference.

I highly recommend the new One-Skien book, Sock Yarn. It is FANTASTIC.

Best to you. Great yarn shop here in the Memphis area if you're ever around: Hank of Yarn. The lady who owns it is named Henrietta--get it? Hank of Yarn? Cute, huh?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 7:24:27 PM PST
BeeGee says:
Thank you very much for taking the time writing this thorough and very informative review. I am a beginning beginner, and with your review, I will buy this book and would like to present to you my work (hopefully, I will be able to finish the project instead of Mom's "rescue" like 30 some years ago :). we are thinking about taking a trip to explore the southern states, and Memphis is in the plan. Now, besides Grace Land , you and Henrietta are on my list too, by yarn from her and show you my work :). Thanks again. happy Holidays to you and your family .
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