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120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Information Dense Reference for Knitters and Designers, August 9, 2012
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This review is from: Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges (Hardcover-spiral)
Wow is my first response to Ann Budd's new book of top down sweater patterns. I own Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, so I was familiar with the amount and type of information in these guides but I was still impressed.

Budd reviews four basic types of top down sweater construction Seamless Yoke, Raglan, Saddle Shoulder and Set-In Sleeve. Each style has several patterns made in this style and all of the patterns are attractive. The only possible criticism here is that there are no patterns for men or children, even though the book includes metrics for both children's and men's garments for each style. The book then includes proportions and metrics for each style of sweater in a range of sizes for men, women and children based on guage and stitches per inch. This makes things very easy for the prospective designer or knitter. Want to make a sweater out of those ten skeins that have been in your stash for years? Make a guage swatch and find your stitches per inch - the charts will then provide how many stitches to cast on and how, when and where to increase with a stitch count for every step in every guage in yarns from fingering weight to super bulky. Sweater proportions are also reviewed for each style and each size. How long are sleeves? How long is the body of the sweater? The neck hole? The armhole and arm skyce? It is all here for every size and every guage in every style.

Nor are these metrics and proportions limited to just plain colors or styles. Lace and color work have been addressed not only in the patterns provided as part of this lovely book but in theory as well. And the possibilities of complex colorwork and lace from the top down are well explained, nor are they limited to traditional and modern fair isle; there is a zig-zag colorwork pattern in the saddle shoulder style that is a stand-out in terms of design and construction and the pattern should be carefully read by all knitters for the amazing learning opportunity involved.

Overall Ann Budd's new book is a gem, a jewel a must have for knitters and designers. The information is comprehensive and well-organized and allows for the creativity of the individual knitter but fully supports those new to sweater construction. the charts are clear and well organized and the information is applicable and transferable to many other knitting problems and quandaries. A superior book and reference. Highly recommended.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 10, 2012 12:27:57 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 10, 2012 12:34:53 AM PDT]

Posted on Aug 10, 2012 12:30:03 AM PDT
So glad you gave a great review, (my book is on its way)~ I am really looking forward to learning to do the set in sleeve style . the yoked style and the saddle shoulder in top down knitting,, b/c I have been working on raglan style* only* in this particular way of knitting' which I find it to be SO EASY to fit myself and others that I knit for.
I add in my own shaping, I try my garment on as I knit, and then tweak for individual fit, it has always proven to be a good way to fit over the years, and now quite a few knitters are seeking to work in this wonderful style of knitting,which someday I would truly like to know where it originated from!( If anyone knows how this originated I really would love to know!)

I hardly think anyone could be critical of not having a written pattern for children or men if all the numbers are there, could they??? All you have to do is cast on X number of stitches and follow the numbers,, how hard could this be?
Perhaps the first top down garment could be made ala pattern so as to walk anyone through the technique, but once knit up, and understood, it is extremely simple to knit to fit,,,,and to fit extremely well at that/
This is key here,,,fitting anyone well, eliminating the guess work
NO MORE waiting for a garment that lies in pieces to be seamed together!,( a job that quiet a few knitters shudder when they think about in my world that is)
I do find knitters to be a very logical group of people that often times knit better when they have the stats, then proceed to do modifications on their own bc knitting IS logical in and of itself!
Since I also sew , I cannot always say the same thing about the sewing community( clothing ) except for quilters who are as awesome as the on line knitting sites,,,,, they really DO help each other out , but I digress,,,,)
I have the first book in the book of pattern series,, and I cant tell you how many times I use that book for mittens, hats , as a starting point/ Ghat book has paid for itself many times over already.
I have already emptied my( Large) knitting library by donating to various places; I do cherish the classics by EZ, Barbara Walkers, Meg Swanson, Alice Staremore and such,those stay w/me forever~,
With these guidelines, and a stitch pattern book I would think one could achieve just about anything if they tried!
As an added note I do knit my fair isle work bottom up, but I already have the perfected the fit from a top down garment that I have already made up so I do use the other method when called for perhaps a few times per year;
Thank you for the great review and now I cannot WAIT for my book to arrive!
~ Happy knitting to all~

Posted on Aug 10, 2012 12:30:58 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 10, 2012 12:34:21 AM PDT]

Posted on Mar 4, 2013 9:36:15 AM PST
Castlekeeper says:
Thank you for your review, and I would like to know how this book compares to the author's previous sweater book. Yours is the first review that mentions it. Is this book an enhanced version? Is there any reason to buy that book over this one?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2013 5:43:06 PM PDT
The sweaters in the previous book are all knitted from the bottom up. It is an excellent book as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2013 7:17:07 PM PDT
Castlekeeper says:
Thank you R.L.! You are the first person to describe the real difference between these two books, of the many dozens of reviews I've read. I'm more interested in the top-down one.
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