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The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns Spiral-bound – September 1, 2004
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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"Ann Budd frees a knitter to pick up any yarn and create a custom garment...Sounds handy to me." - Knitters Magazine
"This, my friends, is the Better Home and Gardens of sweater pattern books... It's a book worth reading and absorbing." - Knitter's Review
"Easy-to-read instructions... Great for anyone who wants to design their own garment...a very valuable resource." - Knitting News
"The bible for those who are beginning to design their own sweaters." - Knitting.AllInfoAbout.com
"You will love this book... This could easily be the last sweater pattern book you will buy." - Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot
"With this book, if you can dream it you can knit it." - Planet Purl
About the Author
Ann Budd is the best-selling author of The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. She is also the author of Getting Started Knitting Socks, Interweave Presents Knitted Gifts, Knitting Green, and Simple Style, and coauthor of Bag Style, Color Style, Lace Style, and Wrap Style. She is a book editor and the former senior editor of Interweave Knits magazine. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.
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What DOES work well is that the patterns DO make sense. They are a bit complex to follow (you'll have to leaf through about 10-12 pages as you're working the different parts of the sweater). Also, the math works (I did end up with the proper amount of stitches that the book told me I should end up with at the end of each part.) I also found the different parts fairly easy to put together after I had blocked them.
But all in all, I think planning, blocking, seaming, finishing, are all equal parts of the final design and need to be addressed. I think the book could do with expansion on these other areas. It's not a bad introduction, but I ended up more curious about pattern making, and am now starting to make my own patterns as a result.
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.
This book not only has basic mitten patterns -- it also has gloves, hats, tams, socks, and some basic sweaters (she now has a Handy Book of Sweater Patterns I bought as soon as I found it). At first, the charts seem daunting, but it's actually quite easy to use. Just knit a swatch using the yarn and needles you want to use for the project, then count your stitches per inch. That's the number on one side of the chart. The upper section of the chart is for the various sizes -- and she includes a wide variety of sizes to suit many needs. For example, the basic hats include sizes from premature infants to adult men's hats. Just follow the chart section for your gauge and the size, and you end up with something that's exactly what you expected.
I made two pairs of mittens, one for myself and one for my husband. I've made a preemie hat and a newborn hat so far, and plan to do an adult hat.
Each section also has a variety of ideas on how to personalize the item and make it to your tastes. For example, the hats include a variety of edge styles and hat toppers, with instructions on how to add these to your pattern.
For beginners to advanced knitters, this book is a must-have for foolproof basics.