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Knitter's Lib: Learn to Knit, Crochet, and Free Yourself from Pattern Dependency Paperback – September 1, 2005
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From the Publisher
An easy-to-follow pattern book from an international knit designer.
Features how-to instructions for basic knit and crochet stitches plus comprehensive tips and tricks to craft, personalize, and perfect knit and crochet projects.
Includes 20 all-season, his and her patterns for skirts, pants, hats, shoes, bags, sweaters, scarves, and more.
Demystifies knit and crochet design elements to turn stitchers of all abilities into skilled designers.
Features an online resource guide to European yarns, a complete tools list, and a handy table of abbreviations.
About the Author
LENA MAIKON learned to knit at age five in her hometown of New Siberia, Russia. She didnt pick up a needle again for 25 years until she realized her talent for knitting could save her from a frustrating career as a math teacher. She began applying her mathematical mind to the counting of stitches and created Leninka, her own clothing label. Lenas handmade knits are sought after in the fashionable boutiques of New Yorks Soho and in her adopted city of Tel Aviv, Israel.
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There are other inconguencies. In a chart on page ix, there is a "what you will and won't find in the book" list and first under the "will" is "XL patterns because big is beautiful dammit". There are a lot of things wrong with this; XL is hardly plus sized for one thing, but more importantly, *no XL patterns actually appear in the book*. All garments are sized S (M,L). Period. On the other side of the cahrt, is what you will not find and that includes, "a D-cup bikini because its beyond the bounds of sanity and decency." Excuse me? In the crochet bikini pattern featured later in the book, this is again reiterated. How much "pattern liberation" is that? I would call that just plain offensive and ignorant. The author should check out Knitty, the free online knitting magazine as well as White Lies Designs who sell many patterns for women with D-cup and above, and all are sexy, sane and decent. In the techniques area we are introduced to a technique called "Intarisa" which is actually *stranded* knitting. Sigh. Keep in mind these are only the errors I found upon the first day of owning this book.
As far as the patterns go, most are accesssories and terribly underwhelming such as the same (inadvertantly) nipple-shaped hat over and over but called something else each time. Ponchos, bags, scarves etc. and crocheting around clogs. Nothing terribly new here. Many of the designs shown will inevitably end up on the blog, "You Knit What?"
The book gets kudos only for treating crochet as compatible with knitting, which it is and I would like to see more books and patterns which combine the two. It might be a book to learn to knit and crochet with since the stitches are shown in photographs which are quite clear. There is nothing here for the advanced knitter or crocheter, and maybe little if anything for the intermediate.
The style of the patterns is very narrow, they're mostly for people who have a trendy, urban fashion sense. Some of the most memorable patterns are the knitted skater pants, a mesh skirt, and yet another bikini top pattern.
There is a short introduction to knitting and crochet and a technique chapter. Though a lot of techniques were given, I didn't find much that would really help me use them together and create my own patterns. That was a disappointment, because the book description sounds like it would have more design help.
I also dislike the very wordy way that the patterns are written out. It makes them hard to skim and all the extra text would be distracting when trying to work from them. The book says that they're written out that way to explain why certain things in the pattern are done, but it just seemed like a lot of unnecessary text to me. I'd think that all that extra stuff would confuse a new knitter or crocheter and frustrate a more advanced one.
I would not recommend this book for beginners. Some of the shortcuts and tips that the author gives are pretty bad advice, they encourage knitters and crocheters to cut corners and do some things in a quick, easy, and sloppy way. One thing that I really disliked was the suggestion to crochet seams instead of sewing them. Yes it's faster, and yes most of us hate finishing. But crocheted seams are much less flexible than knitted ones and they just don't look as nice. If you spend a lot of time knitting a beautiful project, wouldn't you want to put as much care into finishing and make it look as nice as possible?
If you're looking for a knitting book with instructions and hip patterns, check out Stitch 'N Bitch. I'm not a very good crocheter, so unfortunately I don't have a crochet book recommendation.