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Knitting in the Old Way: Designs and Techniques from Ethnic Sweaters Hardcover – November 5, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Priscilla explains how to modify your pattern for the yarn you have, how to make it fit _you_, and then teaches you the tricks you need to successfully knit the sweater. She teaches you how to make sweaters from all over the world: Irish fisherman sweaters, Fair Isles, Norwegian, ... As a hand spinner, I love that she often works with handspun yarn, but her sweaters work just fine with commercial yarns too.
So, the bad news is that this wonderful, marvelous book is out-of-print. The really good news is that she's currently working with Deb Menz (previous editor of Interweave Press's SpinOff magazine) to revamp the book and will release it in the Spring'03. I understand that they're adding new bits and it looks quite exciting.
This means that I'll be able to get a copy to loan to friends and won't have to worry about my copy disappearing.
The "old way" is to use the percentage system, a method whereby YOU pick the yarn YOU want (there are suggestions for which type of yarn goes best with the type of sweater you want to knit), and which size needles go best with that yarn. Then pick out a sweater or sweatshirt that you love wearing - that one you reach for most - your "comfort sweater." Measure its circumference. Then knit your 4" - 6" swatch and determine YOUR gauge. Now comes the fun. With the circumference you want, do the simple math of how many of YOUR OWN stitches it will take to get that measurement. Voila! You are now ready to figure out the rest of your sweater. No more bondage to someone else's gauge.
That basic circumference is 100%. You are now given a percentage of that number for other parts of the sweater: neck, armholes, gussets, saddles, wrists, etc. Use simple math. For example,let's say the plan shows the armhole at the shoulder being 40% of the 100% circumference. If the body has 120 stitches, then you will pick up and knit 48 stitches at the armhole. (You could also start at the cuff - and there are percentages for that, too.) There are 12 basic sweater styles to plan from, each with its own fine-tuned percentages. For length of the arms and the body, you simply use your own arms and the lengths from that favorite sweater.Read more ›
Regardless of a knitter's experience or expertise, this book has a lot to offer. I have been knitting for 59 years and am thrilled to find authors who teach from the standpoint of common sense. No "Knitting Bullies" here but rather a validation of all that I have learned, along with scores of methods and techniques to make my knitting even better. The organization of material is outstanding!
I really feel that the author's approach takes all of the "mystery and scariness" out of knitting. One can plan and knit any kind of sweater whether it is very basic or adorned with beautiful color stranding, intarsia, or any number of classic ethnic designs, without being overwhelmed by complicated Patterns. You determine the size, the shape, the style, the texture and become your own designer.
It's the way Elizabeth Zimmermann taught knitting; it's the way my mother and grandmothers learned to knit; it's the way they taught me to knit; it's the way I teach others to knit. This book deserves a special place in every knitters reference library.
Having said all of that I will share one more quote from this wonderful "tome." This one is credited to a 'Nineteenth-century rhyme.'
"Life is a stocking," grandma says,"And yours has just begun. But I am knitting the toe of mine, And my work is almost done."
Every knitter deserves to have this book!
Thankfully, it's been reissued and revised in print so that new generations of knitters can take advantage of her knowledge and skill. Here is where you can learn all about the traditional method of Norwegian knitting, where you knit a multicolor tube and essentially cut and sew, and then knit in sleeves and neck finishing. Traditional Scandinavian patterns and Eastern European techniques are featured but there is a lot more. If you like the craft of knitting mixed with ethnic history and lore, this is unparalleled. Fun to read, and yet useful as a guide to designing and knitting your own garments.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great basic information to help me understand the construction process.Published 3 months ago by sew happy
My wife loves this book. She shows it to every knitter who enters our house. It is a comprehensive resource and a must-have for any knitter.Published 11 months ago by Shaun
Interesting reference. Very useful for traditional styles of knitting and construction.Published 14 months ago by Shopper
I simply cannot believe that no one has reviewed this edition of this book. I learned to knit from a woman, a friend of my mother, who knitted this way. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Karen J. Inwald
I believe this book will be used a lot as a reference. Some of it is a little deep for my knowledge (as of this moment), but I will grow into it!!!Published 17 months ago by Dianes1717
Don't let the low tech format fool you. This volume is an education in old world technique. Before machine knitting resulted in mass produced sweaters that were knit in separate... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Eve Starr
This is a classic overview of traditionally knitted sweaters from many cultures. Easy to follow descriptions of techniques and clear illustrations make this an invaluable guide to... Read morePublished on December 25, 2013 by ROBIN ni Dana