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Knitting the Perfect Fit: Essential Fully Fashioned Shaping Techniques for Designer Results Paperback – August 7, 2012
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Chapter 1 explains how a "fully fashioned" garment is knit, gives illustrated instructions of simple decreases and increases, explains directional slants, how to read knitting charts, and makes garment suggestions related to body types.
Chapter 2 includes color photos of multiple examples of increases and decreases.
Chapter 3 gives full instructions on how to add decorative stitches in the fully fashioned increase/decrease.
Chapter 4 details ways that cleverly placed increases and decreases can flatter the figure. Also included is a shell/camisole pattern with detailed instructions on adapting the pattern for bust size. General knitting, finishing, and sweater construction techniques are illustrated at the end of the chapter.
Pros: the information provided is solid and informative, especially for those knitters who are unfamiliar with how full-fashioned increases and decreases are worked and applied. It is assumed that the reader is familiar with gauge measurement. The patterns are well-written, clearly illustrated, and the charts are easy to read. The information on shaping and illusion for figure flattery is excellent.
Cons: The title, premise, and descriptions of the book are misleading. After repeatedly being told in the text that, "You, too, can be a designer!" the reader would find that this book does not help accomplish this. Nowhere in the book is a shaping formula provided. If I wanted to find out how to apply the increases and decreases to my own design, this book informs me how to knit them, but not how to determine my rate of decreases over rows from bust to waist or increases from waist to hip. More importantly, aside from the one shell pattern in Chapter 4, there is no information about customizing and adjusting the patterns included to particular body measurements, and therefore no way to help the knitter make the patterns fit like the book declares.
To fill in this huge gap, the reader would have to search out other sources: Amy Herzog's Fit to Flatter series at [...] would be very useful or perhaps the books Knitwear Design Workshop by Shirley Paden or Sweater Design by Maggie Righetti. If knitting top-down and seamlessly, both Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard and Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel have sections on customizing patterns.
Overall, if you like the patterns included in the book and don't have information on increases and decreases elsewhere, this book will be useful to you.
IF you appreciate helpful tips and well written instructions on basic knitting techniques all in one place - - BUY THE BOOK!
If you have a tendency to forget what you may have learned in class and want examples of the other techniques discussed in class - - BUY THE BOOK!
If you like two or more of the patterns in the book and want to knit them - - BUY THE BOOK!
If you want someone to hold your hand and tell you row by row how to design a sweater so you can say you did it yourself - - DON'T BUY THE BOOK!
If you want to be inspired by how different increases and decreases can enhance a shapeless pattern and make is something special - - BUY THE BOOK!
If you want a volume of Melissa's insights all in one place (or as I like to refer to it as My-Mini-Melissa) - - BUY THE BOOK!
If you like (or need) to "tweak" patterns to address fit or fashion issues and need some reminders of different ways it can be done - - BUY THE BOOK!
If you are straped for cash and aren't sure - - Check the book out from the library and then save your pennies and BUY THE BOOK (or ask for it for Christmas or birthday gift)
When I took Melissa's first class, I thought of myself as a "beginner" because I hadn't been knitting for all that long. A very accomplished knitter scoffed at my self-assessment and said "you look at patterns as suggestions and then tweak and change and adjust - - that is not beginner behavior". I now self-assess my skills as probably advanced intermediate to advanced and found that this book may not "teach" me anything new, but it does "remind" me of the possibilities.