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Knitting the Perfect Fit: Essential Fully Fashioned Shaping Techniques for Designer Results Paperback – August 7, 2012
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"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. Learn more
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"Leapman's explanation alone of techniques for tailoring knitwear is worth the price, and the fashionable, wearable garments are a bonus. Knitters interested in moving beyond loose, boxy garments will want to take a look." --Library Journal
About the Author
Melissa Leapman is a widely published sweater designer whose patterns have appeared in Vogue Knitting, Knitter’s, McCall’s, Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, Knit It!, and Interweave Knits magazines. Leapman has worked as a freelance designer for many leading ready-to-wear manufacturers, noted design houses, and major yarn companies. In addition, her knitting, crochet, and design workshops are extremely popular with crafters at all skill levels. She lives in New York City.
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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.
The topics covered are the basics - decreases and increases; utilizing charts; the language of knitting; ways to make stockinette garments look extraordinary; designer details, and ways to flatter your figure.
There are several patterns I like. My favorites are Marie which is a pullover figure flatterer in a nice shade of periwinkle using worsted weight yarn. I also like Marilyn's Crossover Top. Some of the other patterns also call out to me.
What is special about this book, however, is not the patterns. Buy it for a resource. You will be taught so many things about how to fit your garments that you never knew before. Thank you Melissa for this book.
I would recommend this book to beginners as well as designers. It is a great tool to have in your knitting library.
It talks about how to find your body type and which sweaters look good on each body type.
Then there are a series of patterns geared toward each body type. It is not exactly what I expected.
I thought there would be more on altering patterns within each pattern type to give the reader practice
making those changes, but it it a good book with some nice patterns.
I do like how it's written, the layout and the photos.