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Knitting from the Top Paperback – February 1, 1996
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Still, it is not for everyone.
It is not for knitters who like to knit row-by-row patterns. It does not have projects in it with type and amount of yarn and needle sizes.
It is not for knitters who like to knit panels and then sew them together.
It is not for knitters who do not like to shape garments to the body as they knit.
This book has no photos of finished projects because there is no need for those. The book is a manual. It tells you how to knit most styles of sweaters from the top down, to your own measurements, and in your own choice of yarn, color, and pattern stitch. Design your own, or pick a style from an illustrated knitting magazine or book. Then follow the very clear and cogent directions in this book to produce the design in your chosen size, knitting from the top down. You can adapt these directions easily to almost any pattern you buy, eliminating seams that the original might have.
If you are a beginner knitter, with little experience in clothing construction, you might find the instructions hard to comprehend, and may have to work at understanding something about how clothing fits the human body before it all makes sense.
The hat instructions, though, are simple even for a beginner. You can also knit leggings with the directions in the book. These would be simple projects.
Knitting a sweater from the top down is a liberating experience. It is easier to shape than kitting from the bottom up. As the book points out, you can try it on as it progresses. You can make it shorter if you find you are running out of yarn. You can knit & attach the sleeves early on in the knitting. And you avoid the tedious sewing of the seams when you are finished.
If you are a magic loop knitter, you can cast on using that method for some of the sweater styles.
I found the book to be well-written and easy to read and the instructions completely comprehensible. If you are used to following patterns, you might not, judging from the negative reviews here.
The writing style was neither 'chatty' or long winded, I thought the author presented her ideas and techniques and expects me to so something constructive with it. If I have to knit something and then rip it out and start over again, I can't blame the author since that's the type of thing that I do with stitch by stitch patterns--I do it to get it right and I think your should too. Buy the book and read it with "Knitting without Tears" and if you can get a copy of "Knitting in the Old Way" you'll be golden.
Lots of luck and keep knitting!
Her style of knitting makes so much sense and garments made in the round top to bottom are like garments made on the bias, cut against the grain that hug and drape the body perfectly without seams to interfere with the flow of the garment..
Her stitch books- well you just have to search on amazon: books by Barbara G. Walker...she has so many original stitches - lace, cable, mosaic - yes- mosaic, something she developed- her innovations are endless!