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Mastering Color Knitting: Simple Instructions for Stranded, Intarsia, and Double Knitting Paperback – November 9, 2010
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About the Author
MELISSA LEAPMAN is a widely published knitwear designer whose patterns have appeared in every premier needlework publication in the country, including Vogue Knitting, Knitter's, McCall's, Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, and Interweave Knits. She has been a featured guest of HGTV's Sew Much More and is a knitting and crochet host in the DVD series I Can't Believe I'm . . . (Leisure Arts). Leapman is the author of several books including Hot Knits, Cool Crochet, Cables Untangled, Continuous Cables, and Color Knitting the Easy Way. Nationally, her knitting, crochet, and design workshops are popular with crafters of all skill levels.
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Top Customer Reviews
Here's my take on Mastering Color Knitting:
1. I've known about steeks for some time, but the idea of actually cutting into my knitting made me quake. Leapman's explanation is sufficient and calming enough that I may give it a try.
2. What about double knitting? The previous instructions I've tried were insufficient to make this a useful technique for me. Now I've changed my mind, and I've already completed a cap for a cancer patient who complains of a cold head.
3. The book is packed with tips on keeping an even tension when doing stranded knitting. In addition, there are many charts that you can use to create your own color knits.
1. While I do not believe this is a negative, knitters looking for complete sweater patterns will not find many in this book. Leapman's focus is on technique and chartings, so if you're looking for garment patterns, this will not be the book you want.
2. The book itself does not lie flat when it's open. To work from a chart it will be necessary to copy the chart to a separate page, or to weight the pages to keep the book open.
There's plenty here to delight most knitters - stranded knitting, double knits, intarsia and a wealth of charts to get you started. A worthy addition to your knitting library!
It is an excellent reference book that covers about everything to do with "color knitting", which it was intended to do. I would not recommend it for beginners, however.
The first part of the book looks at some basic color theory and Leapman offers some ideas on how to use a 12 color wheel to find combinations that satisfy the requirements of the project at hand. For those of us that tend to shy away from making big color statements, I thought the discussion on choosing colors was both encouraging and helpful.
The Fair Isle section offers clear instruction on the basics of Fair Isle knitting for techniques for tangle-free multi-strand knitting and steeks. The role of color dominance is also discussed. The colorways that are shown and suggested are very pretty and the pattern charts are plentiful. I found this section lacking, however, in two ways: there isn’t enough information provided about designing a Fair Isle item for a reader to be able to do it successfully without having read something else like Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting in addition to this one. My second issue was in regards to the discussion on shaping Fair Isle knitting. I haven’t read a lot on shaping stranded colorwork, and Leapman provides a side panel chart that was used in one of the sample projects; but there is no photograph of the side seam showing how the side panel works into the sweater, and no discussion on how the side panel was designed to blend in between the fleur de lis pattern shown in the project. I would have liked to have known that.
The Intarsia knit section was very good. There are very good instructions and tips for changing colors and “painting with stitches”. I learned a couple of new techniques that I didn’t know about, like three techniques for knitting intarsia in the round. I don’t know who came up with those, but I thought they were very clever and sound easy to work. There are also a number of references provided for computer-generated graph paper and graphics-charting software in addition to the reproducible graph paper grid at the back of the book.
The Reversible Two-Color Double Knitting section was lots of fun. I have done double knitting in the past so I was aware of the basic double knitting idea (like green dots with blue background on one side and blue dots on green background on the other) but I was not aware that the patterns could be different on both sides! After having read the explanation it makes sense now, but who’d a thunk it?
Leapman’s book makes you think of color in some new and different ways and was an inspiration for a knitter with monochromatic tendencies like me.
There's so many tips and tricks in the is book that anyone from a beginner to an expert can master.
ITs in full color with expert tutorials and an array of samples.
The patterns that come with it aren't that great but the techniques could be applied to other patterns.