Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Modern Top-Down Knitting: Sweaters, Dresses, Skirts & Accessories Inspired by the Techniques of Barbara G. Walker Hardcover – October 1, 2010
"Go Big Knits" from the editors of Marie Claire Idees
Knit designs from the editors of Marie Claire Idées to ensure that women of all body shapes and types will look—and feel—fantastic. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
There are several designs that I like well enough to make the purchase price of the book worth it to me. The Soho Smocked Dress which makes use of a smocked stitch pattern to define the waist is one in particular which struck me on my first pass through the book. The styles and lines of the clothing overall have a modern look that does not cross into trendy. Numerous patterns are certainly timeless and portray a pleasing degree of urban-sophistication.
There are a couple critiques I have though. 12 patterns (almost half those in the book) use elastic cord or elastic ribbon to provide tension and pull-in areas of the knitwear, such as at necklines, hat edges, or cuffs. While I find the use of elastic an excellent design detail at times, in my opinion McGowan uses it in places instead of altering stitch patterns to provide elasticity within the knitting itself or instead of adding body shaping to the pattern. The very nature of knitting has the peculiar benefit of allowing a master designer to incorporate such design features without relying on elastic cord, a distinct advantage over working with woven fabric.Read more ›
But the best thing about the book is that it has given me elements that I will use for the rest of my life in my own designs. And that is priceless. I have looked an MANY MANY MANY other knitting books, and this is the only one that has ever given me something beyond a pattern -- it has provided me with increased wherewithal to make my own. So frankly, even though I enjoy the patterns, what makes this book sing is that I would get something out of it even if I thought the garments were not my kind of thing. To rephrase: even if the garments aren't your type of hype (and they're pretty great) you can totally revolutionize your knitting with this book, no matter what level you're at. It's clear, it's entertaining, and it has a lot of educational as well as aesthetic value. Super awesome book. I hope she does some more.
The book is well done, the photographs amazing but it's not my idea of a "top-down" book. Most of the patterns are not top down, as traditionally thought, but "bottom up". There are some sweaters and cardigans but dresses, skirts and hats seem to rule the day. I think I was hoping for a true update in this technique rather than a completely different approach. I've done one top-down sweater of my own design (with the help of knitting software) and loved the results. I think I wanted a book like Barbara G. Walker's "Knitting from the Top" but an update on her techniques. This author claims her book is "inspired" by Ms. Walker and her words are correct. It is "inspiration" not an "update".
I am not critiquing the book as much as saying that it's not what I expected. If you want a true, top-down book, try Cathy Carron's "Knitting Sweaters from the Top Down". I would recommend Ms. Walker's book but it's a bit difficult to follow, in my opinion. This is why I was hoping for an update. I will be sending this one back to Amazon because it doesn't fit into my knitting library.
The real treasure trove are the great tutorials: one for doing a set-in, seamless top down sleeve, shoulder shaping with short rows, creating sleeve caps with short rows, two methods for tightening loose set-in sleeves in the pick up round, and wonderful articles on trims and elegant finishing methods -- a neglected area by most designers -- thoughtful finishes that truly turn your handknits into prized possessions and cherished gifts.
The only downside (and it's a substantial one) is inclusion of hats, a cowl, armwarmers, slippers, a wrap, jewelry, and a BELT. (A belt?? Come on now.) I would have preferred more shaped sweaters to replace these; these patterns just seem like "filler projects" to me. Nine filler projects are entirely too many for a book with 26 designs ... That's just over 30%.
Breakdown by pattern type:
Dresses/tunics (the tunics are pictured as dresses): 8
Pullover Sweaters: 2
Tank/Camisole Top: 1
Jewelry: 1 (specifically, a bracelet and ring set)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some of the patterns don't belong in a "top down" book - a wrap, slippers for example. And not many knitters want to wear knit dresses, which are the majority of patterns... Read morePublished 3 months ago by shaydy_lady
I usually don't buy pattern books without seeing them for the reason I didn't like this book: too few patterns I would actually make. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Melinda
If you are going to knit this is the correct way to approach the project.Published 9 months ago by Paul E. Taylor
Currently knitting a pattern in this beautiful book - love the technique.Published 11 months ago by Elizabeth Tatro
I bought this pattern book, like I have so many others, for just two patterns. I liked the cover photo dress and thought I'd found a good base pattern to modify for a lace dress. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Tracer
This was a gift for a friend who is a great knitter so she was very pleased with it.Published 18 months ago by Alexandra K