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Modular Knits: New Techniques for Today's Knitters Hardcover – August 1, 2005
"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. Pre-order today
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From the Publisher
Crafters Choice Book Club Selection
From the Inside Flap
In Modular Knits Iris Schreier introduces her revolutionary new techniques that greatly simplify creating triangles, diamonds, squares, and other project designs. Using the traditional modular method, you finish a shape, bind it off, cut the yarn, pick up stitches, and then knit a new shape into the old one to expand the garment. Schreier, in this new method, shows you how to knit shapes continuously without cutting yarn and picking up stitches. Be warned...these techniques are addictive! The chapters introduce various knitted shapes and include instructions for knitting practice swatches before starting on the projects that follow. Once you're comfortable with the techniques, or if you're already a proficient knitter, you can try any of the intermediate or advanced projects that are part of the book's four experience levels. The results are spectacular when you move beyond the straight lines often found in knitwear, and work with unusual crossings and intersections, vertical and horizontal lines, and other distinctive patterns.
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The patterns are lovely. Some of my favorites are the 'Starburst Shawl' which is labeled an intermediate level project and is knit in worsted weight silk yarn. It would make a gorgeous accessory for a night out on the town or to dress up a plain outfit. I love the 'Zigzag Scarf'. The experience level is labeled easy and it is knit with size 7 U.S. needles with worsted weight yarn. It will add pizzazz to any outfit. It is a not a scarf for warmth, but rather to accessorize. The 'Hidden Square Pillow' is bright and eye-consuming. It is labeled as intermediate experience and is knit with DK weight yarn on size 5 U.S. needles. It will give any room a lovely burst of color. The 'Diamond Panel Vest' is beautiful thought the photos could be clearer. It is labeled as intermediate experience but the instruction appear more experienced to me. It utilizes worsted weight yarn and utilized size 7 U.S. needles.
When I rate a knitting book I ask myself 3 very important questions.
1) Are the instructions clear? The answer here is yes
2) Is the book a good resource? Again, the answer is yes?
3) Will I utilize the patterns? The answer here is 'some of them'. There are too many patterns in this book that I just flipped by and know I will never knit. While there are a few very beautiful ones, there are too many that are just mediocre.
Overall, I give this book a high '4'.
The techniques used in this book are fairly easy to follow with some practice and give you spectacular results without changing thread or having to join pieces. Highly recommended if you want results that look harder than they were to accomplish. The patterns are labled as to the difficulty, but don't let that stop you from trying any of them. Just be sure to do your practice swatches for the techniques before diving into the patterns themselves so you don't have to really think too much about the techniques.
This book is not for the beginning knitter; not by a long shot. I say that mostly because the instructions are horrific. You are often left to leap to your own conclusions and make assumptions. When knitting her "test swatches" for learning the "shapes" taught in the book, I wasted tons of yarn. These swatches were difficult to produce due to the poor instructions. Almost none of "shape" description pages give any hint or clue how to adapt them. It was a long, difficult process of breaking down the technique to learn how to adapt it myself. Although I enjoyed the challenge, it was often frustrating and yarn wasting.
A small side note: Another reason I find this book not suited for the beginning knitter is that I have found that many of the techniques require an extremely even and consistent gauge (although not too much of a problem if you're using a fiber that can be blocked) which even after 20 years of knitting I still have some trouble producing.
I started on my first project, a multidirectional scarf, and wonder of wonders, it works! A whole scarf completed that looks wonderfully complex, the shapes appear like magic and seem to change directions, yet no cutting/joining of yarn. Just two ends to work in, the start and the ending yarn.
I was hooked. (Or should that be needled?)
Not only can you make a scarf out of multidirectional triangles, you can make garments, home decorative items, and other fun things with triangles, squares, diamonds, and these are all made without those nasty loose ends.
The directions are clear and concise, easy to understand, and the book is gorgeous, beautifully illustrated. Any errata are easily available on the web, which is more than I can say for many books I've found mistakes in and had to guess at how to fix them.
This book is definitely one you'll want to own, and start knitting from immediately. You'll love it!