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The Sweater Workshop Spiral-bound – January 1, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Knitting is a hands-on activity; it's one thing to read about knitting a sweater and another thing to knit one completely from sometimes cryptic patterns. First published in 1983, this book was written for knitters who have no desire to follow a pattern blindly but instead want to master the techniques necessary for sweater knitting, whether or not a pattern is available for the yarns they wish to use. Fee works the prospective knitter through a sweater sampler that includes every technique needed to master knitting seamless sweaters in the round, using any yarn and based on the measurements of the wearer. The finished sampler is a conversation piece that looks for all the world like a form-fitting pullover. This second edition features a more readable format, updated designs, and more sweaters, as well as a spiral sock pattern intended as a practice project for knitters not accustomed to knitting in the round on double-point needles. Recommended for all but the smallest knitting collections.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Fee is a founding member and past president of two knitting and spinning guilds, and she gives spinning demonstrations at various historical societies. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Down East Books; 2nd edition (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892725729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892725724
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.7 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,129,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am part of the new generation of knitters so I had never seen the famous Sweater Workshop, only heard about it. So, when it was reprinted, I bought a copy immediately.
First reaction: Wow
Jacqueline Fee has created an incredible, complex-yet-simple system for creating seamless sweaters from the bottom up. All you need is your yarn and some basic math skills to make one-of-a-kind creations that you are sure to love since you designed them.
First though, is the sampler. It's sort of like sweater boot camp. Everything you could need to make a basic sweater. Yes, it's true, it does look rather silly but what fun! I hung mine up on my wall for inspiration.
With the sampler done, you're ready to start knitting your own sweater. This is whrer the fun begins.
Advice to newly designing knitters is sprinkled throughout the book and is greatly appreciated. We learn how to make perfect k1 twisted, p1 ribbing in the round, how many stitches should be in various sleeve styles and learn the glories of the reversable knitted belt. Then there is a whole section on making your sweater unique, by playing with color, using music to make a striping sequence (!) or using yarns that were not meant for knitter. A wealth of information and a great bibliography to back it up.
Fee has a chatty, outspoken writing style that is easy and enjoyable to read. She had plenty of knitting opinions that may open up new options. (I too am an English-style knitter who doesn't mind purling!) Naturally, I don't agree with absolutely everything (I am very fond of my interchangable tip knitting needle set) but it is refreshing to hear new opinions.
Not all of the designs pictured in the book appealed to me personally but what does it matter since we will be customizing our own?
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Format: Paperback
I've knitted for years. But I found this book really useful for the following reasons:
1. The sweater "sampler" is a fun project to learn decreases, increases, the effect of types of ribbings on shape, how to do edgings and more--all in one handy reference project. When it's finished, it looks like a fish that mated with a windsock but that makes it fun to mystify your friends. Hang it proudly where people can see and exclaim over it.
2. You can knit any sweater you like--cardigan, pullover, raglan, using a percentage system that Jackie Fee explains (based on the original by Eliz. Zimmermann.)
3. You can knit anything in any yarn in any gauge and size you want. So this is a great thing for designers and those who spin their own yarns.
I can't think of anyone who knits who wouldn't benefit from this book. It should be a "must" in your knitting library. I hoarded my copy and was really glad to see this back in print because now I can share it with my friends who want to learn.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a new knitter and had made a few sweaters in patterns from various sources - this book (almost) makes we want to throw every other book and magazine away. The sweater I made with Fee's instructions (and I admit - shamefaced - that I didn't do the sampler first) came out with a finished look and a great fit, which can't be said of my previous attempts (though they're wearable and I love them). Best of all, I acquired more skills and insight with this one sweater than I did in all my previous knitting. I will continue to peruse other books and mags, but just for ideas for variations to apply to Fee's basic instructions.
:-) But first I'm going to do the sampler!!
NOTE TO PUBLISHERS: Can you see we're all annoyed when you don't make books available in spiral-bound format?? Sure, we seem to buy them anyway ... but you're not doing yourselves any favor by forcing craftspeople to struggle with books that don't open flat. Ditto for cookbooks. (A spiral-bound format for this book was supposedly published, but just try to find one!)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We all have our favorite ways of knitting, and the limitations we like to put on ourselves.

The author is of the opinion that there can only be raglan sleeved, seamless sweaters knit on circular needles or double point needles. Straight needles are a curse, and pieced sweaters with seams and inset sleeves are a pox on the land.

And you must make this hideous little hat sized tube to learn her techniques.

I decided to go along with this dogma, instead of returning the book which was my first impulse upon seeing the positively wretched sample sweaters in it. One would not wear such things if paid to do so.

Then I made the sampler. I cannot tell you how much I learned from this book in two days. I am an experienced if not an expert knitter, yet I had no idea I could learn so much from one book, and an author whose idea of knitting totally excluded my favorite design shapes and knitting tools.

I forgave the author her ugly sweaters, her prejudices against straight needles and her belief that button front jackets (cardigans) are really a waste of time, and a good sweater does not open in the front except for that ugly Henley placket. But what a clever way she has of making that placket! Positively ingenious.
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