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Big Book of Knitting Paperback – 13 Sep 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (13 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806963174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806963174
  • Product Dimensions: 28.8 x 20.5 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 821,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. H. Sweet on 14 Feb. 2006
Format: Paperback
I learned to knit at a very young age from my mother and never used a book until about twenty-five years later, but progressing to harder patterns has made using a reference book necessary for me. This book has excellent explanations and illustrations, and answers to every one of my questions. It is incredibly detailed and comprehensive. I likely will not use the older patterns in this book, but it is a terrific reference book that is easy to understand - even complex stitches and patterns. I believe this is a must have for beginning to intermediate knitters, and is particularly suited to me as I strive to become a great knitter like my mother and aunt who were true masters.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 May 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is well made (pictures are good) and comprehensive, but it suffers terribly from a lack of clarity and consistency. It claims to cater for the beginner, but constantly introduces new techniques without explaining them. Want to learn Shaker stitch? - which is different from ribbing - then you'll need to know what 'yarn over' means. The book doesn't tell you, and as everyone knows, there are at least four different interpretations! Want to knit a sweater? You'll need to pick up stitches for the neck. But don't expect to find an explanation of this technique in the book. What is more, the basic descriptions of how to cast on (in particular) are written in such a way as to make even experienced knitters confused, not because they're wrong, but because they aren't written as you'd expect.
So, a comprehensive but also hideously complex book that's probably not worth even considering if you're setting out, and that pales in comparison to works by Debbie Bliss et al.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 April 2001
Format: Hardcover
If I had to tell you in one word why I like this book it would be: pictures! Detailed explanations are all very well but clear illustrations are a must to get a good idea of what the writer is trying to teach.
This book is not really ideal for the complete beginner. If you have never knitted before, try Debbie Bliss' 'How to Knit' but if you remember the basics and need to improve your skills you won't find a better book than this.
Buss shows lots of alternatives for basic cast-on and cast-off stitches but her real strength is a comprehensive (and not too difficult) stitch directory, giving you lots of ideas for trying something new.
She has a short section on designing or adapting a pattern to fit well and also provides instructions for making socks and gloves.
This is a fantastic reference book that I turn to again and again but I do wish Buss had included a few more useful patterns at the back. UK readers have to put up with the Americanisation of some knitting terms - rib stitch is called Shaker knitting, which was a new one for me.
An essential guide for 'improving' knitters.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gadget Fan on 21 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
If you already knit, paging through this book will show you many techniques that you might not have encountered yet. Each is illustrated by large clear photos. Some of my favorites are methods for lengthening or shortening an already finished garment, the variety of collar and neckband styles, different selvedges, and the careful illustrations of various kinds of increases and decreases. There is also a brief set of general patterns that gets you started on construction of different styles.

However, this book assumes you already know what is being talked about, without carefully defining it first. This is why it is not a good choice for a beginner. For example, the chapter on "Entrelac Patterns" begins with "If you want to work a sweater in Entrelac pattern, you should ....." without first defining "Entrelac" (a fabric that looks like it is woven out of knitted strips but which is actually knitted as a single-thickness fabric). This kind of thing occurs over and over. And there is no getting started area for the new knitter.

The way I stumbled upon Amazon UK's listing for this book was because I was trying to figure out what "Shaker Knitting" is, because it is mentioned in many places in the book. From looking on the web I have found that it is a kind of Brioche stitch (where some stitches are knitted into a row below, producing a fluffy dense fabric) aligned in ribs. With Double Shaker Knitting you can make ribbing that is a different color on each side.

One reviewer complained about having to put up with Americanized terms. Well, I am writing this from California and I have never heard the term "Shaker Knitting", nor can I find it in my most comprehensive references (except one mention by Elizabeth Zimmerman, who was British living in the US).
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