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Designing Knitwear [Paperback]

Deborah Newton
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 May 1999
If you dream of creating your own knitwear designs, master designer Deborah Newton shares the secrets she's learned over the years. Newton offers in-depth information on shaping and fitting, color and graphics, dressmaker details, finding design inspiration, creating textured fabrics, and more. In addition, she includes patterns for 16 garments and dozens of partial schematics for you to develop into your own original designs.


Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press Inc; New edition edition (20 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561582654
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561582655
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 27.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 680,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Master designer Deborah Newton takes the mystery out of the design process and shares the trade secrets she has accumulated in over 18 years of design experience. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic design book! 28 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Wonderful book that covers many topics not traditionally discussed in knitting books. She provides not only tips but information on when to use certain knitting techniques. Clear with good pictures. Best used in conjunction with a good basic knitting book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what was expected 7 Mar 2013
By Radu
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My wife asked me to buy this book. After receiving it, she was quite satisfied, and she started immediately to work. Clear indications, good explanations. Thanks
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Having just learned knitting, I probably got in over my head when I bought this book. Her designs are very imaginative and the book is very instructive -- plenty of graphics -- but there's not much for a beginner.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
93 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT your run-of-the-mill knitting book 30 Nov 2000
By amrdmr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I rarely review a book that has several well-written reviews already, but was tempted to add my voice about this book at a time when those who are looking for a good gift for knitters may be abroad in Amazon.com-land. I also have been a knitter for Lo these many years (about 30) and have perused many knitting books and magazines. And I have several knitting friends, some real fanatics, some just beginners. I personally love this book and wholeheartedly agree with some of the other reviewers that it is the most imaginative book about knitting that I have ever come across. However, a word of caution: having spent time in the company of other knitters, I know that I am pretty much a maverick, at the far, wild end of the bell curve. There are a lot of knitters out there, some extremely technically advanced (far more than I) who simply would not know what to do with this book. So, if your target knitter follows patterns to the letter, even if your target knitter can execute Kaffe Fassett designs, if they are color-inside-the-lines type of knitter, it might be better to give them (as I have done to several of my knitting friends) "The Big Book of Knitting" by Katharina Buss, which, I have found, is mightily appreciated even by those who have an extensive knitting library. However, if your knitter is bored, bored, bored, even by the most intricate classical designs, then "Designing Knitwear" might just light their fire. I agree with the reviewer who said that "Designing Knitwear" is not for beginning knitters. So, if your knitter is just learning how to knit, purl, do stockinette stitch, it might be better to choose another book, for now at least. I have to say, though, if you know or are a maverick knitter, you will LOVE "Designing Knitwear". One of the patterns is for a white-on-white three-piece shawl that is absolutely stunning and yet so incredibly simple to make. This is the type of stylish "shawl" that I would have loved to have seen in the collection of shawls in "Shawls and Scarves: the Best of Knitter's Magazine". But hey, that's me. There's room in the world for all knitters, from perfectionist chart-followers to free-form-let's-just-see-what-happens. Happy knitting!
54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first book I bought to learn how to design 19 May 2002
By "arana8" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I worked very hard on a child's lace-trimmed sweater from a pattern only to be very disappointed by the result. The dropped shoulders had no shaping and a clumsy-looking knitted seam, the back rode up, and the button band was too narrow to control the curl of the edge. That was when I thought, "I could do better than this." I decided to start designing my own stuff. "Designing Knitwear" has a lot to offer someone who wants to design their own knitwear. Newton's ideas are inspiring. I don't particularly like the majority of projects she gives directions for, but I learned a lot about the design process from her, and about producing looks that are way beyond the run-of-the-mill. One thing I don't like about the book is that Newton takes the sewing approach, with the flat-knit pieces sewn together, the edges sewn on, etc. I like to keep sewing to a minimum in knitted garments.
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 4 Feb 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have been knitting since I was 6, (30 years), and this is the first book I have found for a really long time that actually does what it says. It is a must for new or old knitters. It is absolutely inspiring, it has sound technical advice and innovative ideas for garments considering shape texture and colour. It discusses all areas of knitting, things that a beginner or even experienced knitter may not have even considered. The section on cutting and sewing knits to make garments is an extra bonus as this is a much neglected area, and most of us have had to learn through our mistakes. This book should make your knitting life less stressful and more enjoyable. I would reccomend it to everyone. It is the first book in years that is full of innovative ideas, and sound technical advice rather than one little bit of good information.
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating glimpse into a designer's mind 2 Mar 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First, I would like to clear up a few misunderstandings about this book. The author does not trash dime store knitters. She simply states that she finds them to be part of the folk art land scape. However, her constant admonition throughout the book is to buy the best you can afford. You can't cook a gourmet meal with bargain basement ingredients, can you?
Also, swatching is an absolutely essential part of the designing process. (Some designers even go so far as to suggest dedicating an entire ball of yarn to swatches) A designer who does not swatch will never know the full potential of a yarn. This is simply a fact. If you don't like swatching (and I don't) the author offers alternatives. However, she makes her swatches so pretty that I am almost tempted to change my mind.
The author offers her design system so that [novice] designers can borrow some or all of it until we come up with our own. The system is methodical and seems a great deal of fun. We find inspiration, find a yarn and swatch swatch swatch.
I hope everyone will give this book a fair chance. Knitters are artists and artists are not helped by being thin skinned or afraid to try something new.
AS noted by other reviewers, this book is not for the total beginner. You are expected to be knowledgable of basic knitting techniques as well as fibers etc.
77 of 90 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good with the bad 29 Mar 2004
By Lori Freeman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First, the good: there is a lot of information here about different fibers, explanations of silhouettes, ease, and different styles that is very helpful. There are tips on sketching and charting your own designs, as well as structural details of different styles, e.g. set-in sleeves, saddle shoulders. Much of the information is opinionated, but the author usually explains her reasoning.
The bad: I found many of her technical explanations incomplete and/or difficult to follow (and I've been knitting for about 10 years). I also found the many (many, many) self-gratulating personal references a bit tiresome. 'This is how I do this,' 'I like to do that,' 'Let me tell you all about a perfectly brilliant design idea I had one day while waiting for the bus,' etc. Somehow I got the impression the author has an air of superiority, as if to say her way is NATURALLY the best way, if not the only way. Maybe this irritated me more because I disliked most of her designs and thought them all but unwearable. If you're into 'haute couture' or 'wearable art,' you might enjoy them more; I prefer to design garments which are more subtle.... or, as she might say, 'bland and pedestrian.' (If that means saying "No" to big bulky coats knitted of fuzzy chartreuse mohair, complete with giant buttons, then color me bland and pedestrian.)
Bottom line: For the technical and structural elements of design, this book is worth looking into, but I'm still looking for a better knitting design book.
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