My DH recently had knee surgery. To alleviate his boredom during recovery, I quickly taught him to knit, and ordered this book and The Knitting Man(ual): 20+ Projects for Guys to help him along (and keep him out of my organized knitting reference library!)
DH disliked The Knitting Man(ual) and considered the patterns "impractical." He didn't like its rolled-neck, -sleeved, -waisted sweater (tho' there's a similar one in this book), or one featuring a "too-wide" boat neck. He also didn't like The Knitting Man(ual)'s minimalist instructions. The other book was written by a woman, and DH felt it presented a limited view that all men who knit are of a single young, urban, artsy demographic. (I, however, am keeping that book for its top-down hat pattern, and its sock patterns, since it's already here.) DH did like its hiking sock pattern.
But THIS book - written by male and female knitters - really fueled DH's knitting frenzy. Although he would never wear the Rasta hat on the cover, he immediately considered making it without the curlicues. He loved many of the other designs, particularly the colorwork ones, and wondered out loud how they would look in such-and-such different colors.
DH found the instructions (including "Western," "Eastern," and "Combined" knitting techniques - i.e., English/German, Crossed, and Eastern Uncrossed) to be in-depth, easy to understand, and well-illustrated. Being a Combination knitter myself, I was glad this book presented such "open-minded" instructions from which a beginner could choose what happened to be most comfortable.
DH thinks the photos are good, and the designs are "practical" and "wearable," yet not ultra-conservative. He said the other book was "trying too hard to look cool" whereas this one showed realistic models in realistic - yet creative - clothing.
As he paged through it, DH stated that he would be comfortable wearing any of the designs (with some modifications) whereas he would only wear one or two things out of the other book. This book made him want to MAKE these items, too - as well as several items for our beloved rescue Doberman, Emma. He has several projects now in mental queue...
The only reason he gave this book four stars out of five is because he felt many of the patterns were high on the difficulty scale (multiple colors) for someone without a lot of knitting experience - yet those are the designs he likes the most, too. After looking at it, I (a more experienced knitter) feel it offers a very wide range of projects, from easy to thought-provoking. Annie Modesitt's authorship is evident.
The range of sizes for both humans and dogs is from XXS to XXXL (humans to XXXXL), with great measurement charts. There are brief instructions for using stitch markers, working from charts, increasing, decreasing, picking up stitches, cable cast-on, intarsia, double knitting, steeking, short rows, cabling without a cable needle, knitting a tube with two circular needles, i-cord, sewing in a zipper, seaming, and three-needle bind-off; there is also a knitting term glossary. The instruction illustrations are clear, as are the pattern charts.
Projects include: many differing human and dog sweaters, dog kerchief, dog toy, a dog bed, a dog "sofa," human toe-up socks, dog cuff-down mutt-luks, a dog treat bag (so handy for clicker training!), mitered dog blanket, human funky Fair Isle hat, double-knit hemp leash (for which DH is already planning to raid my stash), doggie saddlebags, a simple human scarf and hat, cabled vests for humans and dogs, and the Rasta items on the cover.
Both dog and human models are attractive and friendly looking. The presentation is excellent. I personally find some of these designs to be more "artsy" than the OTHER book (though I also like this one better), which just goes to show you: it is hard for a woman to choose a knitting pattern - or knitting BOOK - for a man. Best just to teach them to knit and let them make their own knitted items!
Even the introduction is witty and made DH laugh.