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Knitting from the Top [Paperback]

Barbara G. Walker
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Schoolhouse Press; Reprint edition (31 Dec 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0942018095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0942018097
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 28.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 431,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The online knitting designer's handbook 4 Oct 2007
By jazzy pom VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So you wanna be an online knitting desinger? If so, you just need a dollop of creativity, and Barbarba G. Walker's Knitting from the top.

If you actually have this book to hand, and a modicum of creativity (or a few fashion magazines with knitwear to inspire you) you've got it made. Just an initial skim of a raglan topdown one button cardigan reminds one of a popular web blog designer's creation. The only difference is that the latter just throws a rib pattern below the bodice, but it's the basic shape and form (complete with button!)- but with short sleeves instead of long( refer to p. 50, fig. 23).

Or if you want to make a cape/flared jacket, look at pg. 53-54 and you're all set.

It's not cheating per se, because it's a basic shape, but it just goes to show that with this book, you're already quids in on saving money buying the basic topdown patterns online, because Ms. Walker spells it all out for you. Yes, duckie, there is even a way to do topdown set in sleeves. Think of sleeves being the perfect length and having the perfect ease! In addition, the process is very straightforward.

Knitting from the top is only 120 pages long, but oh my, what a lot of information in these pages! There are about 12 chapters, and each chapter covers a basic design element (raglan pullover, cardigan, seamless cape, seamless skirt, sleeves sweaters, pants and caps). Within each chapter, Walker breaks down the principles for you, and doesn't go further than third grade Arithmetic. The secret to shaping is revealed here, and is as simple as pie.

Ms. Walker's writing style is straight forward. She doesn't meander as much as Elizabeth Zimmerman, nor is she as over enthusiastic as Maggie Righetti can be at times.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book will change the way youn knit 7 Oct 2008
By Cat D
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After reading this book, suddenly knitwear design clicked - I have never looked back. Rather than giving you patterns this book empowers you to design and knit your own garments.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for your bookshelf 12 Jun 2009
By Mindie
If you enjoy knitting seamless garments then this book is a must. It looks a little dated on the cover but don't let that put you off as it is truly timeless. Written in a style similar to that of Elizabeth Zimmermann, there are no actual patterns here, but open instructions for you to use any weight of yarn with any stitch pattern you like to construct your garment. Starting off with the top down raglan, Barbara Walker takes you through just about every possible way to construct a top down seamless garment from sweaters through capes, skirts and even trousers along the way. She tells you how to knit them so they fit properly regardless of size or body shape and all are seamless of course.

You don't need to be a designer to use this book, it makes you your own designer, and frees you from the constraints of commercial patterns.

If you like to follow a written pattern, or are a beginning knitter then perhaps this book is not for you (yet!), but if you have a sense of adventure and love to knit seamlessly or have trouble knitting things that fit properly then I can't recommend this book enough.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius! 5 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is definitely the best knitting book I have ever had - I wish I had bought it years ago.
The cover might not be very encouraging: it has a photo of a very dated, shapeless jumper, but the contents are far from dated.
The ideas in the book are brilliant, Knitting from the Top will enable you to knit almost anything, top down and seamlessly - without patterns.
It describes in detail (and in a way that is very easy to follow) how to make the following:

raglan pullovers: boat neckline, turtleneck, wide-collared, v-neck, square-neck, round-yoke, raised neckband

raglan cardigans: v-neck, lapels, square-neck, one-button

capes: poncho, cape style shawl, ruffled or gathered capelet, cape with arm slits

skirts: pleated, gathered, tulip shaped, scalloped, lace

trousers and tights (several types)

sleeveless sweaters: wide neck, collared square neck, vest, jumper dress

seamless set-in sleeve

seamless saddle shoulder (3 types)

kimono sleeve (several types)

square set sleeve

caps: narrow crown, stocking cap, helmet with chin straps, helmet with neckband (the last two perfect for babies/ toddlers)

Each technique is accompanied by a diagram showing not only the shape of the garment being described, but also increases, decreases or short rows, which I found very helpful. There are no photos of finished garments in the book, which makes it timeless.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 29 Dec 2008
By Ffwl
An absolutely amazing book. It makes garment design clear and simple. Ties in well with Elizabeth Zimmerman's books, but if I were only to have one book on design it would be this one
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom from written patterns 8 May 2009
I agree with all the other 5 star reviews. This is not a book for beginners but anyone who has knitted a couple of jumpers could follow the very clear instructions. The possibilities for creative additions and stitch choices is endless and the result is far superior to seamed versions. Every page is packed with useful suggestions and instructions and there is no waffle although it is friendly in style. If I had no other knitting book I would buy this one.
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