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Sweater Design in Plain English Paperback – 15 Oct 1990


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (15 Oct. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312051646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312051648
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 2.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Maggie Righetti, a certified knitting and crochet instructor, is the author of Knitting in Plain English, Crocheting in Plain English, and Universal Yarn Finder. She lived in Atlanta, Georgia, where she ran her own knitting design company.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By jazzy pom VINE VOICE on 10 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are books out there for us inquistive knitters: those of us who are content with buying pattern books and working from them - but want to be savvy enough to know when their tech writers were wrong, or when the devil's printer is acting up.

This book is such a book: you may not want to do your own design, but it is important to know the principles behind said design, so you can alter the garment as you go on, to make the pattern suit your specific needs, and not the generic constraints of measurements that the designer has to work with.

For starters, Righetti writes in plain English. It is a big deal, believe me. Then, to add to that, the tone is encouraging, never patronizing (in the way Zimmerman can be at times). The author is one who believes in swatching, doing classes in figure drawing, and other things that on the surface of it, does not seem connected to the craft of knitting, but will only enrich your knitting skills when done well.

Righetti speaks about different types of bodies, and how to knit for said body (I'm a pear shape, so it was helpful to me) as well as what sorts of styles and knits to avoid. She is of the opinion that knitting in pieces are an invaluable tool in learning design, as well as knitting in the round. Righetti speaks of the importance of body measurements and gives you directions on how to do them and get the right fit. This is important. For example, if your upper arm is 10 inches around, and your pattern schematic gives you 12 inches for the upper arm, you'll need to pay attention to your decreases in order to avoid an unintentional baggy sleeve.

Righetti also speaks about how to do set in sleeves so that you can knit them downward from the armhole instead of from bottom up.
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75 of 76 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Jan. 1998
Format: Paperback
I am an intermediate knitter who has been stifling my own creativity by knitting from commercial patterns for years. I have no knitters in my family, and taught myself to knit from books and help from art teachers in junior high school. Maggie Righetti is the knitting grandmother I never had, and always wanted. She has a wonderful sense of humor and a no-nonsense attitude of playfulness that cuts through the mystery and fear associated with design. Her first chapters are about the psychological barriers that keep knitters from taking control of their own craft, and this good-natured lecture is truly inspiring. Then she talks about the design issues and challenges associated with designing for REAL bodies of all types. Her attitude toward the fact that many people are bigger than the commercial designers assume, and that proportions can differ from that standard, but can still be beautiful, is refreshing. It's even--dare I say it--feminist! Righetti tells us to choose yarn that inspires us, then knit swatches with a variety of stitches and patterns. The swatch is not just to check gauge, but to let the yarn "tell you what it wants to be." Some may find this silly, but it has helped me to let my creativity go, and I am now working with a beautiful, inspiring purple mohair that told me it wanted to be a short-sleeved evening sweater with simple lines. The yarn didn't want anything fancy to upstage it (as if that was possible). My only complaint with the book is that the practice sweaters given are not the most stylish, and as many design techniques are taught in the context of these sweaters, it can be difficult to find a technique you want to use if you don't go through each of the design projects in detail. I highly recommend this book, and plan to check out her other books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr. S. Tollerton on 10 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
If you only get one book on sweater design, get this one. It has lots of excellent explanation in straightforward, down-to-earth language. Virtually every type of construction is discussed. Very very good.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great book and very informative. A must for someone wanting to write and understand structure. The images are very old fashioned but the information is easily applied to any shaped garment and simply explained.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 25 reviews
153 of 153 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book to feed the creative spirit! 25 Jan. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am an intermediate knitter who has been stifling my own creativity by knitting from commercial patterns for years. I have no knitters in my family, and taught myself to knit from books and help from art teachers in junior high school. Maggie Righetti is the knitting grandmother I never had, and always wanted. She has a wonderful sense of humor and a no-nonsense attitude of playfulness that cuts through the mystery and fear associated with design. Her first chapters are about the psychological barriers that keep knitters from taking control of their own craft, and this good-natured lecture is truly inspiring. Then she talks about the design issues and challenges associated with designing for REAL bodies of all types. Her attitude toward the fact that many people are bigger than the commercial designers assume, and that proportions can differ from that standard, but can still be beautiful, is refreshing. It's even--dare I say it--feminist! Righetti tells us to choose yarn that inspires us, then knit swatches with a variety of stitches and patterns. The swatch is not just to check gauge, but to let the yarn "tell you what it wants to be." Some may find this silly, but it has helped me to let my creativity go, and I am now working with a beautiful, inspiring purple mohair that told me it wanted to be a short-sleeved evening sweater with simple lines. The yarn didn't want anything fancy to upstage it (as if that was possible). My only complaint with the book is that the practice sweaters given are not the most stylish, and as many design techniques are taught in the context of these sweaters, it can be difficult to find a technique you want to use if you don't go through each of the design projects in detail. I highly recommend this book, and plan to check out her other books.
119 of 121 people found the following review helpful
An excellent book 14 Sept. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I first bought this book, my knitting experience was not matured enough to appreciate the depth of the information contained in this book. To be honest, I was even dissapointed since the style of sweaters shown was not stylish, the models wearing them were not stylish commercial models. The book is full of English text and has no eye-candy photos. So it had been sitting in my bookshelf for almost one year,I even thought about selling it.
One Saturday afternoon, out of boredom, I decided to pick it up to read, laying on the bed. I could not believe that I could not discover the wisdom that the authour generously shares with us. My knitting knowleadge by then has grown to understand the authour's intention. Most of us do not have perfect bodies so that we need skills to knit to fit better. The models shown are real people with real mesurements! The sweaters are simples ones knitters tend to come back after ellaborately ornamented commercial patterns, which are often too-stylish to wear everyday.
All these knitting skills for size-manipulation were right there in her book at my hand. I looked for those informaiton here and there scattered in many other books, but most of the time I could not find them in any where. For example, how to plan bust darts by short-rowing were something I always wanted to know.
Her charting system is good model to copy. Math for knitting is well explined. If you can draw it and can do the math part of it, you can knit it. The price is very generous for the wealth of information contained. Probably, no color photos, no expensive commercial models have contributed greatly to its price. I am grad she made the book easy access to many people.
I would reccomend this book to intermidiate to advanced knitters.
86 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Not just for would-be designers! 14 April 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I checked this book out of the library since I am fascinated with the idea of designing my own sweaters. But this book offers much, much more. It teaches the basics of color, it tells what colors work for you and why. Then there is a section on figure types. What sweater designs flatter and which do not. And the chapter does not have just the usual hour glass, pear, top heavy distinctions, there's the rectangle, the triangle, the oval, the tiffany diamond.... It is almost garanteed the you will find your body type in the list.
The first part alone is worth the price of the book but there are many other lessons to offer. As mentioned before, most of the sweater projects are not very stylish (though I did like the sweater designed to use up left over yarn) but the lessons offered are sound.
As usual for Maggie Righetti's books, the writing style is chatty and fun filled with anecdotes and nuggets of wisdom that can only come from a veteran knitter.
My only real complaint about this book is that it often refers to information found in the author's previous book Knitting in Plain English. I suggest buying both books. (You'll want the other one anyway after reading this book.)
This book is a must for any knitter who wishes to design sweaters but it is also an excellant course in dressing well and in adjusting knitting patterns. Also, it is a good look at advanced knitting techniques. This book is hours worth of knitting lessons condensed in a convenient package. Worth every penny!
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
great book! 18 April 2001
By Angela - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after I read "Knitting in Plain English". It is a great book. It helped me get over my fear of actually making a sweater. And though I didn't use any of the patterns in the book they did help me when I wanted to a make a certain sleeve or vary the neckline. It is a great reference book for anyone tired of following patterns that don't quite look right.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Phenominal! 27 July 2005
By Su - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is amazing! I'm not even completely through the first section and I find that it's been well worth the money. Even if you never plan on designing your own sweaters this book is worth reading. The explanations of how the various factors such as body shape, 'standard' measurements and the drape of different yarn types affect the finished project will help anyone improve on the fit of even published patterns as well as improve your satisfaction with the final product.

Buy it, you won't be disappointed!
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