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Knitting Techniques: 1 (The Harmony Guides)
Knitting Techniques: 1 (The Harmony Guides)
by Harmony Guide
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good for the beginner and / or someone who wants to move away from patterns, 9 April 2008
I read this from a position of being an `inexperienced knitter', i.e. I know how to knit and have knitted a few garments from patterns a long time ago and am now branching out without patterns. I bought this volume because I was impressed with volume 3 - 440 More Stitches -and I wasn't disappointed. I thought it was very good book indeed and most helpful. It starts from the position that you don't know anything, but it doesn't stay at that level, i.e. it's not written for complete dummies - it's written for people who can pick up the basics and then progress (e.g. it has how to do cable patterns). It explains useful things such as how different methods of decreasing slope to the left or right. Most of the pictures are very clear (and are needed in one or two instances when, particularly towards the end of the book, less instructions are given or they are a little ambiguous).

The book is almost exactly what you need if you don't want to follow a pattern, but it doesn't quite go far enough for that. E.g. it describes different shoulder / arm patterns and how they fit together, and it describes what kind of knitting produces a shaped shoulder, but it doesn't give an indication / guide to how you might calculate / estimate the shape / angle of the shoulder part given the arm measurements of the person it's intended for, or where the widest part of the arm is likely to be etc.

The references to other pages are often inaccurate by 2 pages; it's usually pretty clear what page it's talking about, but it's not good from a quality point of view (there are also a number of typos). However, I gave the book my own rating of 9/10 and have found it invaluable. I would also imagine that there are parts that are quite valuable even to the experienced knitter because it describes WHY a pattern does what it does.

The following is a list of 7 things I thought either that it missed that I would have benefited from knowing or things that were explained later in the book. 1) How DO you sew in loose ends? A picture would have been nice because although it describes it, it doesn't answer questions such as whether you sew in ends up the rows at the edge or across the rows; 2) Related to the previous point re loose ends - what is the difference between `weave in' at the back and `run them into a seam'? - again a picture would have been nice. How to sew in loose ends is the only really basic thing it doesn't describe well; 3) It doesn't explain what `ribbing worked in opposite directions' means and the pictures aren't immediately obvious, though from them you can work it out easily enough; 4) What are `yokes' on sweaters and jackets? - I presume it's not a knitting term, and I think it might mean that T shape at the back of garments but I'm not sure - again a picture would have been nice, especially as the term is used several times throughout the book; 5) Similarly, what is a `welt' (p.40, 69) and a `heading' (p.69)? - I gathered from reading the book that the welt is the rib bit at the bottom? - again they are terms used more than once; 6) It talks about `crossed around' yarns on p. 39 but doesn't tell you what it means by that till p.56. Similarly, it instructs you on p.50 to `cross the yarn over' but doesn't describe how to do this till p.54; 7) It doesn't make it clear when giving an overview of cable on p.40 that you need to work on the `back' of the stocking stitch (at least for the cable pattern part) - it concentrates instead almost entirely on that part of the cable that crosses over. It is, however, very good at explaining how cable stitches affect tension and how to combat that in your work. 9/10


440 More Knitting Stitches: 3 (The Harmony Guides)
440 More Knitting Stitches: 3 (The Harmony Guides)
by Harmony Guide
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but occasionally not quite enough information, 4 April 2008
Very good; it is well laid out, has a brief overview / reminder of the basics, clear coloured pictures to show you what the pattern looks like and good instructions how to do it. It mainly concentrates on cable and lace patterns though it also has knit and purl patterns, rib patterns and patterns for texture and colour as well as a few edging patterns. My main quibble is that the instructions don't always contain quite enough information, e.g. on the `reversible stocking stitch' it doesn't tell you how you get into the position of having two colours on your needles, i.e. do you cast on the colours alternately (if so, how), or do you cast on all of one colour and then all of the other? Volume 1 gives a better indication (though isn't very clear when it comes to two colours) - the picture (for both volumes) indicates that you cast on in one colour only. 8/10


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