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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2004
I really love this book. Its well written and easy to dip into. It also gives a good range of instructions for beginners, teaching both right hand and left hand methods of knitting, a range of cast ons, and what to do when it all goes wrong!
The book makes a good starting point for new knitters, explaining everything really well and even including reviews of other knitting books.
The patterns are also lovely. They are largely aimed at twenty-somethings, and range from the fairly plain that could be made more or less funky by the choice of yarn, to a (rather skimpy) knitted bikini. There are a few patters especially designed for new knitters to get up their confidence, and a good range of smaller projects, as well as a few jumpers. There are a few errors in the patterns themselves, but you'll get this with most knitting books, and corrections are on the books website.
The only reason this doesn't get 5 stars is that because it is American many of the yarns specified cannot be purchased over here. They can of course be substituted, and the patterns include the yardage of the yarn to make this easier. Also, some of the yarns specified are pricey. But still, overall a very good book
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123 of 124 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2004
This is a brilliant book for anyone who is just starting out or is fairly new to knitting. Like the author I had been taught to knit at an early age but gave up fairly quickly due to my lack of co-ordination and terrible results! This gives simple step by step instructions which are easy to understand and will have you knitting like a pro in no time. It also provides a fresh look at knitting in the 21st century. No fuddy duddy old granny jumpers in here. The patterns are funky and practical but even if you don't like them I'd recommend this book as a reference guide anyway.
My only complaint is that the yarn used in the book is available only in the States and the quality and variety seem to be far better than what you can get here. There are on-line knitting stores which can ship items over but obviously its pretty costly.
All in all, an excellent book. If I can knit - so can anyone!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2005
I was taught to knit as a child but didn't have the patience for it and never got beyond your basic stitch. I bought this book a few weeks ago and can have already learned a variety of stitches, how to increase and decrease and have produced one lovely scarf. Trust me, if this book can teach me to knit it can teach anyone! All the directions are straightforward and most of the patterns are pretty cool.
My only gripe is that I've recently become flummoxed by British knitting patterns because some of the terminology is different and americans use different needle sizes. Also as other reviewers have mentioned the patterns in S n B use yarn that isn't readily available in the UK and it's not always clear what a suitable alternative would be.
I still think it merits 5 stars however since it's turned me into a knitting fiend!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2006
I had never knitted before but after getting this book I had made my first scarf within 2 days! I found it very easy to follow and really liked how you were given easy things to make from the beginning - this made me feel as though I was making great progress and gave me motivation to stick with it.
The book explained all about the tools of the trade as well as all the basics and some really funky patterns.
Would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn to knit.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I came to knitting in 'the second wave' when it started to attract interest, but before the deluge of books that we have now.

This book is good for the beginner, in that the instructions are direct, the drawings are sweet and clear, and patterns are simple and inspiring, but not overwhelming. I learnt to cast off (bind off) by using this book. I also learnt how to cast on, and how to tell my knit from my purl stitches.

As much as the patterns will use all American yarns, you can use European yarns as subsitutes.

A con with this book is that the instructions for the yarn over seems to be wrong (I only found out about this when I started to investigate lace knitting as an option).

Also, you might find that the more advanced you get in terms of your knitting, the more simplistic (and even clumsy!) the patterns may seem.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2012
This book hands you all the information you need to start off with, including how to fix your mistakes, which I wouldn't even have thought to search for if I was learning through free internet tutorials. It's very encouraging to be given all this information that you wouldn't have found otherwise. I read the book cover to cover before I started knitting, and definitely had much more confidence in my knitting (and knowledge of yarns) than my friends who learned from the internet. The author does a great job at getting you through the clumsy, dropping-stitches phase, and without this book learning to knit would probably have been much more frustrating.

However, the style of writing made me cringe at times. Every heading has to be a pun, whether it's a good one or not. I feel like the author's trying to be cool, and it gets a bit too much at times.

The other negative I have is that as the book was first published in 2003, the patterns, which make up half the book, are a decade old and completely unwearable. Also, internet resources have advanced a huge amount since then and not only does her "useful links" section have some dead links, it's also missing important websites for today's knitter, such as Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy.

All in all, it's a good beginner's guide to have on your shelf, but only half of the book is relevant. If you're using the other reviews to base a decision on please bear in mind that many of them were written in 2004 when the book was still new!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2004
This book is fantastic! As well as explaining in very simple terms how to start knitting, it also details online resources, such as knitting blogs - I had no idea of the huge knitting community out there. I bought this book because I needed help in casting off (or binding off, depends where you are from), but it's fired me up to try all the various projuects in the book - Wonder Woman Bikini (yes really!) here I come!
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2004
This book is a delight. It gives clear instructions for beginners and the rest of us, including a knitting method called "continental" that I wish I'd learned as a 7-year-old left-hander!
The patterns are lovely although some on the small side for me -nothing I can't fix. I enjoyed the details about the designers and also the fact that the photos are linked to the patterns.
It's disappointing that the yarns specified don't seem to be available over here, although it's easy enough to substitute - the originals seem to have more colour choices though (judging from websites).
The book is also well designed, with clear print, large margins and yummy 50s-style illustrations.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2011
As somebody who had knitted when they were younger but had stopped as a teenager, I had forgotten most of my knitting knowledge and counted myself as a beginner. Therefore I was looking for something beginner-proof and the reviews on here said that this was exactly that.

It wasn't as easy as I had hoped! I can honestly say that this isn't the book for me and I think most beginners would find it quite challenging. I'm sure the patterns etc. would get much easier as I improve but I gave up because it was all too daunting. I'd rate it for those who are above complete beginner-level (i.e. what do I do with this wool?!) and position it at those who are looking for a challenge but who can do the basics.

Another thing to note, UK-ers, is that many of the yarns mentioned here are very hard to get in the UK.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2004
The best knitting book I have ever read! Fantastic patterns and great hints and tips. A brilliant book for the new knitter as it has step by step instructions on how to begin knitting and other techniques. The patterns are some of the best I have seen in a knitting book for years. Also includes lots of information on how to correct your mistakes easily.
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