Top positive review
43 people found this helpful
A good book to have in your library.
on 8 September 2008
Some of you might know the author from her popular blog, knit and tonic. Ms Bernard is a student of Elizabeth Zimmerman and Barbara Walker, so all her designs are top down, with either raglans or set-in sleeves. For those of you (like me) who can't really get on with either Zimmerman or Walker, this book is a primer - where you get solid directions, techniques to put into play on a pattern, and options that you can apply to personalise the pattern.
The book assumes that you're at least, an advanced learner, so there's no 'how to's here. There's a checklist of things you need to consider when knitting (yarn expense, does the style suit your lifestyle, weight of yarn). Then, the book is divided into sections: raglan, set in sleeves, yoke jumpers, how to make it your own). This book is exclusively women's patterns, mostly sweaters, running from saucy to cosy.
Pattern wise, if you like Ms Bernard's designs from her blog, there are no surprises here. The designs are really cute, with an unpretentious California vibe. The designs are simple, but with little details that make them fun. Like a bit of kid mohair in a neckline for an empire styled top, a cardigan with ribbon threaded through as accent, or ribbing with varying lengths for a top down. In addition, for clothing, most of the designs are done on 3.5-4.5mm needles. There are a lot of dk weight yarns used in this book, so if you have a dk stash like me, it's all good.
A draw back to this book is the act that the patterns aren't indexed, nor is there isn't any indication to pattern levels of difficulty. Some people might like the latter, but it helps to know what you're getting into.
The writing style is engaging, the pictures are sharp, and I can see myself making most of the stuff in the book, if not all. Most of the yarns can be substituted, although a few online british knitting stores may have the brands quoted. I haven't knitted anything as yet, so I don't know if there are any errors.
Update: I am currently using the top down methods in this book to rework a pattern from a sweater from the bottom up. Ms Bernard's instructions are very clear in terms of how you go about doing these things. I'd advise you to research other types of provisional cast on. The one that she's fond of (long tail cast on) is annoying if you're doing over twenty stitches.
Really cute book. Recommended.