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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a useful reference book
If you are starting to design your own knitwear this is a useful work of reference. The patterns based on the basic shapes are not fantastic, I don't think I would use them but then that is not why you would buy this, it is a text book written in a chart form that gives all sizes in one sheet. Based on the basic pattern you are then meant to alter & adapt that basic...
Published 18 months ago by grumpya

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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, but disappointingly dated
I'd been so looking forward to receiving my copy of this book, but after comparing some of the stitch counts with patterns I know work in terms of fit for me and for those I knit for (mainly in their teens or 20s) I could see that the proportions were way out compared with designers such as Ysolda Teague, Kate Davies, Stefanie Japel, Melissa LaBarre etc. Several of the...
Published on 4 Sept. 2012 by Nolwenn


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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, but disappointingly dated, 4 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters (Hardcover-spiral)
I'd been so looking forward to receiving my copy of this book, but after comparing some of the stitch counts with patterns I know work in terms of fit for me and for those I knit for (mainly in their teens or 20s) I could see that the proportions were way out compared with designers such as Ysolda Teague, Kate Davies, Stefanie Japel, Melissa LaBarre etc. Several of the 'designer' patterns looked very 80s or 90s in style and although the cover does have echoes of Elizabeth Zimmermann, it doesn't compare with her books in terms of versatility and timeless-ness.

After much thought I returned this book and decided to rely on the relevant numbers in Fitted Knits (Stefanie Japel) and Little Red in the City (Ysolda) and other patterns to design my own.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a useful reference book, 11 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters (Hardcover-spiral)
If you are starting to design your own knitwear this is a useful work of reference. The patterns based on the basic shapes are not fantastic, I don't think I would use them but then that is not why you would buy this, it is a text book written in a chart form that gives all sizes in one sheet. Based on the basic pattern you are then meant to alter & adapt that basic shape, maybe you want to do a lace pattern - so you knit a tension square work out your tension & then find the column that corresponds to your tension & the finished size you want. If you want to alter the shape or the length then it is assumed you can work out how to do that, maybe you want the lower edge wider to make a tunic - then you do the smaller size for the top & the larger size for the bottom. If you are the traditional sort of English knitter who follows a pattern stitch by stitch for every single bit of the pattern then this will drive you nuts!!
If you want to begin designing, maybe to sell patterns on Ravelry, then this book is a useful tool. With practise you will get the knack of following the charts & then your imagination is your only limit. Some patterns work for men as well. I think this book is spoilt by the emphasis given to the variations. In other books by Ann Budd the basic format gets priority or equal billing in the photos, looking at this one you would think all the patterns are for women & many are a bit dated, if the photos were of a plain basic version followed by a variation then I think the book would appeal to more people. My tip is to overlook some of the variations, just use the pattern as a basic format for each basic shape knitted from the top down & let your imagination make the variations
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh yes!! No more sewing!, 26 April 2013
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L. Clarkson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters (Hardcover-spiral)
I am about to complete my first top down sweater knitted fully in the round. It's an Aran.

It fits perfectly. The finish is superb!

The instructions here are clear and easy to follow. They worked first time for me. Mine is a raglan sweater effectively. It has made me think a lot about sweater construction.. questioning a few assumptions I was inadvertantly making. You work back and forwards until you get to knit across the front of the neck - then you knit in the round. Inevitably, the arms fit onto the body perfectly which is harder to manage when sewing.

I worked out that I could use a invisible cast on to make the stitches you cast on under the arm, putting the half to go down the side of the body on a needle holder. Thus I didn't even have to graft under the arms! Result.

If you find it hard to knit with a lot of weight on your needles this may not a technique for you. I have turned the sleeves into the body to make it easier to turn the work. I am about an inche away from doing the bottom ribbed border. I will use a tubular cast off to finish off. That looks fabulous.

This book is one of better knitting books I have purchased recently. I don't regret it at all.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tips, 9 Jan. 2013
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bennieblue (Cardiff South Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters (Hardcover-spiral)
This is a good book. Has some great tips too that I as an experienced knitter would not have thought off. I like most of the patterns and can change them a bit and the colours to make even more of these basic designs. Also will be able to adapt other patterns to top down with this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every circular knitters dream book!, 10 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters (Hardcover-spiral)
I have found this book to be a bible for top down knitting, giving a huge size range for several basic styles that can easily be adapted to a multitude of patterns. With a little imagination & fairly basic knitting skills you can make thousands of garments for every generation. I am a fairly novice knitter, I have only been knitting for just under a year, and I have already knitted 3 garments, 2 kids & 1 adult, in 3 different styles and that is just using the raglan pattern, these 3 were sweaters but I have just started a cable cardigan (my 1st attempt at cables) & I can't believe how well my amateur skills are producing wearable clothing, & it's all thanks to this wonderful book.
The book even has tips and tricks for finishing off, plus suggestions for types of different castoffs, some of which I had never heard of but a quick google produces step by step videos which is also increasing my knitting skills, and the best part of all with top down knitting there is no sewing the pieces together!
I would not be without this book it is fantastic
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value, great present, 25 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters (Hardcover-spiral)
This was a gift for my mother who'd had real difficulties finding knitting patterns for sweaters. It was an even better buy than I thought as it gives instructions for adjusting the neck line and type of sleeve for each sweater as well. She loves it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great guide, 5 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters (Hardcover-spiral)
Pattern instuctions are split into four entities : Seamless Yoke Sweaters, Raglan Sweaters, Set-in sleeve sweaters and Saddle-shoulder sweaters with very analytic instructions and charts for children and adult men and women sizes. There are also a lot of tips and techniques. The way the patterns are written allows you to customize them to your own measures and style so the finished item is going to be unique. The finished items' close up pictures look so perfect that you make you grab your needles and yarn and start knitting one for yourself! I am still a novice with circular knitting but this book opened up my mind and showed me that anything can be done on a circular knitting if you know how to do it. I loved it !!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another 'must have ' book from Ann Budd, 16 Sept. 2012
By 
J. Hales (W Yorks, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters (Hardcover-spiral)
I am a great fan of Ann Budd's Handy books, and decided that this one was worth a try. I have to day I am not disappointed. whilst some of the designs in the book are not perhaps to my taste I know that I will knit many of my 'own designs' from this using the wonderful charts.

Any one wanting a pretty, glossy coffee table book this isn't the one for you. If you want a lifetime of patterns where you can use virtually any yarn, and make your own variations as many times as you want, than this is the one. It should un leash anyone's creativity.

A masterpiece.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Knitters Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters: Basic....., 24 Sept. 2012
By 
C. N. Willis "Carole Willis" (Chester Cheshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters (Hardcover-spiral)
Great book as found more patterns that I would like to knit than many other books. Also great there are multiple sizes and show gauges. Well worth buying
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well organised, 3 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters (Hardcover-spiral)
This is an encouraging little guide book for those of us who prefer our knitting to lead to as little sewing up as possible; after all, we can't all be wonderful seamsters! A boon for those fixing to design their own jumpers and cardis some time soon, with extensive sizing charts, and hints and tips for better fits. Some timeless pieces with a couple of slightly dates ones, but to be honest the really good patterns outweigh the disbenefits of the slightly eighties look on one or two of them, and you can always adjust. This reflects the authors tastes rather than perhaps those of the intended readership so overlook it and you have a really good knitting library staple.
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Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters
Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters by Ann Budd (Hardcover-spiral - 31 July 2012)
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