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4.8 out of 5 stars50
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 10 September 2013
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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on 4 September 2012
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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on 9 January 2013
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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on 11 September 2013
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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on 26 April 2013
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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on 25 January 2013
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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on 5 January 2013
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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on 16 September 2012
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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on 24 September 2012
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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on 5 December 2014
Just finishing my 1st. garment following the instructions in this book and I love the concept of this book and the knitting technique it describes. The instructions are clear and concise and the charts are understandable; they cover 15 sizes from small child to large man. I've called a recipe book because that's what it is. The instructions invite personalised design of the garment to suit the needs and age of the wearer, the choice of the yarn and all the other factors you think about when approaching making a handmade garment. The spiral binding is a great asset when following the instructions and overall this is a great resource book for the textile enthusiast.
Will I use this book again undoubtedly as other members of my family have made their requests. I won't need to buy yet more paper patterns instead I'll buy the yarn of choice, make the swatch decide on the size I need and get going!
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