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4.5 out of 5 stars
Circular Knitting Workshop
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106 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2012
I have to say this book is luscious, a sensory delight - from the feel of the paper to the muted, bold colours and big photography, it is equally at home on the coffee table as it is in the knitters library. It has the "organic, recycled" look, touch and smell which is so popular at the moment (if you have ever had an Abel and Cole booklet you'll know what I mean). It would make a stunning gift on looks alone. WARNING: it is not a pattern book, but a text book - it states that very clearly in the text.

As for the content, well I am a beginner knitter, I have very quickly latched onto circular needles for knitting flat and am yet to try knitting in the round or DPNs, hence buying this book. It covers knitting flat/round on circular needles and using DPNs as well as converting flat patterns to the round - with advice as to what type of knitting/patterns can and can't be knitted in the round (and therefore does not include knitting types that isn't recommended in the round, e.g intarsia).

WARNING TO BEGINNERS: you need to already know how to do basic knitting (cast on/off, knit and purl) - this book shows methods for doing these but I can see I would never have been able to learn from scratch with this book, however, I can apply my basic knowledge to work out how to do the other techniques. (I actually learned through an online course at Craftsy and own The Knitting and Crochet Bible: The Complete Handbook for Creative Knitting and Crochet which has a much clearer demonstration of the techniques and I use the DROPS website which has very clear, free demo videos.)

There is plenty of basic information in the first couple of chapters to ease you into everything, then it starts with the projects, so you learn as you knit. The basics include materials, several cast on/off methods, methods for connecting the edges, i-cord, magic loop, using two circular needles (and later the knit two socks at once method), hints, tips and troubleshooting (e.g. avoiding visible jog, twisted stitches). For many techniques, if there are different methods these are all illustrated. Lots of this information is supplemented with bold, clear photos - although sometimes plain, colour-coded diagrams would be easier to follow (these appear in the glossary of terms but aren't as easy as those in the Knitters Bible to follow). As far as I can tell, all terminology is American, but since I download patterns from mostly American sites, its an advantage.

The projects are divided by type (hats - gloves - socks, etc.) then each chapter contains several projects each increasing in difficulty. You can choose to concentrate on one type of item, or you can do the easy project in each category then move up a level. Each project has a clear and full list of yarn requirements/recommendations (including yardage), other materials, gauge, etc. and measurements are always given in both metric and imperial. At the end of the project it then gives variations you could try and advice on resizing patterns.

Another CAUTION, the projects are not full sized patterns, this is definitely not a pattern book, its all about learning the techniques. I think this was the appeal for me, apart from loving dinky things, it means you can very quickly learn and cover a technique (e.g. a top down sweater) without having to buy a lot of yarn or spend weeks on the project. Once that technique is learned you can apply it to a full size pattern or start a new technique. This was what sold the book to me over others teaching circular knitting.

I can't yet comment on the accuracy of the "patterns" etc as I have not completed a project yet (although I have been lucky enough to have had this book a month from another UK seller who released it before Amazon), I can't wait to get started, the difficulty is choosing what to do first!

Conclusion: Even if I never made anything from this book, I love owning it as it is just such a beautiful book, it makes me feel happy just to browse through it. As it is, I have learned from it, I hope to learn a great deal more and it is easy to follow, not as rigid as a textbook, but not overly colloquial, Radcliffe starts to make a point and finishes it without straying. Its a book I'd recommend for the advanced beginner, intermediate and those new to circular needles - and as a gift to your knitter friends!
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2012
This book is not a book of patterns and is the first knitting book that has made me "think" about creating your own patterns from any yarn and for any size. For me, only knitting 5 years or so - this is so refreshing. in the uk so many knitters learn on straight needles and flat pieces - this book breaks the mould for those of us who feel stuck in a flat knit rut and long to escape moutains of sewing seams. There is also a great section on converting flat patterns to circular patterns and the detail within the book is incredible. It is as it says on the cover, a worksop. Projects are varied taking you from a basic scarf, through hats, bags, pot holders, socks, gloves, jumpers, cardigans....and teaching how to create yourself using a choice of methods. Well worth the money.

If you're a knitter on Ravelry too - the author margaret radcliffe has set up a group to help with any queries and for general discussions re the projects. What a brucey bonus eh!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2012
This book is a great book for those who are interested in knitting in the round. Even if you are reasonably experienced at circular knitting, there are lots of great ideas. All the patterns are explained, and she talks about ways to modify them to suit your needs, which is very useful if you like to fiddle with patterns.

However: The kindle edition is rubbish. There are important tables of information that appear as graphics, so are essentially unreadable. The appendix, with all the instructions for various stitches and cast ons, doesn't seem to be viewable on my kindle - I can go to the first page of it, but when I press next-page, I get taken to the end of the book. (I've not had this problem with any other books.)

I've just checked, and it all works fine on an iPad (and the photos are in colour). But the whole point of having a knitting book on a kindle is that it should work on a kindle! Most of the text is fine, sure, but if I'm knitting out and about, I need to be able to read the appendix!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2012
I've been knitting in the round for donkey's years and bought this book to try to expand my knowledge. Wow it's good! Don't be intimidated by it's enourmouse size, it's very well designed and written in a friendly acciaaible manner. There's something in it for everyone and rather than devote whole sections to patterns (which I never knit) it has basic patterns which can be adapted. It's very good for finding tips and ideas to improve your knitting and for working out solutions to those niggling little problems like unwanted laddering. It's now on my 'very useful' shelf!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2012
I bought this book purely so I could learn how to do circular knitting. I think of myself as an advanced beginner, but now I'm well on my way to becoming an intermediate knitter thanks to this gem of a book! Beautifully but simply laid out with great tips, loads of pictures to help guide you and plenty of advice for newer knitters. PLEASE NOTE: The patterns in the book are mini so you can get the basics, but they certainly help you get on to full size projects, as I have now completed my first pair of socks!
A fantastic book, well worth the humble price and indispensable for the budding knitter.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2012
I would recommend this book to new users and experienced knitters alike. It is clear, concise and very user friendly. I wanted new techniques clearly explained and this book delivers.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2012
I really wanted to like this book. The positives - it was a pretty book, nice paper choice and the design was well laid out.

Unfortunately I found the content lacking. The approach to knitting in the round was very, very basic and felt it didn't really address some of the more complex issues/techniques (garter in the round using slip stitch??? Considerations of when to knit in round and when you need the structure of seams with yarn weights/types, etc.). The patterns supplied were also very basic and felt a bit outdated.

I was let down by what could have been a really interesting book concept, but ended up being ...meh, as the concept wasn't pushed far enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2013
This book is going to require some serious time devoted to it, but I can see it's going to yield big dividends. It covers every conceivable aspect of circular knitting, from casting on to finishing off, with lovely clear illustrations and photos to back up the text. It's not primarily a book of patterns - patterns there are, but they are mostly for small items such as hats or doll-sized sweaters. The emphasis is on teaching techniques rather than simply providing patterns. And what a lot of techniques there are! I have knitted a number of circular garments now, but I can see I have only scratched the surface of the huge possibilities which circular knitting offers. This book is a fantastic addition to my technical library, and I can see myself returning to it often. Worth every penny.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2012
I found this book amazing, the instructions were precise the projects mean that I can fully achieve what I set out to do.
This book is addictive I was very impressed
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2013
I've been knitting for years but have never got to grips with circular knitting so thought it was about time I gave it a proper go. This book is the perfect intro - I found it really useful.
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