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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The online knitting designer's handbook, 4 Oct 2007
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This review is from: Knitting from the Top (Paperback)
So you wanna be an online knitting desinger? If so, you just need a dollop of creativity, and Barbarba G. Walker's Knitting from the top.

If you actually have this book to hand, and a modicum of creativity (or a few fashion magazines with knitwear to inspire you) you've got it made. Just an initial skim of a raglan topdown one button cardigan reminds one of a popular web blog designer's creation. The only difference is that the latter just throws a rib pattern below the bodice, but it's the basic shape and form (complete with button!)- but with short sleeves instead of long( refer to p. 50, fig. 23).

Or if you want to make a cape/flared jacket, look at pg. 53-54 and you're all set.

It's not cheating per se, because it's a basic shape, but it just goes to show that with this book, you're already quids in on saving money buying the basic topdown patterns online, because Ms. Walker spells it all out for you. Yes, duckie, there is even a way to do topdown set in sleeves. Think of sleeves being the perfect length and having the perfect ease! In addition, the process is very straightforward.

Knitting from the top is only 120 pages long, but oh my, what a lot of information in these pages! There are about 12 chapters, and each chapter covers a basic design element (raglan pullover, cardigan, seamless cape, seamless skirt, sleeves sweaters, pants and caps). Within each chapter, Walker breaks down the principles for you, and doesn't go further than third grade Arithmetic. The secret to shaping is revealed here, and is as simple as pie.

Ms. Walker's writing style is straight forward. She doesn't meander as much as Elizabeth Zimmerman, nor is she as over enthusiastic as Maggie Righetti can be at times. As a result, her prose is clean, and relatively uncluttered. In addition, the are basic diagrams in every chapter which illustrates Ms. Walker's ideas beautifully.

If I had to choose between Knitting from the Top or Righetti's Sweater Design in Plain English, I'd go for Knitting from the Top. Knitting from the top is a much smaller book, but has more bang for the buck and less Math if you're not that inclined.

In addition, there's a simple stitch glossary at the front, about 20 different increases explained on page 20 and a short section on how to chart your own patterns, and how to convert piece knitting into the round.

This is the book that's being quoted by almost every popular knitting blog designer out there, and I can see why. It really allows you to dictate the terms of your knitting.
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