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The Handknitter's Yarn Guide: a Visual Reference to Yarn Weights and Fibres Paperback – 24 Feb 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press Ltd (24 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844487504
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844487509
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 736,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Sept 12 If you use yarn this book is an essential purchase. Inside you'll find all the information you need for every weight and fibre, along with photographed swatches to illustrate. Discover at a glance what the yarn's characteristics are, as well as what it's best used for. The Handknitter's Yarn Guide also comes with handy yardage charts so you can calculate how much yarn to buy and avoid having stacks leftover. Knit Today April 12 The 'Handknitter's Yarn Guide' by Nikki Gabriel is such an essential reference book for knitters and crocheters everyone should be issued with a copy when they first purchase yarn. The book is split into sections: Weights of yarn, animal fibres, vegetable fibres, synthetic fibres, textured yarns and finally rare and curious fibres. At the back is all the information you would expect, such as how to decipher yarn labels, needle sizes (and European and US conversions), and how to calculate yarn substitutes. She starts each section with the pros and cons of each fibre, such as wool or angora, and outlines the general qualities. Useful facts are scattered amongst the colourful balls of yarn such as 'it takes one goat four years to yield enough fibre to make one jumper.' You learn how good the stitch definition is for each fibre, how it drapes, its resilience, warmth, how expensive it is and sustainability. For example I learnt from the book that not only is hemp organic, grows freely without pesticides, is warm in winter and cool in summer, is cheap and is in plentiful supply but that it is only available up to a DK weight, can be stiff to knit with but gets softer the more you wash it. This would stop me looking around for a chunky hemp yarn which doesn't exist in the future and I would know to wash it much more than I would normally do after knitting or crocheting. She then outlines the different fibres the primary fibre can be blended with and the general qualities of the mix. Also included is a table for each weight of each fibre so you could see at a glance how much DK hemp you would need for a 38 inch jumper, for example. It even tells you the wraps per inch and recommended needle size. It's fab. The yarn swatches at the bottom of the pages are useful too as you can see exactly how it's knitted up in the picture. I remember feeling so lost when choosing yarn a few years ago. I had no idea what DK or Aran was and kept buying strange balls as a result. In fact I was so ignorant I thought Aran was just meant for knitting fisherman's jumpers! It's no substitute for experimenting with yarn and seeing what you like and what suits your taste but it's certainly an essential yarn bible and one you will check time and time again. It's a great beginner's guide but you will also be challenged and pick up hints and tips if you are at an intermediate or advanced level. sewingisforgirls.blogspot.com Issue 44 This comprehensive book is likely to become the go-to book on your shelf, telling you almost anything you ever wanted to know about yarn weights and fibres, and how to choose the perfect yarn for your project. After a brief overview of yarn weights and their properties and best uses, there is a series of chapters detailing the fibres that make up most yarns found on the market today. The pros and cons of using a particular yarn for a stitch pattern or project are listed, along with general qualities such as stitch definition, durability and drape. Photos of swatches in each yarn give an idea of how it will look in stocking stitch, cables and lace. For us, the most valuable information comes from the excellent tables that explain how much yarn is needed for a particular sized garment. Chest sizes ranging from 86cm to 122cm (34ins to 48ins) are covered, making yarn substitutions easy and clear. Knitter, The May 2012 If you buy just one book this year, make it this one. It collects al the facts, figures and details about yarns. It's an essential reference guide and yarn encyclopaedia for knitters at all levels. It truly is a handbook for every knitter and you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. It includes yardage charts, measurement conversions and advice on substituting yarns. Each yarn is hand knitted in different weights and stitches and the book looks at sustainability issues and the allergens and toxins present in different yarns. Machine Knitting Monthly May 2012 The Simply Knitting and The Knitter teams love chatting about new book releases. This month we're loving The Handknitter's Yarn Guide by Nikki Gabriel. Everything you need to know about yarn weight and fibre type is detailed in this comprehensive guide. It explains each yarn's origins and qualities, it's pros and cons, what kind of fabric it knits into - including which projects are most suitable for each yarn - and how to care for it. It includes unusual yarns, such as camel, soya, bamboo and hemp, but if you're interested in something even rarer, descriptions of the likes of bison, possum, milk protein and nettle yarns are also included. At the back is a reference section with advice on yarn substitutions, and conversion tables for UK and US needles, weights and knitting terms. The glossary contains every knitting word you are likely to encounter. By the end you'll know all there is to know about yarns. Simply Knitting Issue 7 If the idea of substitution (using a different yarn than recommended in the pattern) strikes fear into your heart, this book is going to come to your rescue! It gives a detailed reference for how different types of yarn behave when knit up, including recommended needle size and a rouge guide to how much yarn you'd need to knit a jumper in your size. Even better, each type of yarn has swatch knitted in stocking stitch, cables and lace so you can predict how well the yarn will work for your pattern. Knit Now June 12 There are lots of books on the market containing knitting patterns, but too often the yarn mentioned is not one you can obtain. What can you use instead? What would the item look like if made up in something you already own? What can you do with that job lot of yarn you bought at a craft show? You need a book on yarns to help you out. Here it is, a nice big square format book filled with more yarns than I ever knew existed. They are all broadly grouped as to whether they are animal, vegetable, man made, textured or just plain unusual. Each type of yarn (eg silk, polyester, linen etc) is thoroughly explored. By the time you read the whole section, you ought to have all your questions answered. Find out what it blends well with, how to care for it one made up, its general qualities, sustainability, pros and cons and what it is usually used for. You can discover what needles to use with what ply, weight per ball and gauge tension per a set size of sample as well as the "chest" section, which tells you how much yarn to buy if knitting a top without a pattern per size. If your ball has lost its band, you can even work out how to work with it -- all very useful. Illustrated throughout with helpful photos of the yarns and containing a glossary of terms, a section on calculating substitutes for a yarn you cannot obtain, understanding ball bands, needle sizes and more. There are no patterns in here or knitting know-how; but you can find those in so many other places. If you knit, this is a vital book to own, and the first of its kind I have seen. A useful purchase for anybody who knits, whatever their level of expertise. Myshelf.com Jun/Jul 12 Perfect for those who really want to know their knits. This book is a wonderful compendium of facts, figures and info on a range of yarns, which also offers visual comparisons to show the different effects they create in use. An essential quick reference for every hand knitter at any level which includes a comprehensive encyclopedia of yarns, complete with swatch images and vital information on how best to work with them. Craft Focus

About the Author

Nikki Gabriel is a knitwear and textile designer based in Melbourne, Australia. Aside from designing knitwear, Nikki also designs and customizes yarn and has an active following on her blog http://nikkigabriel.blogspot.com/ and has had her work and designs featured extensively in magazines such as Frankie, Marie Claire, and Inside Out.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is definitely a book I'll be keeping by my side to refer to again and again, wish I'd had it years ago!

As well as being a great reference book for advanced knitters and designers, The Handknitter's Yarn Guide is perfect for those yarn-curious knitters who have often wondered how to go 'off-pattern' and use different yarns to those recommended in the pattern guidelines. In the long-term it will encourage experimentation and confidence in yarn choices, a useful implement in an accomplished knitter's toolkit. The book gives comprehensive information about every conceivable yarn (including blends), plus useful yardage guides ... the key to deciding how much yarn to use for each project (and size).

The comments on stitch definition, drape and project recommendations are essential reading, as are the spec details (relative cost, range of weights and colors), all accompanied by the clear swatch photos showing the yarn knitted up in different stitches: stocking stitch, cable and lace.

Visually I find it incredibly clear and informative, and laid out in a way which makes it ideal for quick reference. Speaking of which, the excellent reference section in the back includes something which has often baffled me in the past: calculating yarn substitutes.

A fascinating guide for any yarn addict - highly recommended.
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i like this book because it talks about yarn from other countries and i can now convert them to an English equivilent
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All the information you need if you are an anachist like me and want to knit up patterns in your own choice of yarn or need to substitute a yarn for allergy reasons.
Well illustrated and logically structured content.
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My wife tells me this is very useful and well written. Not easy to find these limited print books but Amazon comes up trumps again
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