Top positive review
53 people found this helpful
Nice designs and good techniques
on 7 October 2010
I was expecting a book that dealt with various top-down construction methods for sweaters and cardigans and I was a bit disappointed when I first went through the book because it deals mainly with set-in sleeve construction with only one example of kimono sleeve construction. It doesn't cover any other type of garment construction. Having said that, the set-in sleeve construction is probably the most flattering one of the lot so I can understand where the author was coming from.
The patterns provided are:
6 dresses; 7 sweaters/cardigans; 4 hats; 2 arm warmers; 2 skirts; 1 cowl; 1 belt; 1 pair of slippers; 1 wrap; 1 jewellery.
I can understand how you have dresses, sweaters, skirts and even the hats in a book called Modern Top-Down knitting. But arm warmers, cowls, belts, slippers and jewellery? And, honestly? A top-down wrap? Definitely filler patterns that could have been replaced with designs that did what it says on the tin.
You may be forgiven for thinking I didn't really like this book and wonder at the four stars. I do like it. I like it a lot. This is the first time I've written a review on a knitting book, that's how much I like it. The patterns are modern, but not so much so that they'll date quickly. They can all be adapted to suit you and your body shape. The yarns used are American but you can used the yarn search facility on Ravelry or Yarndex to find a substitute yarn available here. Even the patterns that I don't think should be in the book are generally nice. The stitch pattern used on the wrap is interesting and the arm warmers show you how to do tucks.
The sections at the front and back of the book are very good and cover the main techniques needed for really well fitting top down garments and finishing. The tips throughout the book on finishing are really good. After all, if you don't need to sew seams, why not use the time saved to bind your hems to give a fantastic finish to something you've spent a long time working on? The book is printed on good quality paper and is well laid out. There are full schematics of the garments if knitted as written.
All in all a very good book. The garments are sized from x-small to x-large or 2x-large so don't let the mega skinny models used in the pictures put you off (Author and Publisher should take note - we like to see how things look on really women not just unbelievably skinny models.) For the first time ever I'm considering investing the time in making a knitted dress.