Top critical review
27 people found this helpful
Don't judge a book by it's cover - nowhere near as useful as it looks!
on 25 November 2011
I bought this on the basis of having seen "Aran knitting" in a bookshop by the same author, and hoped it would be to the same standard (eg a lengthy description of the history of fisherman's sweaters, lots of interesting designs, and so on).
I doubt I'll be making many (or any of) these designs. Why?
1) most patterns - with the exception of the one shown on the front cover, are in very dark and muted colours so it is almost impossible to tell what the design is. The models' poses also make it very difficult to see the pattern.
2) The patterns are knitted in the round which is the traditional method for guernseys - not my preference but it's simple enough to convert this type of pattern to a normal one for those knitters who can't abide knitting in the round! But most of them have shoulder strapswhich are knitted separate to the sleeves - strikes me as fiddly and therefore couldn't possibly be traditional (not according to my copy of Gladys Thompson's "Patterns for Guernseys, jerseys and Arans"). It greatly improves the fit where there isn't neck shaping - but would be simpler and faster to just put in some neck shaping (again, something which advanced knitters could do fairly easily)
3) The patterns are given in only one or two sizes (either men's or lady's, but not both). The patterns have plenty of ease, and are HUGE - they would completely drown out my small frame. Not being able to see the finished pattern clearly makes it difficult to design them smaller. Some patterns are only given in a single child's size (generally HUGE, but not quite large enough for me)
4) the necks are HUGE - as per the cover photo, they are almost all shown with the model wearing a scarf.
5) The patterns are almost exclusively using her own wool - no suggestion for subsitutes
I'm keeping it as a source book for ideas and techniques, to pair up with my Gladys Thompson book. And to remind myself not to buy books on impulse again!