Top positive review
30 people found this helpful
A well presented book for the beginner.
on 19 August 2010
I already had another Erika Knight's book and was happy to get my hands on this one. It didn't disappoint. The book sets out to be a primer, containing the information you need to start knitting and it is just that.
The sections are laid out clearly; a materials and techniques chapter has 34 pages of clear photos and diagrams showing all the basic stitches and skills needed in the book, from casting on to ladder seams, while another 20 pages have the most useful stitches laid out with photos of tension squares clearly showing what they should look like. The projects range from the very basic garter stitch scarf to what is described as a timeless cardigan and all the instructions look clear and concise. Like Dumbledore, I enjoy reading knitting patterns but due to (ahem) time constraints in the summer holidays haven't yet managed to make any of the projects. Come the long winter evenings, though, I can see that my needles will be busy casting and cabling through.
Although Erika is a fan of quality yarn, she does understand that budgets don't always allow for cashmere. I love the very basic idea of a rag bag, literally a bag that she knitted from shirts cut into strips. I'm already eyeing my husband's ghastly maroon number as a possible, along with the jade one he has had since our marriage (17 years and counting) and wondering what he would say about the result (Nice bag? This old thing? I've had the material in the house for years)
The projects are mostly accessories and household items, a round cushion, throws with blocks and stripes, a cable hot water bottle cover that is just soooo Dahhling! Most are in wool or cotton, one is in silk, but the weight of the yarn is always clearly stated and substitutions would be easily made. Like a lot of fashion and homewares the book has a limited colour palette, mostly beige, cream, charcoal and brown, but personal preference would alter the appearance of the items.I'd love a deep red hottie cover, just in time for Christmas.
The writing is clear and concise, the photographs are a dream to look at, with projects presented in situ and studio. It won't look too out of place left nonchalently open at a page, much better than the creased middle pages of Woman's Weekly.
If I have a criticism of the book, it is only this; that the colourwork section projects leap from a colour block throw through a 2 colour Fair Isle pattern from a chart and finally into a really complex intarsia knit tea cosy with 11 colours of wool and a chart with a key. It's just too far a jump from the Fair Isle, and I wonder if a simpler introduction to intarsia wouldn't have been better. But that's nit-picking, and I'm sure that any reasonable knitter would substitute a different pattern for the complex one, I could imagine a really effective heart pattern would have been possible. Think I'll go look for my red and blue wool.... if you want me, I'll be by my fireplace frantically knitting....