This book works on the principle of knitting a square in your given yarn, working out how many stitches to the inch & then taking a generic pattern & making a jumper that would fit anyone. The basic shapes are the same shapes that most knitting companies would use for their designs, the patterns I have used frequently are the scandanavian style jumper knitted in the round (remarkably similar to E Zimmermans basic pattern but more readable) drop sleeved jumper, & the basic pullover. If you can only follow an english pattern that spells out each row you knit you will struggle with this but if you have imagination & intelligence (which I would assume you have if you wish to design your own) then this is easily followed. After knitting your test square in the stitch you wish to use, you simply follow that column in the pattern book, if your swatch comes up between sizes you are told how to calculate how many stitches you need & how to use the charts. There are several examples of blow by blow patterns also given as examples. This will help you to build confidence. The only points to be aware of are 1. measurements are for finished size not to fit a certain size so you may wish to measure some existing garments to see how much ease you like & is fashionable 2. The illustrations of garments she has produced do in some cases look a bit frumpy, it doesn't mean that what you knit will be frumpy but it may put some people off. On the whole I have found the yarn quantities accurate & useful to copy out & carry round with me at yarn sales, the patterns work & are easy to follow, work for a large range of sizes, I have knitted from a size 28", many 48" & 50" sweaters & one 72" sweater where I simply followed instructions for using the patterns with non standard guages & all turned out great. I have introduced colours patterns & cables to the patterns & now don't bother searching for patterns for normal jumpers, I use this book for 60% of my knitting. If it got lost I would replace it.