Thursday, July 26, 2007

Review: the knitter's handy book of Patterns

Can't find knitting patterns for the size you need? Love a stitch pattern and want to use it to knit something? the knitter's handy book of Patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes & Gauges, by Ann Budd, is the book you need. This hardcover book has spiral-bound pages so it opens flat for easy reading.

There are 8 basic patterns with sizes ranging from a small child to a large man. For each size it provides the number of stitches needed for a variety of gauges, allowing you to knit with the yarn, needles and stitch pattern of your choice.

The introduction explains how to use the charts and how to knit and measure a swatch to determine your gauge. I recommend following the suggestion to copy the pattern and highlight the numbers for your size and gauge.

Each pattern includes a schematic diagram with all the important finished measurements for each size. Quick tips provide helpful hints for knitting the pattern and personal touches suggest things like different ribbings or edge treatments to vary the pattern. I especially like the 6 different hat toppers, because I don’t like pompoms.

The book concludes with a discussion of adding stitch and color patterns to the basic garment patterns, modifying the patterns for other gauges and an illustrated glossary of knitting techniques.

The patterns provided are:

  • mittens,
  • gloves,
  • hats,
  • tams,
  • scarves,
  • socks,
  • vests with a V-neck, and
  • sweaters

The sweater pattern has set-in sleeves and a crew neck. The neck shaping for the vest can be used to create a V-neck sweater. Both the vest and sweater can be made as a pullover or cardigan. For more sweater styles, see the knitter’s handy book of sweater patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes & Gauges, also by Ann Budd.

To make the patterns in this book, you need basic knitting skills including knitting with double pointed needles and / or sewing seams, depending on which patterns you make. the knitter's handy book of Patterns is a very useful book for anyone who can never find a pattern in the size they need and the yarn they want to use.

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