While many are unhappy with the long bout of frigid and frosty weather we’ve been having, I’m loving it and cheerfully taking advantage of it. It affords me more time to work on all of the craft projects I have on the go. I’ve been addicted to knitting and crocheting for most of my life, and I don’t see that changing … ever! I find both relaxing and very enjoyable. I’m always eager to learn new tips and techniques and try out new patterns, which is why I was thrilled to get two new knitting books from DK Books. They’re filled with an abundance of projects for both the novice and experienced knitter.
The Knitting Book
I am in love with The Knitting Book. It’s a beautifully illustrated guide that will help crafters improve their knitting skills with beginners, intermediate and advanced techniques and stitches. Each technique and stitch is clearly explained with colorful photos, step-by-step instructions and graphs were applicable.
The Knitting Book is divided into 5 categories – Tools and Materials, Stitch Pattern Gallery, Techniques, Projects and Stitch Patterns. Before you can be successful with any knitting project, you need to have the right tool and know the difference in the types of yarns and wools available. The first section runs through all the natural fibers, synthetic fibers, yarn blends, specialty yarns and unusual yarns. Today you find patterns calling for some of the most uncharacteristic mediums like plastic bags, string, jelly yarn, wire, cording and even fabric. You’ll also learn knitting symbols, yarn weight, knitting needle sizes, circular needles and other specialized equipment you’ll need to get started.
The Stitch Pattern Gallery features colorful swatch photos of a vast array of different knitting stitches. These stitches are broken up into different groups like Knit and Purl, Lace Stitches, Cable and Twist, Colorworks, Edges, Beading Stitches and several more.
The Techniques section is the heart of the book and is so impressive. It’s divided into numerous subcategories and covers so much information. With colored photos, it shares more than 250 key techniques that are useful, practical and just may simplify your project. We may know how to cast on stitches, but have you tried it with a crochet hook? They also share repairing, joining, slip stitches, increasing and decreasing, edging, shaping, pockets, buttonholes, steaming and so much more.
The Projects section offers patterns for thirty-nine different projects from easy to more advanced. Each pattern shows the difficulty level, finished size, gauge, and the yarn and needles required. There are a few pop-up tips that will help you finish your project successfully.
The last section, Stitch Patterns, offers instructions for the stitches featured in the gallery. Some just have written instructions, while others have graphs. The Knitting Book is a compendium that no knitter should be without. It’s invaluable!
Winter Knits Made Easy
Winter Knits Made Easy is a beautiful pattern book that features 40 different easy to make projects. It’s divided into several sections, Babies and Toddlers, Children, Women, Men, Home, Tools and Equipment and Techniques. Each pattern has one or more colored photos so you see the end result and discern if you want to tackle this project. It also shares the difficulty level, size, gauge, yarn and needles required, and any notions.
The patterns vary with difficulty, but with a little practice, they can be accomplished by all skill levels. The Techniques section at the back covers all the how-to’s from how to hold your needles to creating short rows to knitting intarsia. The colored photos are great visual instructors and combined with the easy to follow step-by-step written instructions, you’ll be on your way to mastering your knitting abilities.
You’ll also learn the different yarn fibers, including specialty and unusual yarns. Each of these yarns has its own weight which determines what size of needles you’ll need to use. Plus it covers other equipment or gadgets that are quite useful or just make knitting a little easier. I love how well organized this section is. It starts you off with the key techniques and then introduces you to basic and then more detailed stitches and techniques. You can always fall back on these instructions as a reference.
All the patterns are attractive and you’ll just want to dive in and make them all. You can choose from making scarves, hats, mittens, headbands, sweaters, coasters, baskets, blankets, pillow, toys or socks. Each of the patterns has a vivid photo of the finished project along with written instructions. Some of the patterns also include a graph which I enjoy and find easier and faster to follow than written instructions.
Some projects can be accomplished in a day, others may take you weeks or even a month to make depending on your time and your commitment. Winter Knits is a great book to have in your craft library, and you may find yourself referring to it often.
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