I was fortunate enough to grow up in my mother’s yarn store, so I was taught at a young age how to knit and crochet. I had access to all the yarn and instruction I could ever want. Not everyone is so lucky to have unlimited guidance, so it can be frustrating when you don’t understand a pattern, stitch or concept. Plus, like many, we could use some brushing up on techniques like finishing finesse, blocking and pattern combining. Thankfully there are craft books that offer guidance on knitting that can be used as references when we need help. Here are a few books I’ve added to my craft book collection that I found immensely helpful.
Vogue Knitting, the Ultimate Quick Reference
The Vogue Knitting, the Ultimate Quick Reference book has recently been revised so we have the latest updated information. It’s divided into 8 chapters, each focused on specific areas.
♥ Basic Techniques
♥ Advanced Techniques
♥ Understanding Instructions
♥ Correcting Errors
♥ Tables and Tools
All stitches, techniques, patterns and how to’s are explained with instructions and colored illustrations and photos. As a visual learner, I find these step-by-step instructions so useful because you can see the process from start to finish. All the guesswork is removed.
Some of the things you’ll learn under each of the chapters are, Basic Techniques: Mosaic knitting, Lace borders and edges, Steeking, Jogless joins and more. Advanced Techniques: Entrelac, Brioche knitting, Loop stitch and more. Understanding Instructions: Schematics, Abbreviations, Symbols and more. Correcting Errors: Dropped stitches, Unraveling, Cables and more. Finishing: Blocking, Grafting or Kitchener stitch, Cleaning and more. Designing: Selvages, Short-rows, Buttonholes and more. Embellishments: Embroidery, Sequence and more. Tables and Tools: Knitting needles sizes, Crochet hook sizes and more.
Plus, the back of the book has a built-in ruler and needle gauge. It’s a fantastic how-to and reference book and a must-have for any crafter.
Finishing School, a Master Class for Knitters
Ever notice how some knitters have beautifully finished garments? Well, it’s most likely because they have made swatches and mastered their finishing techniques. Finishing School, a Masters Class in Knitting will walk you through all the detailed steps needed to make your garment look well tailored with a flawless finished. It’s divided into 6 educational chapters that feature full-color photos and illustrations. These include:
♥ Finishing 101
♥ Blocking Basics
♥ Seaming Seminar
♥ Edging Intensive
♥ Extra Credit: Buttons, Zippers, Pockets & More
♥ Continuing Education: Special Fishing
If you’ve always disliked or avoided learning finishing techniques, this book will inspire you to upgrade your skills or dive in to learn them properly. No one wants to walk around in lumpy, uneven or sloppy knitted garments that look homemade by newbies.
Here are some of the skills you’ll learn in this book. Chapter 1, Finishing 101 covers Schematic drawing, Swatching and more. Chapter 2, Blocking Basics includes tools, methods plus a case study and workshop. Chapter 3, Seaming Seminar includes joining shoulders, vertical seams, 3 workshops and more. Chapter 4, Edgings Intensive covers Picking Up Stitches, Types of Edging, 2 workshops and much more. Chapter 5, Extra Credits coves Getting closure, Buttons, 2 workshops and more. Chapter 6, Special Finishing covers Alterations, Incorporating other fabrics, 5 workshops and more.
I found the workshops very educational and helpful. They use color photography so you can see the steps they are teaching. The workshops also demystify a lot of confusion with clear instructions and guidance. Plus, there are Cheat Sheet and Life Lesson tips on the sidebars to further your skills.
Each of the featured workshop garments has their patterns at the back of the book so you can create each project yourself. By the time you go through all the chapters, you’ll have learned so much to be able to create your own well-finished basic to custom couture garment. It’s a wonderful resource for those looking to further their knitting skills and techniques.
6000+ Pullover Possibilities
6000+ Pullover Possibilities will teach you how to create customized knitted sweaters. If you’ve ever searched through pattern after pattern looking for that perfect sweater, but there was always something off, like the neckline or sleeves, then this book is for you. You will learn to construct a customized sweater with personalized details right to you.
This book is divided into 6 chapters that cover pieces of a sweater. They are Backs, Fronts, Sleeves, Neckline Treatments, Edges, and Pockets. Each of these chapters expand to offer variations or modules of each garment piece. For instance, under the chapter Back, there are five different ways to create a back for your sweater, and they are created in separate modules. The same is true for each chapter. Style variations for each piece of the sweater are created in modules. So, to customize your sweater, it’s a matter of choosing a module from each chapter to create your garment.
To make the ideal garment, you’ll be walked through the ten steps needed to guarantee a perfect customized fit.
1. Choosing your yarn
3. Sweater silhouette
4. Arm construction
5. Choose a sleeve
6. Choose your neckline
7. Choose a neckline treatment
8. Choose an edge treatment
9. Add extra details
10. Choosing a size from XS to 4X
Each step is explained with easy to follow charts, colored illustrations and photos and easy to understand instructions. Flip to the back of the book and you’ll find examples of sweaters with various module combinations for you to recreate. You’ll also find abbreviations, knitting and finishing techniques, and sweater assembly at the back of the book. Pullover Possibilities is another must-have resource for the avid knitter.
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