So, I consider myself to be a pretty crafty person - no, no not sneaky, but in the creative sense. I've mastered many an art, but knitting is the one craft that continues to elude me. And it just makes me more determined.... So when I saw The Knitting Book by Frederica Patmore and Vikki Haffenden, I knew I had found the book I needed.
I think (know) some of my past failures have been based on ignorance. It's all well and good to be told that you need an acyclic yarn for this buy this size of needle, but I want to know why and what alternatives I have. The Knitting Book has it all! In glorious, glossy colour with lots and lots of detail.
It starts off with basics - I had no idea there were so many types of yarn available beyond the basic wool - bamboo, soy protein, ribbon, cottons and more. (Even using wire, plastic and fabric!)And a description of needles and where and why they should be used. And embellishments - ribbons, beads and buttons.
And on to the basic techniques - almost 20 pages on different casting on methods. Very clear and concise instructions with detailed photographs that make it look really easy. Tons and tons (okay really only 250!) of various techniques are covered in the same careful detailing - from the simple knit and purl to Fair Isle, circular, felting, how to read patterns and so many more.
Also included are glossaries detailing stitch patterns with instructions and pictures as well as how to finish your project, sew it together, embellish and care for it.
And projects! Lots of choices - from a simple scarf, to more involved hats, mittens, socks, tea cosies, bags, baby gifts etc. And much as I might imagine that I could whip up a quick dozen pairs of mittens for gifts for Christmas, it's not going to happen. But I am thinking I could whip up a few cute little egg cozies to get my feet wet. Stay tuned to this space for progress photos!
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Dorling Kindersley publishes the best reference books. They're substantial, chock full of detailed information. But I am a visual learner, so it is the clear, colour, detailed photographs I appreciate the most.
If you've got a crafter on your Christmas list, I'd definitely recommend The Knitting Book.