I am a knitter who knits in the round more often than not, and I was truly anxious for this book to come out.
It did not disappoint, In fact this book is even BETTER than I had imagined!
Because with all the numbers in this book of sweaters , one can knit sweaters from from a toddler/ child size to a mans size 54!
Additionally,,,what is included in this book are quite a few really pretty patterns for women that were designed outside the numbers box, that are so darn cute that I want to make most of them ( this is NOT a usual thing in pattern books for me)
These designs are good for any age women,, as a side note, I am on the light side of my 50's but my DIL's saw them and liked them also, I think that the difference may come down to fit b/c I do not like negative ease whereas they do~
My personal preferences is 2 inches of ease,not much more than that.
These garments are NOT negative ease garments BTW, but can easily be knit that way if desired~and I will do just that for any design and yarn they happen to pick out for Christmas gifts for them.
There are 300 patterns in this book that are top down knit in the round,,,THEN,( quote) " add in the cardigan options and you've got 600 possibilities, without counting neckline, edging ,color and stitch pattern variations". (!!)
How great is that for those of us that like well fit top down knitting??
I am not kdding you,,this book makes me VERY happy as a knitter!
This means I can knit for EVERY member of the family in any style from seamless yoke, raglan, set in sleeves or saddle shoulder sweaters! Additionally there are some directions for those of us who do like to steek our cardigans . but I still would advise looking into Alice Starmemore's book on Fair Isle for additional info on that. That is the number one book that I refer to for steeking info whether I am knitting Fair Isle garments or not... b/c I do not knit my cardigans in the one piece back and forth method that a lot of fans of top down knitting do,,,, unless I am not knitting w/a cotton yarn( then I am forced to knit back and forth)
If I had to say there would be ONE knitting book of 2012, THIS would be the book to get!
I am especially pleased that many of the guest designed sweaters are using dk weight yarn b/c I have given up "big yarn" of years ago, in favor of a slimmer silhouette and a softer garment for myself. Never fear,,,those of you that use a lot of worsted and beyond, the numbers are there for you also!
Currently I am using fingering weight yarns for my own garments now b/c I need to knit a few dressier well fitted sweater that I can also wear w/ a skirt and boots in winter.
I have given many sweaters from the early years of my knitting that were knit in " big yarns" to charity, and while I do have a stash of big yarns left over, I tend to use then for hats or slippers or throws,,nothing goes to waste in my home. (
ALL gauges start at 7 stitches per inch, and go up to 3 stitches per inch ~ In each and every size, so EVERYONE has tons of wiggle room for whatever they have in their stash or if you fall in love with a yarn that you simply MUST purchase b/c it is so pretty that you simply cannot pass it up, you are covered here!
Then there is the person that combines yarns to get a lovely texture or a spinner that could also benefit this book also.
I LOVE the fact that I can learn all these methods in top down knitting b/c I had been knitting bottom up all my yoked and saddle shouldered sweaters and B/C I am a small person I tend to need a very small shoulder fit so this method works better for me
I always employ this method when it comes to children's knits, b/c I can replace length in sleeves and bottom the following year so much more easily~ This was the real reason I started to learn the top down method in the first place b/c I used to be very comfortable in bottom up knitting before I learned,
For the life of me I cannot understand B Walker's book on these methods b/c her style of writing is not as clear to me say, as EZ's books w/ her well known EPS mehtod.
Armed w/ this book, you can take bits and pieces of what you want to add to create your own flattering look for your particular body shape, b/c we all know what works best on us more than any pattern books does. You cant go wrong w/ a fit as you go way of knitting. No months of hard work on a pieced sweater only to sew up the pieces and see the whole thing look horrible on you! I'm sure we all have a few of those in our closet that never saw the light of day,,,( at least I do)
Included in this fantastic one of a kind book is informattion on how to create the collar you like as well as any neckline you favor, so NOTHING is forgotten in this book!
The ONLY thing I am not so sure about is the way the saddle shoulder is addressed here, b/c when I knit bottom up, I have my " saddle" run into in sleeve and use that as a design element to carry a cable down the entire arm. Here the saddle ends at the edge of the shoulder, and a more set in sleeve look is used which will be a good thing to add to my knitting skills.
What I am staying is this,, WHERE ELSE, can you get ALL the numbers to make SO many sweaters in every size and gauge possible??
This book is simply a gold mine of information and sizes!
I can see NOTHING that could possibly be negative about it in any way at all as I do not knit overly imaginative sweaters for my very conservative dressing husband or sons,
As for the girls if it is pretty and pink/purple, its a go, so I am not concerned about not having actual men's patterns in the book,, all the numbers are right there for that grey yarn he always seems to like~
I am in the process of knitting hats and mittens for 7 children from Ann Budd's first book,,," The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns". I have used that book over and over again in the years that I have owned it.
I can take both these books anywhere with me and never second guess amount of yarn or size.
These books fit quite well into my carry on when I travel.
These books plus your stitch dictionaries(I use Barbara Walkers) = thousands of design /pattern/color/gauge options if you are a top down knitter.
It bears repeating,,,,,this book IMO is THE best knitting book of 2012. Finally(!) I can start weeding out many of my other books that are cluttering up my kntting/ sewing studio!
I hope you all love this book as much as I do!
ETA 8/23/12, One more thing I have just received a book that works nicely w/ this book ( or any other one for that matter) on 211 ways to cast on and cast off,, b/c this really can give a knitter a ton of really great ideas to make any project look more professional,,,,,(or just more fun)~
You normally have plenty of time to consider your cast off when knitting top down, but your cast on( as I am finding out) is equally important,one sweater I am working on calls for a provisional cast on , however I will work a nice row of solid knit b/f I go into any given pattern so there is no chance that top could look wonky in any way at all,,,I wanted to add this b/c it is very important and makes a difference b/w a beautiful handknit garment or a sweater that screams homemade,,,,(,and there is a difference!!) Happy knitting to you all!