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 Best Book for Beginning Sweater Knitter
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JoliGee
Chatty Knitter

223 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  07:21:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit JoliGee's Homepage Send JoliGee a Private Message
I'm hoping you kind KR members will help me find the right book. Here's the setup: I am ready to knit my first sweater. I have good basic skills and have completed quite a few small projects. I love knitting with circulars, even when I have to knit flat. I have mastered knitting small circumferences on two circulars (due to my complete failure to knit on DPNs). I want to use either Malabrigo merino or some other softee using about a size 9 needle (or smaller). I can follow a pattern pretty well.
Based on that info, what would be the best choice? I am intrigued by The Sweater Workshop (By S Fee) but I see so many reco's for Ann Budd and Elizabeth Zimmerman, etc. Please help before I plunk my money down blindly and buy them all!

ceecee
Permanent Resident

1896 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  08:27:49 AM  Show Profile Send ceecee a Private Message
You may want to check the knitting section of your local library first for the books you mentioned, as well as Sally Melville's books or the Family Circle Easy Knitting series . You can determine if the instructions seem clear and if the patterns are appealing. A good yarn store will have some books and lots of single patterns for browsing, and provide you with suggestions and advice. The single patterns only cost around $5 so it's a good first buy. I like the Knitting Pure and Simple ones because they are made in the round and do not require seaming.
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JoliGee
Chatty Knitter

223 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  08:40:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit JoliGee's Homepage Send JoliGee a Private Message
Alas, my local library's idea of knitting books is "Knitting Patterns of the Forties," a classic surely but a little dated. I might have better luck browsing at a LYS. Is the Family Circle Easy Knitting Series a series of single patterns, or are they collected in a book? Would it be too much to ask a LYS proprietor to reco a pattern based on the info I suppled above?
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Diva Ree
Gabber Extraordinaire

537 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  09:08:34 AM  Show Profile Send Diva Ree a Private Message
Have you checked around online for patterns? I know Berroco.com has a free section and there's a link to look at beginner projects, or sweaters, etc. They also show you all the patterns in the books you can get at the LYS. Lionbrand.com and some of the other craft store yarns also have websites that tell you if a pattern is easy or advanced.

Look at your yarn labels, a lot of them have websites where you can look at patterns that are free or for purchase. Sometimes, the sites will direct you to a magazine, book, or LYS to get a pattern shown on the site.
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twiggyann
Gabber Extraordinaire

427 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  10:10:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit twiggyann's Homepage Send twiggyann a Private Message
I absolutely love The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee for knitting sweaters in the round. It taught me, a new knitter, a lot of skills. The styles are limited to raglan or drop shoulder, but there are several different necklines. With it I have been able to think beyond a pattern and change what I didn't like on one pattern to make it one I would wear.

I still tend to stick mainly to someone else's pattern but I can tweak now.

Lesley

Twig's Knitting Blog
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JoliGee
Chatty Knitter

223 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  1:45:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit JoliGee's Homepage Send JoliGee a Private Message
I do like the idea of tweaking. I think I may have to get the Fee book.
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Atavistic
Permanent Resident

6604 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  2:00:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit Atavistic's Homepage Send Atavistic a Private Message
I can't believe nobody's mentioned Sweater Design in Plain English.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312051646/qid=1134852695/sr=8-3/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i3_xgl14/002-1334428-6562420?n=507846&s=books&v=glance

If you're just looking for a pattern, go to LionBrand.com or Knitty.com or Elann.com and get a free one. But if you're looking for a book about how to choose sweaters to knit, this is the book.

I have A LOT of sweater design books. Let me tell you why I think this is the best one for a new sweater knitter:

She has a whole section on the benefits and problems of each fiber, about why reverse st st and plain st st drape and sit differently and--BEST OF ALL--about how to choose and use colors, about proportions and how to choose the shape that's best for the body you're knitting for. This section alone is worth the money.

She arranges the sweaters from easiest to hardest, and details WHY the sweaters look good on certain people and horrible on others! (The boatneck, drop-neck sweater seems to be a popular first sweater but it looks bad on most people.)

She gives the METHOD of making sweaters using your own measurements and gauge, so if you have any bit of a yarn stash, you probably won't need to buy more.

She has neck-down raglan-sleeved worked-in-the-round sweaters, cardigans, and coats, as well as flat worked pieces.

She has information on necklines (again, who do they look best on, who do they not work so well for) and charting your own styles.


Problems? She doesn't go much into how to design and chart set-in sleeve sweaters, but frankly, MANY books are missing that.

If you were interested in designing sweaters for sale, I'd tell you to go with The Knitter's Guide to Sweater Design, but I think the cost and level of that one are probably not what you want right now.


Amanda

"Is that my Not-Mine Sweater? Whoever gets that Not-Mine Sweater is very lucky."
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griffsmom
Gabber Extraordinaire

457 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  2:15:20 PM  Show Profile Send griffsmom a Private Message
I taught myself to knit using Righetti's first book "Knitting in Plain English" and like her style very much. After I finish my current WIP (a sampler shawl from Cheryl Oberle's "Folk Shawls") I was going to gear up for learning how to knit a sweater. I'm going to get Righetti's sweater book for when I tackle my first sweater--thanks for asking the Q, JoliGee, and for the recommendation Amanda!

*~*Lori*~*

My finished projects: http://community.webshots.com/album/308469463umpbHG

"Measure wealth, not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money." ~ Unknown
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JoliGee
Chatty Knitter

223 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2005 :  12:26:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit JoliGee's Homepage Send JoliGee a Private Message
I think I'll put "Sweater Design in Plain English" and "the Sweater Workshop" on my Amazon Wish List, and get 'em after the holidys. If I were to buy just one pattern, well, that's sort of like knitting in a vacuum. I do want to learn the how's and why's a bit more. It's sort of like a cookie recipe--"bring the butter to room temperature." if you don't know why the butter needs to be at room temp, you might be tempted to skip that step, as I did as a 12 year old making cookies, only to foul my mixer with cold butter. I think my brain has room for the "why's." Thanks for all the great posts.
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Yarnni
Permanent Resident

Canada
1021 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  04:53:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit Yarnni's Homepage Send Yarnni a Private Message
I would recommend the Sally Melville books, starting with "The Knit Stitch". The patterns are simple, and there are a lot of technique basics in the back of the books. I have all three of her new books and often refer to them as refreshers.

Yarnni
www.knitwerx.com
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Schaeferyarnlover
Gabber Extraordinaire

513 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  4:22:00 PM  Show Profile Send Schaeferyarnlover a Private Message
Have you looked at these patterns? www.knittingpureandsimple.com
Debra
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rejoyce
Chatty Knitter

USA
250 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  4:53:19 PM  Show Profile Send rejoyce a Private Message
I also love The Sweater Workshop by Fee. It taught me so many things. I think I used this book for my first sweater. I also use it for a reference book.

Kim
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azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2361 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  6:25:23 PM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message
I have a lot of the Knitting Pure and Simple patterns and just started my first. So far, so good. Very easy to understand and follow. And I love that they're knitted in the round and when I take it off the needles, it's finished. I've heard great things from others about their patterns.
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JoliGee
Chatty Knitter

223 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2005 :  06:51:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit JoliGee's Homepage Send JoliGee a Private Message
OOh, I like that site! Just bookmarked it. Seaming is not my strong suit, and I love knittingin the round, so I will check out their patterns. Does anyoneknow why some patterns have been made free for download? Is it because they are older?
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metromaples
Seriously Hooked

USA
876 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2005 :  07:52:05 AM  Show Profile Send metromaples a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by JoliGee

OOh, I like that site! Just bookmarked it. Seaming is not my strong suit, and I love knittingin the round, so I will check out their patterns. Does anyoneknow why some patterns have been made free for download? Is it because they are older?



Joligee -- not quite sure what you mean by "some patterns have been made free for download". Are you referring to the knitting pure and simple patterns? I just went and looked and could not find any of the sweater patterns were free to download. If there are some, please let me know.

Jeri
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JoliGee
Chatty Knitter

223 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2005 :  07:59:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit JoliGee's Homepage Send JoliGee a Private Message
You're right Jeri, I was confused. No free sweater patterns, just sox. The pattern I have my eye on is at Jimmy beans for about $4.00.
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azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2361 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2005 :  08:07:30 AM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message
The only free ones are for socks, hats or mittens that I see. I'm making the split neck t-shirt and it's coming along nicely.
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Karknit
Seriously Hooked

USA
711 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2005 :  8:07:03 PM  Show Profile Send Karknit a Private Message
Nobody mentioned Knitting In The Old Way. Why?
I was looking at this book on amazon and I thought it looked good.
Pros and Cons on this book would be helpful.
Thanks


Karen

My diet incentive, to knit smaller sweaters.
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Atavistic
Permanent Resident

6604 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2005 :  8:36:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit Atavistic's Homepage Send Atavistic a Private Message
It's not really a pattern book, nor even a how-to book. It's a recipe book of sweaters for people who are comfortable making sweaters, in my mind.

Amanda

"Is that my Not-Mine Sweater? Whoever gets that Not-Mine Sweater is very lucky."
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Karknit
Seriously Hooked

USA
711 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2005 :  08:56:33 AM  Show Profile Send Karknit a Private Message
Thanks Amanda, I think I will wait on that book till I have more experience. Now I'm looking at EZ knitting without tears for some tips and a good read.
I need to take a closer look at my sweater workshop by J Fee, there must be alot of info that I'm missing. I don't find her book a enjoyable read though and I get lost quite easily. I did do the fish sweater though and learned alot.


Karen

My diet incentive, to knit smaller sweaters.
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