Book Review

  25 Gorgeous Sweaters for the Brand-New Knitter
by Catherine Ham
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So you've just learned to knit and you're ready to knit your first sweater. If you're lucky enough to have a supportive knitter nearby, you can go to him or her for guidance throughout the entire project. But what if you're alone?

Don't Fret

Catherine Ham's book, "25 Gorgeous Sweaters for the Brand-New Knitter," is the perfect surrogate friend for any new knitter. It contains extremely simple but attractive patterns for cardigans, jackets, vests, and tops for women, plus a few patterns for kids.

Not a Reference Book

The author assumes you already know the basics of knitting, and you won't find any instructions for casting on, binding off, or forming basic knit and purl stitches. So you'll still need a basic knitting reasource. Even the basic stitch guides in popular knitting magazines will do, or you can bookmark's knitting section.

Under the Covers

The patterns are clearly written with many more illustrations than normally found in pattern books. Most designs are extremely basic, but Ham adds a nice touch by showing various embellishments you can add to the finished garments.

She writes with a highly personal tone, telling stories and explaining how different patterns came to be. I especially like her Sweater Kniting Basics chapter. As you read it, you'll feel like you're having an informative chat with an old friend who really knows her knitting.

She answers lots of the same questions I had when I first began, and she is eloquent about why knitters need their yarn stashes.

Manageable Materials

Best of all, Ham understands that most beginning knitters aren't ready to drop a bundle on yarn. Her patterns call for easy-to-find, reasonably priced designer yarns that still yield beautiful results.

Pair this with a solid techniques guide, such as The Knitter's Companion, The Big Book of Knitting, or Vogue Knitting, and you'll be ready to go.

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Previous reader comments

"I just got this book and haven't had a chance to make anything out of it. I just loved the vest designs in it and the different, unique ways necklines are dealt with and options to change are presented. Wonderful book!"  rcowdery, 12/07/00

"I was impressed with this book, and I am not a beginner knitter. The shapes are simple and appealing. This is one book that I want to see under my tree this Christmas!"  echarvey, 12/07/00

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