Knitting for Dummies
By Pam Allen Thorndike Press, Large Print Edition (2008)
ISBN 10: 1-4104-0399-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-4104-0399-5
Genre: How-To, Crafting, Self-Help
Reviewed by Angela Evans - November 21, 2008
Knitting for Dummies by Pam Allen is an ideal beginners guide to knitting, and a handy reference book for intermediate knitters. Within the pages of this superb guide, Allen provides an instructive and easy to follow Knitting 101 course, a course that covers just about everything from casting on and learning how to knit and purl to the tools of the trade and knitters math. Building upon this solid foundation, she then walks you through some simple projects such as making a scarf, bag, and tasseled hat, then onto more advanced projects like making your first sweater or pair of socks. In the process, you will learn finishing techniques, how to work from a pattern, knitting stripes, cable knitting, how to manipulate stitches, fixing common mistakes and more. In short, Knitting for Dummies is a comprehensive and invaluable guide that not only teaches you the basics of how to knit, but which prepares you to become a skilled practitioner of the craft.
Allen is a wonderful teacher. Her instructions are clear and she teaches you to knit in an intuitive fashion, starting with the basics before moving onto more complicated issues. She also clearly translates knitterese (knitting vocabulary, abbreviations, and phrases) into English. Allen teaches you the various knitting stitches, individually, and she teaches you how to make the stitches by making swatches, rather than working on a large project to learn the stitches. Once you have mastered these basic stitches, she teaches you how to read a pattern, work with colors, and how to manipulate your stitches. Building upon this solid foundation, you can easily move onto the various projects that Allen has included in the book. If you don't find her projects of interest, or after completing them, you will find that you are well prepared to move onto projects from other books, patterns, or to create your own projects from scratch.
This large print edition of Knitting for Dummies is printed in an oversized format. The book measures approximately 8½" X 11¼" X 1¾". The book is large, but surprising light weight for its size. Most important, the text is printed in a clear and dark 16 point font, with important information printed in a bold text. In addition, all charts, graphs, and illustrations are easy to see and extremely helpful. Throughout you'll find handy check lists, knitting tips, boxed text that highlight special topics such as knitting for left-handers and working stubborn stitches, and an assortment of knitting cartoons that will tickle your funny bone.
As someone who learned how to crochet from a book, I was nonetheless a little leery about tackling knitting the same way. In part, I always felt that knitting was the 'hard' craft and would be too complicated and difficult to learn from simply following the directions in a book. Boy, was I wrong! All I needed was the right book, and I found it in Knitting for Dummies by Pam Allen. In just a few weeks of using this book I went from not knowing how to cast on, to working on my first project. Now I can not only cast on, but I've learned a few simple stitches and I'm in the process of making a scarf. I'll grant you that my stitches are not yet perfect and my edges may not be as straight as they could be, but I'm knitting! Allen has proven to me that learning to knit is not only doable, but it is was much easier than I ever imagined.
Knitting for Dummies is a first class introduction to knitting. I highly recommend it to those looking to learn how to knit, as well as beginning and intermediate knitters looking for to refine their skills as well as a knitting reference guide.
Crocheting for Dummies, by Karen Manthey and Susan Brittain.
Everything you always wanted to know about crocheting, from how to get started in the craft to finishing techniques, can be in this handy and informative reference guide.
Leslie Linsley's New Weekend Quilts, by Leslie Linsley.
25 Quick and Easy Quilting Project You Can Complete in a Weekend - includes all necessary patterns and templates and includes instructions on not only how to construct your quilt top, but also how to hand or machine quilt your creations.