Knitting Pretty

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Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival

Another little book today. Even though it’s little, it has taken me awhile to get this into my blog. Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival (published in 2002 by Chronicle Books) is an easy to read and easy to use book. I have some negative comments, but generally it’s a nicely done  120 page volume.

Thumbs up or down: I liked the top down sweater at the end of the blog post, but most of the patterns are too simple for me. I’m going to pass on this book and keep my shelf space for more important books.

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Knitting Pretty – Back Cover

There is the usual “Getting Started” and “How to Knit” chapters

illustrations

Knitting – American Style

The American Style “How to Knit” page shown in the book has very small illustrations ( all illustrations are similar and all too small). Could you really learn from these illustrations? The next page is the Continental Style with no illustrations – yikees! Plus I wonder if a beginner would get the difference between the two styles and why to choose one over the other.

instructions

Simple Garter Stitch Scarf

After all the “How-to” pages – through page 40, the first projects were simple and noted by a “1” in a circle. Clever graphics. The instructions tell you what you need to know and what page to refer to for a refresher on the technique – very clever. I like the step-by-step numbered instructions.

mittens

Warmest Mittens – level 4

I include this project only because I’ve been working on mittens this winter and looking at various patterns. There isn’t a section which shows how to cast on and join for double-pointed needles. Not the easiest for someone who is using the book as a novice although there are lots of places where one could go to find the technique on the internet.

swatches

Simple Squares

The swatches used to check gauges have other uses. This spread talks about ways to use squares, but the patterns are a bit vague.

sweater

Simple Sweater – Level 5

Knit in the round from the top down, this is a nice sweater. It’s made in a chunky yarn which would make it a faster-to-knit project. The lack of how to knit with circular needles makes it again a bit of a stretch for a novice.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Pretty-Instructions-Fabulous-Projects-ebook/dp/B00HSXBZ8I/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459799819&sr=1-1&keywords=knitting+pretty

 

Learn to Knit

Learn to Knit by Penny Hill

Learn to Knit by Penny Hill

So you might ask – what the H – – – are you doing with a “learn to knit” book? Yes, dear reader, I asked myself the same question. This UK book published in 2003 somehow landed on my book shelf – magically I’m sure!

Learn to Knit - back cover

Learn to Knit – back cover

Since it won’t be staying on my shelf much longer and is most likely destined as a library donation, I will at least give it a review here. It’s an OK learn to knit book for a novice and covers quite an array of material to be sure. The simple projects shown on the back cover go from easiest to easy with some clarification along the way. It’s actually a good book for more experienced knitters, if one might be looking to knit simple projects.

Photo illustrations

Photo illustrations

I’m not usually a fan of photo “how-to’s”, but these are fairly clear. Usually drawn illustrations are easier to follow.

How to create stitch patterns

How to create stitch patterns

These are clear photos of simple stitches, but the UK version of stocking stitch vs. the US stockinette might be confusing to a beginner.

photo of sweater pieces

photo of sweater pieces

This was a clever way to show what the finished sweater garter stitch pieces will look like and more or less how they will be stitched together.

Finished sweater

Finished sweater

Here’s the finished sweater nicely styled. The book uses no live models which probably keeps the book from looking dated.

How to make a set-in pocket

How to make a set-in pocket

Towards the end of the book, this technique plus several others such as buttonholes makes the book more valuable in the long run.

http://www.amazon.com/Learn-Knit-Penny-Hill/dp/1580111750/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1447521398&sr=8-1&keywords=Learn+to+Knit+by+Penny+Hill

Knitting Beyond Scarves – Melissa Leapman

Knitting BeyondScarves

I thought that I’d go for an easy book this week. I wanted one that I could skim through and move on.  What can I say – I’m still in summer vacation mode.

What did I decide about Knitting Beyond Scarves: Thumbs down!

 

Knitting Beyond Scarves back cover

The back cover says it all: Take Your Knitting to the Next Level. Actually the book starts out with all the basics – casting on, the knit stitch, and binding off. The book is packed with simple info for a knitter who wants to go “beyond the scarf”. The illustrations are very clear and easy-to-follow. The explanations are well-written and organized in a logical step-by-step fashion. For the $19.95 cost, you could learn a ton from this book.

Knitting Beyond Scarves

 

OK – now that I’ve told you what I like about the book.  Now for the down side. I love Melissa Leapman – her books, her designs and her bubbly personality. The designs featured in this book are either too simple, ho-hum or really not great. The one  design I do like is the striped hat below. It’s adorable. Some of the skirts in the circular knitting and increase and decrease sections miss the mark in many ways. The purple A-line skirt in a novelty yarn doesn’t do it for me. The sweaters and accessories wouldn’t “wow” most knitters I know. I was surprised that the book was published in 2006. I thought at first glance that it might have been published in the 80’s or 90’s.

 

Beyond Scarves - Striped Hat

 

For someone who wants to learn new techniques and have a “go-to” book to help them along the way, this book is perfect. I feel like it’s not one that I would use and it should have a new home and get off my shelf!

http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Leapmans-Knitting-Beyond-Scarves/dp/0823026140/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408645875&sr=8-1&keywords=Knitting+beyond+scarves