Knitting book review

For today’s post I wanted to talk a bit about two knitting books I have been reading lately. I found both very informative so far and thought it might be something interesting to share. I always like to discover new (to me) knitting books and hope that these books might be new to one of you.

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The first is Deborah Newton’s ‘Finishing School: A master class for knitters’. I have had the book for a few years now but have never looked at it properly. However, finishing my friend’s birthday present required some seaming and picking up stitches which I had never been very good at because I tend to rush these things. But I wanted to do it properly this time and took some time reviewing both techniques. Afterwards, I continued reading and have found the book very interesting.

In addition to basics like blocking and seaming, the book also has chapters on edgings, how to deal with buttons, zippers and pockets, as well as finishing techniques that include felting. For every section, there is a workshop illustrating what has been discussed on patterns included in the book. The photos are clear and detailed and substituted by drawings in some places. I find they them very well able to give enough visual aids to understand and replicate the techniques.

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What I particularly liked about this book is that Deborah Newton talks about the techniques from her own experience and in the first person. It is nice to read this and know that she is sharing genuine experiences, that she has worked through all the things I am struggling with as a knitter to get to the point where she can share these techniques and her knowledge.

If you are at the stage in your knitting where you are comfortable with the knitting part but struggle to finish items to the same standard, I recommend this book as a valuable guide to improving your finishing. I will certainly return to this book for pointers in the future!

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The second book I want to discuss is a book I picked up at random from the public library. They don’t have the best collection regarding knitting resource books but Alison Ellen’s book ‘Knitting: Colour, structure and design’ has definitely been worth the trip to town even though I don’t really like any of the patterns in the book.

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She starts with a history of knitting which I thought was absolutely fascinating. She doesn’t have much space to go into too much detail but it has made me curious to learn more about this and I am hoping to find some of the books she references.

The other chapters include information on stitches and how they work, other techniques, the use of colour and the impact of different materials on designs, as well as a bit about finishing techniques. The section on colour even includes a bit about how to dye your own yarn.

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I found the book very informative and it made me look at my knitting differently. I have since been trying to understand how the stitches and pattern work and what impact changes might have. It is a fun exercise to imagine the impact of the stitches and different materials. I love swatching anyway but reading this book makes me try to understand what I am doing in a much more conscious and questioning way.

So, if you are interested to see knitting from a bit of a different perspective and begin to question what you are doing, this is a good book to start that process. As I said, I am not keen on any of the patterns in it but still think they are interesting to read because of the way they are constructed.

One thing I don’t like about the book so much is that the labels of the photos are sometimes a bit confusing. However, with a bit of knitting knowledge it is possible (most of the time) to work out what is what.

 

Can you recommend any knitting resources books that go more into depth about techniques?

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