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The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns:  Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes & Gauges (Interweave)

by Ann Budd

     Amazingly, this book was published in 2002 and I've only recently discovered it.  While I've been knitting for almost 3 decades (gasp!), the one thing that has always given me the most trouble is “gauge”.  It's not that I can't do it, I just don't trust myself.  Since “swatching” has never been my favorite thing, when I'm trying to re-do a favorite pattern with a different yarn I end up in endless tester pieces, trying to make sure that my “math” was correct; and as I knit up the pattern, I become obsessed with measuring to see if I somehow calculated wrong.

     Fortunately, I've always been a relatively true-to-gauge knitter, so if the yarn is 5 stitches per inch on size 8 needles, I'm usually right there; but the obsession with calculating my own gauge frequently takes some of the joy out of the knitting.

     This book has been invaluable!  It has basic patterns for almost every article of clothing and has them done for multiple gauges and sizes – all in simple, easy-to-read charts.

     Ann Budd has also put in some tips and suggestions for putting your own spin on the items.  So the gloves have been painlessly converted into fingerless gloves using the yarn that a friend picked out.  Even adding my own color patterns or cables are less daunting because the “hard” part (math !) has already been done!

     I think this book is going to help me work through my seemingly endless stash of yarn much quicker – because I no longer have to fuss about finding a pattern to match the yarn or spend hours & hours re-working a favorite pattern so that I can use some fluffy mohair that the pattern didn't call for….

-Review by Kristi Hill

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