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Knitting Rules!

The Yarn Harlot Unravels the Mysteries of Swatching, Stashing, Ribbing &

Rolling to Free Your Inner Knitter

by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Rating: 5 sheep (excellent)

 

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's third book is not just anecdotes and amusing notes, but also actually has some tips for knitting!

 

If you're looking for some simple patterns, you'll be disappointed. However, if you want to actually understand how Hats, Socks, Scarves and Shawls, and Sweaters can be constructed (and there are several ways for each), then this will certainly help, and to my mind,understanding the construction will make you a better knitter.

 

Stephanie starts the book by helping you determine what kind of knitter you are, letting you know why non-knitters just don't "get it", and by giving you some material to help you defend your hobby/obsession. She also helps you understand yarn, and how to identify the ball whose label was lost years ago, and gives information on other knitting tools you will need.

 

Then she describes the importance of gauges and swatching! I know, I'm sure you've heard it before, but the included "cautionary tale" not only demonstrates just how important it is, but also had tears rolling down my cheeks, I was laughing so much!

 

Then comes the real meat of the book, starting with Hats. Hats are, she says, the best thing for a beginner to learn with, because there's not nearly so much stamina needed as there is for a scarf. The scarf, for a beginner, can be pretty tedious, and goes on entirely too long once the basics are mastered. Not just that, but many scarves these days use eyelash yarn, or similar, which is not the best yarn for seeing the stitches.

 

Having said that, the first style of hat is for someone who's started a scarf, but just can't see themselves overcoming the tediousness of it. The solution is simple - turn this scarf into a hat!

 

Next up are the socks. With these, as with the other items, she lists 10 reasons why you should knit them. These reasons are not only quite sensible, but also amusing in some cases. Again, she describes the process without getting hung up on a pattern, which is particularly ideal for sock knitting.

 

Then it's the turn of the Scarves and Shawls. With several different construction styles for each, she gives you some good ideas to get different looks, pretty simply.

 

Lastly, but certainly not least, comes the Sweater. Many people think that's a pretty big task, but really, it still just comes down to two stitches - knit and purl. It can all be broken down to smaller tasks to make things manageable.

 

With a little, very amusing, glossary of knitting terms to round it out, this book has excellent tips, has improved my understanding, and given me a number of ideas for future projects. It's also very readable, and I couldn't put it down. I know I'll be coming back to it when I want my memory refreshed on some of the project ideas.

 

Respectfully submitted,
Timothy Hunt

Buy this book from Amazon.com

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