All About Knitting Review
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When I first learned to knit, I was lucky enough to have my mother-in-law at my side, showing me how it was done. Then, not long after I learned to cast on and knit—before I even learned how to purl—we moved away, and I was suddenly on my own, without a teacher nearby. Back then, I really could have used my very own copy of All About Knitting—because this book leaves no knitting technique unexplained.

Part how-to, part pattern book, All About Knitting starts out with an in-depth guide to the basics. At the beginning of this nearly 100-page beginner’s class, new knitters will learn all about the necessary equipment—especially the yarn. You’ll learn about fibers and textures and weights. You’ll learn how to select your yarn, how to decipher the stuff on the label, and how to care for your yarn.

  
 
Then, once you’ve selected your yarn, you’ll learn what to do with it. You’ll learn four ways to cast on, how to hold your yarn, how to knit and purl, and two different bind-offs. You’ll learn how to follow a pattern, how to fix your mistakes, and how to sew everything together. You’ll also learn all about cables and bobbles and trimmings and more.

When it comes to learning how to knit, however, I still recommend getting a friend (or a teacher) to show you what to do. It’s easier to learn if you have someone looking over your shoulder and helping you when you get confused. That’s not to say that knitting is difficult; actually, it’s quite easy. It just takes a little getting used to. And if you can’t figure it out from the illustrations in the book, you’ll soon find yourself throwing your yarn down the stairs and giving up. And while the illustrations in this book are good for refreshing your memory, there aren’t a lot of them. For the knit stitch, for instance, you only get three small illustrations—and that’s just not enough.

After you’ve had someone show you the basics, though, this book will definitely come in handy. Instead of running to the local yarn store (or constantly calling your longsuffering teacher) whenever you need some help, you’ll have the perfect reference book by your side. So if you decide that you just have to learn how to knit cables at three o’clock in the morning, you won’t have to wake anyone up. It’s all right here.

As you learn the techniques, you’ll also want to try out your new skills on some cute patterns. All About Knitting has those, too. The second half of the book is divided into four kinds of patterns for everyone from your newborn niece to Great Uncle Joe. There are cute blankets and slippers and bags and sweaters. Surprisingly, though, there aren’t a lot of patterns that are designated as “easy”—and, in a book for beginners, I’d expect more beginner patterns.

Whether you’re a brand-new knitter or you’re ready to learn some new techniques, All About Knitting makes a great guide—and the patterns will help you master your newly acquired skills. If you’re looking for a collection of patterns for beginners, however, I recommend looking elsewhere.

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