Wonderful sweater book

sandra_fergusonSeptember 23, 2007

I just bought, from Amazon, another copy of the best sweater book I've ever used..I like it better, even, than Knitting Without Tears, the goodie by Elizabeth Zimmerman who started me out on sweaters many years ago....(my old copy of Workshop has just fallen apart). It's called THE SWEATER WORKSHOP, by Jacqueline Fee, and published by Interweave Press, Inc, of loveland Colorado. I cannot recommend this highly enough. I found it after I'd already knitted for years, but it is, by far, my favorite one, and the one I use the most. There is a bunch in the beginning, that an experienced knitter doesn't need...how tos.... but the rest is fab for a knitter of any level...if you are a novice and want to learn everything you need to know about knitting a sweater, then this is the book for you!!! The sweaters are knitted in the round, which is my favorite way of doing things...NO pearling or sewing parts together... YEA! ....and, no gauge to match. With this book you take a set of needles, any size, and knit a swatch with the yarn you plan to use. Then, you measure a sweater you have THAT FITS YOU. Using these measurements, and the GAUGE PAGE, with some simple math, you easily figure out how many stitches to cast on, etc. I HATE trying to make my stitches match someone else's gauge, and with this book, you don't need to. The back 3/4f of the book has patterns for lots of different styles of sweater, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. If you want to try sweaters, this is THE book for you.

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That sounds like a great book, Sandra, thanks for sharing about it. I'm still a novice, almost done with my first scarf, and I yearn to learn and try more advanced projects. I think the gauge part of knitting may drive me crazy (like trying to get the perfect scant 1/4 inch quilting seam, AAAGGGHHH!) and I like keeping things easy. At the same time, I also want to learn the basic techniques and how to sew the parts together, but it's nice to know there are projects that can be done quickly and easily when I just want to produce something and don't want a lot of fuss. Sounds like this is a great book for those of us who want to keep things simple.

Do you know of a similar book for socks? :-)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 2:40PM
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No...sorry....I don't know of a sock book....I've always just used the patterns from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Without Tears. However, don't think that sewing parts together is the 'right' way to make a sweater, and somehow better than knitting in the round. I HATE knitting pieces and then having to sew them together...why bother, when you can knit the whole thing together? I very much believe that knitting in the round is a better way to accomplish the desired goal.....a good looking sweater that fits and that you will actually wear. I believe it's a much better way.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 3:07PM
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I saw one pattern book in the store that knits sweaters in the round in one piece. I did not like how the shoulders looked. Hope yours look better. (Cannot remember whose pattern book it was.) Knitting a sweater all in once piece sounds great.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 4:19PM
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All the sweaters I've knit in the round have had raglan sleeves, which are particularly good for me, as I'm narrow through the shoulders...and, I like it because it offers a place to do a cable, etc for a bit of interest. Here are a couple of the pics from the book....I've knitted both, although on the cardigan I didn't include the drawstring ...on the crew, I used a variagated thread for the accent rows, and did them in a purl row, too, for added interest.

here are a couple I haven't gotten buttons for yet. My pictures aren't the best, but you get the idea. I LIKE raglan sleeves...

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 7:35PM
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A good basic sock book is Ann Budd's Getting Started Knitting Socks. But you should check it out at a bookstore to see if you it fits your learning style. Instead of investing money in a book only to find that you may not enjoy knitting with small needles and thin yarn, there are free patterns online and ones on the label of some sock yarns, like Lion Brand's Magic Stripes. For your first sock, start with a pattern for worsted or DK weight yarn or a X'mas stocking so you get the hang of turning the heel on larger needles. Below is a useful link for sock knitters.

Here is a link that might be useful: Socknitters website

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 1:16PM
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Jenn - Knitty.com has multiple really great articles on knitting socks.

Sandra - KWT is my favorite knitting book! I'm finally learning to knit contential with it ('cause I'd like to be able to do fair isle...). My second favorite? Fitted Knits. So easy to modify for your own gauge and almost everything is knit in the round - top down. :) I'm currently working on my second sweater from the book, and have yarn for one more.

~ Kit

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 2:58PM
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Sandra, I also checked out that sweater book from the library. Wonderful!

For a similar book regarding socks, you might pick up Sensational Knitted Socks, by Charlene Schurch. I found it to be a great help. Although there are lots of patterns in the book, there is also great information on how to "invent" your own sock with any weight yarn and your choice of 4 or 5 dpns or circulars. You'll find out how many stitches to cast on based on your measurements and the stitch pattern you will be using (by the way, there are lots of stitch patterns included). You are shown several different heels and toe-up and toe-down methods.

I will admit that at first I was overwhelmed by the book and set it aside, but when I later came back to it, it just started making sense, and now it is my favorite sock reference guide.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sensational Knitted Socks

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 3:20PM
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Kit, I'm going to see if I can find Fitted Knits...sounds like something I'd like...I HATE to have to make my stitches conform to someone else's gauge.
I'm very lucky in that I was taught to knit with the Continental method, and didn't have to learn to switch, which would be hard. Continental is, though, so much quicker and makes knitting with 2 colors, much easier...I'm just glad that's how my Grandmother knitted. (we were snowed for a week when I was about 8, and my Grandmother was with us...she was bored, so taught me to play canasta, and to knit....the canasta didn't 'stick', but the knitting did!)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 3:00PM
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Kit...I found the Fitted Knits book at Amazon, and ordered it, so I'm looking forward to getting it...which one are you working on?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 3:34PM
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Sandra, that sounds like a fantastic book. Your sweaters are beautiful! I have a feeling I'm not going to like trying to match a recommended gauge either. I'll be sure to check for this book at the library and I added it to my Wish List at Amazon.com

The other books recommended here sound good too.... thanks for the additional recommendations for socks books (glad the thread didn't totally take off in that direction though).

Thanks so much for sharing these resources.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:35PM
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Another set of books and patterns everyone who hates sewing up sweaters should look into is Cabin Fever. Their entire philosphy about knitting is that when you're done knitting, you're done with the sweater! Although, I must say, Sandra, your sweaters look fantastic! Amazing! So whatever you're doing, it's right:-).

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 10:10AM
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Sandra, I feel the same way as you. I am a self taught knitter. I love to knit sweaters. I don't knit in the round but I do knit by using a sweater that already fits. That process works with any type sweater. I am going to see if I can find the book too. I did learn to make socks last winter. They are next to sweaters for me now. The heel is confusing but once you do one they are simple. Now I'd like to learn the toe up. A good blizzard will make you learn to do things. We also played Canasta, I don't think anyone plays that anymore.
Thanks for the advice on the book.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 3:33PM
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Sandra - have you gotten Fitted Knits yet? If so, how are you liking it?

~ Kit

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 6:02PM
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Kit, I ordered and paid for it through Amazon...then, it didn't come and it didn't come and it DIDN'T come. I contacted the seller 3 times, AND Amazon, before he finally said that he'd sent it right away (yeh, sure he did...if true, why didn't he answer my first 2 emails?), that it had been 'lost' (yeh, sure it was), and that Amazon would credit my credit card for the amt. Of course, this doesn't count postage, the price of the postal money order, AND the aggravation! So, I guess I'll have to start over. But, if anyone orders from Amazon, stay clear of thebookguyz!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 7:48PM
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