Friday, January 11, 2013

Learn to Knit, Love to Knit

I promise that I have not stopped thinking about sewing.  I hope to make a start on something at the weekend, but I have a haircut booked for Saturday afternoon, which puts the spanner in the works.  I like to immerse myself in a sewing project until it's done.  Ah well - that's what I get for vanity!

So this is another one for the knitters and the wannabe knitters.

A while back, someone left a comment asking for a recommendation of a "how to knit" book.  At the time, the best I could do was suggest watching you-tube videos, as I didn't know of a really good book.  Well, this week, my position has changed.  Yes, I would still recommend finding a human teacher, either in person (with coffee and cake to hand) or on the internet.  But now I can also point you towards an exciting, inspiring and practical "how to" book - woo hoo!


"Learn to Knit, Love to Knit" was published in September 2012, but I only came across it in the latest issue of Knit Now magazine, where the rather hip and funky stripey raglan sweater pattern pictured below is reprinted alongside an interview with the author, Anna Wilkinson.  Anna does have a Ravelry account but she is not very active on there, which I think is missing a trick in terms of getting herself "known" in the knitting world.  It's certainly my first stop for all things knitterly.

The book is divided into two sections:  the first has lovely clear photographic instructions of How To Knit (English style) and a set of truly inspiring Beginner patterns.  Seriously, even an advanced knitter will be enticed by these projects, especially for quick gift-knitting. The author has a great eye for colour, with sharp citrussy brights set against heathery natural shades and appealing "young" styling (check out that nail polish!).  The photos wouldn't look out of place on a fashion blog, and I think that's important if you are trying to attract a new generation of knitters.

The second section is "Love to Knit" and the stamina-level required for these projects is definitely higher.  They are not necessarily "difficult", but do require a greater level of commitment than a bulky-weight hat or scarf.  And these are the projects which made me REALLY want a copy of this book for myself.  They have that "wow" factor.  They are aspirational projects.  Some would say they are too much of a challenge for new knitters, but I really believe in the power of desire - if you really really WANT that sweater, you are much more likely to stick with the learning process and plug away at the acres of stocking stitch or tricky fair-isle until you complete it.  They put the fire in your belly!

There are 12 cute little vintage-y sweaters and cardi projects in this book, including a cape of swoon-tastic-ness which I will have to knit before the year is out.  The garment patterns only go up to a UK size 16 which will be issue for many, I'm sure.  But beyond the intrinsic gold star quality of the patterns, I also view this book as a springboard to learn and explore so many techniques:  lace, cables, socks, mitts, a hat, colourwork - you get a little taste of so many possibilities that I defy any creative person to come away feeling "meh" about the prospect of knitting.

So, if your New Year's Resolution is to Learn to Knit - get a copy of this book!

No, I was not sponsored to write this post.  The opinions expressed are my own.

13 comments:

Judith said...

Thanks for the thumbs-up on this book - the cover picture is enough to grab my interest!

woolmix said...

OH OH OH that cape is quite the thing. And there is a book token burning a hole in my purse ... Thank you for the recommendation: it looks like a fabulous book.

Sarahel said...

That cape looks fabulous, you must knit it.

agirlinwinter said...

I must knit that cape!!!!

Sabs said...

Thanks for that Roo. I got The Knitter's Bible for Christmas so have been using that but I've just had a look on Amazon at this one and it looks really interesting. I'm halfway thru knitting my very first scarf so will put photos of it on my blog when done. It's a slow process tho!!

Anj said...

So glad to read your review. I've had my eye on several patterns from this - that I'd come across independently of the book - for a while but had put off buying it because of the 'learn to knit' premise. Now I realise I'm just being a terrible snob and must go and purchase it immediately ;-) And I hadn't even seen the cape - swoon!!!!!

Donna said...

Thanks for the recommendation!

Gail said...

Oh my! I'm also in love with that cape! I may end up buying the book just for that pattern alone!

Lynne said...

Oh my word!! That cape is fabulous!! And off to Ravelry I go... :)

Anonymous said...

totally agree that wanting something is a better motivation than struggling with the banal in order to learn. I was taught to knit by an Irish woman who had no concept of the beginner project but started with what I wanted to knit - socks were the first thing I ever did and to this day things like turning heels, cables etc hold no fear. Just read the instructions, take it easy and believe that you can do it.
Christine

Anonymous said...

I so agree with you on learning to knit what you want, rather than make some insipid "beginner's project". I started knitting in the Age of Intarsia, and you bet my first garment had an intarsia image front and center; my next two projects were cabled sweaters. I'm going to check my library for this title, because that cape and the striped sweater are covetable.
-- stashdragon

soisewedthis said...

One day I'd love to learn to knit!

Law said...

Oh thanks for the recommendation. I have reserved it from my library.