Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fearless Knitting Workbook Review

I spent a lot of time sewing in the past. I was fortunate enough to take classes with an amazing women who had been teaching and doing custom work for high end clients for more than 40 years. After taking a project class with her I registered for her couturier samples class. I wanted to accelerate my learning. Unfortunately she didn't get enough students to run the class. I registered for her next garment class and as a side project she started me doing samples that were separate from the garment I was working on. I learned more from the samples than I did from the suit I sewed that term.

My experience working in my LYS taught me that technique books are a hard sell. The Knitters who won't buy them are often those that would benefit most. The same thing happens with knitting classes. So many Knitters struggle to learn things that a good teacher could help them with yet most of us are so focused on a finishing a specific project that we miss the lessons along the way that would ultimately improve our knitting for the rest of our lives.

Fearless Knitting is that kind of a book. It explains so many of the knitting terms and techniques that become second nature once you have been knitting for a while. It's a book that a beginner would learn so much useful information from. It's an excellent substitute for a knitting teacher and is laid out in a manner that allows the novice to progress one step at a time building specific skills and understanding that will serve them for the rest of their knitting lives. Sure - you can log onto the Internet and google any knitting term to find a description or a video but the advantage of the workbook is that it includes topics that you haven't yet thought of. Most of us learn best by doing and attacking the various skills in a logical step by step manner. Unfortunately that is not something a novice can plan out for themselves as effectively as has been done in this book.

The swatches and illustrations are excellent. The weaving in ends sample was especially well done. I did notice two illustrations with problems (out of the hundreds in the book) There was some shading referred to in the text on page 27 that was too light to be clear in the illustration. An incorrect illustration was used on page 129 for yarn overs between 2 knit stitches, it was a duplicate of the one for yarn overs after a purl stitch and before a knit stitch. There are a few other items listed on the Interweave Knits page here

Jennifer Seibert quotes a fortune cookie in saying "All things are difficult until they are easy" I regularly tell students that "it's easy when you know how" so I totally agree with her and the only fix is to get out there and learn.

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