Sunday, 21 October 2012

Book Review: Learn to Knit, Love to Knit

Learn to Knit, Love to Knit by Anna Wilkinson is one of the loveliest knitting books I've seen in ages. You guys might recognise it from one of my blog posts last month - within 12 hours of it arriving at my house I'd already started work on one of the projects in it. I'm going to do a proper review of it today but basically the short version is: I love this book!

 

The book is divided into three sections. First up, there's an introductory guide to materials and equipment, and all the technical stuff like understanding knitting pattern abbreviations and (of course) a guide to basic knitting techniques. The guide includes step-by-step photos for each technique which I found very easy to follow and much clearer than the diagrams featured in other books.


Then there's the "Learn to Knit" section, which includes 10 patters. It starts out with simple beginner projects like the wristwarmers featured on the front cover and the chunky bobble hat on the back cover...

 

... and progresses to intermediate projects like a lace collar and a plain jumper, with sections explaining any additional techniques needed for each project as you develop and grow your skills.

 

Finally, the "Love to Knit" section includes 10 more complex patterns like polka-dot socks, a fair isle tanktop, a floral cardigan, a cable-knit hat & snood and this tweed cape:


Most of the projects in the "love" section are waaaaay out of my league skills-wise but there are so many designs in the "learn" section that I want to try... and who knows, maybe one day I'll be able to come back to this book and tackle some of the fancier patterns? I think the use of the word "learn" and the choice of beginner-friendly designs for the cover images might lead people to think this book is just aimed at beginners, but actually I think there's something in here for most abilities.

All the designs in the book feel fresh and modern, often with a vintage twist that gives them quite a classic feel & makes me think they'll date really well (plus lots of the cardigans in the book would look awesome paired with a favourite vintage dress). The styling of the photos has a similar combo of modern & vintage, with lots of retro accessories and props but also trendy touches like the neon yarn chosen for the techniques section and the coloured nail polish worn by many of the models.

The use of colour is great - both in the designs themselves and in the photo styling. I'm a huge fan of bright colour (I get really frustrated when the shops are full of beige and washed out pastels) - I know they're not for everyone, but the bold shades used in this book are right up my alley. The stripes on these jumpers are just swoon-worthy...


... and check out those buttons on the title page! Yum.



I've already used this book to knit something I've never tried before - mittens! I knitted one of the wristwarmers (I'll get round to knitting a second one eventually!) which was a really enjoyable, quick project. Then I wanted to try to knit these mittens (minus the giant pompoms)...


... I didn't have the right sort of yarn, so I just used what I had in my stash to test out the pattern. I ended up with a giant-sized mitten which will be unravelled latter but look! I knitted a thumb!! Exciting times. I'm even thinking about trying one of the jumper patterns next year (eek!).


Learn to Knit, Love to Knit is published by Quadrille. RRP £14.99. It's available from Amazon UK, The Book Depository and  from a selection of sellers on Amazon USA.

[Disclaimer: Quadrille sent me a free review copy of this book, and the Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]

7 comments:

Made in Suisse said...

I got soo excited too the first time I mastered double-pointed needles to knit thumbs on my mittens even though the resulting mitten was nowhere near the size it was meant to be with a disproportionate thumb...nonetheless I thought it was quite an achievement :-)

Anna said...

Oh wow, I love that striped jumper! Might have to look that up. And congrats on your first mitten!

Alessandra said...

I hope to find out this book very soon in the bookstores here in JK or Singapore (where I bought all your books, ;oD) !!!
xxx Alessandra

Chrissy said...

Sounds and looks wonderful! Hope to find it somewhere to order - looks like something I need! xxx

ROBIN18447 said...

Looking for this book...

Choo Choo Family said...

Hi Laura, r u the photographer for this bk? (^-^)

BugsandFishes said...

Made in Suisse - Haha! I was SO excited to have made something that actually looked like a mitten, even though it was way too big even for my dad (he had a good laugh at that).

Choo Choo Family - Ah, no! I do adore the photos though :)

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails