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
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]