Knitting for Dummies - Allen, Bar and Okey

It's 3 years since I made my ZX Spectrum scarf, and I saw this book in one of those super-cheapy book shops for 2 quid, and thought "Oooh." When I made that scarf, I literally only knitted - I did not do any purling. The result is called "garter stitch" and it's pretty ugly. So... maybe I should learn a bit more?

Having a book on the subject's kinda good, since there are plenty of details to it, and I'm not exactly going to learn by osmosis from others. I could probably have learnt a bit more from the internet, but having a book is nice and structured.

The bit before "how to knit" is pretty good - the tools and all the rest (turns out there's more than just vanilla needles), but the actual guide to knitting is pretty poor. The basic "knit" doesn't match what I learnt, and it turns out there are many variations, and I'm doing a variation which, frankly, I think is rather more convenient. It's like "combination knitting", but probably not as good. The diagrams aren't great, so if you're trying to learn the actions you're best off on Youtube.

So, I wasn't terribly impressed by the way that it elided the complexities of the basic knit and purl. After that, it got better. It covers a pile of different stitches and techniques, and then various projects to exercise them on. I find it extremely unlikely that I'm going to end up knitting a sweater, but if I did, there's stuff in here on how to do that.

I must say, it's not a terribly exciting book. It's all a bit "here's how to do this", and unsurprisingly it's rather more focused on making a thing than how the geometry of the patterns are constructed. I guess that's the audience, though. While pedestrian, it does the job, especially if you can find a cheap copy.

Posted 2015-12-06.